2(f)2.(iii) - to model the use of technology for personal and professional productivity
9.7 Review the prevalent technology based managerial, financial, and operational systems used in Alabama Schools.*
The entire document of the Technology Plan Analysis is evidence of standard 9.7.
Overall Technology Plan Analysis
University of Montevallo
EDL 596, Fall 20**
September 30, 20**
For the purpose of this assignment, the 20** ABC County Schools Technology plan was used noting that the new plan for the district is due on October 1 and therefore will soon be updated. The plan is complete yet quite lengthy and is filled with a plethora of information pertaining to the strengths, weaknesses, and data results system wide regarding the implementation of technology throughout the district. There is a clear and comprehensive needs assessment with information concerning areas of growth and need identified from the data. Data collection sources documented on page 20 are listed as the Transform2020 teacher survey, Speak Up 2012 parent survey, Edmodo usage reports, and classroom observations. Information from these sources were used to distinguish the top areas of need in technology infrastructure, inventory, student learning, professional learning programs, teacher use (teaching and productivity), school leader use, and technology programs.
The technology plan has identified three goals for the district for this year: (1) engage and empower the learner through technology, (2) prepare and support teachers and leaders to graduate college-and career-ready students, and (3) provide all educators and students with tools to access a comprehensive viable infrastructure when and where they need it. The information located on pages 21 through 31 contain a list of objectives, strategies, and activities that will lead to attainment of the district goals for technology. Each objective is followed by a clear strategy with a realistic timeline of implementation to ensure that a sequence of logical steps is taken in a timely manner to carry out the goal and ultimately impact student learning. All of the goals directly list the students and teachers in them indicating that the student learning remains at the core of all technological decisions that are made in the district.
The guiding framework for developing and fulfilling the aspirations of the plan successfully stem from two major areas listed on pages 4 through 8: Alabama Department of Education’s technology plan Transform2020 and ABC County Schools’ district developed framework. The information in both documents has been merged to identify the skills a 21st century learner requires, the rationale behind such skills, and how this will look in relation to the technology made available to the students. This framework and approach remains a focus throughout the plan and in the specific timelines listed in the document to ensure the success of the plan.
The plan focuses on integrating technology in a feasible manner for both students and teachers alike. Goal 1, engage and empower the learner through technology, aims to increase the addition of technology into the school community and learning environment. The strategies for the goal include implementing Google Apps for Education, creating portfolios using the apps, utilizing personal mobile devices in the classroom, and increasing the opportunities for blended learning through online course formats. With the increase in technology, the plan also outlines a strategy for awareness of cyber etiquette using the district’s Social Networking, Chat, and Cyber bullying curriculum in efforts to produce respectful and responsible digital citizens who understand the impact they can have and leave on the virtual world. In order to increase the technology in the school community, the wireless network required a substantial upgrade to handle all of the new traffic that the district is soliciting from teachers and students. Goal 3, provide all educators and students with tools to access a comprehensive viable infrastructure when and where they need it, focuses on supporting the network in a manner that will be able to handle the increase in usage. The strategies for this step include adding Internet services as needed, reassessing school capacities of wireless networking, increasing onsite technical support, and replacing outdated equipment. This step is critical because if the network is not expanded, the addition of the technology devices (personal and school) as well as the blending of technology into school curriculums will be useless because students and teachers will be unable to access many of the features that rely on wireless connectivity.
Goal 2, prepare and support teachers and leaders to graduate college- and career-ready students, focuses on aiding the teachers in feeling comfortable with the technology available to them and continuing to learn through professional development. The plan does not identify any specific support for the teachers regarding the current technology they have, however one specific newer element addressed in the plan is providing teachers support to understand Google Apps and the services it offers in relation to teaching and learning. In addition, monthly hands-on workshops were offered to allow the technology staff to model the use of various tools that can potentially be used in the schools to all levels of administration but no teachers were directly mentioned. The majority of the professional learning that is listed in the plan is focused on administrators and district level technology coordinators. Very little was mentioned about the direct instruction of teachers in using the technologies to integrate them into the curriculum which is in great need as they are the ones who will ultimately make the choice to use or not use technology in the classroom.
Overall, the plan does encourage the use of technology at all levels from students to administration to push the district as a whole to implement various forms of technology throughout the district.