Alex Gonzalez is a Technology Coordinator at Health Sciences High and Middle College (HSHMC) in San Diego, California. Classrooms are equipped with Chromebooks, iOS devices and teacher MacBooks to support the school’s blended-learning environment.
Educators at HSHMC were presented with a number of challenges when the two schools transitioned to the blended-learning teaching methodology.
- How does blended learning fit our mission?
- How does it affect instructional time and learning time?
- What does blended learning do to the setup of the classroom?
- What EdTech resources will help us provide an authentic blended-learning experience for our students?
Alex and his peers developed a three-step approach to blended learning that helped ease the transition and ensure ongoing success.
1. Research and acquire EdTech resources
Alex thoroughly assesses every EdTech resource before introducing it to his teachers. He said that technology must help teachers work smarter and be compatible with education goals.
“Teachers use iPads, but students predominantly use Chromebooks because they need keyboards for web technologies and web-based standardized testing,” Alex said. “EdTech software must be device agnostic to work around our diverse ecosystem of iPads, Chromebooks and MacBooks.”
2. Train Teachers
HSHMC educators complete a “teacher tech trek” to earn their Leading Edge Certification, a nationally recognized EdTech certificate. It includes hours of professional development that helps them learn how to effectively use EdTech resources.
“I am no longer the only tech expert here,” Alex said. “We have more than 40 educators certified. That allows us to use professional development time more effectively because we don’t have to spend time going over tech basics. We have more deep conversations about what instruction means and what role technology plays in that.”