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EdTech Update




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Do our technology goals need revision?

Our district has been using the same broad technology goals for over ten years. They are:

Established Infrastructure
The district will have a reliable, adequate, cost-effective, and secure technology infrastructure that supports the learning, teaching, and administrative goals of the district. 

Effective Administration
The district will use technology to improve its administrative effectiveness through efficient business practices, communication, planning and record keeping.

Extensive Resources
Technology will be used to provide the most current, accurate and extensive information resources possible to all learners in the district and community in a cost effective and reliable manner at maximum convenience to the user. 

Enhanced Teaching
All district teachers will have the technology training, skills and resources needed to assure students will meet local and state learning objectives and have the technological means to assess and record student progress.

Empowered Learners
All students will demonstrate the mastered use of technology to access, process, organize, communicate and evaluate information in order to answer questions and solve problems and to practice digital citizenship. (Last phrase added in 2010.)

And we view these in a somewhat Maslovian arrangement with the first goals needing to be met before the later goals.

Each year, we use these goals as our framework for annual objectives.

The creation of our district's long-range tech plan is a good time to review these big picture directions. Just why are we mucking about with technology in the first place? So far, our goals have stood up well, but I am thinking of asking our tech advisory committee to consider adding a sixth:

Enabled Individualization Technology will allow the timely and effective assessment of all students of local, state and federally mandated competencies with the data used to help differentiate instruction through a broad array of learning activities and resources.

An increasing amount of our department's efforts are going toward computerized testing and data warehousing and mining. The humane result of all this testing ought to be a more complete picture of each student's abilities and learning styles. In the upcoming years e-text books, course management systems, and computer-assisted learning programs accessed on personal learning devices should be provided to fulfill the promise of all this evaluation and assessment. 

It's not my favorite goal, personally, but it reflects the strategic roadmap for our district. Remember the old Arab proverb - it's easier to steer the camel in the direction it is already heading.

Other big picture goals to consider?

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Reader Comments (3)

Ernie tweets: What is Enhanced Teaching was Engaged Teaching....Enhanced makes me think technology is optional

March 10, 2011 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

I like your hierarchy, Doug, and think your additional goal has merit. (Strange how it never made it on your list the first time you created goals. Both you and I know why - increases in technological possibilities give rise to increases in pedagogical potential).

We've returned to coveted state of differentiated instruction. Everyone knows that computers can be "taught to think" several steps ahead, but knowbody likes it when they get things wrong. Somehow, humans empathetically thinking on the fly have always been - and will always be IMHO - superior teachers.

Nonetheless, student-centered practices rightly urge students to follow their own paths. Best of luck in making that happen. I've always respected the paths that you've taken and have appreciated your willingness to share what you've learned along the way.

March 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDarren Draper

Hi Darren,

I like to think of the data provided by student testing in the same way data is produced by auto engine diagnostics or CAT scans. Having the data is essential, but it takes a good mechanic or doctor understand and use it.

The automation piece might need to be in place if we want ALL kids to have IEPs. The current system is too time consuming!


March 14, 2011 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

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