Monthly Archives: April 2013

Ed Tech 501 Technology Use Planning

Technology Use Planning Overview

My favorite quote while doing research on the topic of technology use & planning is “The curriculum must be the vehicle for technology integration. Just as reading is content-free (i.e., incorporates all subject areas), so is technology. We must weave technology into the fabric of learning.” (Earle).  To me, this sums up technology use, technology is not the end, it is the one of the means to reach the end. Technology  becomes part of the lesson, like the textbook, calculator, pencil or worksheet.

What is Technology Use Planning?  Technology use planning is the deliberate act of setting goals for a school (or business, or other organization), and determining how technology can help achieve those goals.  According to Gilbrahar, “technology planning is a major determinant of what is taught, how it is taught and which technology will be used.  As technology determines the instruction directly, the decisions about choosing appropriate technology get worthier.  By choosing the appropriate technology, teachers have opportunities to change and adapt curriculum in different ways or to improve the quality of classroom activities.”   Gilbrahar continues that Technology use planning is not about choosing the tools, but rather determining which technologies will help accomplish the educational goals.  Technology planning begins with goal setting, and then determining the needs based on the goals.  Schools need to set their goals, next develop a plan to meet those goals rather than just invest in technology for the sake of technology.  Kleiman states, “the rapid influx of technology into schools is, in many cases, running ahead of the educational vision and careful planning.”   Also, having technology will not improve learning unless schools address the need for professional development, technical support, the availability of appropriate software, classroom management, and curriculum integration. (Kleiman).

How can we use the National Education Technology Plan as a resource for technology planning?

The National Education Technology Plan calls for “revolutionary transformation” of education using technology.  The Plan lays out several areas for improvement.  These areas are: learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure, and productivity. Schools can and should use the NETP as a foundation as they develop their own technology plans. The plan recommends that states continue to set their curriculum, and update the curriculum to include 21st century skills such as s critical thinking, complex problem solving, collaboration, multimedia communication.  These skills can and should be expected learning outcomes in curriculum planning.  As part of that planning, districts must assess what technologies will help students achieve the learning outcomes.

Thoughts on See’s Article

This was my favorite reading for this assignment.  I agree wholeheartedly with See’s assessment that schools’ technology plans should be output based, not input based. Technology planners should develop a plan that specifies what it is that students, staff, and administration will be able to do with technology and let those outcomes determine the types and amount of technology that a school needs.  See continues that “technical applications must be taught as part of an existing subject so students understand how technology can be a tool that makes them a more productive and powerful person.”  As a teacher, I agree 100%, I also know that I will need to learn in order to understand how to use the tools, and what kind of lessons I can create to seamlessly integrate technology.

Personal Experience with Technology Use Planning

From the classroom teacher perspective, I have had very limited experience with technology use planning.  In March of 2012, our school published a five year strategic  technology plan.  As a classroom teacher, I did not have any input into the plan (although there were teacher representatives from all the schools in our town), nor had I reviewed it until this project.  I reviewed the plan, and think that it is a good first step, the success of the plan will come with the follow-up and adjustments to the plan.  Technology planning has had an impact on the daily operations of the school where I teach.  The school recently switched its grading and attendance programs so that we would be compliant with state record keeping requirements.  The program that we use, has many components that we do not utilize, and is not always very user friendly.  Professional development would help in allowing us to fully integrate the tools into our planning.

One key component to technology use planning is professional development.  Teachers need to learn not only how to use the technology, but also how to integrate it into the curriculum.  Teachers need to understand, that technology is just another tool, like a calculator, the technology becomes part of the everyday learning.  “For  technology to be used fully in K-12 schools, significant changes are required in teaching practices, curriculum, and classroom organization; that these changes take place over years, not weeks or months, and require significant professional development and support for teachers; and that the needed levels of training and support change as teachers progress through these stages.” (Kleiman).  “Integrating technology is not about technology—it is primarily about content and effective instructional practices. Technology involves the tools with which we deliver content and implement practices in better ways. Its focus must be on curriculum and learning.  Integration is defined not by the amount or type of technology used, but by how and why it is used”. (Earle).  Again, its how we use the tools to reach the goal, a key part is professional development, teachers need to know how to use the tools, so the content is learned by the student.

Reflections

I found this assignment challenging.  There is so much that goes into a good Technology use plan, that I felt, how will I ever know all of this!  Of course, that is why I am enrolled in the program.  Since the start of this class, I have already learned an incredible amount, and my thoughts on technology in education are growing and evolving everyday.  Back in January, my focus was, how can I use technology in the class?  Now, I’m asking more questions such as, how can I get access to technology in our school?  How do we plan effectively for technology integration into curriculum? What tools are available, and how can students use them to learn?  How do we create a dynamic acceptable use policy?  I am excited to see where this journey will take both my students & me!

