Technology Use Planning Overview

Redefining Education Through the Use of Technology:
Theory and Implementation Plan Presentation.

For a complete overview of the NET 2010 plan and a breakdown of the phases of tech implementation for schools please see the above presentation I created at http://www.prezi.com.

An effective technology use plan should start with a vision for the future based on concrete research and the needs of the community. A plan should be developed by a committee of members from every aspect of the school community. Once measurable objectives have been established, the plan must then address the technological needs to meet those goals. The implementation plan needs to address ongoing professional development for staff and should provide continuous support for teachers. The plan should include strategies for ongoing assessment and, to that end, be flexible in its implementation.
The new NET plan can be used as an excellent source for tech planning in schools because it provides a destination for all tech planning to work towards. It provides a basis for comparison, allowing educators to compare the plan with their existing use of technology in their schools.
With the rapid evolution of technology any implementation plan must revisit hardware/software utilization decisions on a yearly basis; however sweeping changes in use of technology to facilitate 21st century skills such as critical thinking. problem solving, collaboration, and multimedia communication should be part of a longer term plan. Reconstruction of the current failing educational system to leverage the full potential of technology to personalize learning can not be done in a year.
What do we want our students and staff to be able to do with technology?” Answering this question, along with considering how technology can enhance learning, will provide the foundation for a relevant technology implementation plan.
Unfortunately, any technology committee I have been involved with has been tasked with deciding which lab gets an upgrade. There has been no discussion other than where we are going to spend the budget on this year.
Contrary to the opinion of Dr. See, I believe any significant technology plan must be a district or even a provincial initiative. In order for an entire overhaul in the system to take place it must be supported by political will.

Resources:

Dr. Larry Anderson. Mississippi State University. Spring 1996. Guidebook for Developing an Effective Instructional Technology Plan Version 2.0. Retrieved from http://www.nctp.com/guidebook.cfm

DRAFT National Educational Technology Plan 2010 Executive Summary. March 5, 2010.Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology. Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov/sites/defaul…ummary.pdf)

Advertisements

Teacher Professional Development Models

One of the challenges we face as educators today is preparing children to be effective members of our society when our world is changing so quickly; we are preparing students for jobs that do not even yet exist. Effective teachers must reflect a relevant expression of current elements of our society. In order to stay relevant, teachers must continually update their body of knowledge through TPD, or Teacher Professional Development. TPD allows the distribution of broad policy direction, specific information, and general guidance to teachers. TPD can be delivered in a variety of models, all with the intent of demonstrating that learning is a life long process and filtering down to improving learning for students.

Three common delivery methods for TPD are: Standardized Models, best for delivering information to large groups of learners, Site Based Models, intense, long term design models localized in schools or districts, Self-Directed, learner driven development, initiated by the individual learner.

The Greater Victoria School District utilizes all three of the above models, with teachers entitled to six professional development days, four of which are school based, one tri-district, and one provincial. Teachers are also encouraged to apply to the local teacher association for funding to attend self-directed professional development such as workshops and conferences.

Unfortunately, the school based professional development climate in my school has largely become stagnant, consisting mostly of teachers in their own rooms catching up on marking. We are a successful, academically focused High School closely associated with the University of Victoria. Our teaching staff is predominately made up of veteran teachers, who are comfortable in their strategies and techniques and are largely resistant to change. Over the past year I have become increasingly aware of these circumstances as I have taken a leadership role in an initiative to improve the effectiveness of our school based professional development time. Our initiative is based on the concept of teachers learning from teachers. Our proposal is to have teachers observe other teachers within our school, and in some cases, across the district. The overriding intent is to make professional development relevant to all teachers and to provide professional autonomy in allowing teachers to have control over the content and the time in which TPD takes place. Another goal of our Pro-D initiative is to encourage an inter-departmental exchange of ideas and cross-curricular collaboration. This resistance to change extends itself to attitudes regarding the implementation of technology in the classroom.

Many staff members in our school are reluctant to embrace technology in their teaching. It is human nature to rely on comfortable techniques with a proven success record and without meaningful TPD in technology integration, teachers will continue to resist change. The question then is how to convince the reluctant and educate current practicing teachers in strategies and techniques for harnessing the capabilities of technology and producing quality, curriculum driven, lessons.
It is essential to teach the tools within a context; for example, using the Site Based TPD model, a small group of teachers could create a unit that explores the sounds of Shakespeare through the use of Garageband and iTunes with a sharing component to a class blog. Through the creation of the unit, the group of teachers will develop valuable technological skills in a meaningful, constructive environment. Teaching tech tools in a vacuum, without context is counterproductive and could possibly have long term negative consequences for the teacher and her students in terms of tech integration in her classroom.

It is important that our school strives to offer continuous technology based professional development opportunities for our staff, as well as technological support throughout the school year. I will also continue to work toward implementation of a meaningful teachers learning from teachers professional development initiative.

Gaible, Edmond and Burns, Mary (n.d.). Models and Best practices in Teacher Professional Development. Retrieved 2011-03-11, from http://www.infodev.org/en/Publication.294.html.

