What Is TIMAC?
Initiated in the fall of 2004, the Technology Integration Mentor Academy (TIMAC) is a peer-mentoring-based professional development initiative with the goal of supporting individuals at adult education agencies to become the technology mentor for their program(s) and thereby increase the effective use of technology in adult education classrooms. Although instructors from any program area may apply, the focus is on mentoring instructors in basic skills (ESL, ABE, ASE, GED). In addition, within its seven-year existence, the Academy has seen the development of a group of professionals committed to providing leadership in the field of adult education in California to implement effective technology integration
Annual reports for years 04/05 (Cohort 1), 05/06 (Cohort 2), 06/07 (Cohort 3), 07/08 (Cohort 4), 08/09 (Cohort 5), 10/11 (Cohort 7) and 12/13 (Cohort 8) have continuously showed increased mentoring and technical skills as self reported by the participants and their colleagues/mentees.
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What Is the Difference between TIMAC and OTAC?
Online Teaching Academy (OTAC) started in 2010-11 to meet the growing need in adult education field for training and support for the initiation and development of online instruction in a variety of delivery models. Projects can include complete stand-alone courses, supplemental materials to support classroom instruction or support for an existing online curriculum such as GED Connection or Crossroads Cafe. Specific focus is on Moodle, a learning management system, as a platform for the content delivery. The other major focus is on effective practices in online teaching and learning.
TIMAC continues to focus on technology integration in the classroom, such as increased effective use of interactive whiteboards or document cameras, or using software, whether computer- or internet-based. Most recently, TIMAC participants have been creating Web-based resources such as Web sites, wikis, and blogs to extend learning beyond the classroom.
Technology skills are an integral part of 21st century skills, and Adult Education systems nationally are aligning policies and practice to help adult learners prepare for the 21st century workforce demands. Low-skilled adult learners and out-of-school youth in California Adult Education System need structured opportunities to begin and to improve their use of technology in order to succeed in the workforce and in postsecondary education. An understanding of ethical and legal issues related to the access and use of information technology is an essential component in the process of researching, organizing, evaluating and communicating information. In addition to jobs requiring skills for operating and maintaining specific equipment and systems, adult learners will compete for jobs in the new knowledge economy. They also need to apply critical thinking skills when assisting with and overseeing their children's use of technology and online tools.Sources:
- Policy to Performance: Transitioning Adults to Opportunity, Feb 2010-August 2012 http://www.policy2performance.org/ (www)
- Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2004-present, http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/ (www)
- WIA Reauthorization: Recommendations for Reathorization of the Workforce Investment Act Adult Program by The Center for Law and Social Policy, July 24, 2009 http://www.clasp.org/admin/site/publications/files/WIA_Recs-for-Adult-Program-final.pdf
- Reach Higher America, by Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy, June 2008, http://www.nationalcommissiononadultliteracy.org/report.html (www)
Description of the Academy
Participation in TIMAC is a one-year commitment. For 2013-14, 10 new participants will be selected, and up to five more may be added if the agency pays the tuition of $800. During this year, participants will attend trainings in Sacramento on the following dates:
- October 3-4, 2013
- January 31, 2014
- May 29-30, 2014
Additionally, participants will meet face-to-face, one-on-one or in smaller groups in November and March, and will participate in online meetings in November, February, March and April.
Travel costs will be reimbursed by OTAN, but not participant salary. The training and additional support throughout the year will be provided by experienced adult education technology mentors from across the state and will include:
- Mentoring theory and practice
- Technology integration philosophy
- Technology skills
During the training, participants will plan and implement a project in consultation with their colleagues at their school, to be implemented during the spring of 2014. In addition to the training days in Sacramento, each participant will be assigned a support mentor, and will receive support via email, phone, site visit, and online meetings. Support mentors are educators of adult learners throughout the state who have had significant experience both in peer mentoring, professional development and technology integration. The support mentor will offer technical assistance to the TIMAC participant, as well as provide modeling for interpersonal professional relationships.
The Participant’s Commitment
Participants in TIMAC should be committed to the integration of technology into instruction in their own classrooms and in their program. They will be, or already are, taking a leadership role in their program in relation to technology. In addition to attending training sessions in Sacramento, they will be communicating with their support mentor and with other academy participants throughout the year as they work towards accomplishing a specific project. Participants make a significant time commitment to the work of technology integration, and how this is accomplished needs to be agreed upon between the participant and their program administration.
The Adult Education Agency’s Commitment
The adult education agency nominating an individual for TIMAC will need to meet the following requirements:
- Have a technology plan in place
- Be in a position to focus on technology integration
- Have the capacity to provide equipment and technical support for an instructional program and technology integration projects
- Commit to providing release time for participants to attend training
- Agree to support and accomplish agreed-upon goals within the program
- Enable participants in TIMAC to attend at least one appropriate statewide or regional professional conference, such as CCAE or CATESOL.
Benefits of Participation
Individuals participating will have an opportunity to take part in an exciting training opportunity and to expand their skills in a variety of areas, including:
- Mentoring Skills
- Teaching Skills
- Technical Skills
Agencies will benefit by having a highly skilled technology mentor on-site who will be able to offer training, mentoring and support to faculty, staff and students. Research and experience has shown that mentoring is one of the most effective models for staff development. Participants will also become part of a growing network of technology mentors throughout the state whose mission is to assist teachers in using technology as an effective instructional tool.Source:
- New Perspectives on Mentoring, by Sandra Kerka, http://www.otan.us/timac/pdf/newPerspectivesMentoring.pdf