Educational Technology Plan


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Educational Technology Plan

  1. 1. Technology Plan College of Education University of Illinois – Chicago COE Educational Technology Committee INTRODUCTION PREFACE: A technology plan is a tool to help members of a community envision the future, dialogue with one another about how technology fits into that future, and guide the process for realizing the future of technology in the college. The purpose of this College of Education (COE) Technology Plan is to describe how technology operates within our community. The foci of this plan centers on providing a supportive and nurturing environment that facilitates the reshaping of what and how students learn; the way faculty think about teaching, learning, and organizing the classroom; and, the methods by which all members of the COE community interact with one another and undertake their work. This plan will unfold over the course of three years. Some of the objectives we are already meeting, some we are working toward, and many will be addressed in the future. This document is a dynamic working draft of a technology plan that will be revisited, updated, and changed as necessary each year. The College Technology Committee will review this plan annually and communicate its contents to the entire College faculty and staff. COLLEGE OF EDUCATION MISSION: The College of Education is dedicated to fulfilling the distinctive promise of an urban land grant, Research I university. We are committed to leadership in advancing education that promotes the well-being of diverse communities in local and global urban environments. We are dedicated to advancing scholarship through the dynamic interaction of teaching, research, and service in partnership with our community. The technological environment should assist students, faculty, and staff in the completion of this mission. In addition, technology should aid college professionals in administrative functions. We recognize that faculty and students develop technology skills, pedagogical attitudes, and behaviors at different rates, and not all choose to change their attitudes and behaviors beyond using the technology to strengthen and enrich traditional curriculum and instructional methods. However, there is a continual need for professional development as a successful faculty/staff member is one who remains current in the tools, strategies, and issues of their field. Classrooms and other learning spaces should be equipped with technology in an educationally appropriate manner. Course syllabi should reflect objectives that involve the appropriate use of technology. COE EDTECH HISTORY: In 1996, the Instructional Space Committee used a variety of data sources to assess how instructional space was currently being used and to make recommendations for the future. Included in the data sources were an instructional space survey distributed to all faculty (and responded to by 18), as well as information on usage patterns in the ETL. The following findings are pertinent to an understanding of the growth of instructional technology within the college. Faculty were using a variety of equipment in their teaching. At the time, 33% were using e-mail, 22% browsed the web to find resources, 17% were using other internet resources, and 44% were using bibliographic searches. In terms of future desires, 17% of faculty who responded to the survey were interested in incorporating multimedia in their classes, 22% expressed interest in using “Smart” classrooms, and 39% wanted to use computer/projection systems. 1
  2. 2. At the time of the survey, the ETL held 32 desktop computers consisting of 24 Macintosh and 8 PC systems. The lab was used mostly for student work rather than instruction. 33% of faculty respondents requested extending lab hours for student work. In terms of future suggestions, a number of survey participants reported that they “wish to see the ETL developed into a state-of-the art instructional and multimedia lab and a space where teachers, student teachers, faculty and COE staff can learn to use technology at various levels”. Since the 1996 priority setting process, the COE has made a concerted effort to boost the presence of technology both in infrastructure and instruction. The major push in this direction is in part due to the new ISBE standards, requiring that technology be a part of the teacher education curriculum and faculty qualifications. Below are a few of the upgrades that the COE has undertaken. In 1999, two full time instructional technology faculty were hired to integrate educational technology into the curriculum. These faculty members have taught stand alone courses in educational technology, worked with college faculty to integrate technology within their courses, and offered a series of faculty development workshops. The Dean and the Academic Council approved every request for new faculty computers, printers, peripherals and software in 1999 and 2000. The College participates fully in the University’s Faculty Computing Initiative to fund the upgrade of 1/3 of tenure and tenure line faculty computers each year. In 2000, the ETL underwent a substantial equipment overhaul. The platform balance of the computers shifted from Macintosh to PC. While still maintaining 8 Macintosh G3 machines, the lab now houses 24 Pentium2 PCs with flat top student stations. The shift from Macintosh to PC reflects the CPSs decision to make the shift. In addition to the student workstations, there are also two multimedia development stations, one