Technology Integration Specialists: Supporting a Learning Community Environment

We are fully aligned with the District's vision regarding student learning successes as the central theme that motivates our purpose. Our decisions as a Team are made relative to how our work will impact student learning and support the District's learning community culture.

Our Team's Focus

From his book, The Art and Science of Teaching, education researcher Robert Marzano reflects:

"In the last decade of the 20th century, the picture of what constitutes an effective school became much clearer. Among elements such as a well-articulated curriculum and a safe and orderly environment, the one factor that surfaced as the single most influential component of an effective school is the individual teachers within that school."

This statement echos the results of research, collected over several years and reported through a variety of quantitative studies, that repeatedly attest to the paramount importance of effective teaching.

It makes perfect sense then, that through the skilled use of technology and the infusion of digital age skills into teacher practices, our Team can play a highly important role in impacting student learning via the development and support of our District teachers.

On the Frontlines

Being embedded into the PLC culture allows the Integration Team to practice their skills in the very environment where teachers are engaging in scientific inquiry regarding which methods are most effective in bringing about high degrees of student learning.

Playing an active role in the daily pursuits of teaching and learning, we are able to focus and adjust our efforts in support of teachers as they look to refine and enhance their craft. The enrichment and information that technology has to offer has its place at the table, and is at the ready to facilitate needed solutions.

Consider the following diagram, as it illustrates the involvement of the Integration Specialist's work in the District. Specifically, we're involved in the core of three intersecting facets to teaching and learning: Content Knowlege, Pedagogical Knowledge, and Technological Knowledge


The Goals of Our Work

  • Instigate awareness of intructional technologies that promote 21st century skills, and provide support for teachers as they develop skill in technologies that are new to them.
  • Assist in providing teachers with a balanced approach between direct instruction and project-based learning experiences for students.
  • Provide assistance in leveraging asessment solutions that are valid, reliable, and promote student learning.
  • Provide resources to teachers in response to assessment data as facilitated by our PLC processes.
  • Advocate the importance of knowledge-sharing between teaching professionals, and provide technology solutions that allow for such experiences in virtual and blended environments.
  • Provide relevent and engaging professional development to our teaching staff, helping maximize both efficiency and efficacy in their craft.

Integration Specialist Position Description

Click here to view the position description that outlines our purpose and the spirit within which our effectiveness is evaluated.

Our Team's Members

Every one of the Integration Specialists that serves in the Aurora City School District has been, or in varying capacities, continues to be a classroom teacher. In order to support the art and science of teaching, one must know what it is to be a teacher. Between the members of our Team, our experience covers every level from K-12, and even beyond, extending into post-secondary and graduate level instruction; involving both traditional and online courses.

Each academic level in our District has a designated Integration Specialist serving their needs:

District - Andrew Sams (
Elementary (Grades K-5) - Michelle Gerbrick ( Partners In Learning
Middle/High School (Grades 6-12)- Christine Bode (

Some Entertaining Perspectives

Concerning innovation, we humans have always had problems:

Additional Research Supporting Importance of Teacher Effectiveness

Sanders, W. L. (2004, June 10-13). A summary of conclusions drawn from longitudinal analyses of student achievement data over the past years (1982-2004). Presentation to Governors Education Symposium.
Sanders, W. L., & Horn, S. P. (1998). Research findings from the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) database: Implications for educational evaluation and research. University of Tennessee Value-Added Research Assessment Center.
Sanders, W. L., & Rivers, J. C. (1996). Cumulative and residual effects of teachers on future student academic achievement. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Value-Added Research Center.
Wright, P. S., Horn, S. P., & Sanders, W. P. (1997). Teacher and classroom context effects on student achievement: Implications for teacher evaluation. Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education, 11, 57-67.

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