Listening to Administrators: Learning about AT decisions and priorities

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This presentation demonstrates a research to practice activity undertaken by the National Center for Technology Innovation in collaboration with an industry leader. This activity explores and addresses administrators’ needs related to assistive technology purchases, infrastructure, and integration with instructional technology plans and federal regulations such as IDEA and NCLB.

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  • 1. What are your top 3 to 5 greatest needs today? 2. How do you think your superior would define their top 3 to 5 greatest needs today? 3. Why are these identified needs of such great importance? 4. Have these needs shifted over the last 3 to 5 years?
  • Our Center’s collaborator, AbleNet, made a commitment to talk to an array of administrators, including superintendents, special education directors, and principals about their needs and concerns when acquiring assistive and learning technologies. They began this process by visiting and calling administrators in moderate to large districts throughout the country, and engaged them in semi-structured discussion sessions. Since 2006, AbleNet representatives have spoken with over 50 administrators, and have made this information available to NCTI for analysis. NCTI analyzed discussion notes and interviewed AbleNet representatives about their discussions. Based on this information, a list of five themes emerged, which serve as the foundation for practical solutions to guide administrators and industry leaders through this process. However, as with any field, we expect trends to shift. Some of the pressing topics today may be replaced by others a year from now, while others will likely remain relevant. With this said, NCTI views this as a process that must be ongoing in order to meet the ever-changing needs of our stakeholders. Grounding the findings in the voices of practitioners is an important element in bridging research to practice as practitioners find the experience of their peers accessible and credible. NCTI has been able to analyze this rich and descriptive qualitative data collected as interviews with administrators, in order to couple the findings with practical solutions. NCTI has engaged its stakeholders in webinars, online discussions, and conference presentations around these findings and solutions. This online and in person dissemination strategy will be discussed as a model for technical assistance and research to practice dissemination.
  • principals (5), superintendents (5), curriculum directors (5), special education directors (15), state level AT leaders (3) and program directors (7).
  • From a Superintendent: “Data is a challenge: what is it telling me? How does it inform me? How can I make corrections earlier in the school year?” From a statewide AT Director: “Helping teachers become better teachers is critical and hard to maintain with turnover in teaching staff.” From a Special Ed Director: “[I] am increasingly concerned with how the special education students are meeting general education requirements…” From a Building Principal: “ [I] look for evidence of wait time that paraprofessionals are using, how many children are involved in activities, etc.”
  • Listening to Administrators: Learning about AT decisions and priorities

