The JMU NETS•T Certification Program brings rigor to the evaluation of teacher technology integration. However, the very rigor that it engenders renders it less than optimal for many mainstream teachers. The path to certification via the program is challenging, even for Technology Integration Specialists (such as the Virginia ITRTs) and the extremely motivated mainstream teachers who strive to attain the certification.
Even with the introduction of the JMU NETS•T Certification Program, a need remains for those teachers and divisions who wish to stay current with the use of technology-enhanced teaching and learning but who do not require the breadth of coverage reflected in the full certification program. The JMU Technology Integration Portfolio for Recertification (TIP•R) was developed to meet this need. As implied in the title, the TIP•R Program is designed specifically for use with teacher recertification programs.
The approach taken by the TIP•R program is referred to as Strategic Recertification™ . Using this approach, administrators and teachers actively manage the recertification process, taking advantage of the opportunity to focus on that subset of NETS•T standards and performance indicators (rubrics) that best address the teachers' and divisions' specific needs in support of the division's Strategic Plan.
For the rubric or set of rubrics chosen by the division, the teacher experience is the same as that for teachers who pursue the full NETS•T certification. However, in the case of the TIP•R program, completion of the recertification occurs in a fraction of the time. Further, since formal certification is not the goal of the TIP•R program, no specialized evaluator training is required. As such, the program can be implemented quickly and easily.
When the strategic goals have been met for a given recertification cycle, the strategy is re-evaluated to determine the additional skills that should be addressed, as guided by the division's Strategic Plan.
For example, suppose that a division wants to stress the issue of internet safety among its teachers who are candidates for recertification. The division can elect to highlight NETS•T Rubric VI-D: Teachers promote safe and healthy use of technology resources. As described in the rubric, the teachers upload their schools' Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and descriptions of its use, along with reflections regarding how the AUP might be improved in the face of ever-changing technology. Another division may want stress the development of creativity and innovation among its students for a given recertification cycle. So, the division chooses to focus attention on NETS•T Rubric III-C: Teachers apply technology to develop students' higher order skills and creativity.
Coordinating the teachers' effort in this manner leads not only to skills enhancement, but to the sharing of ideas and resources around a shared topic. The two examples noted address one rubric as the focus of recertification. However, multiple rubrics can also be addressed in a recertification cycle if a particular combination of rubrics covers the skills and topics targeted by the division.