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Technology Leadership Standard VII

Educational technology leaders coordinate development and direct implementation of technology infrastructure procedures, policies, plans, and budgets for P-12 schools.
A. Use the school technology facilities and resources to implement classroom instruction.
B. Follow procedures and guidelines used in planning and purchasing technology resources.
C. Participate in professional development opportunities related to management of school facilities, technology resources, and purchases.

 

In my role as a classroom teacher, I have had only a few opportunities to advise and plan for technology in the school. Woods and Weasmer (2004) stress the importance of teaching professionals becoming active participants in collegial investment, leadership, support meetings, and mentoring. And three of the four models of professional development outlined by Poplin (2003) recommend interaction with peers. As a Technology Teacher Leader grant recipient I worked with my grant partner to plan for the technology we needed to support our project and wisely allocate the $10,000 in funds we received for technology in the school. I have informally advised friends, family, and colleagues on technology purchases that will best serve their needs, and have become adept at asking questions that give me a better understanding of what they want to be able to do with the tools they purchase. Some of this has been through trial and error in my own professional and personal lives, and so I have learned how to better assess my own needs, ask questions of experts, and follow current news on new technologies that may serve a need I have.

Within the TTL grant and ED 670, Planning for Educational Technology, I have planned for and implemented professional development at the school, utilizing adult learning theory and types of professional development. Successful professional development models must be shown to have a significant impact on student achievement (Guskey, 2003). The plan I have been developing with my building technology collaborator has clear expectations to keep educators focused on the task instead of turning collaboration into opportunities to “block change or inhibit progress” (Guskey). The models we have planned include professional learning groups, training trainers, and Web-based training, all effective means of reaching a variety of audiences and effective for a variety of purposes in our building.

As  I have been working in this Educational Technology master’s program I have made it clear to my administrators and current building technology collaborator that it is my goal to become more involved in the decision-making for technology integration and purchases. I know that my building technology collaborator plans to retire in a few years so I would like to learn as much from him as possible about how our school and district plans for technology, allocates funds, and places orders. Last fall’s course, Planning for Educational Technology, forced me to stretch beyond my comfort zone and learn about how the “machine” that is the school district functions so I can begin to see how I would fit in as a cog in the wheel.

Talking to my building technology collaborator in one formal and several informal interviews helped me gain knowledge about the functions of the system and how decisions are made. I was able to assess the current needs of staff and students and create a budget for future purchases that would support current district curriculum goals. The proposed expenditure plan would support teachers creating blended and hybrid classroom environments, giving students additional ways to access teacher created technology-based content in Moodle or another online delivery system. In conjunction with this new knowledge about planning for technology, ED 673, Educational Applications of Networking, taught me more about how I would support the planned purchases. I used this information to outline a new course for teachers, to be taught in a future Anchorage School District Summer Academy, on blended classroom environments. The course will include a list of recommended tools for teachers and students, tools that also support the district’s increased use of Moodle, a professional training in which I have participated several times.

I was fortunate to have my own building technology collaborator, Pete Tryon, as the instructor of my networking course so I was able to ask questions about the specifics of our school and district, deepening the understanding of planning for technology purchases and training from ED 670. This course let me explore technology troubleshooting with a cohort group of other educators and we helped each other disseminate information and analyze the procedures we use to troubleshoot and assist other educators.

Continuing to grow as a technology leader, I hope to be able to make more contributions to my district’s technology decision-making and support systems. As I am now teaching some distance and hybrid classes I have been researching systems and processes for improved implementation of distance learning infrastructure through blogs and newsletters so I can give feedback to my colleagues in the Educational Technology department.

Guskey, T. (2003). What makes professional development effective? Phi Delta Kappan, 84(10), 748-750. Retrieved November 14, 2010, from ProQuest Education Journals. (Document ID: 350168051).

Poplin, C. (2003, June). Models of professional development. T.H.E. Journal, 30(11), 38- 40. Retrieved November 14, 2010, from ProQuest Education Journals. (Document ID: 353845741).

Woods, A. (2004, January/February). Maintaining job satisfaction: Engaging professionals as active participants. The Clearinghouse. Retrieved November 15, 2010, from ProQuest Education Journals.

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