Needs Assessment EDTC 6140: Planning for Technology Cristina Thompson Mary Trotter Janice Russell
ECU Elementary Vision For Technology ECU Elementary, in order to encourage students to become life-long learners in the 21st century, will strive to provide and utilize innovative technology that continuously promotes high academic achievement through the use of subject oriented software, multimedia tools, and effective practices. In addition, technology will be used to increase the efficiency in the management of data for administrative purposes through instructional support programs.
The goal of the Technology Plan is to access the current state of the ECU Elementary School’s overall technology. The main focus will be on equipment, staff development and curriculum in order to determine specific needs related to future purchases and training for proper implementation.
ECU Elementary has is a large campus located in rural North Carolina. The K-5 student population exceeds eight hundred each year. A variety of teachers, administrators, specialists, teacher assistants, transportation managers, cafeteria workers, and custodians compose the staff. The students' population includes 30% free and reduced lunch students, 8% ESL students, and 25% AIG students. Many members of the staff have their own personal children at the school and the PTA is highly involved.
The school has 3 wings with 77 classrooms. Wing A houses kindergarten, first grade, and the art room; Wing B houses second grade, third grade, and the music room; and Wing C houses fourth grade, fifth grade, and the school’s only computer lab. The office, media center, cafeteria, guidance office, art room, music room, and gym are centrally located.
Every classroom has 2 computers (1 teacher and 1 student). Each of the classroom wings has 1 centrally located laser printer to which all computers on the wing are networked. Each wing also has one ActivBoard which can be moved from room to room and a cart equipped with a projector and laptop. The computer lab has 30 computers networked to a color laser printer.
In the office, each administrator, the secretary/receptionist, the financial secretary and the data manager has a computer at his/her desk. There is one color laser printer located in the office. The cafeteria has 2 computers with a shared laser printer. The media center has one computer used for inventory and book check out and one system where 5 computers are linked to one CPU used for research. There is 1 laser printer in the library.
For the 5th grade tech-literacy test the following hardware is needed to administer the test: keyboard, mouse, monitor, Internet Explorer SP2 or later, Netscape Safari, 56k modem or better, 64 MB RAM, and Windows 98 or better.
2. Teachers will need access to the web site to complete the school level survey.
3. Parents, Students, Teachers, and administrators can all take part in the Speak Up Survey as long as they have access to the web.
Paper-pencil survey could be distributed to more than
just students if the participation in the on-line surveys are low.
1. How would you categorize yourself as a technology user?
2. How often do you use technology to cover a new concept?
3. How often do you use technology to review a concept?
4. How often do you use a projector or TV to view visual media in the classroom?
5. Which multimedia tools would increase the use of technology in your classroom lessons?
6. What assistance is needed to increase the use of technology in classroom lessons?
7. What activities do you regularly do using technology?
8. What is/are the major obstacles when using technology in the classroom?
Teachers will complete an on-line survey about their use of technology in the school to improve student achievement. The response to multiple-choice answers will be evaluated.
Student Survey We would like to know what you think about education. For example, how you are using technology. Complete the survey to tell us more about what you think by circling your answer. 1. Think about the other students in your class, do you know… a. More about technology than most b. The same about technology as most c. Less about technology than most 2. What devices are available for you to use at school? a. Desktop computer b. Laptop computer c. MP3 or IPOD d. Video Game Box e. Other __________ 3. How do you use the computer for school work? a. Complete writing assignments b. Create slide show or movie c. Email d. Listen to a podcast e. Get help from the Internet f. Play Educational games g. Use Internet for Research h. Take a test online I. Communicate with students from other states/countries 4. What keeps you from using computers more at school? a. Computers are not always available b. I can’t access my personal webpage/email c. My teacher doesn’t know how to use them d. Programs are not good enough e. Other __________________
5th Grade End of Year Technology Test Scores from ABC Report Card .
This test asks questions related to students use of technology in various areas: Systems, Social & ethical, word processing, spreadsheets, multimedia & presentations, telecommunications & Internet, and Databases . According to the data reported for our school, students performed poorly on social and ethical uses related to technology. Also, students did not do as well on spreadsheet questions as the other areas. The students performed the best on questions related to multimedia/presentations and telecommunications/Internet, getting over half of the questions correct in these two area.