I chose the following AECT standards:

3.4 Policies and Regulations because any policies put in place need to be part of technology use planning.   “Policies and regulations are the rules and actions of society (or its surrogates) that affect the diffusion and use of Instructional Technology” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 47).  This includes such areas as web-based instruction, instructional and community television, copyright law, standards for equipment and programs, use policies, and the creation of a system which supports the effective and ethical utilization of instructional technology products and processes.

5.4 Long-Range Planning because Technology use planning requires schools to look out to the future to plan their needs.  Long-range planning that focuses on the organization as a whole is strategic planning….Long-range is usually defined as a future period of about three to five years or longer. During strategic planning, managers are trying to decide in the present what must be done to ensure organizational success in the future.” (Certo et al., 1990, p. 168).
SMETS candidates demonstrate formal efforts to address the future of this highly dynamic field including the systematic review and implementation of current SMET developments and innovations.

References

Bennett, H. (2003) Successful K-12 technology planning: Ten essential elements, Teacher Librarian, 31(1), 22-25. retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.libproxy.boisestate.edu/docview/224878294/fulltextPDF/13D93428AB3502EDD2D/1?accountid=9649

Earle, R. (2002). The Integration of instructional technology into public education: promises and challenges. ET Magazine Website: 42 (1), 5-13. Retrieved from http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic87187.files/Earle02.pdf

Gülbahar, Y. (2007). Technology planning: A roadmap to successful technology integration in schools. Computers & Education, 49(4), 943-956. retrieved from http://www.mdecgateway.org/olms/data/resource/3917/Technology%20Planning.pdf

Kleiman, G. M. (2000). Myths and realities about technology in K-12 schools. Leadership and the New Technologies, 14(10). Retrieved from  http://www.sfu.ca/educ260/documents/myths.pdf

Mansfield Public Schools, (2012). Five year strategic technology plan. Retrieved from http://www.mansfieldschools.com/pdf%20files/5%20Year%20Tech%20Plan%202012.pdf

See, J. (1992). Developing effective technology plans. The Computing Teacher, 19, (8). Retrieved from http://www.nctp.com/html/john_see.cfm

US Department of Education.  (2010).  Transforming America, learning powered by technology. retrieved from  http://www.ed.gov/sites/default/files/netp2010-execsumm.pdf

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Ed Tech 501: Additional Artifact #1, Unit Plan using technology to allow students to create, collaborate & take responsibility for their learning

Here is the link to the Google Document of my unit plan on severe weather in Massachusetts / New England.  The goal of developing this unit plan is to use technology to allow students to create, collaborate, and ultimately take responsibility for their learning (w/ teacher guidance!).

In this lesson, students use the internet to learn about severe weather in Massachusetts/New England including: Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Thunderstorms, Nor’Easters, & Blizzards.  Students will research each type of weather phenomenon, learn about historical events that have affected our area, understand how to remain safe during severe weather events.

First, students explore Thunderstorms, create a recipe card for a thunderstorm, and upload to a “to be determined page” (most likely Wikispaces or Haiku).   The reason this has not been finalized, the current grading/class communication system that I use does not allow students to see each other’s posted work, and reviewing & commenting on classmate’s work is a key component to this unit.  Students will then “review each other’s recipes” & make constructive comments.

Next, students research the other types of severe weather, and create a “traditional poster” on one type of storm.  We will do a “museum walk” in class, and write reviews of the show.  The individual posters will be photographed, uploaded to the page, and reviews will be written on line.  This will blend traditional classroom assignments with technology.

Lastly, students in small groups will create a documentary on one type of storm, and one historical storm event.  The format of the video is up to the student, it can be a video, a narrated power point, or some other electronic medium.  Again, students will upload the documentary to our class page for review by classmates.

This is the final unit in the class, and hopefully students will use skills developed throughout the course to create these final projects.

As I explore, new and better ways to connect with my students, I anticipate this lesson will evolve, this is just the beginning.  I hope to add more video links, as well as examples of work.

picture courtesy of: www.ngdc.noaa.gov

Here is the Google Doc

I chose the following AECT standards:

1.1 Instructional Systems Design (ISD) because it required designing a unit plan for a variety of learners
“Instructional Systems Design (ISD) is an organized procedure that includes the steps of analyzing, designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating instruction”(Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 31). Within the application of this definition, ‘design’ is interpreted at both a macro- and micro-level in that it describes the systems approach and is a step within the systems approach. The importance of process, as opposed to product, is emphasized in ISD.
1.1.1 Analyzing: process of defining what is to be learned and the context in
which it is to be learned.

