Like instructional technology specialists across the U.S., I spent most of 2020 helping teachers navigate the world of edtech–explaining video conferencing tools, and demonstrating how our district’s selected edtech can support learning–as we abruptly transitioned to remote learning.
Now that we’re approaching the two-year anniversary of this transformation, I’m happy to say that technology adoption is baked into the curriculum at Ysleta Independent School District. Our teachers are much less likely to ask my colleagues and I how to use an edtech tool than how they can integrate it into their lessons, whether those lessons are taking place in a physical classroom or online.
I wouldn’t have it any other way. In a perfect world, technology serves the curriculum, and not the other way around. Ysleta’s 2,800 teachers must meet the needs of our district’s diverse learners, including a high population of dual-language learners, migrant learners, and students from economically disadvantaged communities. Our teachers need to be focused on providing the content those students need to build skills and knowledge, not worrying about how they’re providing it.
In Ysleta’s connected classrooms, we’re using instructional technologies to build collaboration, foster creativity, differentiate learning, and boost student achievement — all of which make our existing curriculum more impactful.