CiTi’s ITS: Model Schools Program Empowers Teachers with Technology
The role of the Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation’s ITS: Model Schools Program has become pivotal as Oswego County school districts have utilized additional technologies to create successful digital learning environments.
ITS: Model Schools staff members have hit the ground running since the spring when the coronavirus pandemic hit. Peri Nelson-Sukert, itinerant computer education specialist, said the tech support has become increasingly important as school districts continue to work through challenging times.
“We model everything we are trying to convey; we are still doing remote support; even if we are in a classroom or computer lab, we can still use Zoom and see what’s going on and be socially distant,” she said. “As long as you have Internet connection, whether it’s on a phone or Chromebook or whichever, we can help you.”
Face-to-face support through virtual connections has helped hundreds of local teachers improve their understanding of technology programs and therefore helped students learn better, Nelson-Sukert said.
“We can still be together this way and work together for whatever goal needs to be done,” she said. “It’s knowing resources and where to send people. It’s trying to be helpful to everybody; that way we are a central point of information.”
The entire ITS: Model Schools team has been able to shine in their respective districts and programs, helping everyone achieve educational success. Nelson-Sukert said the team embraced the opportunities to show how far teaching staff can take online learning and now “they’ve got it for forever.” Teachers using the technologies successfully and excitedly to better help their students has been most rewarding, she said.
Mark Buchanan, itinerant computer education specialist on the ITS: Model Schools team, echoed that sentiment. He said teachers he has worked with in the Mexico Academy & Central School District “have really shifted their strategies and have leveraged what they’ve learned from blended and flipped learning.”