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Got Technology? Get a technology use plan. See your Educational Technologist Today.

This is inspired by the “Got Milk?” commercials.

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School Evaluation Summary

This assignment was to review my school and decide where my school was on the Technology Maturity Model (TMM).

After filling out the survey and the writing the evaluation, it was very clear to me that my school needs some help. My school does not have a large budget, but it does have space for technology. There are no technology use plans or any policy regarding technology. I hope to take the knowledge from this assignment and apply it to my school over the coming school year. By just implementing a technology use plan, my school can go from emergent to island or implemented.

[Evaluation_GuthrieJ embedded via Scribd]

Below is the survey spreadsheet I used. I modified it a little to suit my personal aesthetic preferences.
[Survey_GuthrieJ embedded via Google Docs]

Technology Use Planning Overview

Technology use planning is an important building block to effective technology use in educational institutions. A technology use plan identifies and researches the needs of the institution. The plan also articulates how technology can support the educational institution’s needs.  The technology use plan defines the institution’s goals and explains the supporting tasks. Finally, a technology use plan lists needed technologies and which goals they support.

According to See (1992), “five year plans are too long”. His reasoning is that technology changes too fast for long term plans to be effective.  While I agree that technology evolves at such a rate that five-year-old technology can be obsolete, I do not agree with See’s opinion. Good plans include short-term goals, one to two years, and long-term goals, three to five years. Long-term goals are important because they help guide the technology use plan. Long-term goals also help districts plan approaching technology budget considerations.

I partly agree with See (1992), “effective technology plans focus on applications, not technology”. Technology use plans need to focus on applications for long-term goals. However, plans need to focus on technology for short-term goals. Focusing on what technology the district needs allows administration and purchasing to efficiently and accurately comparison shop and procure the technology.

Effective goals in a technology use plan address district needs, integrates into existing curriculum, and reference national goals. It is important for plans to meet a district need or the technology will be ineffective. Integrating technology into existing curriculum to allows better utilization of the technology. Aligning to national goals is easy using The National Technology Plan (2010). Alignment with national technology goals can add merit to a technology use plan and increase chances for grants.

I have not had any direct experience with technology use planning. I do not believe my school has a technology use plan. I plan on writing a technology use plan to help guide my school’s integration of technology into the curriculum.

AECT Standards

1.4 Learner Characteristics

“Learner characteristics are those facets of the learner’s experiential background that impact the effectiveness of a learning process”

2.2 Audiovisual Technologies

“Audiovisual technologies are ways to produce or deliver materials by using mechanical devices or electronic machines to present auditory and visual messages”

2.3 Computer-Based Technologies

“Computer-based technologies are ways to produce or deliver materials using microprocessor-based resources”

2.4 Integrated Technologies

“Integrated technologies are ways to produce and deliver materials which encompass several forms of media under the control of a computer”

3.1 Media Utilization

“Media utilization is the systematic use of resources for learning”

3.3 Implementation and Institutionalization

“Implementation is using instructional materials or strategies in real (not simulated) settings. Institutionalization is the continuing, routine use of the instructional innovation in the structure and culture of an organization”

3.4 Policies and Regulations

“Policies and regulations are the rules and actions of society (or its surrogates) that affect the diffusion and use of Instructional Technology”

4.1 Project Management

“Project management involves planning, monitoring, and controlling instructional design and development projects”

4.2 Resource Management

“Resource management involves planning, monitoring, and controlling resource support systems and services”

5.4 Long-Range Planning

Long-range planning that focuses on the organization as a whole is strategic planning….Long-range is usually defined as a future period of about three to five years or longer. During strategic planning, managers are trying to decide in the present what must be done to ensure organizational success in the future.”

References

Al-Weshail, A., Baxter, A., Cherry, W., Hill, E., Jones II, C., Love, L. T., Montgomery, F., … Woods, J. (1996). Guidebook for developing an effective instructional technology plan (Version 2.0.). Mississippi State University. Retrieved from http://www.nctp.com/downloads/guidebook.pdf

Karen Cator answers questions about the National Education Technology Plan. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATlvkklmvqU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

See, J. (1992). Developing effective technology plans. The Computing Teacher, 19(8). Retrieved from http://www.nctp.com/html/john_see.cfm

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology. (2010). Transforming American education: Learning powered by technology (p. 124). Washington, D.C. Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov/sites/default/files/netp2010.pdf

Tech Trends Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan Description
This lesson plan uses an IPad to digitally publish children’s writings. The children go through the process of selecting their favorite writing for publication. Then the children modify and edit the writing using peer review and recommendations. When the writing is ready for publishing, the teacher assists the child in converting their pages into a digital book.
Why the Included Technology is Important for Learning
Ipads and other tablets are starting to gain popularity in school districts surrounding my own. Within the next year or two our school is expecting to adopt some form of tablet computing. This summer our school purchased a few IPads and Kindle Fires for use in the summer school program as a test to their efficacy in teaching small groups of children.
Although my school is behind in adopting tablet computing compared to other local school districts, we seem to be right on track according page 15 of the Horizon Report 2012;K-12 Edition (page 19 in the document on the right). The Horizon Report states that tablet computing will be adopted within a year or less.
What is also very nice about tablet computing compared to using a standard computer is the eye hand coordination is connected. The fact that a child can touch the screen exactly where they want to interact makes tablets much more accessible to young children compared to using a mouse based computer where the interaction is not as directly connected.

