Professional Development Program Example
Overview of GenYES Program
Prepared for the California EETT Competitive Grant
This document is meant to provide grant writers in California school districts an
overview of the GenYES model of professional development similar to the
examples found in Appendix D of the CDE’s Competitive Grant EETT
application. As 25% of grant funds must go directly to professional
development models with a proven research-based track record, this document
will help grant writers justify the inclusion of GenYES.
The GenYES program has been implemented in over 1,000 schools throughout the United States
for students in grades K-12. Begun in 1996 with federal Technology Innovation Challenge Grant
(TICG) funds, it has received more than 10 million dollars in funding in its 8-plus years of
implementation serving both inservice and preservice teachers. While promoting the effective use
of technology in schools, GenYES develops student leadership and fosters a collaborative,
constructivist learning community between student and teacher. Students and partner teachers
learn how telecommunications, the Internet, multimedia, and presentation tools can enhance
lesson plans and support a standards-based curriculum. GenYES achieves this by giving students
experience with educational technology, communication skills, and information literacy, allowing
students to act as responsible partners with their teachers in building new curriculum materials
and new teaching and learning practices.
How GenYES Works
When GenYES begins in a school, a group of students become the “GenYES Class”. This class is
the central component for training students in grades 4-12 to partner with a teacher to produce
technology-infused lessons. A single “GenYES teacher” in the school manages the process. Each
GenYES student is paired with a partner teacher, who decides which curriculum unit they will
produce together. These technology-infused units are then used in the partner teacher’s regular
classroom. One GenYES class can thus impact teaching practices and student engagement for 10-
25 teachers in a school. Further, to support its inherent scaling-out strategies, the core model
enables program graduates of the GenYES program to: (1) work in community-based labs to
improve access to networked computers to mentor families and community members; (2)
continue work on technology projects with new or former partner teachers, acting as teaching
assistants or peer mentors; and (3) provide leadership and technical expertise in other community
organizations. GenYES’s model provides individualized support for building effective curricula
and can be customized to fit a wide range of content, grade levels, technology infrastructures,
scheduling requirements, interests, and skill levels. The “heart” of GenYES is not technology, but
redefining boundaries between teachers and learners in order to improve student achievement,
motivation, and lifelong learning skills.
What the Research Community Says
The Expert Panel on Educational Technology, commissioned by the U.S. Department of
Education reviewed evaluation data on GenYES and over a hundred other models. In the summer
of 2000, the program was awarded “Exemplary” status by the panel. Only two educational
technology models have ever received this distinction. The expert panel found that, "The format
provides a model of project-based, authentic, student-centered, multidisciplinary teaching and
learning enhanced by technology.” The criteria of the expert panel included quality, educational
significance, evidence of effectiveness, and usefulness to others. These stringent criteria closely
parallel the current No Child Left Behind funding criteria. The states of California, Maryland,
Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Washington, Texas, and others have provided substantial
EETT funds to districts implementing GenYES.
Eight years of data collected by the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL) from
the nationwide GenYES project indicate that the program is an effective alternative for schools
wishing to integrate technology into their regular curriculum and increase their use of authentic,
student-centered learning practices. The model provides individualized support for educators who
wish to increase their use of technology without becoming distracted from the essence of their
jobs -- building and delivering effective curriculum units and lesson plans.
Participating teachers and students report that their involvement in GenYES afforded them an
excellent opportunity to improve their basic technology skills, and to develop more advanced
abilities to integrate technology in standards-based lessons, projects, and curriculum units. Both
teachers and students report that they gained meaningful, authentic experience developing skills
in technology use, collaboration, project management, and information literacy, while
contributing to the improvement of their schools. Most found the GenYES model to be an
effective professional development strategy for teachers, as well as an effective approach to
increasing student engagement, student learning, and student leadership.
Extensive research has provided useful information regarding facilitating conditions, challenges,
and keys to success for schools interested in implementing GenYES. This information can be
found at http://www.genyes.com. As the US Department of Education panel found, “... the course
is supported with an array of resources (some online) for coordinating teachers that can be
adapted for different school settings serving all populations using virtually any hardware/software
Additionally, the NWREL has found that students participating in the GenYES program perform
significantly better in the academic subjects of language arts and mathematics.
Creating a Self-sustaining Program
The GenYES model is designed to become self-sustaining by the third year of implementation.
