Building on Commitment 4 -Technology Integration

Building on Commitment_001

As is typical with building-block pyramid style graphics, the idea is that each lower level block provides the base for higher level blocks.  Each block need not be 100% complete before the next higher block can be begun, only that a commitment be made and efforts begun to realize completion. And some levels might need to addressed at all. For example, “Teachers Possess Content Knowledge & Practice Constructivist Pedagogy” and “Technologically Proficient and Confident Teachers” could be well ensconced before the integration program is even envisioned. In these cases these levels might be more conditions of progress than tasks to be executed.

Starting from the bottom:

Board and Administrative Commitment-Strategic Planning  (see Building on Commitment 2 and 3). (ISTE Standards for Administrators []). This is where we all were a good 15-20 years ago. We knew technology would be a major ubiquitous factor.  As with the introduction of any change in any organization senior management (administration) must be committed, preferably the catalyst, to the desired outcomes. Developing a shared consensual strategic visionary technology plan is the first step: define where we are; define a ideal future state (the vision) at a specified future time; and define a broad path that is intended to get us from where we are to where we want to be. As with all plans, they must be realistic and readily modifiable to accommodate a continually changing environment. The key to developing an executable plan is the achievement of a shared consensus that includes teachers and support staff, school board members, school and district administrators, teacher educators, students, parents, and the community.

Teachers Possess Content Knowledge and Practice Constructivist Pedagogy. The content knowledge expectation is pretty much a given and widely accepted as a teaching requirement. The “knowledge v. skills” debate has pretty much been passed over with the advent of the Common Core, states acceptance of the Common Core or development of their own standards, teacher content area certification requirements, state and/or district mandatory curricula and standardized testing. Wrong or right the push toward standardization is real. Time will tell. Constructivism, or more accurately, contructionism, as a pedagogy continues to gain momentum and is most frequently expressed as sharing, collaboration, learning centered (as opposed to teaching centered), engage students. Such should be viewed as but one pedagogical tool, albeit an essential one.

20% – Infrastructure (Hardware/S0ftware) Beyond Administrative Needs. Your school is at this level if your administrators and teachers have computers and you have a few computers in the library and one or two student computers in many classrooms for general research. Most of the computers are desktop computers, either Windows or Apple OS, each computer has broadband access to the Internet and access to a file server, each computer has installed or online access to a work processing, spreadsheet and presentation software applications. You might have a smattering of tablet computers but they are probably privately owned. Administrators and teachers use online email clients and have one or more administrative/academic software applications installed on their computers. Obviously there are a myriad of variations to this scenario.

Additional blogs will be written to expand on the other four levels time permitting. Modifications to the graphic will occur as I continue to develop the concept.