Why should we plan? We shouldn't plan because someone told us we needed a technology plan! We create a technology plan to see where our district currently is, where we need to be, and create a culture of technology in our schools so that we can easily adapt to new technologies.
Since we now know why we should create this technology plan, the next question that needs answered is who should be a part of this planning process. This answer is both easy and complex! The easy answer is that ALL stakeholders should be involved in the planning process. The complex answer is identifying all of those stakeholders. These stakeholders include administrators (both school level and district level), IT personnel, media specialists, teachers (all levels represented), school board members, parents, and students. This sounds like a large group, but each group needs represented at the planning table to see the total picture.
The technology planning process can be broken down into 6 steps. Recruit Team - Identify stakeholders that will participate in the planning process. Then establish who will &quot;chair&quot; this committee. Research - This step is two fold. First research where the district is currently with technology and its uses in the classroom. Then, research best practices, current technologies, and new trends in educational technology. Create Plan - Write out a plan and identify objectives Implement - DO IT! Evaluate - Review the plan. See how the district has progressed and grown. Also look at the roadblocks that have prevented additional progress. Revise - Using the information from evaluating the plan, revise, rewrite, and replan as necessary to achieve the technology goals.
Vision statements give focus to what the technology plan is about and allows others to know what you want to accomplish.
Information should be gathered from teachers, students, stakeholders, administrators and any other personnel that use technology including librarians and special services personnel. Surveys, logs, informal interviews and questionnaires may be used to gather data. Information should be thorough and maintain confidentiality of those surveyed. Open ended questions provide the most honest answers. The needs assessment must consider administration, curricular integration, support, connectivity and innovation.
In order to teach students, teachers need to feel comfortable with educational technology themselves. They also need to know how to use technology efficiently and effectively. Professional development can take place within a district utilizing those more technologically advanced teachers to share knowledge and skills with less advanced staff. School districts could partner with local higher education institutions to offer continuing education courses in technology integration. Contracts with professional organizations or companies could be created to provide school staff with professional development.
The committee needs to consider current findings in Educational Technology. They need to incorporate state technology standards and national technology standards. They also need to review the National Education Technology Plan, the Horizon Report, looking for best practices in educational technology. To better prepare students for the future, they also need to look at resources including the Framework for 21st Century Learning and technology skills requirements of local institutions of higher education.
Ongoing evaluation should follow the timeline created in the plan. Evaluation needs to be flexible depending on the portion of the technology use plan being evaluated.
When creating the timeline for technology use, you do not want it to be too long. Try to focus on accomplishing all your goals within two to three years. Each year sit down and evaluate where you are and where you want to be. For our example, we would like to have the committee for technology grants to be created and started within six to nine months of the plan being approved. Within 9 to 18 months we would like the continuing professional development classes to start. The first few classes can just focus on what technologies are out there. Within 24 to 36 months we would like to have integrated the technology into the classroom. By starting the grant committee quickly, it should help in the financial issues of getting the technology and the software to put into the classrooms.
Technology Use Presentation for the Kappa School District by Christina Jorgensen, Justin Keel, & Lynn Johnson
Our mission is to provide administrators, teachers, and students with technology and technological tools that will enhance teaching and aid students by giving opportunities to use technology in various avenues that will support students as they enter the ever increasing technological world.