Technology Use Planning Overview

Technology Planning
Technology planning is often defined in different ways by many different people. I believe the best way to explain it is two-pronged. It is both a document and a process. The final document that is created is a detailed visual representation of goals a technology committee creates through a continual process (Graduate Students, 2002). This continual process is always adding as new technologies are created, and subtracting as older technologies are outdated. This planning process has to think about the present and future needs of the school, and how best to implement the plan.

National Education Technology Plan 2010
The main purpose of the National Education Technology Plan is to enable, motivate, and inspire all students to learn regardless of background, languages or disabilities. This technology plan is broken down into five categories: Learning, Assessment, Teaching, Infrastructure, and Productivity.
In helping students learn, we should leverage technology to provide personalized learning to all students. In assessments, we should use technology-based assessments that combine cognitive research and theory about how students think with multimedia, interactivity, and connectivity make it possible to directly assess these types of skills. (Johnson, 2012). Because of the evolution of technology, we have access to resources 24/7 and we no longer need to be in the classroom to teach or learn. This technology also allows us to collaborate seamlessly with our colleagues.
These helpful guidelines by the NETP give us a focal point on our goals in the classroom and allow us to center our technology plans around these five areas.

Short Term vs Long Term
In John See’s Technology plan, he states that technology plans should have a short term focus (1 year) rather than long term (5 years) because of how often technology is evolving. I understand his point, but technologies we use do not just come out of nowhere. A great resource to help us determine what technologies will be used in the next 1-5 years can be found in the NMC Horizon Report, where they break down the adoption phase into one year or less, two to three years, and four to five years. It is unrealistic for See to think districts can plan with such short term objectives.

Applications not Technology
This time, I agree with John See when he states that our technology plan should focus on what we want to be able to do with the technology, and those outcomes will determine they types of technology needed. (See, 1992) I believe you must have a focus on what you want your technology to be able to do before you buy it. Otherwise, you may buy technology that is great in some aspects, but those aspects may not be what you are in need of. I will relate this to baseball in that it would be like buying a real expensive catchers glove, then your coach telling you that you are an outfielder. You have to have the right equipment for your needs.

Experience with Technology Planning
My experience with technology planning is very limited. The only time I have ever been on a technology committee is at the beginning of this year when we were trying to figure out the best way to handle our outdated computer labs and limited wi-fi accessibility. During our few short meetings, we came to the conclusion that the best way to spend our money was to increase our wi-fi accessibility throughout the school and encourage students to bring their own devices. I found this experience to be both fun and rewarding. It was the first time I was passionate about a committee I was on and since our principal followed through with our recommendation, it has been a great addition to our school.

Sources
Anderson, L. (1999). Technology planning: It’s more than computers. Retrieved from:http://www.nctp.com/articles/tpmore.pdf

Graduate Students at Mississippi State University for National Center for Technology Planning. (2002). Guidebook for Developing an Effective Instructional Technology Plan. Retrieved from http://www.nctp.com/downloads/Guidebook35.pdf

Johnson, L., Adams, S., and Cummins, M. (2012).NMC Horizon Report: 2012 K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium

See, J. (1992, May). Developing effective technology plans. The Computer Teacher, 19, (8). Retrieved from: http://www.nctp.com/html/john_see.cfm

U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology. (2010). National education technology plan. Washington D.C: U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from:http://www.ed.gov/sites/default/files/netp2010.pdf

Digital Divide & Digital Inequality

I found this Digital Divide & Digital Inequality assignment to be the most fascinating, endless research I have ever done. I found myself researching one topic, then learning new information that would lead me to research a different topic.

For my project, I initially wanted to find out more information on the digital divide at my affluent high school. This then lead me to look at 3 other high schools of the same socioeconomic status, and 4 high schools of different socioeconomic status.
To do this, I had to find common comparable data among high schools. I chose to investigate schools based on the percentage of students who receive free or reduced lunch and the correlation of state test scores, graduation rates, and SAT scores. I chose 8 schools total with 4 schools having the highest percentage of free/reduced lunch, and the others have 4 of the lowest percentage of free/reduced lunch in Oregon.

This project was tricky because there are so many different variables that go into State Testing, SAT scores, graduation rates, and whether or not a student qualifies for free or reduced lunches. However, I do think there is a correlation between access to technology and achievement on State Testing and SAT scores.
I truly believe I could have researched this topic for another 4 weeks and found many new avenues to add to this project. My understanding of the digital divide has developed immensely through all my research and I look forward to diving into this topic even more.

Additional Artifact #1

For my first additional artifact, I chose to create a presentation on the benefits my district would experience if we were to “Go Google”. Currently, my district uses Microsoft Outlook for our email and calendar, EdLine for our teacher sites, and the Microsoft Office for our documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. I believe the current Microsoft products we use are valuable tools, but Google Apps for Education would provide our district the collaboration, accessibility, streamlining, and unity our staff, and students need for the ever-evolving 21st century.

A few benefits of using the Microsoft products are that they are fairly reliable and all teachers know how to use them. The allow us to use basic email, create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and many others. However, these Microsoft products are the same products I have been using since I started using the computer. They have updated their ease of use, and added some flair, but they have not evolved into the collaborative machine that is needed in today’s world. I also realize Microsoft has come out with it’s own cloud-based products called Office 365, but those products are computer-based that have been modified to be cloud-based (unlike Google).

In the presentation, I evaluated the accessibility, storage, collaboration, maintenance, streamlining, finances, security, and connectivity. In all of these categories, I believe it is more advantageous to use Google. I created this presentation to be interactive with numerous links that my administration and colleagues can click on to learn more information about the Google Apps for Education I discuss.   I included links to all the Google Apps, videos, editorials, and what Google believes are the benefits to using Google Apps for Education. I created it this way because I wanted the viewer to be able to watch the videos Google does such a great job creating rather than listening to me explain the benefits of using Google.

I hope this presentation will educate my administration on the benefits of “Going Google”. This will not be an end-all, but I hope it will help open discussion on the future of collaboration within our district.

EdTech Challenges


In the New Media Consortium Horizon Report: 2012 K-12 Edition , they listed 6 significant challenges schools face in adopting any new technology.

  1. Digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline
    and profession, especially teaching.
  2. K-12 must address the increased blending of formal and informal learning.
  3. The demand for personalized learning is not adequately supported by current technology or practices.
  4. Institutional barriers present formidable challenges to moving forward in a constructive way with emerging technologies.
  5. Learning that incorporates real life experiences is not occurring enough and is undervalued when it does take place.
  6. Many activities related to learning and education take place outside the walls of the classroom and thus are not part of traditional learning metrics.

For this assignment, I chose to focus on the rise in importance of digital media literacy in schools.

Reflection

After reading through the six challenges schools face when adopting any new technology, I immediately knew which challenge I wanted to focus on. At my school, there is little to no training in the skills and techniques of digital media literacy. We have professional development days, but they do not focus on integrating technology in the classroom. Also at my school, there is not a lot of turnover amongst teachers. Once teachers get hired, they typically continue teaching here until they retire. This can be great for collaboration, predictability, and fluidity amongst teachers. However, this tends to have a negative impact on our school because teachers tend to teach the same way year after year unless they learn a new way to teach the same material. Without technology-focused training for our staff, our students are not going to learn the digital media literacy skills needed in order to be successful 21st century learners.

References

Johnson, L., Adams, S., and Cummins, M. (2012).NMC Horizon Report: 2012 K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium

Xtranormal was used to create the video. http://www.xtranormal.com