PALMDALE — The California Educational Technology Professionals Association named Palmdale School District Educational Technology Coordinator Christine Jones as the inaugural recipient of the Educational Technology Leader of the Year award at their 59th annual conference last month
The California Educational Technology Professionals Association, which just changed its name to California IT in Education, or CITE, is one of the oldest educational organizations in the state. The nonprofit organization’s members include educators who train other teachers.
“We do a lot of professional development with teachers,” Jones said. “We work to make sure that the technology as it’s being used in the classroom is being used to its fullest capabilities. It requires a lot of training and professional development and a
lot of work.”
Palmdale School District has Promethean boards — an interactive white board — in every classroom, voice amplification in all classrooms, Chromebooks in every second through eighth-grade classroom for every student to use and iPads in every transitional kindergarten through second grade classrooms.
Jones trains teachers on how to use the technology.
“It’s not as simple as it seems,” she said. “We train people how to use every part of those devices.”
Jones has been an educator for 33 years. She served as a teacher, instructional coach, mentor, administrator and consultant. The past 20 years of her career have been devoted to the development of educational technology, locally and throughout the state.
She also stays at the forefront of research in education and is a 27-year member of Computer-Using Educators, CUE, and currently serves on the CUE-LA Board. She coordinates the AV EdTech Summit held annually for educators and leaders in the Antelope and Santa Clarita Valleys.
“The reality is that technology is becoming, everyday, a larger and larger part of what happens in every classroom,” Jones said. “Everyday, there’s more and more technology in the classroom and so our goal is to ensure that teachers are using every piece of technology to its fullest capability to make informed decisions and to ensure that kids are achieving at the highest level possible.”
CITE began in 1960, as the California Educational Data Processing Association. Back then, technology could be as simple as a film projector, radio, or even a chalkboard,
Early on, Jones helped teachers work with technology such as overhead film projectors.
“Part of the picture is, ‘How do I use it’? But the other part of the picture is, ‘How do I make it be part of my lesson so that it’s seamless and it makes sense and it’s actually elevating what I’m doing in the classroom,” she said.
Early in Jones’ teaching career, she worked with early Apple computers — the green screen type with the blinking dot that had to be programmed to use. She wrote grants and brought a lot of technology into her classroom to use with
In 2000, she went to work for the Los Angeles County Office of Education and that led her to work for the California Technology Assistance Project. The program used state and federal educational technology grants to bring more technology into the classroom.