Creating a Culturally Proficient School System by Leveraging Technology as a Catalyst for Change

  • Rachel Gorton Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Public Schools


Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Public Schools has strategically focused on using an inside-out examination approach to redefine their district and provide an underlying systemic framework that drives their decision making - including their technology decisions. We will examine how Burnsville-Eagan-Savage educators are leveraging technology to shift instructional practices to collaborative, studentcentered learning environments and how focusing on their values, beliefs & assumptions has fundamentally changed the culture in their buildings and classrooms. Our Cultural Proficiency Continuum is a tool used to identify and discuss policies, decisions, practices, and norms that are Culturally Destructive to our community and provides guidance on how we can shift to Culturally Competent practices that honor and support the learners in their schools. Leave with a heightened understanding of how a system’s culture supports or sabotages educational technology efforts; along with tools to drive organizational decision making.

Author Biography

Rachel Gorton, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Public Schools

Rachel Gorton is the Instructional Technology Coordinator for Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Public Schools, a beautifully diverse district of 9,000 students. Rachel is a strong advocate for using technology as a catalyst for educational change and innovation. By building relationships and consensus among stakeholders, Rachel describes her goal as “leveraging technology to drive change,” focusing on equity and expanding opportunities for all students. In 2015 she was awarded the District 191 Community of Excellence Award winner for Leadership in Action and was the 2016 TIES Minnesota Technology Leader award recipient. Prior to serving as Instructional Technology Coordinator, Rachel served as a classroom teacher, technology integrationist, and curriculum coordinator. She was also a project manager for an international business and lived in Japan.