Search this site
Other stuff

All banner artwork by Brady Johnson, college student and (semi-) starving artist.

My latest books:


        Available now

       Available Now

Available now 

My book Machines are the easy part; people are the hard part is now available as a free download at Lulu.

 The Blue Skunk Page on Facebook


EdTech Update




« Social networking scenarios | Main | The real learning experience of school »

Directions for the next tech plan?

I am in the process of writing a "bridge" technology plan. Seems our current district tech plan runs out the end of this school year and the next formal plan for some reason won't start until the 2012-13 year, leaving us "plan-nekked" for the entire 2011-12 year.

Since the Mayans predict an earth-ending apocolypse in 2012, I don't see what the big fuss is about. But, hey, I go along to get along.

Part of writing the bridge plan is taking a look at the 2007-11 tech plan. I am finding this bit interesting since I'd forgotten what we'd actually written. (Sorry, Mary M.) Below are our anticipated directions over the past four or five years. I've added a 1-4 rating for each area (1=no action, 5=total success).

Directions – 2007-2011

As quickly as technology changes, it is almost impossible to predict or plan with any accuracy the specific challenges that will be facing us over the next few years. We can speculate on some general trends:

  1. Less emphasis on “technology’ as a separate area of concern; more emphasis on technology as a means to achieve goals of other areas. 3
  2. Greater need to train students and staff on ethics, safety and civility when using technology, as well as the ability to evaluate the reliability of information found and to use it purposely. 3
  3. Need for formal integration of technology skills into the content areas to meet specific state standards as well as being able to meet NCLB requirements that all students be technologically literate by the end of eighth grade. 3
  4. Increased demand for individualized technology training by staff. 2
  5. Continued, accelerated move to information in digital formats such as e-books, online databases, electronically submitted student work, web-based video conferencing, and video on demand. 2
  6. More emphasis on anytime, anyplace access to personal information through web-based personal file space, calendars, and wirelessly networked hand-held devices. Increased access to tools that allow teachers to supplement classroom instruction with online learning opportunities such as class chats, threaded discussion groups, online syllabi and study materials, collaborative workspaces, etc. 3
  7. Increased desire by parents for real-time student information available via the web. Higher parent expectations of schools and teachers to provide comprehensive information about school programs and individual student achievement. 3
  8. Continued importance of the tools and knowledge needed to do good data-driven decision-making by administrators, building teams and individual teachers. 3
  9. Increased efforts to assure data privacy, data security, and network reliability. 3
  10. Increased educational options for all learners including more choices of schools, more online course offerings, more interactive video offerings, and more computer courseware options. This will result in an increased need for school marketing efforts and increased “consumer-driven” attention. 3

The directions, I believe, were pretty accurate. Nailing any of these task down will continue to be a work in progress.

The interesting question I now have to try to answer is: What might be our directions for the next five years? We will continue to strengthen many of the areas above, for sure, but new areas?

I can think of a few:

  1. Addressing the need for personal devices for communication, information access and e-books/e-textbooks, plans for managing such devices, and training for staff on how to incorporate such devices in classroom instruction.
  2. Harnassing the power of social networking educational networking and social learning.
  3. Continued movement toward cloud computing, use of re-conditioned computers for labs, virtualized labs, use of open source/free software and other labor/money saving strategies to address both higher tech demands and less school funding. (Gulp!)
  4. Increased use of digital resources supplementing textbooks including games/simulations.
  5. Offering e-book collections through our school libraries.

OK, good minds. what do you predict will be the directions tech use in your school will take between now and 2015?

Assuming the Mayans were off by a few years.

Image source

Original post image to which Jude objected (see comment below).

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (5)

I included the phrase "social networking" in a report for our school library and talk about a word that makes administrators tremble. It's like the gag in Monty Python's Holy Grail with the Knights Who Say Nee. I wish I would have had your excellent new phrase of "educational networking and social learning," because explaining that social networking is more than just Facebook fell on deaf ears.

September 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlibgds

Hi Doug;

Thanks for the post. Our division is going to be creating a new technology plan this school year as well. Appreciate you sharing yours online. The plan that I have in my head is much the same as yours. I am a glass half empty kind of guy so when I look at your plan the 2 concerns/issues that I foresee are PD and security.

PD is a concern with me because so many of our educators came from an education that spoon fed them the information and that to me is not how PD has (or should) evolved. There is so much information out there on any topic if a person would just go look for it. Far too many teachers are sitting waiting for the Divison to have a PD day on that item, website, topic etc. . . How to we train people to be self learners so they can teach it?

My other worry/concern has to do with security. There are many great new web 2.0 technologies but I am always concerned with where information stored, what is that information going to be used for and will this site/service be around in the future (insert ning, diigo's name here). I appreciate your sharing and will be sure to share mine when I get there.

Jody Watson

September 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJody Watson

One of my greatest pet peeves is when people use the Aztec Sun Calendar to illustrate mentions of the Mayan calendar. It's sort of like going to "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" where a Mayan temple exists in Peru. I realize that you can find the Aztec Sun Calendar mislabeled as Mayan in many places on the Internet, but it doesn't make it any less annoying.

September 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJude not HeyJude

Hey Jude,

Mea cupla, mea culpa, mea culpa.


September 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Johnson

Thanks, Doug. I appreciate the change. When you stand in front of the original Sun Calendar in the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, you can't forget that it's Aztec.

September 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJude not HeyJude

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>