RSS Feeds

RSS feeds are a simple and efficient way for people to access and keep the information that is important to them. Through subscribing to an RSS feed, one will receive continuous updates from their chosen sources, as new information is published, until such time as the subscriber wishes to unsubscribe. The implications for the application of RSS feeds for teachers and students is enormous.

One major benefit to students and teachers is that users can control the flow of information they receive and can direct their output to come from specific areas of interest. RSS feeds also allow teachers and students to make one selection regarding the source of the feed and not have to worry about missing any additional material from that source, as information is automatically downloaded as it is published. Not only can blogs, articles, and forums be found as RSS feeds, but simple information can be communicated. Schools can publishing events and schedule updates via an RSS feed.

I personally use an RSS feed on my class blog to which students are required to subscribe. They are sent the post when it comes out and are asked to comment, generating discussion and debate. I also subscribe to many blog and information feeds on technology, photography, and news updates. These feeds allow me to keep up to date on a variety of topics; I consider my RSS feeds a daily form of professional development.

Here is the link to my Google Reader Shared Items Page.

Annotated Bibliography

1. Flanagan, Brian and Calandra, Brenden. Podcasting in the Classroom. (n.d.). . Retrieved February 28, 2011, from http://eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ728915&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ728915
This article is written for teachers who are using technology in their classrooms and who wish to include the use of Podcasting. The article gives an overview of what podcasting is in general, it describes its benefits and provides issues to consider. The article describes podcasting as a cost effective way to deliver instruction, as well as having benefits for music students, foreign language students, and for collaborting across the globe. The article suggests the use of podcasting to conduct research and take notes. The article gives instruction on subscribing to podcasts online and creating and uploading podcasts. The article discusses the use of copyright issues when mixing prerecorded music and that teachers should be aware of appropriate content for younger listeners. Another issue of concern for teachers wanting to use podcasting in the classroom is having adequate technical support and file storage. This article is another example of excellent ways teachers can use technology to enhance learning in the classroom.

2.Ertmer, Peggy and Gopalakrishnan, Sangeetha. Technology-using Teachers: (n.d.). . Retrieved February 28, 2011, from http://www.edci.purdue.edu/ertmer/docs/AERA_2000.pdf.
This article, Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association New Orleans, LA in April 2000, investigates how teachers perceive their own use of technology in the classroom. The article emphasizes the difference between using technology for instruction and using it to deepen learning. The article stresses the idea that technology should be used to enhance meaning and not just a way to disseminate information. Technology can be used to focus instruction on complex tasks, not just facts. Technology can create an environment where learning is student centered and directed. This article supports the assertion that there is a difference between using technology in the class and using it well.

3. Staples, A. (n.d.). Rethinking the Technology Integration Challenge: Cases from Three Urban Elementary Schools. Retrieved February 28, 2011, from http://fh8fe2xb7x.scholar.serialssolutions.com/?sid=google&auinit=A&aulast=Staples&atitle=Rethinking+the+Technology+Integration+Challenge:+Cases+from+Three+Urban+Elementary+Schools.&title=Journal+of+research+on+computing+in+education&volume=37&issue=3&date=2005&spage=285&issn=1539-1523
This study and resulting article looks at three urban elementary schools and the results on student learning when technology is infused in their classrooms. For all three schools the study describes the school culture and existing technology before money and resources are provided and the resulting observable changes. The study found that the keys to successful integration were aligning the use of technology with the curriculum and mission statement of the school, having clear teacher leadership at each facility, and having a private/public partnership in investing in the benefits of technology. The study concluded that often the need for new hardware/software is pitted against the cost of teaching teachers how to most effectively use the equipment. The study also concluded that in order for a school staff to buy into technology as a tool it must have clear connections to curricular objectives. The study did conclude however that there is a direct connection between the use of technology and deep, meaningful learning.

4. Koehler, MJ . (n.d.). Teachers Learning Technology by Design. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.130.7937&rep=rep1&type=pdf.
The main objective of this article is to outline the optimum approach for teaching teachers how to use technology effectively in the classroom. The article asserts that many teacher training institutions believe that teachers will become proficient in the use of technology merely by mastering a basic set of skills. In collaboration with the ISTE the article suggests that teacher training should include an appreciation between artifacts, users, tools, and practices. An exemplary teacher training program should keep in mind content, pedagogy, and technology while working to develop appropriate context specific strategies and representations. The article suggests that meaningful insight into technology in the classroom occurs when small groups of teachers work together to find ways to use technology to solve educational problems. Through this process teachers learn about the technology and how to use it in real life situations.

5.Hopson, Michael . (n.d.). Using a Technology-Enriched Environment to Improve Higher-Order Thinking Skills. Retrieved February 28, 2011, from http://eec.edc.org/cwis_docs/Vivians/Hopson_et_al.pdf
This study and ensuing article looks at fifth and sixth grade students and how significant use of technology in the classroom encourages and develops higher order thinking skills such as critical analysis and complex problem solving skills. The study suggests that twenty first century students need to know how to access information, but more importantly how to manage, analyze, critique, cross-reference, and transform information into something meaningful. The study outlines how computers in the class can be used to provide active learning tasks that require students to use complex problem solving skills. Teachers involved with the study reported that learning was more student driven in technology assisted classrooms with less emphasis on textbook driven facts acquisition. Technology transformed the role of teacher from lecturer to guide.