Instruction improves when Denver teachers dive deep on technology

By Drea Aguirre, Lucas Mund and Britney Hermosillo
Categories: Career pathways, Coaching, Learning designs, Technology
April 2024
With the ever-expanding role of technology in schools, many teachers have participated in one-time, stand-alone workshops to learn how to use a new program, app, or other tool. While that may provide a helpful introduction to the basics and highlight inspirational examples of what the tool can do, it doesn’t often translate into teachers applying the technology in valuable ways to improve student learning. That’s why Denver (Colorado) Public Schools’ educational technology team decided to shift from large-scale workshops to more intensive coursework and coaching about technology integration. As a result of this shift, we are seeing measurable improvements in teachers’ instructional practices and classroom environments. We are also seeing encouraging trends in educator retention and career advancement. The real beneficiaries of all those changes,

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STEAM Strategies to Ignite Learning Professional Development Unit

Course description:

This Professional Development Unit (PDU) offers an opportunity to explore impactful instructional methods using technology and tools to increase STEAM connections in your classroom. You’ll learn to integrate communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking (4C’s) authentically into your lessons, fostering a positive, relevant, and rigorous classroom experience for all students.

Through collaboration with teachers districtwide, you’ll discover strategies to implement the 4C’s and promote meaningful student engagement. The PDU includes individualized, nonevaluative coaching and support from one of our instructional digital coaches.

Participants will delve into instructional strategies for each of the 4C’s, emphasizing purposeful technology integration. Each participant will choose two C’s for a deep dive, developing and implementing strategies supported by coaching and reflection. Implementation will be observed and/or recorded, with student work collected to ensure effectiveness. Participants will also share their deep dives with peers for feedback and review.

Course objective:

To support teachers to develop and implement instructional strategies that authentically integrate communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking (4C’s) into classroom practices, fostering a positive, relevant, and rigorous learning environment for all students.


Kraft, M.A., Blazar, D., & Hogan, D. (2018). The effect of teacher coaching on instruction and achievement: A meta-analysis of the causal evidence. Review of Educational Research, 88(4), 547-588.

Student Achievement Partners. (2023). e2 Instructional Practice Suite. Author.

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Drea Aguirre ( is a digital coach at Denver Public Schools in Colorado.

Luke mund profile pic
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Lucas Mund ( is an educational technology leader from Denver. After a decade of teaching social studies and technology, Mund transitioned into roles as a digital coach and edtech manager, driven by his passion for integrating technology meaningfully into instruction. His dedication lies in leveraging technology to unlock the vast potential of students, believing in its power to transform learning experiences and pave the way for limitless possibilities.

Headshot hermosillo
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Britney Hermosillo is an educational technology specialist with Denver Public Schools who is dedicated to helping create opportunities for leaders, teachers, and students to impactfully implement technology as part of their daily educational ecosystem. Hermosillo has over 12 years of experience in education both in the classroom and with instructional coaching. Her passion is to advance educational technology in ways that ensure equitable opportunities for all students, fostering an inclusive environment where every learner can excel in the digital landscape.

Categories: Career pathways, Coaching, Learning designs, Technology

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