During the first two years, the model includes extensive training, support systems and evaluation
services that allow the program to become deeply rooted in a school. After the second year, the
program generally becomes entrenched and the need for these support systems fades. GenYES
schools who move into this affiliate status can maintain access to the collaboration network and
online tools. GenYES students are a self-renewing resource as they stay in the school system;
eager to continue to help their teachers improve education through technology.
A sustained GenYES program results in a never-ending supply of students who are prepared to
support their teachers in technology integration throughout their entire school career. GenYES
students are empowered by their experience and realize they can make a positive impact on their
school. Many GenYES students report an interest in teaching as a profession as a result of their
Extensions to the GenYES Model
The core GenYES class has been developed for use as a regular class or extracurricular activity
that provides immediate benefits for participating students and partner teachers. However, in
order to extend the impact of the program, the model is also designed to prepare students for
continued growth and service in their schools and communities. Toward this end, a number of
additional components have been developed in the Olympia Washington School District and in
other participating districts across the country. These extensions provide further opportunities for
students to apply their skills in technology applications and collaborative project work.
Four primary types of extensions to the core model have been developed in Olympia. These allow
students who have been through the GenYES course to continue developing and applying their
technical, communication and leadership skills. These extensions include:
Opportunities for GenYES graduates to work in after-school computer labs or
community-based computer labs, to improve access to networked computers and
individualized mentoring for students, family members, and community members.
Involving parents and the community is a major goal of the CA EETT grant.
Opportunities for students to become part of a district’s technology infrastructure support
team. Many schools utilize the Generation TECH program to provide the environment
necessary for students to successfully maintain hardware, software and network
infrastructure. This has become a necessity for districts experiencing declining budgets
for maintaining their technology infrastructure.
Opportunities for students to work with pre-service teachers at participating institutions
of higher education, in order to improve the integration of technology into the education
and field experience of pre-service teachers. During 1999, this aspect of the GenYES
project contributed to the development of a proposal by The Evergreen State College,
also in Olympia, to the U.S. Department of Education program on Preparing Tomorrows
Teachers to Use Technology. This project was funded as a Catalyst grant, and has
resulted in a three-year effort to build networked learning communities in several states,
involving K-12 GenYES schools and nine colleges of education
Opportunities for these students to continue working on educational technology projects
with new or former partner teachers, administrators, or staff in their schools, including
opportunities to act as teaching assistants or mentors with other students.
Opportunities for students to provide leadership and technical expertise in other
community organizations. A full semester of lesson plans and activities are included in
the GenYES curriculum for community service and leadership for GenYES returning
To Ensure Successful GenYES Implementation
Schools implementing GenYES to support professional development to infuse technology into
the curriculum need to:
Recognize that students can be trained to be change agents and convey that GenYES is a
major strategy in their school improving learning with the help of technology.
Provide a GenYES teacher from their staff who will provide the necessary training to the
GenYES students by implementing the GenYES curriculum and working with the
national Generation YES staff and GenYES teachers throughout the nation.
Schedule a GenYES class either during the schools day (typical in the middle school) or
after school (typical at the elementary level). GenYES is usually delivered over an 18-
week (semester) at the high and middle schools and as a 30-week program in the
elementary schools. Classes are typically multi-age and grade.
Obtain a GenYES license from Generation YES that provides all the necessary support to
successfully implement the model. Cost and services provided are shown below.
Provide data to external evaluation activities in order to meet grant obligations.
Evaluation tools include surveys, online project reporting, site visitations, and
comparison of academic testing data among students and schools.
Provide opportunities for GenYES student graduates to continue working with teachers,
administrators, parents as well as district and community based committees and
Generation YES provides the following resources at the indicated costs:
GenYES professional development $3,250 for full year single class (up to 25 students)
program during Year 1 $5,250 for multi-semester classes (up to 50
GenYES professional development $2,700 for full year single class (up to 25 students)
program during Year 2 $4,700 for multi-semester classes (up to 50
GenYES professional development $300 per year (does not include consulting or
program after Year 2 (Affiliate Status) evaluation services)
Optional Generation TECH (student Club: (up to 8 students, one teacher) - $1,200
tech support) program Class: (up to 25 students, one teacher) - $1,900
Site: (multiple teachers and students) - $2,400
Face-to-face training On-site hands on training for GenYES teacher,
district personnel, school administration and
technical staff. - $4,000 (two consecutive days)
(Does not include travel.)