Macintosh and one PC based. These stations are connected to several peripheral devices including scanners, VCRs and sound capturing devices. While future renovations are scheduled, the 2000 update of the ETL made it a much more friendly and inviting teaching environment. In addition to the ETL renovations, two new infrastructure resources were developed over the 2000-2001 academic year. Funded by CETL, faculty have set up a curriculum software lending library. The library has over 150 titles that span age levels and topic areas. Library holdings are available for loan to all UIC teacher preparation faculty and student teachers. Finally, an assistive technology laboratory was created. This lab houses both Macintosh and PC computers with software and peripherals to facilitate technology use for individuals with disabilities. In the fall of 2000, a revised faculty survey was administered. The 2000 survey differed from the 1996 survey in that it focused specifically on technology use. However, several comparisons can be drawn from survey one to survey two. A total of 40 faculty responded to the survey. When asked about technology use in their instruction, 84% of the respondents indicated they used email, 58% incorporate the WWW, 46% used other internet resources. Finally, 40% of those who answered, indicated that they incorporated content specific software into their teaching. These results indicate a marked advancement on the part of the faculty in the integration of technology into teaching. However, we are still not in compliance with the impending 2003 deadline for technology standards. In order to continue forward progress, the 2000-2001 academic year was dedicated to writing a technology plan that would allow the college of education to create a focus for future technology advancement. In response to the technology plan, over the next year, the following equipment purchases, renovations, and educational activities have been planned. The college has received the approval of the Provost to renovate its second floor classrooms to create “Smart” Classrooms. In the summer of 2001 the college will receive a portable multimedia “smart” system 2
  3. 3. called “The Nomad”. This system will enable faculty to integrate video, audio, software and internet resources within any second floor ECSW classroom. During the summer of 2001, the ETL will undergo electrical renovation to improve the operation of all systems and to facilitate equipment placement flexibility for future changes within the ETL and the adjoining classroom space. During this time period, the college will also begin to invest in wireless technologies. A wireless LAN will be piloted by various faculty members to insure the feasibility of this technology for widespread use within the college. Finally, faculty and student workshops will continue to be held over the course of the year. These workshops are designed to facilitate ISBE standards. Following small group meetings with teacher education faculty, a faculty workshop series will be designed. A series of 5 student workshops will be held each semester prior to the 2003 standards deadline. Prior to completion of their program, teacher candidates will be required to take two out of the five scheduled workshops. GOAL OF THE TECHNOLOGY PLAN The COE will provide an environment that encourages and enables faculty, students and staff to explore, experiment and experience uses of technologies for teaching, research and service. OBJECTIVE AREAS The objectives underlying this technology plan are broken into two areas: program objectives and infrastructure objectives. Program objectives set expectations to be met by all faculty, students and staff of the COE. Infrastructure objectives provide the resources needed to allow us to meet these expectations. PROGRAM OBJECTIVES COE faculty, students and staff are supported as they develop and incorporate basic as well as advanced technologies into their instruction, research and service. Objective 1. All faculty, students and staff will be proficient with basic productivity equipment. Necessary skills include: a. basic file management skills such as formatting disks, organizing and manipulating files within desktop and networked systems b. proper use of word processing programs to compose, modify, save and print files c. data management software packages(e.g., spreadsheets, data analysis software) d. Basic trouble shooting procedures e. Transmission of information electronically from one location to another Rationale: In a ubiquitous computing environment, these tools become a natural part of our everyday work lives. To achieve this objective, these skills must be mastered by all participants in the community. Timeline: This project is a current priority within the college. The training of individuals is ongoing and will continue as new productivity technologies are mainstreamed. The main service provider for this objective is the Director of the Educational Technology Lab (ETL) and the University’s Academic Computing Center (ACC). Objective 2: All faculty, instructional staff (adjuncts, field professionals), and students, including teacher education candidates, will be proficient at developing and delivering technology integrated instruction. These skills include: a. Awareness of college and university computer resources and software including sources such as the ETL, ACCC, the ITL and Classroom Services b. Use of a variety of media to enhance presentations and instructional activities. These media include graphics, video, digitized images and interactive video. 3
  4. 4. c. Selection and/or development of appropriate educational software that takes into account individual needs and learning styles. d. Evaluation and selection of hardware that supports any chosen educational software e. Use of teleconferencing and web-based course management tools (distributed technologies?) f. Integrating technologies within research- based methods of instruction Rationale: As a result of learning existing and emerging technologies for instruction, faculty, students and instructional staff will have the opportunity to continually rethink and redesign instruction that reflects the mission of the college. In this way, instructional technologies can facilitate the exchange of ideas across boundaries, promote an understanding of diversity, and contribute to the well-being of our extended community. Timeline: This objective is a current priority within the college and by its very nature is ongoing. As part of their service commitment to the college, instructional technology faculty within the COE are available to collaborate on professional and curriculum development projects. Objective 3: All faculty, instructional staff and students will be proficient at using technologies specific to their fields of specialization and professional practice in instructional environments. a. Proficiency with use of existing technologies b. Awareness of emerging technologies related to their academic fields. Rationale: Rather than generic technologies that can be applied across contexts, certain technologies are specific to particular fields of study and professional practices. For example, an educator who specializes in science uses temperature probes within environmental studies. An educational policy analyst uses graphical database software to assess a geographical area under study. Professionals within these fields require support to use these technologies, to develop new applications, and to explore emerging technologies. Timeline: Ongoing. The main service providers for this objective are the Director of the Educational Technology Lab (ETL), the University’s Academic Computing Center (ACC), and instructional technology faculty. Objective 4: All faculty, staff, administrators and students will be able to interact within a paperless environment. a. Using e-mail, network file sharing, and the world wide web for inter/intra college communication for memos, announcements and administrative paperwork. b. The use of a standard database for college record keeping that can be manipulated in a variety of ways by a variety of programs. c. Any standard forms in the college (travel, purchasing, room reservations, equipment requests) should be accessible and submittable via the world wide web. d. Faculty to student and student to student interactions will have the potential to be heightened through private email, listservs, and web-based course management tools Rationale: enabling both intranet and internet file sharing will establish a closer community of practitioners within the college of education as well as reduce the amount of time and effort needed to locate, share and transfer information. Timeline: Starting 2000 ending 2002. Responsibilities: Director of educational technology will be responsible for developing and maintaining the intranet, and training all faculty, staff and students to utilize it. We’re seeking the establishment of a new committee to explore an administrative database application for the standardization of all current college databases. Objective 5: All faculty, students and staff will have the skills necessary to analyze and manage data within their area of expertise necessary for professional research responsibilities. Necessary skills include: 4
  5. 5. a. The acquisition of information from library databases, online database resources, and other forms of electronic data storage. b. The use of appropriate data analysis software packages (qualitative and quantitative research tools or spreadsheet packages. c. Developing and using of graphical representations of data. Rationale: The academic environment requires individuals at all levels to collect, manipulate and disseminate data, respective to their job expectations. The college of education seeks to make sure that the tools and skills necessary to accomplish this will be made available. Timeline: Ongoing. Appropriate personnel to facilitate this objective are and will continue to be identified to run workshops and individual help as necessary. Objective 6: The College of Education will strive to maintain partnerships with Chicago Public Schools so that all preservice and inservice certification degree students will learn best practice for integrating technology within K-12 classrooms. a. Through networking activities, certification program faculty will increase the number of mentor teachers who have expertise integrating technology within the curriculum b. Through networking activities, certification program faculty will increase the number of mentor teachers who are actively interested in learning more about integrating technology within the curriculum c. Through collaboration, UIC faculty and mentor teachers will create assignments and assessments that require students to integrate technology within their practicum experiences. Rationale: In addition to developing basic technological literacy, COE students must also learn how to use a variety of technologies in the context of teaching and learning. To develop this ability, students must practice using multimedia and telecommunications technologies in their practicum