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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Technology Maturity Survey

The technology maturity survey was an eye opener. If someone had asked me where my school rated before I did the survey, I would have said my school was fairly progressive. Now I realize that we are barely at Island status.

I rate my school as an Emerging Island for a combination of reasons. The primary reasons are:

  •  Because I realize now that it isn’t just about having “stuff”.
  •  How technology is or isn’t being integrated into the curriculum
  •  The impact technology has on student achievement
  • Limited communication between stakeholders

Today after a PD activity, a couple of teachers were talking about what happened to all the student laptops we had last year. I listened to all of the different ideas they had for students no longer having access to computers in the classroom, but I didn’t say anything. The sad thing is I know where they are – locked in a room in the media center. The computers are just sitting there, so close but totally inaccessible. It feels like we are taking giant steps backward.

Our district’s goal is to prepare our students to successfully compete in a 21st century environment.  We have the ability to do that: we just have to get everyone moving in the same direction. To do this, we must have a common focus. We can no longer be “islands” operating in isolation. Communication is the key!

 

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Technology Maturity Survey

The technology maturity survey was an eye opener. If someone had asked me where my school rated before I did the survey, I would have said my school was fairly progressive. Now I realize that we are barely at Island status.

I rate my school as an Emerging Island for a combination of reasons. The primary reasons are:

  •  Because I realize now that it isn’t just about having “stuff”.
  •  How technology is or isn’t being integrated into the curriculum
  •  The impact technology has on student achievement
  • Limited communication between stakeholders

Today after a PD activity, a couple of teachers were talking about what happened to all the student laptops we had last year. I listened to all of the different ideas they had for students no longer having access to computers in the classroom, but I didn’t say anything. The sad thing is I know where they are – locked in a room in the media center. The computers are just sitting there, so close but totally inaccessible. It feels like we are taking giant steps backward.

Our district’s goal is to prepare our students to successfully compete in a 21st century environment.  We have the ability to do that: we just have to get everyone moving in the same direction. To do this, we must have a common focus. We can no longer be “islands” operating in isolation. Communication is the key!

 

Technology Use Planning Overview

Change is coming…..

What is technology use planning?

  • It is a short term plan that focuses on technology applications to reach desired outcome for learners and educators.
  • It is a SMART goal for learning utilizing technology in curriculum delivery.
  • It is embedded in staff development

The one thing that really stood out to me in the Transforming American Education Learning Powered by Technology (United States Department of Education Office of Educational Technology, 2010) publication is the shift to a learner focus. The plan must address the questions:  what are the desired outcomes for the learners, and how can technology enhance the learning and curriculum delivery? While building an infrastructure is critical, institutional hardware and software purchasing shouldn’t be what drives the plan. We are in the business of education, and our customers are the students. It is their needs that should be driving our planning. A couple of years ago my state began requiring the technology plan be tied to school improvement goals. I think this is a major step forward in outcome based technology planning. We have a ways to go, but it is progress.

In the article Developing Effective Technology Plans, See (1992) made a strong case for short term plans, stating the rapid change in technology. I agree that plans need to be for shorter time spans. For the past 12 years, I have been involved in one aspect or another with a district’s technology team. For six years this included writing the technology plans and e-rate applications. The technology plans were in 5 year increments, with an option to update (if approved by the state). This was/is a tedious and time consuming task, trying to plan for technology that may be antiquated in a couple of years. The focus of the plans seemed to be on quantity – how many computers, running what applications. Quality of integration or learning sadly was not the focus.  See (1992) points out that student outcome should drive the technology use plan. He continues to say that curriculum enhancement and staff development are also critical elements of and effective plan.

References:

Anderson, L. (1996). Guidebook for developing an effective instructional technology plan, version 2.0. National Center for Technology Planning. Retrieved from http://www.nctp.com/downloads/guidebook.pdf

See, J. (1992). Developing effective technology plans. National Center for Technology Planning. Retrieved from http://www.nctp.com/html/john_see.cfm

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Technology Education. (2010). Transforming American education: learning powered by technology (Contract No. ED-04-CO-0040). Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov/sites/default/files/netp2010.pdf

 

Tags:

Technology Use Planning Overview

Change is coming…..

What is technology use planning?

  • It is a short term plan that focuses on technology applications to reach desired outcome for learners and educators.
  • It is a SMART goal for learning utilizing technology in curriculum delivery.
  • It is embedded in staff development

The one thing that really stood out to me in the Transforming American Education Learning Powered by Technology (United States Department of Education Office of Educational Technology, 2010) publication is the shift to a learner focus. The plan must address the questions:  what are the desired outcomes for the learners, and how can technology enhance the learning and curriculum delivery? While building an infrastructure is critical, institutional hardware and software purchasing shouldn’t be what drives the plan. We are in the business of education, and our customers are the students. It is their needs that should be driving our planning. A couple of years ago my state began requiring the technology plan be tied to school improvement goals. I think this is a major step forward in outcome based technology planning. We have a ways to go, but it is progress.

In the article Developing Effective Technology Plans, See (1992) made a strong case for short term plans, stating the rapid change in technology. I agree that plans need to be for shorter time spans. For the past 12 years, I have been involved in one aspect or another with a district’s technology team. For six years this included writing the technology plans and e-rate applications. The technology plans were in 5 year increments, with an option to update (if approved by the state). This was/is a tedious and time consuming task, trying to plan for technology that may be antiquated in a couple of years. The focus of the plans seemed to be on quantity – how many computers, running what applications. Quality of integration or learning sadly was not the focus.  See (1992) points out that student outcome should drive the technology use plan. He continues to say that curriculum enhancement and staff development are also critical elements of and effective plan.

References:

Anderson, L. (1996). Guidebook for developing an effective instructional technology plan, version 2.0. National Center for Technology Planning. Retrieved from http://www.nctp.com/downloads/guidebook.pdf

See, J. (1992). Developing effective technology plans. National Center for Technology Planning. Retrieved from http://www.nctp.com/html/john_see.cfm

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Technology Education. (2010). Transforming American education: learning powered by technology (Contract No. ED-04-CO-0040). Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov/sites/default/files/netp2010.pdf

 

RSS for Education

RSS feeds = your own personalized ticker tape!

My Personal Teaching Resource Bundle

The RSS feature that is now available on many websites makes keeping up so much easier. I know most people are not new to RSS (Really Simple Syndication). I have subscribed to several sites for quite a while. For me, the difference with this assignment was using this resource on a professional level and not a personal one.  Utilizing Google Reader and bundling the feeds makes keeping up on the topics that interest me a snap. It is sort of like one-stop browsing. No more click here, then there, and scroll down to click yet another link. The bundle feature does it for me by putting all of my RSS updates in one nice neat package.

Having the feeds in a centralized location and package makes it much more convenient to see what is going on. Like most of you, my time is pretty precious and I don’t want to waste any of it. Using Google reader streamlines the feed updates, saving me time and energy. The bundle option makes it even more efficient. I like to keep up on what is happening, and I think this will help.

As a teacher, I think this could be a valuable tool for students as well. It offers students the same conveniences as it does me, saving them time and energy and making it much more likely they will utilized the product.  In addition, most of my students enjoy using the Internet and I look for different activities that will require them to use the Internet as a tool, not a toy. I think the Reader app in conjunction with the RSS feeds will help them see another aspect to using the web. It is also a great resource for on going research. If I were still teaching at high school, it would be an awesome way for me to have students track information for a senior project or other culminating activity.

What I got out of this assignment is a new appreciation for RSS feeds, and Google Reader. Without this project, I am not sure I would have taken the time to fully explore the usefulness of either of these tools.

 

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