A North Carolina school district is using QTL professional development to prepare teachers for an ambitious technology project. And they chose QTL because it’s not just about technology.
The Rutherford County school system is implementing QTL programs through a partnership with The Centers for Quality Teaching and Learning, meaning they have the support of the organization but are delivering the program using their own instructional technology staff. They have an impressive 10 facilitators certified to teach QTL sessions, and are in the midst of a campaign to bring every teacher and instructional support staff member through the program.
Instructional Technology Coordinator Sonja Smith says she and RCS Chief Operating and Technology Office Benny Hendrix saw the program as a way to prepare schools for a 1:1 laptop initiative in the district. “We brought QTL to our county with hopes that this would be what would help our teachers get ready for the 1:1 Initiative because they would change their way of teaching before they got their laptops, and they would already be used to new strategies and trying new ideas and having students work on activities in a group,” she says.
“We didn’t want them to just learn technology,” she adds. “We wanted our teachers to understand that technology is just intertwined in the learning strategies and techniques that teachers are expected to use.”
The relationship between Rutherford County Schools and QTL began in the summer of 2009, with Leadership Sessions that helped administrators and instructional leaders them understand what was about to happen and be able to support it.
QTL Senior Instructional Specialist Rachel Porter says those leadership sessions ensured the QTL partnership got off to a strong start county-wide. In the two years since, the system has begun sending its entire instructional staff through the program, building a common vocabulary, goals and expectations. “They want everyone in the district to be tech-savvy and to see the vision of how it all fits together,” she says.
Visit our website to learn more about QTL Partnerships and hear what Rutherford County educators are saying about the program. Or in this brief clip on our Quality Teaching website hear specifically how QTL is laying a strong foundation for Rutherford County’s 1:1 laptop initiative.