Note: Schools may need to budget for stipends for the teacher teaching the GenYES class under
Class implementation School may need to budget
Class taught during normal school day $0
Year-long after or before school $2,700 for 30 week program (assumes 3 hours per
program week at $30 per hour)
Semester-long after or before school $1,620 for 18 week program (assumes 3 hours per
program week at $30 per hour)
Generation YES will provide the following services to California GenYES schools
Training and Program Start-up
Unlimited phone training and support for each GenYES teacher. During this
comprehensive training, the GenYES teacher learns about the curriculum, website, and
processes that can ensure success in their building. Strategies for recruiting students and
partner teachers are dealt with. If the on-site training option is not selected, this phone
training is mandatory for the GenYES teacher.
Stakeholder handouts allow parents, partner teachers, and administrators to better
understand the GenYES model and their role in its success.
GenYES video. The video provides the GenYES teacher a means to show colleagues,
students and administration various aspects of the model.
Curriculum and Program Materials
Complete Curriculum Guide for the GenYES teacher. This 400-page guide provides
the GenYES teacher strategies for delivering a successful program and complete
activities for ten units of study. Over 70 hours of classroom instruction with leveling
activities The Guide aligns all technology skills learned by students to the International
Society for Technology in Education’s (ISTE) National Educational Technology
Standards for Students (NETS).
Student materials. A GenYES notebook and Student CD-ROM is provided to each
GenYES student. The CD provides examples of exemplary GenYES projects and the
notebook provides space for teacher handouts and other resources.
Collaboration Guide. A full-color 20 page guide is provided to each GenYES student so
they can use it to work with their partner-teacher.
Support for Full Term of Class
The comprehensive GenYES website provides extensive tools for the GenYES teacher
and students to complete their technology-infused professional development activity with
their partner teacher. These tools include student journals, the Project Organizing and
Reporting Tool (PORT), archives of thousands of already completed GenYES projects,
updated information pages and resources for each of the ten GenYES Units of Study.
GenYES Blog provides a classroom tested blog tool for teacher and student use. Useful
for assessment and class management, this tool allows teachers and students to
communicate outside the walls of the school and as needed.
Online Collaboration Network (OCN) provides GenYES teachers and students
throughout the nation with a bulletin board and listserv where a wide-variety of
educational technology issues can be discussed. The OCN is monitored and open to only
GenYES students and teachers in GenYES schools.
Expert consultants provide detailed feedback to every submitted GenYES proposal.
Individualized consultation supports the student and partner teacher pair with expertise
regarding technology integration, content standards, and assessment strategies. This
feature has proven to be an effective way to provide guided learning opportunities to
teachers based on their needs.
A toll free number that the GenYES teacher or their students can call to receive help.
The GenYES teachers and students can also e-mail Generation YES support staff.
Built-in California performance standards on the GenYES website enable teachers
and students to align their projects to standards.
Program Evaluation and Results
Annual evaluation report includes detailed quantitative and qualitative data, charts and
interpretations clarifying the implementation and impact of the project. These reports
provide information for administration, school board officials or others interested in
seeing program results.
National collaboration with like-minded schools. California schools become part of a
national group of GenYES schools that help each other provide support for teachers as
they infuse technology into their curriculum.
A GenYES certificate of completion for each student completing the GenYES class.
The Certificate states all skills students have acquired which can help them on job and
college entrance applications.
Optional graduate college credit is offered for partner teachers who complete a project
with their GenYES student.
Previous research has shown that two years are required in most schools for the GenYES model
to be thoroughly and properly implemented. For this reason the California EETT Competitive
two-year timeline is perfect. At the end of the two-year period, there will be sufficient evidence
and critical mass that the bulk of the extensive support services of Generation YES will no longer
be required and California EETT schools can participate for an nominal affiliate license fee. The
nominal fee allows continued participation in the network and full use of the online tools for the
entire school. GenYES students have access to the Generation YES network and online tools for
Cost comparison to other technology professional development models
Expense EMints EAST GenYES
Year One $210,000 (14 teachers) $64,050 (14 stations) $3,250 - $5,250 (for 25-50 teachers)
plus consulting $42,100 (14 teachers)
Year Two $70,000 (14 teachers) $12,000 (6 stations) $2,700 - $4,900 (for 25-50 teachers)
$28,400 (20 teachers)
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Educational Laboratory. See http://genyes.org/products/geny/genyresearch
U.S. Department of Education Educational Technology Expert Panel, Exemplary and Promising
Educational Technology Programs, Office of Education Research and Improvement, February
2002. See http://genyes.org/products/geny/genyresearch.
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