Reflection About the Assignment
I really enjoyed this assignment. As an early childhood educator, you are always looking for ways to show and share with parents what their children are doing in school. I chose to use digital publishing because that is just one more way I can share with parents the work the children do in school.
This was my first experience with the Horizon Report. It was a very interesting read. I like how well written it is and how it lays out lots of way to use the different technologies. This will give me great information to share with my administration when asking for new technology. I am especially interested in the game based learning, with a projected time to adoption of 3-5 years.
I already use hands-on style learning games in the classroom. I know from this experience that games are very good at helping children learn because games are, by definition, a playful way to solve a problem. Sometimes adjusting a game’s problem to fit specific academic needs can be as subtle as changing CandyLand® color cards to cards that have the colors written out. Sometimes the adaptations are more obvious such as Bingo Math or Sight Word Old Maid.
I am very interested in incorporating technology centered game based learning in my kindergarten classroom. I am going to start with the links and references that are in the Horizon Report. I also noticed that one of the references include Minecraft. Minecraft, coincidentally, is having a camp this August centered around game based learning. I am seriously considering attending this camp.

How This Assignment Aligns with AECT Standards

1.1 Instructional Systems Design (ISD)
“Instructional Systems Design (ISD) is an organized procedure that includes the steps of analyzing, designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating instruction”
  • This assignment aligns with AECT 1.1 because I analyzed a need and designed instruction to fit that need.
1.3 Instructional Strategies
“Instructional strategies are specifications for selecting and sequencing events and activities within a lesson”
  • This assignment aligns with AECT 1.3 because I chose the sequence of events within the lesson to optimized student learning.
3.1 Media Utilization
“Media utilization is the systematic use of resources for learning”
  • This assignment aligns with AECT 3.1 because after choosing a technology, I planned to use that technology resource for learning.
3.2 Diffusion of Innovations
“Diffusion of innovations is the process of communicating through planned strategies for the purpose of gaining adoption”
  • This assignment aligns with AECT 3.2 because I chose a technology that is not yet adopted by my school with the intention of using this lesson to aid in the adoption of this technological resource in the future.
3.3 Implementation and Institutionalization
“Implementation is using instructional materials or strategies in real (not simulated) settings.”
  • This assignment aligns with AECT 3.3 because I will be using these instructional materials in a real setting.

RSS for Educators

RSS for Educators

The use of RSS feeds is new to me. Because some spam emails, years ago, had RSS links on them I was under the false assumption that RSS was somehow a part of spam email distribution. Because I have been avoiding RSS feeds, I have set up email alerts and subscriptions with sites that I want to keep up on. To handle the incoming emails, I set up several special filters in my email with folders so emails from these sites wouldn’t clog up my regular email inbox.

Now I know better.

My goal is to convert all of my email subscriptions to RSS feeds. That part shouldn’t be difficult. After I subscribe to the RSS feed, I need to unsubscribe to the emails that I get. This should really free up my email account and make finding the information that I want easier. Now I can file my email sorting skills under the same category as my newspaper folding skills.

Now that I am an RSS convert, there are many ways I can use this in my classroom. If the students are using blogs to post comments or assignment, I can subscribe to the students’ blogs. As the students submit posts related to assignments, I can check the students’ work without having to open every blog to look for updates and grade assignments.

The students, or I, can put an RSS feed on the students’ homepage. This feed, or feed bundle, can help keep the students informed. The feed can be from my blog with classroom news, assignment updates and reminders. The feed can also be from other students’ blogs so they can see what they are doing.

I can use RSS feeds to help inform my lesson plans. I am making bundles of RSS feeds that are linked to some of my favorite teaching resource sites. This will help me keep a cutting edge on my lesson planning. Some of the sites don’t have RSS feeds that I can subscribe to. Using Page2RSS I can add those sites to my bundle so I will know when they are updated.

I can never leave well enough alone. I wanted to have my actual RSS feed here, not just a link. I created a WidgetBox blidget using the “Add a Link” link from my Google Reader bundle. I then embedded the blidget using the flash embed code and adapting it into a gigya widget. Detailed instructions here

In case you’d rather, my link RSS for Educators