The 2007 STNA survey results is available to help school-level decision making about technology uses for teaching and learning from the data collected. After reviewing the response percentages, this survey shows that the few teachers who are using technology are not getting recognition. It is felt that the amount of money being spent for technology is not sufficient. There is not an evaluative practice in place for tracking professional development in the area of increasing the use of technology in the classroom. Most importantly, teachers are not using the technology in place to enhance, learner-centered teaching strategies. In fact, the data shows that students in the classroom are not using the same tools that professional researchers use. It seems that the survey shows that the school is falling short of having students actively using technology in the classroom for learning and evaluating, but the technology in place is being used for communication, record keeping, and teacher/staff administrative working.
2007 End of Year working conditions survey Teacher Working Conditions Survey
It would be important to interview various teachers through ECU Elementary in order to gain an
understanding of the technology needs and challenges they are facing. From this interview group the
Technology Team discovered:
There is a huge gap between the knowledge base of the teachers. Some have no technology experience and in fact, feel lost, while others are quite proficient. Some are podcasing, creating webpages, and striving to integrate technology into their own curriculums while others are avoiding the use of technology altogether.
It is important that professional development is provided that is designed to address these different levels of need.
Teachers Selected for Interview:
5th Grade – Teacher. Recently participated in QTL and is trying to learn more about integrating technology into her classroom. Represents those who are eager to learn, but don’t know much about using technology in the classroom.
4th Grade – Teacher. Recently won a grant for IPODs to use for podcasting and e-books. Represents those who use technology with every lesson to improve student learning and 21st century skills.
3rd Grade – Teacher. Is afraid of technology. She uses the computer only to record grades, send email, and keep her web page current, which she has been trained in thoroughly. To represent teachers who want easy and reliable technology.
2nd Grade – Teacher. Tries to use technology as a reading center by using software programs on the computer. Otherwise, she uses the computer only for record keeping and administrative duties. To represent teachers that use technology with students to review concepts taught, but don’t incorporate it into the lessons/instruction.
1st Grade – Teacher. Has difficulty keeping her web page current and often forgets her own passwords. She avoids the computer. Represents the teachers lost when it comes to technology.
Kindergarten – Teacher. Is comfortable with creating web pages and using programs for teacher directed needs. Doesn’t have comfort with letting her young, kindergarteners using the computer. Represents the teachers of very young children that have difficulty logging-in to the computer.
Students with special needs require technological resources that address
these needs in very specific ways and are normally documented in their
IEPs. Since assistive technology is very specialized, it would be extremely
important to include the IEP Team in the interview process.
An interview of this type would provide the following:
Opportunities for Specialized Training
1. ESL Teacher. To represent the special needs of diverse learners. She could help to identify technology tools that will help with translation to provide better communication with parents. She has little experience with integrating technology in the classroom, but she uses translation programs frequently for newsletters.
2. LEA and EC Teacher. To represent the special needs of students with disabilities. She could help identify technology tools that will help students with physical and learning disabilities. She has a lot of experience with integrating technology and would like to write a grant for some peripherals that would help disabled students communicate through the computer.
The PTA President would be able to provide information related to expectations from involved parents and teachers. In addition, the PTA can be a source of funding so it would important to include information from the President in the overall interview process.
The president uses the auditorium to conduct meetings and will need access to budget graphs and spreadsheets to project for the parents and teachers in attendance. The president would also be able to discuss the maintenance of a web page to encourage community involvement in fundraising efforts (that would benefit the increase in technology tools).
The results of the recommendations for our technology plan will be sent to the school (principle to share with staff) and the county office (superintendent and county technology coordinator). We will request feedback.
When all feedback is received, the Technology Planning Team will review it and make changes as needed. A committee consisting of the principal, six teachers (one from each grade level), the PTA president, and two representatives from the county office will review and fine tune the revisions. The finalized report will be sent to the Board of Education for review and approval.
Technology workshops will be designed to help teachers improve their computer skills and develop lesson plans that use technology. Teachers will be required to take at least 1 skills workshop and 1 curriculum development workshop.
New equipment will be purchased to provide at least 2 multi-media carts per grade level. The carts will have grade appropriate equipment.
Professional Development funds will be set aside for at least 2 teachers per grade level per year for the next 3 years to spend a day participating in a collaborative activity. This activity could be visiting another classroom in another school, or planning with a colleague.
One new computer lab with 30 computers and a color laser printer will be added to provide students with more access opportunity.
The following recommendations will help address the issues raised in the focus group forums: