1b – Summary & Evidence

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1b. Contribute to the planning, development, communication, implementation, and evaluation of technology-infused strategic plans at the district and school levels.

A clear vision of what technology can look like in our districts and classrooms is a good first step but one that is sometimes done for coaches as a part of the larger district mission. Coaches may have the opportunity to have more input in the “planning, development, communication, implementation and evaluation” phases of the actual strategic plans that will help make technology adoption a reality for everyone.

There are two resources that have influenced my thinking regarding the work that I have been a part of in my district to create a strategic plan for instructional technology. The first was the Future Ready Schools Initiative. The website hosted a Future Ready online course the first summer I started in my position (2014) as an Instructional Technology Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) four years ago. It included video, articles and interviews from digital learning leaders around the country. It was inspiring to see the various approaches districts and schools had taken toward changing the way they taught and learned with the help of technology. It put a new emphasis for me on finding a different way to build human capacity in our teachers that went beyond skill building and focused on changing teaching mindsets and strategies. It also led to the development of our own Future Ready Teacher cohort. I mentioned them in a number of different blog posts (The best one to start with is Developing Human Capacity in Teacher Leaders and I’ll refer to the other posts in other places in my evidence) because they’ve been so important in helping me define my thinking, allowed me to test out ideas, and I have used them as a sounding board for some of the thinking we to incorporated in our strategic plan.

The second resource that changed my thinking is the National Educational Technology Plan (US Department of Education, 2017). When I first read it I was struck most profoundly by the shift a way from defining the Digital Divide as access to devices and internet. The new definition is focused on what they call a Digital Use Divide: “A digital use divide separates many students who use technology in ways that transform their learning from those who use the tools to complete the same activities but now with an electronic device.” (US Department of Education, 2017, pg 7). I had been aware of, and frustrated previously by, the inequity of some students getting technology experiences and some not based on their teacher but I had not thought of it in the context of the quality of the experiences students were having as well. It shifted my thinking about what sets transformational usage apart from time spent on a computer. One way I’ve started thinking about this is looking at different tech integration models, which I write about in, What Is Redefinition? . We have a long way to go but some of that thinking was included in the strategic plan as well related to targets for personalization, enriched instruction and students making purposeful contributions.

The strategic planning process took two years to go from my big picture thinking (See the Big Hairy EdTech Goal infographic I created 2 years ago at the bottom of this page). To the final product that went out to the community this winter on the eve of our recent technology levy. Along the way we involved stakeholders in trying to envision the future by writing stories of what their classrooms might look like in the future as well as large groups brainstorming and building their ideal learning environments out of paper and art supplies and many other conversations and iterations.

 

In the end, we eventually came up with this document, Future Ready: Vision Forward for Student Learning (https://www.sno.wednet.edu/Page/3667) . It went out to our community as part of the levy process. Our four focus areas were Knowledge, Skills, Success and Confidence with technology. It was a long process but a lot of good thinking went into it. I am not sure what will happen with it in the future since the district has removed much of the support necessary to see it come to fruition but I am proud of the work we did to create a picture for what technology could look like in our district.

District Mission Statement Graphic
Definition of quadrants of the vision statement.

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References

Future Ready: Vision Forward for Student Learning. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.sno.wednet.edu/Page/3667

ISTE Standards For Coaches. (2011). Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches

Take a Stand for Student-Centered learning. (2014). Retrieved from https://futureready.org/

U.S. Department of Education. (2017). Reimagining the Role of Technology In Education: 2017 National Education Technology Plan Update (p. 3). Washington D.C: Office of Educational Technology. Retrieved from http://tech.ed.gov

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EdTech Goal Infographic
This is an infographic I created to start the conversation about developing a plan for Instructional Technology.