2017 Technology Boot Camp: Dissolving Illusions of Prosperity

"Dissolving Illusions of Prosperity is not falling into that trap that really good school districts sometimes fall into in terms of believing that they're already really good and they don’t need to change or learn from others. Because complacency is one of those things that can cause a district a lot of problems. Keep our minds on our work today but keep our eyes on tomorrow and imaginations on the future.”
-- Dr. Marc Bertrando, Superintendent of Schools, Garnet Valley School District

Collaboration is not new in education but it has become increasingly more important as the speed of change far exceeds the pace at which educators can keep up. Technology Boot Camp at Garnet Valley was developed three years ago to meet the needs of our teachers who were frustrated with traditional “sit and get” professional development. We began by surveying our staff on the best time of year to hold professional learning sessions. Next, we polled everyone on the best time of day and days of the week. We quickly realized that to meet the needs of all of our teachers, we needed this new “Technology Boot Camp” to be teacher-centered, differentiated, and collaborative.

Over the last three years, Tech Boot Camp saw close to 1,000 participants and has expanded by adding a Keynote Speaker and adding both student and parent sessions. Our next goal was to open our professional learning event to our neighboring districts.

Why? Because working collaboratively and forging partnerships with other educators promotes self-reflection, inspires creativity, and pools resources and strengths. This year’s Tech Boot Camp featured participants and facilitators from 3 school districts, an Intermediate Unit, and a Virtual School. I can’t imagine a better combination. Add in AJ Juliani as the Keynote Speaker and the result was an amazing event!

School districts must begin to realize the value of collaboration, both internally and externally. In order to do that though, they must first Dissolve their Illusions of Prosperity.