This assignments provided me with the opportunity to evaluate the technology integration in the organization I work for. The assignment allowed me to take a closer look at the various aspects included in the Maturity Model Benchmarks and how these benchmarks apply to my present working environment.
The organization I work for seems to be a cutting-edge innovative model and ranks at the highest Intelligent stage in all aspects of the Maturity Model. This assignment and reading peers’ posts confirmed that and it is very exciting to work for such an organization. This model has its challenges, of course, but a better understanding of the complex process of planning and implementation would allow me to contribute more fully to the further development of the organization.
This assignment is clearly related with planning, monitoring, and controlling resource support systems and services (AECT Standard 4.2). Problem Analysis ,Criterion-Referenced Measurement and Evaluation (AECT 5.1, 5.2, 5.3) are necessary steps to inform long-term evaluation and the Model Maturity Benchmarks provide a basis for carrying all those steps necessary for informed decision-making in the strategic planning process(AECT 5.4).
And here is the survey:
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
I have created a lesson plan for students in Economics in an online course that I currently teach. Although it has been created for an online learning environment I have added some tips on how to adjust it for a face-to-face learning environment in a brick and mortar schools. The tools used include Microsoft Office tools such as Excel sheets and Power Point presentations. These are very useful for students to learn in developing their skills to plot linear demand functions in a diagram- Excel, and to learn how to integrate images and audio in Power Point Presentations.
The online applications used in this lesson plan are: Diigo, wiki and blogs. Diigo is used on a regular basis in the online course to bookmark news extracts related to topics covered each week. The use of Diigo serves several purposes: ensures that economics students build the habit to read the news, create a database of suitable news articles which later will be used by students to create their Internal Assessment commentaries portfolio which is an integral part of the IB final assessment. Wiki is used extensively to create study guides, post individual projects that the class can view and comment on. Blogs are used to develop students analytical and evaluation skills, also to teach them how to apply economic theory to real life situations that we read about in the news daily.
Note: If you teach in China, Diigo and blogs will not work- so here goes the great integration of technology!
This assignment brought to light many issues of digital inequality I was not aware of before. The extensive research we conducted was very interesting to me as I have always thought that the United States has the best Internet services in the world. It was amazing to discover how many problems still exist and need to be solved.
We used many technologies such as Google hangouts, Google docs, Internet browsers, Google presentation which allowed coordination and collaboration. Well, the on-going party congress here in China proved to be crippling for my VPN and I had to contact my VPN provider several times to be able to access even Google doc.
The synchronous chats and video calls have been a bit challenging due to the time differences but sacrificing an hour of sleep at night or in the morning made it possible to chat a couple of times discuss things that needed to be done. Although time differences have been a challenge this also presented an opportunity for having some work done on a rotating 24 hour basis.
In my opinion when trying to solve issues of digital inequality it is of utmost importance to take into account the views of all stakeholders if we want to create a learning 21st century society where nobody feels marginalized. What else did I learn from this assignment? I learned that team effort brings synergy into the final product as group members have different competencies and only good cooperation can make those melt into a bigger and meaningful final result.
Our team chose Option 6 as the most viable, meaningful and sustainable option that will benefit various members of the community. I learned a lot about the policies and regulations in place to utilize technology in the United States and also learned how this compares with the European Union and China.
I can see great potential in transferring the knowledge of integrated tools to my online students as they find group projects very challenging. Those skills can also be used in solving departmental and school-wide issues in small task groups, including different stakeholder group representatives and thus weighing the various views when making a final decision.
Compose a brief reflection about this assignment–how you demonstrate digital literacy skills through conducting effective searches using Google Scholar and Albertsons Library. Discuss how you applied APA style to a reference list. Also, you might want to include your experiences learning how to use Zotero and how you might use it in the classroom. Include information about using Zotero groups and how that might be used in your classroom, if applicable.
Finally, add your resources you collected that support the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning. Remember, the more you add now about artifacts, along with reflections, the more you will remember later down the road, when you have to select artifacts for your final portfolio.