contexts. Timeline: All students will integrate technology within their practicum settings beginning in the fall of 2001. Objective 7: Ethical and legal issues related to the development and use of information technology will be addressed. a. Knowledge of software copyright laws b. Knowledge of UIC’s Acceptable Use Policy for electronic communications c. Knowledge of intellectual property rights and issues of copyright for web procured information d. Knowledge of and compliance with ADA regulations for equity and access to technology resources for persons with disabilities. Rationale: Although computers have brought new opportunities they have also provided society with an increased number of problems. It is important that faculty are sensitive to these issues and understand how to act appropriately and understand the consequences for not doing so. Timeline: Ongoing. The COE Technology Committee along with the COE Executive Council will collaborate with the IPAC to ensure that the appropriate information is distributed to the COE community. 5
  6. 6. INFRASTRUCTURE OBJECTIVES Based upon these program objectives, it is imperative that a functional equipment and human resource infrastructure be created and maintained. EQUIPMENT: Objective 1: All full-time faculty and staff will have access to basic technologies. These technologies include: a. a desktop workstation possessing at least the university minimum standard configuration and consisting of a desktop computer and printer that is networked (i.e. local-area, university- wide, and Internet). b. access to a copy machine, advanced telephone system with voice mail, access to fax machines and devices for scanning documents and images. c. access to contemporary data acquisition, storage and viewing devices as well as associated hardware and software for using this equipment. Rationale: A number of basic technologies have unambiguous usefulness for research, teaching, service, and administration. Easy access to these technologies can improve the quality and efficiency of the College workplace. Time Line: This project will be ongoing. COE administration will work with technology staff to ensure appropriate access to technologies. Objective 2. Faculty, staff, and students will have access to a range of basic software programs, including the following: a. operating system software b. word processing software c. database software d. spreadsheet software e. presentation software f. graphics software g. network software h. multimedia, hypermedia, and authoring software i. statistical analysis software Rationale: Hardware is essentially useless if appropriate software and other forms of prepared media are unavailable. Timeline: Ongoing. COE faculty and adjuncts will communicate needs to the Director of the ETL, who will put requests in through Academic Council. Objective 3. Establish a series of procedures for use of technology within the college. a. Lab reservation procedure b. Equipment checkout procedure for both internal and external college purposes c. Procedure for reporting broken equipment d. Procedure and priority protocol for damaged equipment e. Protocol for replacing equipment f. Procedure for sending equipment to surplus g. Procedures for the development of electronic communication tools (i.e., webpages, listservs, etc.) h. Developing a system for maintaining and communicating COE technology inventory. Rationale: In order for technology to become a ubiquitous feature of the college, members of the college community need to understand how to access the technology, how to request service, and how to receive technology support. 6
  7. 7. Timeline: The COE Educational Technology Committee has earmarked this objective for immediate action. A task force led by Ernesto Reyna and Celina Sima are working during Summer 2001 to write draft procedures. This draft will be reviewed by the Educational Technology Committee in Fall of 2001. Objective 4. Hardware and software used for teaching, research, service and college support staff will be updated on a regular basis. a. A database of all existing equipment will be developed and maintained b. A survey of faculty and staff software needs will be implemented. c. A three year equipment turnover schedule will be developed and maintained. This schedule will replace one third of all college equipment on an annual basis. d. All software purchases within the college will be coordinated. Site licences and lab packs will be purchased rather than individual copies where possible. Rationale: New technology is developed and existing technologies are being improved at a rapid pace. Even dominant technologies can become obsolete in as little as six months. In order to stay current with these changes, we need to know the status of our current technology holdings. In addition coordination of software will standardize software across the college, lessen the expense of individual licenses and facilitate any upgrades needed. Timeline: The database of all current hardware in faculty and staff offices is being compiled by the Director of Educational Technology. Based on the information in this database, a schedule of equipment purchases will be made to achieve the three year turn over cycle. Purchase recommendations will be made to administration by January of 2001. A faculty survey of computer and software use will be distributed in the fall of 2000. Data from this survey will be used to determine the needs of faculty, staff and students with respect to software. All software will be purchased as site licenses or lab packs where