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 This continual process is always adding as new technologies are created, and subtracting as older technologies are outdated.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.
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