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Action Plan, week 4

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  1. 1. Week 4 Assignment, Part 1: Development of an organization chart integrating technology <br />Using the campus and district improvement plans, and any suggested technology improvements, develop an organization chart that includes the following:<br /><ul><li>Identify by title or job description all personnel/stakeholders responsible for integrating technology and instructional and organization leadership from the district office to the campus and classroom;
  2. 2. Provide a brief description of the role and responsibilities of all identified personnel in your organizational chart;
  3. 3. Discuss the role of the principal in making sure the organizational chart is implemented and monitored.</li></ul> <br />In order for there to be changes regarding technology in the classrooms, theese changes have to be mandated by the Board of Trustees, first and foremost. Atthe district level,The Board of Trustees is in charge of reviewing the State mandates and making decisions on how and when these mandates will be implemented in the particular district. The Board of Trustees then hands the reigns to the Superintendent whose job is to implement the “policies adopted by the Board of Trustees”. (Job Description, 2009, p 2072) In regards to technology, there are a couple of directors that report to the Superintendent, their jobs is to forsee the changes and determine what is needed in their specific area. <br />The Learning Community Director is basically the CEO for a group pf schools that fall within a specific perimeter. The Learning Community Director is aware of the needs of his/her area, as well as population and achievement trends. At the campus level, the Principals in each individual school report directly to the Learning Community Director. Principals are in charge of " ensuring compliance, within the school, of the instructional programs, school operations, and campus activities with district policies”. (Job Description, 2009, p 1775) The principals are in charge of managing all of the school’s functions while promoting, implemeting and supervising the use of more technology in the classrooms.<br />Another director, at the district level, in the hierarchy of implementation of technology would be the Enrichment Curriculum and Instruction Executive Director. His/her job is to oversee the different areas of the enrichment curriculum and report directly to the Superintendent. The Instructional Technology/Tech Apps Director reports immediately to him/her. The primary function of the Instructional Technology/Tech Apps Director is to provide Tech Apps, at the campus level, with the guidance and support to implement, manage and supervise technology equipment, software and training of teachers at the individual campuses. (J. Taylor, personal communication, December 14, 2009)<br />A third director, at the district level, would be the Informational Technology Executive Director. His/her job is to supervise current implementations of technology in the classrooms. The Informational Technology Executive Director is in charge of creating and implementing new technology plans for instruction within the district. The Informational Technology Desktop Services Manager reports to the Informational Technology Executive Director, and his/her job is to ensure adequate equipment and resources to execute the technology plans for instruction throughout the district. The Tech App at the campus level also reports to the Informational Technology Desktop Services Manager.<br />At the campus level, the teachers are trained directly by the Tech App in each campus. Although teachers might be trained by other district personnel, the Tech App is the “go-to person” at each campus regarding technology. (J. Taylor, personal communication, December 14, 2009) The Tech App is in charge of all of the technology equipment and software in each campus and is directly responsible for training or ensuring training for all teachers at that specific campus. The teachers are responsible for delivering the instruction with the use of technology as mandated by the State.<br />References<br />Dallas Independent School District. (2009). Job Descriptions [Data file]. Retrieved from <br /><br />Dallas Independent School District. (2009). Organizational Charts [Data file]. Retrieved from <br /><br />Week 4 Assignment, Part 2: Professional Development Planning<br />Using the campus and district improvement plans, and any suggested technology improvements, develop professional development activities that include the following:<br /><ul><li>Reference analysis and lessons learned about the technology needs from the Week 3 report;
  4. 4. Addresses professional development designed to improve the gathering, analysis and use of data from a variety of sources;
  5. 5. Includes professional development to improve decision making in the integration of technology with instructional and organizational leadership.
  6. 6. and</li></ul>Week 4 Assignment, Part 3: Evaluation Planning for Action Plan<br />The technology action plan integrating instructional an organizational leadership must include evaluation components that provide measurable outcomes designed to address the following:<br /><ul><li>Uses data and other analysis from the Week 3 report, including using the campus and district improvement plans, and local or state technology plans;
  7. 7. Provides assessments and/or monitoring reports measuring professional development designed to use technology to improve the gathering, analysis and use of data from a variety of sources;
  8. 8. Provides assessments and/or monitoring evaluating professional development to improve decision making in the integration of technology with instructional and organizational leadership.</li></ul>Computers and other technologies have become the main source and medium of communication. As the world is transitioning into the Digital Era, there is urgency for everyone to adapt to this paradigm shift in order to continue to be successful and useful in society. (Prensky, 2001) As educators, it is important that we accept this conversion, once and for all, because it is here to stay and our students need us to prepare them adequately to function in this new Era. Like the Industrial Era did in the past, technology is taking over all professions and reinventing them to become more efficient by accelerating processes through the use of instant communication and the digitalization of our work products. As Dr. Abernathy mentions in the discussion, education is not foreign to this conversion. (Jenkins et. al, 2009) Technology is starting to spread into every aspect of our profession starting with the way we plan and communicate with our colleagues, to the way we deliver and what is delivered in our instruction, to evaluating the impact of our instruction.