Advanced Learning Technologies in Education Collaborative (ALTEC)
Co-Directors: Amber Rowland & Suzanne Myers
Mission: Through engaging in research and development, and providing professional learning opportunities, ALTEC staff seek to advance the instructional integration of emerging and existing technologies to engage students and improve learning.
Part of KUCRL since 1995
ALTEC contributes to the KUCRL mission by focusing on digital solutions that make a difference for teachers and students. We accomplish this through research and development in the area of professional learning for teachers and other educators on the instructional integration of existing and emerging technologies and through developing resources that engage students in the power of technology to improve learning.
QUESTIONS THAT DRIVE ALTEC’S WORK
- What design features excite and engage learners? How can these features be integrated into the instructional use of technology?
- How can existing and emerging technologies be best utilized to support adult learners’ professional development and improve student learning?
NOTABLE FINDINGS, OUTCOMES, AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS
- Competitive, rate-based games not only engage learners in exciting interactions; they also can be designed to support the development of difficult higher-order thinking— such as scientific argumentation.
- Job-embedded coaching supports teachers’ instructional use of technology. Kansas classrooms that participated in a 10-year initiative demonstrated gains in reading and math scores for those students identified as at risk or not meeting standards. These teachers also shifted from a traditional instructional model to a project-based learning model, engaging students in learner-centered instruction.
- Embedded formative evaluation of a district-based science initiative helped redefine the mission and expand the program implementation in the Fort Leavenworth School District. The ongoing evaluation not only targets instructional use of technology but also works with the instructional team to expand student thinking beyond the traditional physical classroom and textbook model. Teams of students solve real-world problems using age-appropriate academic knowledge and the TEAMS approach—instructional integration of Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math, and Science.
- With diminishing professional development funds, districts are seeking alternative strategies to support teachers as they integrate technologies into instruction. The strategy of Conversations was researched and demonstrated to be an effective method for supporting professional learning and improving instruction.
- Social media can be a productive source for teacher professional learning and a conduit for student practice of argumentation and digital citizenship.