Technology use planning is a complex and on-going process that includes assessment of the needs of the learning community, focuses on improving instructions through natural infusion of technology, involves all stakeholders in the community, engages those affected in a meaningful dialogue of their dreams and aspirations for the organization. It has many dimensions and each aspect of this on-going planning process is equally important.
How might the new National Educational Technology Plan 2010 be an effective and powerful resource for technology use planning?
It can be used as a starting point at school or district level to engage in technology use planning and implementation. As the NETP 2010 is a strategic document prepared by specialists in various areas of expertise it can serve as a framework of planning at a smaller scale such as school district or even individual school.
The common goal and vision is clearly outlined in the NETP 2010 and it can trickle down to districts and schools and in relation to the district budgets aim at long-term equity of all schools in a district and districts in a state and thus achieve the national vision of educational standards. Basically it should be embraced and shared throughout the nation if it is to be achieved.
Many obstacles need to be overcome in achieving the vision of education that the plan presents. Some are financial, others can be defined as resistance to change coming from different stakeholder groups in society. Those obstacles need to be carefully assessed at different levels, various stakeholder groups need to be involved in the district, town, school level for it to be implemented successfully.
When looking at the time frame for technology use planning, it can be medium term but the plan needs to be flexible enough to allow for changes and updates. I disagree with some of the points that John See makes as for example, learning video production- those type of skills can effectively be achieved by integrating computers and suitable software to enable learners to produce videos. But John See makes some very important points in his article and those that caught my eyes are that:
- “Technology should be integrated in the curriculum” and not taught as a separate subject. – From my own experience of teaching in international schools with good integration of technology, technology applications were closely integrated in our subject areas plan and this worked very well. Technology literacy was supported either by subject teachers or by people in charge of the technology support.
- Staff needs to be involved from the start of the planning process and technology plan should be tied with staff development plans- This is important as they will be integrating technology and need to be trained in the basic skills to be able to develop those further and integrate those skills and applications in the curriculum. As an online teacher and online course developer I have experienced the learning curve already and at the start it seems quite steep but the more you learn, the more curious you are about how to apply those in an inquiry-based lessons, lessons that help students learn 21st century skills without compromising the content of the subject.
What do you think about his comment that “effective technology plans focus on applications, not technology?”
To some extent See is correct but on the other hand, those who will use the technology and integrate it in the curriculum, should be able to support students which means they need to have some basic technological background to be effective teachers not only of their subject area but also in guiding their students in mastering the usage of technology.
What experiences have you had with technology use planning and what have you seen for outcomes (both good and bad?)
In the school I was teaching in the last four years one-on-one laptop usage was introduced. At first it was very frustrating for teachers to integrate usage of computers in their classes as time available for planning was insufficient and also staff development in technology use was not embraced from the very start. Many times school administrators take it for granted that teacher will know how to use computers and applications and the initial experience was not so good. Gradually training sessions for teachers were organized and this helped a lot, especially when some colleagues volunteered to present the way they use technology in their lessons.
As an online course developer when I was involved in developing the IB Economics online course I had to think carefully about applications existing out there that could be easily integrated in the course and would be effective and interesting for students. We are also constantly involved in updating the needed external applications in the online course environment.
Anderson, L. S., & Perry, Jr., J. F. (n.d.). National Center for Technology Planning. Retrieved November 19, 2012, from http://www.nctp.com/html/tp_recipe.cfm
National Education Technology Plan 2010 | U.S. Department of Education. (n.d.). Retrieved November 19, 2012, from http://www.ed.gov/technology/netp-2010
See, J. (n.d.). National Center for Technology Planning. Retrieved November 19, 2012, from http://www.nctp.com/html/john_see.cfm
Stock Photography: Family loving technology. Image: 25260212. (n.d.). Retrieved November 19, 2012, from http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-family-loving-technology-image25260212