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.
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.
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