Communication & Technology

EDU 8010 - Using and Integrating Learning Technology

Stephen Cashman - Fall 2014

Professional Leaning Needs . . .

Throughout the development and the implementation of a revised standards-based reporting system, including new reporting documents, across all 15 elementary schools within CBSD, effective communication and professional development opportunities were a necessity. A multifaceted approach to communicating with all stakeholders and offering opportunities for professional development for teasers and administrators all became a priority,

The methods utilized are noted below and can be applicable to many situations within education where clear and manageable communication and professional development across a large and varied population is a focus.

Learning Outcomes . . .

The goal over the past 19 months was to communicate with all stakeholders, keep them "in the know," and provide opportunity for discussion and feedback related to the initiative at hand.
The process at the focus of this module is directly related to the following ISLLC Standards:
  • Standard 1: A school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by the school community.
  • Standard 2: A school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by advocating, nurturing, and sustaining a school culture and instructional program conducive to student learning and staff professional growth.
  • Standard 4 : A school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by collaborating with families and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources.
  • Standard 5: A school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by acting with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner.
  • Standard 6: A school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by understanding, responding to, and influencing the larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context.

Background Research . . .

The basis for the technologies outlined within the module serve two main purposes: 1) communication and 2) professional development. By using webinars and screencasts for professional development purposes teachers and administrators were able to have access to necessary information, while at the same time understanding how to apply the information.

The ability to access these tools without incurring additional financial burden to the district makes the tools plausible and practical for professional development and the dissemination of information (McLeod and Lehman 2012). Benefits such as accessibility, increased levels of engagement and efficiency also added to the benefits of the technologies chosen (McLeod and Lehman 2012). The ability to collaborate among the RSA team was also an important factor, and one that is highly touted when looking at available technologies in education (Lankshear and Knobel 2011). While the examples shared do not directly relate to the collaborative efforts of students, they (specifically the web based newsletter) demonstrate the ability for individuals to work together to produce one product that is the result of several individual efforts without having to orchestrate meeting times and managing various drafts and/or versions of one final product.

Lesson Plan & Resources. . .

The focus of the professional development module is to have an understanding of the effectiveness of communication and professional development tools rooted in current technologies. The resources demonstrated will be anchored within the initiative previously noted. Specifically, the resources will be centered around communication efforts with all stakeholders and the professional development of teachers and administrators.

Communication Resources:

Parent Resources Page - CBSD Website . . .

All available resources utilized to educate the parents and the community have been archived and organized through a parent resource page. The page can be accessed from the district's home page, as well as the home page of each elementary school. Examples of resources available include:

Professional Development - Webinars & Screencasts . . .

Throughout the process, there were/will be times when professional development is needed for all elementary teachers and adminstrators. The professional development sessions were designed to be delivered during scheduled faculty meetings. In order to ensure everyone understood the information and was receiving the same messages, the RSA team along with professional development and IT personnel developed webinars and screencasts to answer questions, facilitate discussion, and prepare administrators and teacher leaders for the faculty meetings.

  • Webinars - an on-line seminar designed to provide a virtual review or dissemination of information in a collaborative manner
  • Screencast - a digital recording of computer screen output, also known as a video screen capture, often containing audio narration.
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Web-based Newsletters . . .

The RSA team was also faced with addressing questions and concerns on a regular basis as the implementation process unfolded. With so many individuals involved, it became necessary to ensure that teachers were receiving accurate and timely information. The use of a web-based platform - SMORES - allowed all RSA team members to assist in the creation of a newsletter that would be provided to over 300 teachers on a bi-monthly basis.

The purpose of the newsletter was to address questions and concerns, provide updates and information, and the celebrate the work occurring across the district in supporting the initiative. A copy of the most recent newsletter can be found by clicking here.

Vimeo . . .

As the conclusion of the first marking period approached, the RSA team saw this an opportunity to address several aspects of the process thus far:
  • Reminding teachers of the reason behind the initiative
  • Thanking teachers for their recent feedback resulting in a significant change regarding math assessment scoring
  • Informing them a recent communication to families from central office
  • Celebrating the work done thus far

The superintendent recorded a message drafted by the RSA team at the high school's television studio. The video was edited and then posted through a Vimeo account. A link was e-mailed to all elementary teachers. To see the video message from the superintendent , please click here.

Works Cited . . .

(n.d.). Retrieved November 16, 2014, from

(2014, August 9). Retrieved November 16, 2014, from

Knobel, M., & Lankshear, C. (2011). New Literacies (3rd ed.). Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill


McLeod, S., & Lehmann, C. (2012). What school leaders need to know about digital

technologies and social media. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

School Leadership Briefing. (2013, January 1). Retrieved November 16, 2014, from