In a recent blog post, Scott McLeod asked “15 questions to ask about the technology leadership in your school district.” Many of his questions got me thinking about how we plan for technology in our schools and in our districts. Many of the questions of leadership can be solved through good planning. (you can read my response to his blog post about this, too) With good planning, questions of roles and responsibilities can be easily solved. So can problems with hardware-to-faculty or hardware-to-student ratios or whether technology is being used effectively to engage and instruct students.
With all the talk of Glogster recently, I decided to create a visual depiction of the planning process. There are 7 main steps to good technology planning:
1.) Create a team: Make sure the team consists of members of all stakeholders (parents, community members, teachers, administrators….)
2.) Assign roles: Describe the roles and responsibilities of all team members.
3.) Complete a Needs Assessment: Conduct surveys, conversations, observations to assess what your school/students/staff need to increase effective use of technology to promote teaching and learning.
4.) Set measurable goals based on the Needs Assessment: Once you know what the needs are, set a few realistic, measurable goals (goals with a timeline and with a way to measure effectiveness or success- i.e. test scores, observed behaviors…).
5.) Plan for tracking and monitoring of goals: Make sure that one of the team members is assigned to monitor the progress of each goal.
6.) Collect data: Have each team member collect measurable data about their goal for future use.
7.) Assess goals, revise, revisit and rewrite: Once your goals’ time period have passed, look back on whether they were effective. Keep good initiatives going, revise ones that were fairly successful but need some changes and scratch those that were not effective.
This cycle starts again at #3 (Needs Assessment). It is up to your school or district to decide how often you will go through this cycle. Usually it is from every 2-3 years.
Make sure you include a budget and budgetary concerns in the plan and that funding of the Technology Plan mirrors the school or district’s budget plan.
Please feel free to comment or add anything I may have left out!
Technology Planning resources:
National Center for Technology Planning
Guiding Questions for Technology Planning
Looking for your state’s plan? Just do a search for : “my state technology plan” and it should come up. These plans are public and should be available for viewing.