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    focus logo   2016-2017 (Year 2) Professional Development

    North Allegheny's professional development efforts are led by Mrs. Karyn Dobda, Coordinator of Online Learning and Professional Development and Dr. Tammy Andreyko, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Assessment, and Professional Development. Professional development is a focal area of the District because effective professional development for teachers has an enormous impact on teaching and learning. Teachers must experience sustained and high quality professional development experiences for improved learning outcomes to be realized.

    Research from the International Society of Technology Education (ISTE) also reveals that high quality professional development is job-embedded, personalized, and designed to promote skill transfer. Professional learning experiences must respond to teachers’ interests, needs, and classroom settings. In many cases, these types of learning experiences can extend beyond the traditional school in-service setting to include webinars, Twitter chats, and other virtual experiences. This type of dynamic instruction helps both teachers and students alike. Research reports that teachers who use technology frequently place the highest emphasis on using technology to promote problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication. For these reasons, North Allegheny School District strives to provide a variety of the highest quality professional development opportunities to our staff.

    Based on the Spring 2017 BrightBytes survey, 38% of North Allegheny teachers are spending more than 17 hours in technology related professional development; this percentage has more than doubled from three years ago and increased 3% in just one year.  The amount of professional development teachers participate in is important because research  shows that 14 hours of high quality professional development on a single topic is needed before the effect is statistically significant.  Fifty-one percent (51%) of teachers report the quality of professional development as excellent or above average. NA teachers are exceeding their colleagues within the county, state, and across the nation when it comes to the amount of time spent per year participating in technology related professional development.  Twenty percent (20%) of teachers in Allegheny County, 22% of teachers in Pennsylvania, and 25% of teachers across the nation spend more than 17 hours per year learning about technology and only 32% of the professional development is rated as above average or excellent.
    Dr. Tammy Andreyko
    Dr. Tammy Andreyko

    Mrs. Dodba
    Mrs. Karyn Dobda
     NA Teacher Time Spent in Professional Development
    NA Teacher Time in PD Graph
    Solid bars represent 2017 data, Striped bars represent 2016 data, and speckled represent 2014 data
       Click on graph for a larger view

    Professional Development for Teachers
    Technology Integrators and Embedded Professional Development

    One of the key components identified by the Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) that enhances a successful migration to a 1:1 environment is the addition of Technology Integrators into the schools. These individuals bridge the gap between technology, classroom, and students. Teaching in a 1:1 environment requires the acquisition of a new skill set for many teachers. Technology Integrators provide embedded professional development for educators

    All of North Allegheny Technology Integrators are certified teachers who also possess a robust technology skill set. They are experts in how to effectively utilize technology in the classroom. Technology Integrators work directly with teachers acting as a coaches to navigate a technology-rich environment. Integrators co-teach and co-plan with the teachers, while also serving as a resource to the Information Technology Department as software and applications are selected and implemented. The Integrators routinely work with building principals to set building-level goals for technology and to coordinate building-level operational issues. It is not uncommon for Technology Integrators to also work directly with students, helping them to gain new confidence in the use of devices through the acquisition of new technological skill sets.

     Meet North Allegheny's Curriculum Team and Technology Integrators
     Curriculum Team 2017
    Front Row: Mrs. Christy Franck (CMS, IMS), Mrs. Nancy Creasy (Administrative Assistant - Curriculum Office), Dr. Tammy Andreyko (Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Assessment and Professional Development), Mr. Tony Gentile (MMS/IMS), Mrs. Jordan Cotten (NAI), Mr. Chuck Samek (MES, PES), Mrs. Laura Pacini (BWE, IES), Mrs. Dana Oliver (NASH), Mr. Matt Heckmann (MCK, PES), and Mrs. Monika Tomko (Administrative Assistant - PD Office)
    Back Row: Mr. Tom Ward (FES, HES), Dr. Kathy Curran (Coordinator of Academic Technology and Instructional Services, and Mrs. Karyn Dobda (Coordinator of Online Learning and Professional Development)