    1. 1. Listening to Administrators: Learning about AT decisions and priorities ATIA Conference, 1/31/09 S1706 – Boca IV National Center for Technology Innovation Cynthia Overton Ph.D. www.NationalTechCenter.org
    2. 2. NCTI: Fostering Collaboration <ul><li>NCTI seeks to broaden and enrich the field by providing resources and promoting partnerships for the development of tools and applications by developers, manufacturers, producers, publishers and researchers. </li></ul><ul><li>Objectives: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To cultivate a collaborative network </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To promote innovative products that reach the marketplace </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To analyze needs, issues, trends, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>promising technology innovation and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>transfer approaches </li></ul></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    3. 3. AbleNet, Inc. <ul><li>AbleNet provides solutions for classrooms and districts that help students with severe/profound to moderate disabilities achieve. Solutions : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>K-12 curriculums that have evidence based research to support implementation and progress monitoring </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assistive technology that allows all students to participate in aligned curricular instruction and daily school activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional development supports that help create successful and engaging classroom experiences </li></ul></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    4. 4. http://www.ablenetinc.com/
    5. 5. <ul><li>Insert AbleNet Slide here </li></ul>
    6. 6. Collaborative Research to Practice www.NationalTechCenter.org
    7. 7. Listening to Administrators <ul><li>AbleNet leaders listened to over 50 administrators from various positions </li></ul><ul><li>Listened for priorities regarding assuring improvement for students with severe and moderate disabilities and acquiring assistive and learning technologies </li></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    8. 8. Approach and Findings <ul><li>NCTI analyzed interview data to identify common themes and concerns </li></ul><ul><li>NCTI produced recommendations to inform decisions by </li></ul><ul><ul><li>industry leaders (marketing) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>administrators (purchasing) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>consumers </li></ul></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    9. 9. Outreach and Products from the Collaboration <ul><li>Consumer Guides – Practical guide to inform education administrators’ decision making process; Inform vendors on administrators’ key concerns and vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>Webinars – Disseminate information and engage in further discussion with vendors and administrators </li></ul><ul><li>ATOB Article – “Understanding Consumer Needs through Market Research” describes this market research collaboration </li></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    10. 10. AbleNet asked: What keeps you up at night? www.NationalTechCenter.org
    11. 11. District Superintendents Answered: <ul><li>Student progress (AYP) </li></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    12. 12. District Superintendents Answered <ul><li>Student progress (AYP) </li></ul><ul><li>Student safety </li></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    13. 13. District Superintendents Answered <ul><li>Student progress (AYP) </li></ul><ul><li>Student safety </li></ul><ul><li>Special education </li></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    14. 14. District Superintendents Answered <ul><li>Student progress (AYP) </li></ul><ul><li>Student safety </li></ul><ul><li>Special education </li></ul><ul><li>Facilities (budget, maintenance, adequacy) </li></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    15. 15. District Superintendents Answered <ul><li>Student progress (AYP) </li></ul><ul><li>Student safety </li></ul><ul><li>Special education </li></ul><ul><li>Facilities (budget, maintenance, adequacy) </li></ul><ul><li>Language minority students </li></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    16. 16. Special Education Directors Answered <ul><li>Special education students’ progress (AYP) </li></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    17. 17. Special Education Directors Answered <ul><li>Special education students’ progress (AYP) </li></ul><ul><li>Trend toward more involved needs (rise in autism, health needs) </li></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    18. 18. Special Education Directors Answered <ul><li>Special education students’ progress (AYP) </li></ul><ul><li>Trend toward more involved needs (rise in autism, health needs) </li></ul><ul><li>IDEA regulations and budgets: AT, IEP compliance, What’s the budget? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The biggest disappointment is investment in AT that never gets used.” </li></ul></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    19. 19. Special Education Directors Answered <ul><li>Special education students’ progress (AYP) </li></ul><ul><li>Trend toward more involved needs (rise in autism, health needs) </li></ul><ul><li>IDEA regulations and budgets: AT, IEP compliance, What’s the budget? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The biggest disappointment is investment in AT that never gets used.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Facilities (budget, maintenance, </li></ul><ul><li>adequacy) </li></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    20. 20. Special Education Directors Answered <ul><li>AYP (by special education students) </li></ul><ul><li>Trend toward more involved needs (rise in autism, health needs) </li></ul><ul><li>IDEA regulations and budgets: AT, IEP compliance, What’s the budget? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The biggest disappointment is investment in AT that never gets used.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Facilities (budget, maintenance, </li></ul><ul><li>adequacy) </li></ul><ul><li>RTI – what will it mean for training and </li></ul><ul><li>systems already in place </li></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    21. 21. State AT Coordinators Answered <ul><li>Deep utilization of technology </li></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    22. 22. State AT Coordinators Answered <ul><li>Deep utilization of technology </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration in schools and communities </li></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    23. 23. State AT Coordinators Answered <ul><li>Deep utilization of technology </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration in schools and communities </li></ul><ul><li>Access to and mastery of general curriculum and standards </li></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    24. 24. State AT Coordinators Answered <ul><li>Deep utilization of technology </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration in schools and communities </li></ul><ul><li>Access to and mastery of general curriculum and standards </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher turnover and continued training needs </li></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    25. 25. State AT Coordinators Answered <ul><li>Deep utilization of technology </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration in schools and communities </li></ul><ul><li>Access to and mastery of general curriculum and standards </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher turnover and continued training needs </li></ul><ul><li>Getting data that can inform decision making </li></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    26. 26. Overlapping Concerns Different Perspectives www.NationalTechCenter.org
    27. 27. Overlapping Concerns AYP Facilities Special education Data www.NationalTechCenter.org
    28. 28. Different Perspectives <ul><li>People in different positions had different perspectives on the issues, in an increasingly granular focus. </li></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    29. 29. Different Perspectives <ul><li>From a Superintendent: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Data is a challenge: what is it telling me? How does it inform me? How can I make corrections earlier in the school year?” </li></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    30. 30. Different Perspectives <ul><li>From a Statewide AT Director: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Helping teachers become better teachers is critical and hard to maintain with turnover in teaching staff.” </li></ul></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    31. 31. Different Perspectives <ul><li>From a Special Education Director </li></ul><ul><li>“ [I] am increasingly concerned with how the special education students are meeting general education requirements…” </li></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    32. 32. Different Perspectives <ul><li>From a building Principal </li></ul><ul><li>“ [I] look for evidence of wait time that paraprofessionals are using, how many children are involved in activities, etc.” </li></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    33. 33. Recurring Critical Questions <ul><li>How should purchasers make decisions? </li></ul><ul><li>How can researchers, industry leaders, administrators, teachers and parents contribute to the knowledge base? </li></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    34. 34. Recurring Critical Questions <ul><li>How to inform decision making: </li></ul><ul><li>Need more data on student achievement with technology options </li></ul><ul><li>Need to demonstrate increased effectiveness when technology is well-integrated </li></ul><ul><li>Need to educate stakeholders about the levels of evidence required to support claims and purchases </li></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    35. 35. Consumer Guide Get it @ www.TechMatrix.org <ul><li>School Administrators </li></ul><ul><li>Ed Tech Vendors </li></ul>www.NationalTechCenter.org
    36. 36. Questions? Thoughts? Contact us at [email_address]

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