Hatboro-Horsham High School

With its vision and plan already in place, Hatboro-Horsham High School put its Classrooms for the Future grant money to good use. District leaders placed five content-specific technology coaches in the school. The intent is for the coaches to encourage technology integration throughout the curriculum, creating the conditions for differentiated instruction.
With its vision and plan already in place, Hatboro-Horsham High School put its Classrooms for the Future grant money to good use. District leaders placed five content-specific technology coaches in the school. The intent is for the coaches to encourage technology integration throughout the curriculum, creating the conditions for differentiated instruction.

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Content-based technology coaches help transform teaching.

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Science technology coach Natalie Fetterman meets with biology teacher Chris Baker.

The school district of Hatboro-Horsham is in suburban Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, some twenty miles northeast of Philadelphia.   According to superintendent Bill Lessa, the Classrooms for the Future grant allows the district to advance initiatives already in place before the award. In addition to integrating technology throughout the curriculum, Hatboro-Horsham is strengthening its technological infrastructure. Lessa’s commitment to teamwork in its many permutations reflects a belief that the best way to effect wide-spread adoption of technologically-rich teaching and learning is to get lots of people involved in decision making—and to do so both early and often.



Hatboro-Horsham School District


While Hatboro-Horsham High School has invested in hardware and software, the most important investment it has made is in its people. The technology coaches, who provide ongoing mentoring and support to teachers in their respective academic disciplines, play a significant role in professional development. Coaches also experiment with ways to integrate technology into curricula and instruction.  The Hatboro-Horsham Framework for Instructional Coaches proclaims the following: “Instructional coaching is fundamentally about teachers, teacher leaders, school administrators, and central office leaders working together with a strong focus on data—and evidence-informed student learning as the ultimate barometer of improvement.”  The principal worked closely and creatively with the assistant superintendent at budget time to carve out the coaching positions.



Hatboro-Horsham High School


Technology coaches focus on relationships of technology and teaching.  Their credo is that successful integration of technology into curricula requires more than technical know-how. Teachers must also understand how technology interfaces with pedagogy and content.  In their coaching meeting, Natalie, the science coach, and Chris, a biology teacher, talk about all three aspects of Chris’s practice.



Team building does not end with the adults in the school. Students are included in the coaching and mentoring process as part of a program called Students Offering Support.

Students Offering Support overview

Teachers and technology coaches have also found ways to use technology for their own productivity as well. Brian, an English teacher, has developed an extensive website to communicate with parents and students, and, in his educational philosophy, he states his commitment to keeping current with technology and finding innovative ways to support his students’ learning.  Here, during a virtual meeting using chat software, Brian discusses recent lessons and makes plans for future projects with Meredith, the English coach.


Technology Integration Students use discussion groups to enrich social studies content.

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Liz Wiggins helps a student access an online book discussion.

Technology is often used to support teacher-centered activities—enhancing lectures with PowerPoint or making it easier for teachers to show videos.  The teachers and technology coaches at Hatboro-Horsham High School, however, are working to find more student-centered ways of integrating technology.  Students use computer-based tutorials in math class to support individual learning.  In English class, they participate in an online book discussion group. Technology supports differentiation and student choice.  According to both teachers and students, technology helps students engage intellectually in their work.



Liz, a social studies teacher, integrates a technology-based project in each unit of her Western Civilization course. In the past, her students have used video editing software to create a digital video. For this unit on World War I, students are using a desktop publishing program to create a newsletter about the beginning of the war.