    2016 Summer Workshops - (16 sessions)
    In the summer of 2016 the District offered  a series of 3-hour workshops on a variety of technology topics. Summer offerings included:
      • A Few of My Favorite Things: Media Resources for the Classroom
      • ActivInspire: Using your Interactive Whiteboard
      • Blackboard Essentials: The Basics of Building your Course (2 sessions)
      • Blackboard Facilitated Learning: Revising and Refining your Course
      • Formative Assessment: Using Apps and Web-based Tools
      • Google Drive: Organization, Productivity, and Lesson design
      • iPads in the Middle School Classroom (2 sessions)
      • iPad Carts for the Elementary Classroom
      • Nearpod: Planning, Building and Facilitating a Lesson (2 sessions)
      • Primary Learning Center Activities: Puzzlets, OSMOs, and Spheros
      • Using Blackboard with Web-based Tools
      • Using Online Tools for Critical Thinking
      • Video Essentials: Screencasting, Editing, and YouTube-ing
      2016-2017 After School Workshops(27 sessions)
      After School Workshops are 90-minute professional development activities on targeted topics. Teachers from any building are welcome to attend any after school workshop. The workshops are scheduled in various buildings throughout the District during the school year.  Workshops offered this year included:
        • Blackboard Facilitated Learning (Middle School - 3 sessions)
        • Blended Learning by Content Area (High Schools - 2 sessions)
        • Book Creator (Elementary)
        • Explain Everything (Elementary)
        • File Organization (Elementary)
        • Formative Assessment (Elementary)
        • Google Drive for 1:1 iPads (Elementary - 2 sessions)
        • Interactive Presentations with Nearpod (Middle School - 2 sessions)
        • Reading + Writing + Talking + Technology (High Schools)
        • Sphero Activities in the Classroom (Middle Schools - 3 sessions)
        • Quizlet Live and Formative Assessment Tools (Elementary - 2 sessions)
        • Using iPads for Meaningful Content (Elementary - 2 sessions)
        • Your Classroom with iPads (Elementary - 6 sessions)

          2016-2017 Traditional Full-Day Workshops - (16 sessions)
          Professional development workshops are optional full-day training sessions for staff and are offered during the school day; sessions are typically led by North Allegheny staff. Class-sizes were limited to 18 participants; to accommodate as many staff as possible. Staff may not take more than two workshops per year.
          • ActivInspire (2 sessions for K-12)
          • App it Up! Creating Center Activities using the iPad (K-5)
          • Bringing SAMR into your Classroom (K-8)
          • Create Interactive Presentations: Nearpod, Google Slides and Other Tools (K-12)
          • Full STEAM Ahead! (K-5)
          • Google 1.0: Experience the Power of Docs, Sheets, and Slides (K-12)
          • Google 2.0: Chrome Apps, Extensions, and More (K-12)
          • Harnessing the Power of the 1:1 Classroom
          • Increasing Student Engagement w/Breakout EDU & Other Interactive Learning Activities (2 - 8)
          • Integrating Technology in Primary Learning Centers (K-3)
          • Introduction to Flipped Classroom Instruction (6-12)
          • Let’s Get Organized! File Management and Organization Methods for Students (2 sessions: One for K-5 and one for 6-12)
          • Transforming Instruction through the Use of Online Tools (6-12)
          • Vamping up your Blackboard Class (6-12)
          2016-2017 Tech Chats
          Tech Chats are casual building-based professional development activities that range from 20-40 minutes on a specific technology that may be new to a building or has been requested by the building staff.  The goal of a Tech Chat is to increase awareness of tools and/or features, but not necessarily to provide in-depth instruction on the topic being shared.
          • ActiveInspire
          • 1:1 iPads at the Elementary Level
          • Blackboard Facilitated
          • Blackboard: Adding items as PDFs to view on iPads
          • Blackboard: Assessments
          • Blackboard: Assignments
          • Blackboard: Embedding a Google Slides Daily Agenda
          • Blackboard: Interactive Tools
          • Blackboard: What’s New
          • Blended Learning
          • Book Creator
          • BreakoutEDU Boxes
          • Digital BreakoutEDU
          • DoInk
          • Explain Everything
          • Go Math! Resources
          • Google Drive Organization
          • Google Forms
          • Hour of Code Resources to Use w/Students
          • iPad Cart Uses
          • Khan Academy
          • Makey Makey
          • Mirroring 360
          • Nearpod
          • Notability
          • Osmo
          • Padlet
          • Personal Math Trainer
          • Puzzlet
          • Quizlet/Quizlet Live
          • Rocketbook Wave
          • SAMR Model
          • Socrative
          • Sphero Robots w/Lightning Lab App
          • STEAM
          • Student-Created Websites
          • Study Island Group Sessions
          • Sutori
          • Swivl Cam
          • Twitter
          • Twitter as a Connected Educator
          • Virtual Reality
          • YouTube channels
          January 16th Elementary Grade Level In-service Breakout Sessions - (32 individual breakout sessions)
          Elementary Teacher K-5, Special Education Teachers K-5, and GOAL Teachers K-5 were provided with the opportunity register for two breakout sessions of their choice on a variety of technology topics. Teacher were asked to bring their laptop and/or iPad (4th and 5th grade teachers). These sessions were led by the Technology Integrators and several of grade level teachers who volunteered to share how they are integrating technology into their classroom instruction.
          • Book Creator
          • Breakout EDU
          • Class Dojo
          • Explain Everything
          • Full STEAM Ahead!
          • GO Math! Personal Math Trainer
          • Green Screening
          • iMovie Trailers
          • Learning to Code
          • Meet your YouTube Channel
          • Nearpod
          • QR Codes and Tiny URLs
          • Your Classroom with iPads
          • Skype and Google Hangouts

