Idaho TIA is a large-scale, technology-supported teacher training program and is the only one of its kind in the United States. Idaho TIA delivered by the Intermountain Center for Education Effectiveness in the College of Education at Idaho State University has seen a significant increase in size since its inception. The project was originally delivered in 2008-2009 academic year utilizing technology borrowed from a combination of university, school-district, and participant donations. However, because of its widespread popularity, participation doubled in 2010. This in turn has made it more difficult to acquire the large number of laptops and projectors needed for successful implementation of the project.
Idaho TIA Project Director, Dr. Susan Jenkins, sought external financial support to solve the technology resource strain encountered in delivering the Idaho TIA training. The results surpassed her vision a hundred-fold. Dell, Inc. offered to partner with the College of Education and Idaho TIA at Idaho State University. Dell has become the official technology hardware provider for the project.
During the Working Conferences of 2010 and 2011 at ISU-Pocatello and ISU-Meridian, Dell, Inc. generously loaned 90 laptop computers and 90 projectors to support the training of teachers in the Idaho TIA process. Dell, Inc. has demonstrated its on-going commitment to this educational project by agreeing to a continuous partnership with Idaho State University, the College of Education, and the Intermountain Center for Education Effectiveness.
In the summer of 2010, the technology support provided by Dell, Inc. enabled almost 350 teachers to participate in the Idaho TIA Working Conference. In the summer of 2011, and again in 2012, nearly 500 teachers participated. Each team utilized a projector and a laptop to support their efforts. The high quality, user-friendly design of Dell, Inc. computers and projectors allowed for:
- • Efficient and effective teamwork and collaboration.
- • Significant progress toward alignment of the standards and assessment, and
- • Hands-on training for teachers and administrators with direct and immediate application in schools and classrooms.
An additional feature at the June 2011 Working Conferences in both ISU-Pocatello and in ISU-Meridian was a “21st Century Technology Classroom” created by Dell, Inc. Educators had the opportunity to view the latest in hardware technology available from Dell, Inc. An important component of effective teaching is well-designed, technology-assisted delivery. This model was provided as a resource for conference participants.
Special guests at the Working Conferences in both ISU-Pocatello and ISU-Meridian included:
- • Snow White, Global Professional Learning Manager of Dell, Inc. Snow addressed the conference and shared insights regarding 21st Century teaching.
- • Mike Freeman, Idaho Manager for Dell, Inc. led the technology support efforts for the project across the state and provided a 21st Century model classroom for participant viewing.
Benefits to Dell from TIA Partnership:
- • Community awareness of their corporate commitment to education.
- • Opportunity to be the technology provider for the largest and most novel team-based, technology-supported, teacher training model in the United States.
- • Potential resale of loaned technology.
- • Efficient marketing to a large-scale audience (nearly 950 educators and 64 school districts in 2012).
Benefits to the Idaho State University Community from TIA Partnership:
- • With Dell, Inc. continuing to provide the technology, the cost of future TIA events will remain lower, enabling more educators, especially from rural, low-income districts, to attend and benefit from the Working Conferences.
- • Availability of quality technology at a lower resale price to the community will greatly benefit those who may not have had access in the past.
The delivery of Idaho TIA is based on a novel professional development delivery design. The model is team-based, hands-on, and integrative with the following unique features:
- • Teacher participants are divided into teams (small groups of 3-6 educators) by content area and grade level. This feature does not allow for “open registration,” but required “right-sizing” of the Idaho TIA events and careful monitoring of registration to ensure teachers are placed on the correct team. Registration for a content/grade level team is closed when that team is full.
- • Each team is supported with a laptop (and in many cases multiple laptops), a projector, and wireless access. This hardware and Internet connectivity allows for efficient and effective work within the teams. All team members can view the work simultaneously; enjoy continuous, up to the minute modification of all documents; and access electronic resources and references instantaneously.
- • This instructional design accommodates efficient vertical alignment (the work of ensuring that alignment is achieved BETWEEN grade levels) and horizontal alignment (the work of ensuring that alignment is achieved WITHIN a grade level). Teams are placed in close physical proximity, as well as sequentially by grade/content area, so participants are able to communicate and collaborate on their work.
Renewed Commitment for 2012-2013:
- • Success of the 2012 Idaho TIA events at ISU-Pocatello (Regional IV, V, and VI), ISU-Meridian (Region III), and in northern Idaho (Regions I and II) has prompted Dell, Inc. to commit to on-going and expanded technical support to the TIA project.
- • Dell, Inc. will be the technology provider for the Idaho TIA 2012-2013 academic year. The project is expected to serve and facilitate over 750 participants statewide.
- • Dell has expanded its support to Northern Idaho (Regions I and II), Central Idaho (Region III), as well as committed to continued support to Southeastern Idaho (Regions IV, V, and VI).
- • Dell, Inc. has also committed to year-round event support. This will include not only the summer Working Conferences, but the January Focus Groups and the spring Facilitator Trainings.