ACS awards Technology Integration Certificates to local teachers

A group of local school teachers underwent a technology integration program in order to transform their classrooms’ learning environment.

Alexander City Schools awarded five teachers this week for completing a technology proficiency training course. School leaders announced the achievement during a regularly scheduled board of education meeting Tuesday, September 20. 

ACS Technology Integration Specialist Brigitte McCawley explained the program that several teachers participated in named “Coaching Cycle” to the school board. The program is designed for teachers to evaluate their classroom practices and environments to assess how technology can be better integrated.

“This is where my role intertwines and overlaps with the academic side of things,” McCawley said. “Because if our pedagogy and our curriculum design and our environment is not set for authentic technology integration, including classroom management, including social [and] emotional skills, all of that then it’s just not going to work.”

The Coaching Cycle stems from the school system’s Technology Integration Model for Continuous Improvement, a model the school system implemented in 2021. 

“It [The Coaching Cycle] was centered around three intentionally proposed areas and that is academic standards alignment protect integration, student-centered components protect integration and academic engagement protect integration,” McCawley said.

Among the certification recipients include: Sarah Ray, teacher at Benjamin Russell High School; Lynda Chick, teacher at Stephens Elementary School; Caitlin Harrell, teacher at Radney Elementary School; Scarlette Atchison, teacher at Radney Elementary School and Abegale Faust, teacher at Radney Elementary School.

One of the teachers recognized, Lynda Chick, has set up stations in her classroom that correspond with the SPED program’s alternate achievement standards. Chick plans to be a mentor to other SPED teachers with the ideas she has gained from the coaching cycle program, McCawley said.

The Coaching Cycle program will be extended this school year with some teachers already receiving invitations. 

Outside of the Coaching Cycle, the school system also had a media specialist collaboration and strategic plan development. McCawley said this collaboration involved looking at how media centers can be improved.

“What we are wanting to do is, those media centers be what they should be, and that is a central hub of learning for our school and not just for students, for our teachers, for our community,” McCawley said.

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