1.1.2 Designing: process of specifying how it is to be learned.

1.1.3 Developing: process of authoring and producing the instructional
materials.
1.1.4 Implementing: actually using the materials and strategies in context.
1.1.5 Evaluating: process of determining the adequacy of the instruction.
1.3 Instructional Strategies because, this lesson has a clear sequence for acquiring knowledge
“Instructional strategies are specifications for selecting and sequencing events and activities within a lesson” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 31). In practice, instructional strategies interact with learning situations. The results of these interactions are often described by instructional models. The appropriate selection of instructional strategies and instructional models depends upon the learning situation (including learner characteristics), the nature of the content, and the type of learner objective.

2.4 Integrated Technologies because in this unit plan, students will use a variety of medium to learn & create.
“Integrated technologies are ways to produce and deliver materials which encompass several forms of media under the control of a computer” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 40).  Integrated technologies are typically hypermedia environments which allow for: (a) various levels of learner control, (b) high levels of interactivity, and (c) the creation of integrated audio, video, and graphic environments. Examples include hypermedia authoring and telecommunications tools such as electronic mail and the World Wide

Ed Tech 501: Digital Divide/Inequality Presentation

Reflections on Digital Divide assignment (weeks of 04/01-04/14)

This assignment spanned a two week time period, with week one being spent on researching the digital divide & digital inequality, and week two preparing a narrated presentation on an issue and possible solution relating to digital divide that we have experienced.

First, this project required a lot of “thought time” to develop the topic, and figure out how to proceed with the presentation.  My first thoughts were that I haven’t experienced that much with the digital divide at our school.  In my six years teaching, only one student did not have internet access at home, and we are fortunate in our town, that most people have access to wired internet through our local cable company, and some people actually have the choice between cable access and Fios access.  It is still expensive, but in this town, it appears that accessing the internet at home is not the problem.  I then thought about two issues that I have been confronted with at school relating to the digital divide.  One is giving students who are out on extended medical absences access to the curriculum digitally, the second is having access to technology and the internet at school.  I chose the former, because, if we can harness digital power at school and create lessons incorporating access to lessons via computers, it will begin to address the former issue as well.

On that note, I set out to explore the digital inequality that exists in our high school.  This presentation attempts to outline the problem of accessing computers at Mansfield High as it relates to our core learning values.  The presentation proposes a possible solution via a hybrid one to one computing initiative combined with BYOD.

Here is the link presentation.  Simply click the play button to listen to & watch the presentation.  Looking forward to your feedback.

I chose the following AECT standards for this topic.

2.4 Integrated Technologies because this assignment required us to use different media to create the presentation.

“Integrated technologies are ways to produce and deliver materials which encompass several forms of media under the control of a computer” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 40).  Integrated technologies are typically hypermedia environments which allow for: (a) various levels of learner control, (b) high levels of interactivity, and (c) the creation of integrated audio, video, and graphic environments. Examples include hypermedia authoring and telecommunications tools such as electronic mail and the World Wide Web.

3.2 Diffusion of Innovations because I hope that this presentation will begin the discussion of integrating technology at the school where I teach.

“Diffusion of innovations is the process of communicating through planned strategies for the purpose of gaining adoption” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 46). With an ultimate goal of bringing about change, the process includes stages such as awareness, interest, trial, and adoption.

3.4 Policies and Regulations because any change that involves technology in the classroom compared to our current curriculum delivery involves reviewing and updating current district policy. “Policies and regulations are the rules and actions of society (or its surrogates) that affect the diffusion and use of Instructional Technology” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 47). This includes such areas as web-based instruction, instructional and community television, copyright law, standards for equipment and programs, use policies, and the creation of a system which supports the effective and ethical utilization of instructional technology products and processes.

Resources

Governing the States and Localities. (2013). Broadband speeds and availability in the US. Retrieved from http://www.governing.com/gov-data/broadband-speeds-availability.html

 Mansfield High School.  (2012).   Mansfield High School Student Handbook, retrieved frohttp://mansfieldschools.com/MHS/pdf%20files/MHS%202012-2013%20Student%20Handbook%20(sent%20to%20Primeir).pdf

Mullin, John (2012).  Towards the implementation of Mansfield’s five year strategic plan, the priorities. Retrieved from http://www.mansfieldma.com/The_Strategic_Plan_Priorities_5-1-2012.pdf

The Endicott Research Center, (2012). New England Association of Schools & Colleges Commission on Public Secondary Schools self-study survey results for Mansfield High School, retrieved from http://mansfieldschools.com/MHS/pdf%20files/NEASC/NEASC-CPSS_Aggregate_Report_10-11.pdf

US Department of Education.  (2010).  Transforming America, learning powered by technology. retrieved from  http://www.ed.gov/sites/default/files/netp2010-execsumm.pdf