The Curriculum Technology Partner Program
The Curriculum Technology Partner (CTP) Program is a professional development and instructional support program that develops and delivers standards based technology rich experiences to classroom teachers and students throughout the Grand Forks Public Schools. Founded in 1992 and based on emerging research in the area of peer coaching and professional development, the Curriculum Technology Partner Program was expanded in 1998 and again in 2001 to reflect the growing needs of the district. The Grand Forks Public Schools currently employ five elementary and five secondary Curriculum Technology Partners that work with teachers and students in every district school.
The program was developed using the research of Showers, Joyce and Bennett (1987) and Joyce and Showers (1996) that indicate professional development is most likely to result in a change in instructional practice when teachers study instructional theory, observe demonstrations, have an opportunity to practice and receive feedback during the professional development experience. In addition, the research indicates the need for the professional developers to build a personal relationship with the teachers to obtain the best results. The Grand Forks Public Schools continues to use recent instructional coaching research to guide the continuous improvement of the program.
In the Grand Forks program, the curriculum technology partners are successful classroom teachers that receive extensive curriculum and technology training with the focus on integrating technology into the curriculum. The teacher is then re-assigned as a Curriculum Technology Partner and works full time with teachers planning, implementing and assessing integrated technology experiences that are classroom based, focused on the curriculum and aligned to state and national standards.
The goals of the Curriculum Technology Partner Program are to:
- Work in partnership with classroom teachers to provide technology rich educational experiences for all students in the Grand Forks Public Schools that are aligned to curriculum and technology (ISTE-S) standards.
- Provide instructional leadership by working with individual teachers, administrators and curriculum committees so they better understand how to change instructional practice to improve student learning.
- Provide ongoing professional development and instructional support for teachers through the planning, implementation and assessment stages of an experience.
- Provide all teachers with the experience and background necessary to replicate and independently expand technology rich experiences in their individual classrooms.
Since the inception of the Curriculum Technology Partner Program in 1992, the cornerstone is the relationship built on trust and mutual respect between the technology partner and the classroom teacher. It is expected that the classroom teacher be involved in all aspects of planning, implementing and assessing the technology rich experience. The technology partner is not someone who comes into a classroom and “teaches technology”, but rather an instructional coach that works directly with the teachers and students.
The Curriculum Technology Partners use a clearly defined set of strategies to maximize their impact on student learning, instructional practice and the professional growth of the teacher. These strategies are categorized as marketing, planning, implementation and assessment.