The Public School System’s Educational Technology Training Program welcomed its 8th Cohort—composed of 85 teachers—last weekend at the William S. Reyes Elementary School cafeteria with an orientation on how the course will play out this school year.
These 85 educators will complete 250 hours of online learning and 25 face-to-face sessions in Ed Tech, a branch of Instructional Technology and Distance Education Program under PSS’ Office of Student & Support Services.
These teachers will be taught how to integrate technology in their classrooms to both support their teaching practice as well as make their students become more engaged—coupling the art and science of teaching with 21st-Century tools and innovations.
The term will end with a service-learning project where the participants will showcase their new technology skills by leading a tech-based professional development for their colleagues.
During the orientation, technology tools and digital media were incorporated to discuss how technology has transformed the world. Aside from meeting the Ed Tech Instructors and Program Leaders requirements, the attendees heard student testimonials and saw research highlights that support the role of technology in promoting student success.
One of the Ed Tech Cohort 8 participants who attended the orientation, Elfriede Suda, said, “I like the tech tools that were used today in the orientation to keep us engaged. I also like the motivational words. I felt encouraged that I will be tech-savvy at the end of the program.”
Another participant, Jordan Monteran, said, “I felt right at home and am excited about the Ed Tech content I will be learning. I’m ready to up my tech game.”
Dr. Bobby Cruz, director of Instructional Technology, said that Ed Tech is offered annually to all public and private schools throughout the CNMI.
“It’s a competitive opportunity for educators to shore up their teaching practice with technology skills. There was a large pool of applicants this year and vetting was highly competitive. Eighty-five exceptional participants were admitted to Cohort 8, and I’m very excited about learning ahead for them,” he said.
Distance Education Program manager Lorraine Catienza said the participants will complete several courses that include Google Applications for Educators, Digital Citizenship, Classroom Instruction that Works with Technology, Student Product with Technology, and Advanced Computer Applications.
The program is updated each year, using focus groups strategies to improve scope and sequencing as well as update digital tools and resources.
Dr. Yvonne Pangelinan, associate commissioner of Student and Support Services, said, “We want our participants to be empowered to leverage the power of technology to enhance their practice. …Our goal is to ensure that our students are receiving the education they need to take full advantage of tomorrow.”