As students are changing, so are their expectations for school. Findings show that “digital natives” desire more technology integration. They are already equipped with the experience of using technology to complete daily tasks and communicate with their family and friends. Today’s learners want teachers to use online tools to teach concepts in relevant and compelling ways. Students expect schools to provide quality access to online resources and to place a priority on developing programs that teach keyboarding, computer, and internet literacy skills.
The world in which students are being prepared for is continuously changing and growing. Today’s educators are preparing students for jobs that do not yet exist. Therefore, there are certain skills that students must learn that will transcend across the global job market. Marc Prensky has identified 5 Essential 21 st Century Skills to help students be successful. And according to Prensky being successful means being able to follow one’s passions or as far as one’s abilities allow. The first skill is knowing the right thing to do. This includes the student being able to behave ethically, think critically, set goals, have good judgment, and make good decisions. The second is getting it done. This includes the student being able to plan, solve problems, self-direct, and self-assess. The third is doing it with others. This includes the student being able to take leadership, communicate and interact with individuals and groups (especially using technology), communicate and interact with machines, a world audience, and across cultures. The fourth is doing it creatively. This means the student is able to adapt, think creatively, design, play, and find his or her voice. And the last is constantly doing it better. This includes the student being able to reflect, be proactive, take risks, think long term, and continually improve through learning.
There is a shift currently taking place in the American education system from the 20 th century school system to a 21 st century school system. The common theme found in the 21 st century school system is centered on the student and creating an active and engaging learning environment that is relevant to the student and his or her needs. The slide pictured shows the key differences between the two.
The National Education Technology Plan is a 5 year action plan to improve the American education system. The plan focuses on 5 categories: assessment, infrastructure, learning, productivity, and teaching. Assessment continues to emphasize the use of standards assessment to collect data and drive the decision making process. However, the NETP emphasizes the importance of ongoing and formative assessments using interactive tools such as student response systems to measure and plan for student learning and improvement. Infrastructure focuses on bring the adequate technology access to every student and teacher 24/7. This includes bandwidth, internet devices, and affordable open resources and cloud 2.0 applications. Learning emphasizes the learning process through active and engaging, student centered & controlled activities. The student is at the center of the learning process and is supported by teachers, parents, mentors, peers, and technology based supports. Game-based learning is emphasized as well as individualized and customized learning based on a student’s pacing and learning needs. Productivity is compared to the productivity of businesses. The plan calls for a redesign and transformation of the education system through rethinking learning, assessment, teaching process, as well as the infrastructure and operational & financial sides of running schools. Teaching emphasizes the goal for connecting teachers to data and resources that can inspire effective teaching for all learners. This includes expanding access to online instructional materials, using social networking to build collaborative communities, and improve teacher preparation in the area of technology integration.
The SAISD Technology Plan was developed based on the identified needs of the district. The district used various assessments to gather data. These assessments include…
Based on the assessments, several needs were identified. These include additional technical support staff, capable of supporting, maintaining, and troubleshooting again equipment; additional courses in the Technology Applications department at all secondary campuses; vertical alignment of the technology TEKS; an assessment instrument monitoring campus administrator’s support and use of technology is needed in order to see how administrators meet the new 2009 ISTE NETS for Administrators; more awareness of internet safety monitoring needs and Internet safety curriculum; parent workshops on internet safety and cyber bullying, more awareness of student created projects at campuses, awareness of internet safety monitoring at campuses; professional development is needed to train teachers and administrators on web 2.0 and 21 st century skills in order to enhance technology proficiency and productivity skills, continued need for online staff development; new and updated computer hardware is needed on campuses in order to ensure the integration of technology (over 49% are over five years old and are still in use even though they are considered obsolete; additional workstations to support curriculum and online testing are needed in the classrooms, maintaining ongoing repairs as needed on existing equipment, a laptop/netbook for every teacher; and greater bandwidth is needed to ensure campuses are able to access digital curriculum programs and streaming video.