possible and maintained by the Director of Educational Technology. This project is currently underway and will be ongoing. Objective 5. The College will provide security to prevent the loss of, and ensure uninterrupted access to, all technologies, including reliable, effective protection against the following: a. physical theft of equipment b. damage to equipment by electrical surges c. infection by computer viruses d. intentional or unintentional erasure or corruption of data Rationale: Given the high costs associated with the purchase and maintenance of many technologies as well as the necessity of maintaining continuous operational usage, ensuring the security of technology is critically important. Timeline: ongoing. These duties are currently under the direction of the Director of the ETL. FACILITIES OBJECTIVES Objective 1: Continued renovation of the Educational Technology Lab to meet COE needs: a. Additional workspace will be added from a neighboring classroom b. Instructional space will be increased through the creation of additional collaborative workstation “pods”. c. An enclosed repair center will facilitate the timely upkeep of College systems and ensure that instructional space will not be hampered. d. Storage space will ensure that instructional space remains free of clutter. 7
  8. 8. Rationale: As the demands for laboratory use increase, the COE must keep pace. The added space will allow more than one class to use the facility at one time, create desperately needed storage and place sensitive computers (servers…) in a more secure area. Objective 2: Renovation of current instructional spaces on the second floor of ECSW into SMART Classrooms . Each of the rooms will have access to the following technologies: a. traditional media such as overhead projectors, audio-tape machines, video-tape machines, slide projectors b. networked computer workstations c. world wide web access d. hardware for projection from computer output e. appropriate lighting and audio systems Rationale: All learning environments should promote the active construction of knowledge by providing teachers and students with the ability to use a range of effective learning technologies. Technology per se should not drive instruction, but appropriate technologies should be available for use in enriching the instructional process. Timeline: Four rooms by 2003 HUMAN RESOURCES Objective 1. The College will provide trained support personnel on site. Specifically, these personnel include: a. Assistant/Associate Dean of Technology and Learning Resources b. Director/Manager of the Educational Technology Lab c. Coordinator of Electronic Communication: Webmaster and Network Support d. Graduate Assistants e. Instructional Technology Faculty f. Instructional Development Specialist (multimedia development for faculty) Rationale: Increased use of advanced technology throughout the College necessitates an increased amount of support to install, maintain, repair, and provide assistance with such technology. A Director of Educational Technology is required to provide leadership in the purchasing, configuring, network administering, and continuing maintenance of technology utilized for instructional purposes. A lab manager is needed to oversee the day- to -day operation of the ETL and manage graduate student staff. The Coordinator of Electronic Communication and the Instructional Development Specialist will facilitate faculty’s development and integration of technology within their teaching, research and service activities. In addition, the growing burden of programs meeting state standards greatly increases the number of students needing classes dealing with the integration of technology. As such additional instructional technology faculty are needed to accommodate these increasing demands. Timeline: We currently have some human resource infrastructure in the COE. Continued efforts to increase this infrastructure will be an ongoing process. Objective 2. Provide faculty, staff, and students with adequate opportunities to gain or update new technology skills and knowledge. a. instructional classes and workshops for students that will provide basic skills in computer use, word processing, multimedia, distributed learning, and electronic mail b. release time, re-assigned work loads and/or the provision of summer salary to compensate faculty and staff for their efforts to enhance technology-related skills 8
  9. 9. Rationale: As a result of rapid advances and changes in technology, frequent continuing education opportunities are needed if the College is to maintain a leadership role in the educational community. Timeline: Ongoing FUNDING: Objective 1: Provide a steady stream of funding to ensure that the objectives of this technology plan are met. a. A recurring budget will be established to create a mini-grant program for faculty wishing to develop innovative teaching, scholarship and service practices that integrate existing and emerging technologies. b. Sources will be identified and solicited to ensure funding for equipment upgrade and maintenance. c. Grants will be sought to facilitate program reform activities that focus in technology integration. Rationale: In order to achieve their technology objectives, faculty must receive incentives to support reform efforts. In addition, the growing cost of technology and the rapid pace of change make it necessary to seek funding in addition to line item COE budget dollars. Decisions about allocation of resources will be made in an objective, fair, inclusive, and equitable manner. Timeline: Ongoing 9