Innovation
at LMU SOE
Innovation in Digital Education and Leadership Institute: Helping Teachers Use Technology for Maximum Benefit
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As advances in technology continue to create new opportunities to enhance teaching and learning, SOE’s Innovation in Digital Education and Leadership (iDEAL) institute has become an increasingly valuable resource in helping educators transform their pedagogy.
“Many educators come out of teacher preparation programs strong in their content area and in traditional teaching practices, but not fully equipped to use technology for maximum benefit — both for themselves and for student learning,” says Shannon Tabaldo, SOE’s director of digital curriculum integration and development and iDEAL’s founding director. “Our goal is to provide teachers with the tools that will best meet the needs of their students.”
In the 2018-19 academic year, iDEAL’s efforts reached more than 50,000 students in California through partnerships that involved 228 teachers in 31 schools — 10 traditional public schools, three public charter schools, and 18 Catholic schools in the dioceses of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Francisco and San Diego. iDEAL staff members also presented at multiple national conferences. The institute’s work was supported by $234,500 in new grant funding, along with $30,000 in grant funds allocated from previous years.
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To impact teacher practice, iDEAL offers schools a three-year training curriculum around best practices in blended and personalized learning. The certificate program features seven workshops per year covering the use of technology in classroom management, lesson planning, data assessments, subject-specific blended learning and the overall teaching and learning environment. The program recommends that schools appoint a teacher-leader — one educator who is intensively coached, along with the principal and administrators, to support other teachers going through the innovative teacher preparation during the time that iDEAL personnel are not there.
The training has already yielded impressive results, Tabaldo says, with students in the schools that completed the blended learning curriculum showing more than a year’s worth of academic growth.
At a time when data and information are readily available at our fingertips, it’s not as important to memorize information as it is to use that information creatively and constructively.
The iDEAL certificate program
“At a time when data and information are readily available at our fingertips, it’s not as important to memorize information as it is to use that information creatively and constructively,” Tabaldo explains. “Our ultimate goal is to help teachers ensure that their students are strong critical thinkers and problem solvers, and that is what we are seeing at culmination of our three years working with schools.”
California
schools
in partnership with iDEAL
teachers
involved
students
reached
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