<br />It is because of this change in our instruction that we need an action plan to address technology adequately and prepare us for a new way of teaching. In order to create a meaningful action plan we look at the current evaluation systems to find ways to address the areas in which we are lacking and support them with the use of more technology. By comparing the STaR Chart, which is a measure of the technological dissemination in a campus and/or district, to the AEIS report we can determine the need for technology in certain areas, or the impact it has had on the areas where it has already been implemented. With this information, we prepare the plan for the next school year addressing the areas that, according to our AYP indexes, need more focus and/or a different strategy in our Campus Improvement Plan (CIP). The CIP includes provisions for all the areas that function in a school and according to the Texas Education Code (TEC) all improvement plans need to also include “provisions for integrating technology into instructional and administrative programs.” (Texas School Performance Review, 2001) Addressing all of the areas in the National Education Technology Standards, as mentioned by Dr. Jenkins in the roundtable interview, the administration, the staff, the students and the community, and the school’s resources and infrastructure. (Jenkins et. al, 2009) They are all addressed in the CIP along with the specific content areas in order to meet and/or exceed AYP within a given timeframe so as to avoid falling behind with technology. (Texas School Performance Review, 2001)<br />When writing the CIP we look at the different measures of performance in the school. The curriculum is revised to see the areas in which the students did not perform as expected. When going over the curriculum we discuss possible causes for the results and consider how, as Cindy Cummings mentions, technology can assist in this particular area; what new technologies are available, how are they being used, what are the trends in this area, what does the research say? (Jenkins et. al, 2009) With a plan in place we begin to determine if that plan is feasible, do we have the hardware? Do we have the software? Can we buy the software? Do the teachers need training? Do we have money to cover substitutes for the teachers that go to training? etc. By comparing our STaR Chart, our AEIS and our AYP reports, Douglass’ CIP includes technology in Math, Reading, and Science, while last year’s CIP only included technology in Reading and Math. (Campus Improvement Plan, 2009) Once all the resources are worked out, teachers start to incorporate technology into their instruction. (Smith, personal communication, Dec. 4, 2009)When using technology it is a lot easier to evaluate because most of the results are saved and the data can be studied to gauge levels of progress. (Cain, personal communication, Dec. 4, 2009)<br />Douglass has been making strides in implementing the CIP this year. There is a lot more use of technology in the core areas of Math, Reading and Science. However, it is not enough. Even though some teachers have taken the torch of technology and ran with it, we are still lacking a structured implementation of this technology in our classrooms. In order to successful in our implementation of the CIP we have to:<br />Include the use of technology in our lesson plans. If we plan to use technology we can be better prepared for its use, avoid technical delays, figure out situations ahead of time and most importantly really incorporate it into our instruction, instead of using it just as an extension. It would also set as an example for the rest of our team to start implementing technology in different ways, if they are not already doing so.<br />Secure adequate training for the technology we have. Although newer teachers are excited about the use of technology and are actively implementing it as it becomes available, some of the older teachers use it very sparingly. If adequately trained they could really benefit from using technology and exploit their experience for the benefit of the class. One thing to consider while securing training is that we have to teach the teachers like we teach the students, we meet them where they are. If the teachers do not know how to perform basic computer functions we cannot be wasting time and resources on training them on a software program; they really need individually tailored staff development.<br />Secure funding for more equipment and software. One of the biggest concerns when conducting the interviews was lack of equipment. For all stakeholders, their dream campus would be one where everyone has their own computer. This is truly the vision of a dream campus because we would then secure the use of technology in all instruction. Although we have new software that can greatly benefit our students, there are not enough working systems in the lab, not to say in our classrooms, to operate this software on. Without enough equipment only a handful of students, if any, benefit from this new approach.<br />Active monitoring of the evaluation systems. Even though we receive the results of our evaluation systems periodically, most of the information is drowned in data with no clear or real connections to the campus. The administration has to actively promote the monitoring of these evaluation systems by all personnel to encourage ownership and empower staff to seek changes and improvements.<br />Designate a campus leader on technology. Even though our Tech App is very knowledgeable, she is bogged down with paperwork inventory and other duties that do not seem to promote more use of technology in instruction. The District has to provide each campus with a technology coach who is devoted to training teachers on implementation of software within their class, who is actively seeking more programs and presenting them as soon as they are available. This person would also conduct an evaluation system to gauge teacher, student and even community satisfaction with the use of technology, while also determine the needs and wants in the technology department.<br />However, in order for us to get to the implementation part, there has to be adequate training of the personnel. Teachers need to be trained in the use of technology as an aid in everyday instruction in all subjects, rather than using it to teach a specific skill on the computer with no relation to the core curriculum. By requiring certification and/or follow-up training for certification renewal on the technology standards set forth by the State, the Dallas Independent School District proposes that this shift in instruction will take about 11 more years. (Texas School Performance Review, 2001) Aside from training the staff, we also need to secure resources in order for the staff to be able to fulfill their technology standards. Hardware and software need to be in place, as well as other resources like: time and support. As stated by the Texas Long Range Technology Plan, by 2020 we hope to be completely fluent in technology use within the classroom. Adequate training in instructional technology will also cover the benefits of using technology in everyday instruction, from the ease of use, to the ease of collecting data and evaluating. <br />Securing our 2020 goal can only be achieved through constant monitoring of our current evaluation systems. The Campus Improvement Plans along with the District Improvement Plans have to reflect yearly progress in the STaR chart, to a Advanced Tech rating, which will in turn result in yearly progress on the AEIS reports to an Exemplary status. Other evaluation systems might be needed in order to rate and improve technology training, technology support, specific software usage, and individual teacher’s implementation of technology throughout the classroom. Using this information, campus level heads (the principal, assistant principal, academic coordinator and content area coaches) can determine the need for more technology in specific areas, for further training or simply gauge the impact it has had in the areas where it has already been implemented. At the district level, all of this information would be used to focus resources and eliminate overspending, as well as support the overall academic growth of all the students within the district.<br /><ul><li>References</li></ul>Campus improvement plan. (2009). 266 Douglass elementary. Dallas Independent School District: Dallas, <br />TX.<br />Jenkins, Steve, et al. Discussion: Week 3. (2009). Round table interview. Beaumont, TX.<br /><ul><li>Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants: Part 1. On the Horizon, 9(5), 1-6.</li></ul>Texas School Performance Review. (2001). Dallas Independent School District. (Chapter 9). Austin, TX.<br />