TechFORUM Chicago – Chris Brown, Gail Soriano

Chris Brown – Gail Soriano

Avoca School District 37

Grades 4-8 1:1 Laptops with Studetns

Grades K-4 Promethian Boards in classrooms

Here are my notes from this session on Sustained Professional Development

Here is the presentation

Here is the full survey

About Avoca

At School’s Technology Facilitator (3 people, 2 FT Positions)

1- Co-Teaching – Facilitating, Training, educating meeting with teachers weekly

1- Teaching Enrichment Technologies

Weekly meetings

1 Hour focused technology team meeting (during the day)

  • Curriculum integration planning
  • Tech integration
  • Plan for co-teaching / modeling
  • Building confidence

In addition to the 1 hour session

Daily Sessions 20 minutes / 4 times per day for direct immersion

For the “advanced” teachers who may not need to have the basics. Took part in the PLP Powerful Learning Practices (Will Richardson).

3 Facilitators

9 Teachers

New teacher program for technology immersion. Met weekly to “train” teachers on District offered technology – Blogs, wiki’s, etc. Had assignments for the end of sessions.

Goal – Are kids really benefit from the PD for teachers? Is it translating down?

Gave the give student assessment

Showing a video about student pilot for blogging: Using wordpressMU hosted inhouse. Blogging was wrapped around “To Kill A Mockingbird”

  • Received comments from Alaska and parts beyond.
  • Share opinions with other kids around the world.
  • Students liked starting conversations around with others around the world (Ahmed from Cairo, Egypt) and it helped to deepen understanding of the book itself.

Reached out to other districts to to invite them to see Tim Tyson provided they presented on any topic of their choice.

Other PD Opportunities


  • Google Certified Teachers
  • Apple Distinguished Educators
  • Twitter

Paid Summer Training

  • For new technology


School Site Visits

Discussion Session: Based on a survey Avoca conducted. Full Survey Here

How is PD done?

In what ways is PD provided?

Great thought provoking session.

Key Ideas:

  • Dedicated weekly / daily time
  • Programatic development
  • Have technology speakers come in on institute days. Institute days are focused around technology
  • Focus on how teacher PD translates down to students
  • PLN’s
  • Paid Summer Training
  • Conferences
  • School Site Visits

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