EDET 678 Week 11 Essential question: What specific policies will help your district prepare students for current and emerging technology use? How can you help lead your district in creating these policies?
“Ultimately, the power of technology should be harnessed to support innovation and discovery, not simply to aid teaching. We need to engage learners to use these new technologies as designers and creators of knowledge” – Inspiring Education: A Dialogue with Albertans.
The purpose of a technology plan, according to the California Department of Education is to guide the use of technology, by establishing clear goals, and a realistic, comprehensive strategy to improve education through technology.” Not only should the plan focus on ways we can improve education, but also how professional development will support staff in the use of technology.
According to the Alberta Learning and Technology Policy Framework, they “provide leadership and strategic direction for government and school authorities in developing policies to help achieve the vision of Inspiring Education.” Inspiring Education has five policy directions:
- Student-Centered Learning
- Research and Innovation
- Professional Learning
- Access, Infrastructure and Digital Learning Environments.
I think these five policy directions are good resources to refer to or build upon when creating a new technology plan.
The K-12 Blueprint offers good advice when planning/implementing a new Technology Plan. To help lead your district in creating new policies, you can ask these questions:
Does your technology policy focus on student learning?
Does your technology policy promote responsible use of technology?
Does your technology policy meet current state and federal regulations?
Does your school district’s technology plan focus on old technology (or keep you from utilizing new technology)?
Does your technology policy prevent users from building on their digital literacy, or anticipate specific violations?
Will the policy be followed in daily practice?
Is it consistent with administrative regulations?
Winske made a good point that many K-12 students today own smartphones, tablets, or laptops, and if they don’t, someone else at home does. “As the availability of this technology increases, students expect to have access to the same tools at school,” (Winske, 2014). Thus, sparking the BYOD policy. Devices have been banned from school, but with this new “mobile revolution,” schools realize the value these devices have in education.
The Universal Service Administrative Company says that a technology plan should cover a period of three years. “All approved plans should include provisions for evaluating progress toward the plan’s goals, and ideally these assessments should occur on an annual basis.” Other things plans should include are clear goals and strategies to reach those goals, professional development to ensure staff knows how to implement the new technology, budget management, and progress monitoring.
Frequently Asked Questions about Technology Planning. (2004, March 9). Retrieved July 26, 2016, from http://www.sl.universalservice.org/reference/technologyplanningfaq.asp
Learning and Technology Policy Framework. (2013). Retrieved July 26, 2016, from https://education.alberta.ca/media/1046/learning-and-technology-policy-framework-web.pdf
Policy & Leadership. (2016). Retrieved July 26, 2016, from https://www.k12blueprint.com/toolkits/policy
Technology Plans. (2016, February 11). Retrieved July 26, 2016, from http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/et/rs/
Winske, C. (2014, February 17). Tips for Creating Technology Policies for K-12. Retrieved July 26, 2016, from http://www.k12techdecisions.com/article/creating_an_acceptable_use_policy_for_mobile_learning_initiatives#