Improvements that can be made to the SAISD Technology Plan includes updating the district’s data management system to allow parental access to student information such as grades, attendance, discipline, and teacher communication. Teacher access to an effective data management system is also needed to manage and track student progress efficiently so it can be used as an ongoing assessment tool to improve student learning. Focus on funding should also be added. By offering professional development to teachers in grant writing, teachers will be better equipped to locate possible grants and donation sources to help fund technology equipment in the classroom. Also, it is vital that the district seriously tackles the problem that not all families have access to technology. Whether it means adjusting school hours to allow families access to the internet or building partnerships with local businesses to allow computer use for school families, this is an issue that needs to be addressed on the technology plan.
SAISD Technology Plan Sonya Ortiz Castro Lamar University
A New StudentAccording to Mark Prensky (2001), today’s students, as he refers to as “digital natives”, are not the same students our educational system was designed to teach.Digital natives… • have grown up surrounded by technology • desire instant access & gratification • have multi-tasking abilities • are visual learners • are “networked”
New Expectations Findings show that students desire more technology integration from schools (Levin & Arefeh, 2002) such as…use of online quality accesstools to teach to online concepts resourcesrelevant and prioritizing compelling Internet online literacy andassignments computer skills
New Skills According to Marc Prensky (2009),there are 5 Essential 21st Century Skills students must master in order to be successful. These include: • Knowing the right thing to do •Getting it done •Doing it with others •Doing it creatively •Constantly doing it better
Old School VS. New School 20th Century 21st Century Time-Based Outcome-Based Textbook-Driven Research-Driven Passive Learning Active Learning Teacher-Centered Student-CenteredFragmented Curriculum Integrated Curriculum Printed Assessments Multiple Forms of Assess. Print Multimedia Isolation Collaboration Facts & Memorization Higher-Order Thinking 21st Century Schools, 2010
Federal Vision National EducationTechnology Plan, 2010 • Assessment • Infrastructure • Learning • Productivity • Teaching
State Vision Long Range Plan forTechnology, 2006 - 2020• Teaching and Learning• Educator Preparation and Development• Leadership, Administration and Instructional Support• Infrastructure for Technology
SAISD’s Vision Goal 1: Improve technology integration in teaching and learning. Goal 2: Ensure that educator preparation and development is ongoing. Goal 3: Administrators, teachers, and support staff will use technology to enhance productivity. Goal 4: Maintain and update a strong technology infrastructure. Goal 5: Provide management, service, and support.TEA’s Texas e-Plan for SAISD, 2010
Where is SAISD?• SAISD Campus Technology Representative Survey• SAISD Administrator Technology Self-Assessment Survey• SAISD Texas Teacher and Campus STaR Chart Results• SAISD LOTI (Level of Teaching Innovation) Outcomes• SAISD 8th Grade Technology Assessment Results
Identified Needs Staff DevelopmentTechnology Courses Community/ParentLeadership ComputersHardware Bandwidth Technical Support Internet Safety Vertical Alignment of TEKS
Improvements• Data Management System • Parent Access • Teacher Access• Funding • Grants• Family Internet Access
References21st Century Schools. (2010). What is a 21st century education? 21st Centuryschools.com. Retrieved from http://www.21stcenturyschools.com/What_is_21st_Century _Education.htmLevin, D. & Arafeh, S. (2002). The digital disconnect. The widening gap between internet-savvy students and their schools. Pew Internet and Life Project. Retrieved from http://pewinternet.org/~/media/Files/Reports/2002/PIP_Sch ools_Internet_Report.pdf.pdf.Orba Squara. (2009). Perfect timing (this morning). On Sunshyness [CD]. Universal.Prensky, M., (2001). Digital native, digital immigrants. On the Horizon. 9 (5), 1-6.
ReferencesPrensky, M., (2009). Marc Prensky’s Essential 21st Century Skills. Retrieved from http://www.rickmull.com/resources/ Digital-Class/Essential-21stCenturySkills.pdfTexas Education Agency. (2006). Long-range plan for technology, 2006-2020. Retrieved from http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx? id=5082&menu_id=2147483665Texas Education Agency. (2010). San Antonio Independent School District Texas e-Plan. Retrieved from https://www.sedl.org/cgibin/mysql/eplan/eplan.cgiU.S. Department of Education. (November 2010). Transforming American education learning powered by technology. Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov/sites/default/files/netp2010.pdf