Tech Planning:Outcomes I Can Get Excited About

 

Here are some outcomes that I’d be looking to include in my next tech plan if I were leading a district.

 

Sample Technology Outcomes

Our tech plan will support the transformation of teaching and learning in the Sample School district by:

Empowering students to create, share, and learn as a community through the use of Web 2.0 tools.

Creating online learning opportunities for teachers and students that allow them to learn anytime, anywhere; and give them access to courses that might not be available in traditional settings.

Bridging the “digital divide” and transforming the learnng environment by providing every student and teacher with a computer.

Providing every student with access to school resources from home.

Empowering teachers with easy and seamless access to data with connections to instructional resources

Empowering students to take responsibility for their learning by participating in the creation and implementation of the tech plan and implementing Generation Yes for assisting in the professional development of staff.

Extending the district’s outreach to parents and community through web-based administrative systems, student portfolios, and e-report cards.

Simplifying administrative tasks, school operations, communications, and procedures through the use of intranets, e-documents with workflow, web page management, document management, SIF, and data standards.

Simplifying the use of technology for students, teachers, and administrators through a unified desktop that aggregates all resources in one place to be accessed with a single log-in.

Implementing a leadership development program for all administrators, teachers, and staff to insure that there are models of learning and transformation at all levels, throughout the district.

Creating a three-year software acquisition plan that is focused on district instructional objectives, that results in an application infrastructure that is web-based for browser-based, anytime, anywhere access.

Implementing new networking strategies that reduce the purchase price of computers, as well as ongoing support costs through virtualization, convergence, and remote support.

Institutionalizing a new financial model that maintains consistent funding for technology via the use of multiple, rolling financing agreements.

Implementing security measures for networks, desktops, and data. Implementing disaster recovery plans, as well as compliance plans for e-Disovery, FOIL, and software license audits.

 

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One of the outcomes that I know might be controversial because of its expense is the one laptop per student commitment. I believe this is feasible if we re-allocate the savings from using web-based services, implementing “virtualized” networks, providing remote support, and shifting to VOIP converged networks.

Of course, this initiative can be promoted as a transformative pedagogical shift or as a way of bridging the “digital divide” and providing all learners with the most powerful learning tool available – the computer.

Many of the items in this post are on my “Tranformative Technologies” list in the Ed Tech Journeys Wiki, where they have links to demos, details, and descriptions.

pete

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7 thoughts on “Tech Planning:Outcomes I Can Get Excited About

  1. re one laptop per student … very soon the laptop will be regarded as the mobile phone is today – an absolute essential. a working tool. What’s needed is the connectivity, and once that is in place, the worldchange will be drastic – online information anywhere you go.

    It’s an amazing step, and I think it’ll happen this year.

    It does take money, but as you point out, the digital divide will close, and students will be empowered.

    ggw

  2. Hmmm… with the advent of the new iPhone and similar tools, it won’t be long before a kid will walk into the classroom, sit at his “desk” with its built in flat monitor, keyboard, and headset, plug in, and have access to all network services designed and protected for his educational use in that location.

    The laptop could be a movable “desk” to be used by the “phone”. Could be done now, couldn’t it?

  3. GGW and Dan;
    I agree with your comments. Putting devices, whatever shape they take, in the hands of kids will be the easy part of this. The more difficult part will be changing the way teaching and learning takes place because that involves changes in long held beliefs and behaviors. That is why one of the most important items on the list above is leadership development.

    Isn’t it interesting that order to be the best technologically…we need to put people first!

    pete

  4. Great stuff…
    After viewing many resources including your wiki (thanks) we have incorporated much of what you mention into our new tech plan. Even with our districts present budgetary concerns there is much to be excited about.

  5. Hi Pete –

    One of the connectivity issues for us in Minneapolis is being solved by the move to install a city wifi system. I am sure that we’re going to have a lot of issues with robustness but the city is working with a company that is actually talking about hanging the access points off of the schools, meaning that the schools will get more broadband in exchange. As the project is being rolled out, I expect to see a great deal of pressure on the schools and the city to do something about the digital divide – getting a laptop into the hands of each middle and high school student for a start given that our district is about 70% poverty.

    I totally agree that computers facilitate learning and they facilitate relationships but I am not sure that people who don’t experience this on a daily basis in their own lives in pursuit of their own interests can really understand the difference between what’s been made possible by Web 2.0 in comparison to where CAI – computer aided instruction – was at ten years ago. What will be the signs that help educators to distinguish between what is going on with MySpace and other sorts of entertainment media?

    There are some people who are “getting it” in education and I met one the other day – a microbiologist turned entrepenuer whose company was bought out for good money and so he went into teaching. He spent over five years in a traditional public school system, got tired of the bureaucracy and decided to start a charter: each of his students has a laptop, primarily Somali immigrants and African-Americans students, and kids are pretty excited about his school.

    What do you think now that the “horse is out of the barn,” so to speak, and kids can sign up with virtual high schools or options like this fully computerized charter: what will it take for leaders who understand what seems to be happening in terms of technology and education to emerge in more bureaucratized, traditional k12 environments? Those institutions are going to be much, much harder to move as the scale is just so much bigger. The Gates are throwing their money at it bit but it’s slow to wake . . .

    What are the signs? the cracks in the system?

    Curious,

    Carla

  6. Carla,
    I compare what we are experiencing today with the 1950’s. On the surface, it was a conservative time. The Bible was the bestselling book in America, I Love Lucy was the number one show, Eisenhower was President, GI’s were raising families, Ward Cleaver wore a tie at home, his wife wore a dress. A woman’s place was in the home.

    At the same time, just below the surface Jack Kerouc and the Beat Generation were writing, Rock and Roll was beginning, conversations about equal rights for women and blacks were circulating.

    So it was like a river covered in ice, calm on the surface; but beneath the ice a torrential current was flowing. In the spring, a decade later, that torrent of change, the ’60 surfaced.

    So it is with NCLB and our schools. On the surface things look bleak; but under the ice there are major currents of change flowing; and, as you know, the powerful tech tools of the 21st century are among the most compelling arbitors of the coming “Golden Age” of education.

    One more thought. You ask, “What are the signs? the cracks in the system?”

    My answer, You are the sign. This conversation, held publicly, electronically, between strangers, is the ‘crack in the system’. Each of us, regardless of our title or position, must recognize our call to lead the change in whatever ways we are able. The solutions lie within us.

    pete

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