          January 27th Middle Level In-service - (21 individual breakout sessions)
          An in-service was held for all Middle Level Teachers with the goal of increasing teachers knowledge and skills to effectively integrate instructional technology into the classroom. Teachers were provided with the opportunity register for three breakout sessions of their choice on a variety of technology topics. Teacher were asked to bring their laptop and/or iPad. These sessions were led by the Technology Integrators and several Middle Level Teachers who volunteered to share how they are integrating technology into their classroom instruction.
          • Blackboard Interactive Activities
          • Blackboard Strategies to Differentiate
          • Facilitate Work Session
          • GreenScreen Technology
          • Using Book Creator
          • Using Explain Everything
          • Using iMovie
          • Using Nearpod with Blackboard
          • Using SafeAssign in Blackboard
          • Using Socrative for Formative Assessment
          • Using Quizlet with Blackboard

          Professional Development for Principals and Administrators
          Research has shown that commitment and high expectations modeled by principals are mirrored by teachers. Therefore administrators must be equally engaged in the implementation of FOCUS 2020.  For a successful technology initiative, ongoing professional development for school leaders is just as important as the need for teacher professional development. Leading a technology-transformed school calls for different skills than those needed in a traditional school. To set expectations and provide support, leaders must develop insights and skills so that robustly infused technology can create a teaching and learning environment that is dynamic, systematic, and natural. To that end, building and District level administrators have participated in professional development sessions on the following topics:
          • Understanding Your School's BrightBytes Data
          • Analyzing Student Data in OnHand Schools
          • Creating a Blended Learning Environment
          • Increasing Student Engagement with Breakout EDU and Other Resources
          • Understanding the SAMR Model
          • Resources available in the NA STEAM Lending Library
          As a part of the Pennsylvania Inspired Leaders (PIL) program, North Allegheny School District principals are participating in a two-year program which will result in the development and implementation of building-based action plans for technology integration. The building action plans will focus on the effective integration of instructional technology with the goal of improving student achievement and increasing creativity in educational decision-making. This program provides collaborative opportunities for school leaders to gather and examine research on technology integration and infusion into instruction, engage in meaningful dialogue about the impact of instructional technology on teaching and learning, and explore the best practices to improve student achievement. Moreover, this program allows principals to develop learning communities that provide them with opportunities to engage in current research and reflect on ways that these best practices can be implemented in their respective schools.
          Opportunities for Students
          Sixth, ninth, and tenth grade students participated in “Digital Boot Camps”  to be oriented to their devices. The boot camps were mandatory for students and held during the school day.  Below are links to the boot camp presentations.