A Technology Action Plan By Lynda Kieler, December 2009 "Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time." -Chinese Proverb-
Our Vision Students of Wharton Elementary School will have equal access to technologies that will equip them with the 21st century skills necessary to compete in a global community.
Our Mission Teachers will improve their teaching and student learning through the use of technology as a direct result of their professional development and the support of the district instructional leaders' commitment and support through a technology rich infrastructure and ongoing evaluation of all areas and stakeholders' needs. Planning Evaluation With an understanding that evaluation is key to moving this action plan forward towards success for all stakeholders, preliminary evaluation was done before reflecting on a course of action. Based on interviews with a campus principal, the district technology director, a technology facilitator, teachers and students; the district and campus technology perceptions and climate was assessed. Further preliminary evaluation consisted of a review of the Texas STaR Chart data which indicated that our district is lacking in the areas of professional development and implementation of technology into the curriculum. The results from the Project Tomorrow Speak Up findings, and a review of the Texas Long Rang Plan, Wharton’s Three Year District Plan, and ISTE’s National Educational Technology Standards also gave direction for this action plan and reiterated the need for instructional leadership and accountability.
The Superintendent gives the Technology Director the budget and supports decisions made by her/him. The Technology Director and the District Curriculum Director discuss needs for integration of technology into the curriculum. The District Curriculum Director then meets with the Campus Curriculum Principals to oversee that technology is an integral part of the curriculum. The District Technology Director meets with the District Technology Committee made up of district teachers representing each campus to determine needs for the campuses of the district. The District Facilitator listens to the needs of the campuses and with the Technology Director, plans services for each campus per their needs for development for teachers and students as well as overseeing that the Technology TEKS are taught. Evaluations made at this level are formative. The Campus Technology Committee meets before the district committee meets to discuss technology needs and the Curriculum principal may also attend the meeting to ensure that technology is being asked for that will impact students in a positive manner. In addition to help from the Technology Facilitator, teachers can receive technology assistance from the assistants that run the labs and report computer issues to the facilitator. Through the organizational make up, it is hoped that when all of the fore-mentioned individuals are groups are aligned, that students will benefit from the technology and technology integrated learning that they need in order to be successful 21st century learners.
Teaching and Learning Goal 1: Improve student achievement and teacher effectiveness through the use of technology
Summary: The goal of teaching and learning is for teachers and students to use technology in an integrated manner which will enhance both learning and teaching. Proper internet usage is expected of all technology users and we feel that as educators we have a responsibility to educate our students on how to use the internet safely. From mastery of Technology TEKS to use of programs that help students and teachers communicate to internet safety when interacting with others and researching, we expect our students and teachers to develop the skills needed to compete in the 21st century.
Educator Preparation and Development Goal 2:Campus staff performance with technology will improve
Summary: Knowing that effective use of technology will only occur if we have the skills or know how of the technologies, staff development becomes key to our plan to improve the use of technology on our campus. Staff development has to evolve to meet the needs of the stakeholders. Using facilitators on each campus to teach students lessons will provide indirect training for teachers in a non threatening way. Dialogues that initiate from the student lessons between the facilitator and teacher or even teacher to teacher will lead to one on one instruction and teacher to teacher mentoring. Due to the current use of Professional Learning Communities within each grade, technology needs and trainings can be tailor created for grade level, subject level and campus level in-services.
Administration and Support Services Goal 3: Administration will provide instructional leadership for the campus in integrating technology into the curriculum and improving efficiency.
Summary: Knowing thatthe instructional leader canfacilitate the use of technology used on a campus by his/her support and patience with teachers and students as they experiment to find the best way to use the technologies, administrators will demonstrate to the faculty and students their appreciation for effort andby making sure that the technologies on the campus are maintained and up to date. Use of old technology will not serve the students or teachers in the most effective way. The leader will make sure that the students and faculty are receiving the training they need to effectively use the most current applications and technologies.
Evaluation Goal 4:Effectively evaluate the use of technology by all stakeholders and maintain and improve the infrastructure as needs develop so that we meet the standards outlined in the Long Range Technology Plan.
Summary: Professional development evaluation and program evaluation should include three types of evaluation: planning, formative and summative. Evaluation should take place at every level and be an ongoing process. In the planning evaluation, data from the STaR chart, in-service records, observations from the previous year and technology requests will move the professional development and for the following year and help to determine how well we are in line with meeting our goals. The formative evaluation will occur throughout the year as direct observations and products and integration of technology with lessons and job performance. The summative evaluation will take the year into account and look at the critical levels of professional development evaluations: participants' reactions, participants' learning, organizational support and change, use of new knowledge and skills and the impact the development subsequently had on student learning outcomes(Gusky, 1998).
3 Summary This action plan is but a start of where we hope to go. It is hoped that by being realistic and creating situations that will immerse teachers in learning situations that the use of technology will increase at an exponential rate as teachers feel comfortable with the technology through the forms of professional development outlined above. Evaluation will be key to monitoring the success of this plan at each step of the way. Though Wharton is a small district, we feel strongly that our students deserve the opportunity to hone skills they will need to collaborate in the 21st century global community through the use of technology both during the school year and with summer learning opportunities.
4 Resources Agency, T. E. (2006). Long-Range Plan for Technology. Austin: TEA. Education, I. S. (2008). National Educational Technology Standards. Retrieved December 1, 2009, from http://www.iste.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=NETS Ganske, S. (2008-2011). Wharton ISD Three-Year District Technology Plan. Wharton: Wharton ISD. Guskey, T. (Fall 1998). The age of our accountability. National Staff Development Council , 36-44. May, S., Ganske, S., & Roddy, H. (2009, December 4). Technology in Wharton ISD. (L. Kieler, M. Rath, & P. Parsons, Interviewers) Selected National Findings. (2008). Retrieved Dec 1, 2009, from Speak Up 2008 for Students, Teachers, Parents and Administrators: http://www.tomorrow.org/docs/SU08_selected%20national_findings_complete.pdf Texas Campus STaR Chart Summary. (2008-2009). Retrieved 11 14, 2009, from School Technology and Readiness: http://starchart2.esc12.net/campusSearchlist.aspx?foryear=20082009&district=Wharton&campus=