Technology Use Planning Overview

1. Start with defining technology use planning–how would you describe it?

As it states in the “guidebook,” technology use planning is a way for us to evaluate where we are and where we hope to be, technologically speaking. (Guidebook, 1996)  It should lay out what kind of outcomes we want for our students or employees; what kind of technology do we need to have in place, in order for that to be accomplished. (See, 1992)

2. How might the new National Educational Technology Plan 2010 be an effective and powerful resource for technology use planning?

The National Educational Technology Plan (2010) is a big, overreaching document that describes a grand plan of what should happen, in order to meet the big goals that it lays out for us in the beginning. (NETP, 2010)

You could use a lot of what the NETP ’10 describes as headers.  For instance, if the goal of the NETP ’10 is to have “a core set of standards-based concepts and competencies that should form the basis of what all students should learn” maybe it should be tried out in one district or school, first.  Does this work?  Is this the way to go?  Is there a smaller scale version of this header – can we implement one standard per year, for instance.  These are things that should be considered, too; not just what our idealized educational system is. (NETP, 2010)

The “Guidebook for Developing an Effective Instructional Technology Plan” made a lot of good points about planning for technology implementation.  I like the consideration of motivational tools for faculty that are a tough sell.  (Guidebook, 1996) I have experienced this firsthand, but I see it as becoming less of an issue as time goes on.  Still, I believe it will be useful to have some tricks up one’s sleeve when you run into sticklers for “old-fangled” chalkboards and overhead projectors.

The guidebook also asks us to consider things like how we can best assess the present state of technology and future needs.  (Guidebook, 1996) I think we did a good job of doing that using the technology evaluation we did on a school (or other local institution), even though that was assigned after this blog post.  The technology evaluation provided a good background for us, in moving forward with thinking about technology use plans – in what areas is the school lacking?  In what areas is it excelling and can maybe provide information to other institutions?

In our final project, here, we have divided the work in our presentation.  The only thing I would change in that process would have been for us to all figure out what each of our strengths are and divide the work up that way.  I know that for myself, I was not necessarily the best person for the tasks I chose, but I knew it was necessary for me to contribute.  Sometimes that is the sort of teamwork that is needed as well – just jump in and contribute – we’ll work out the bugs, later.

The guidebook is pretty good about letting us know that a plan that works for one institution may not work for another one.  Be open to thinking “you know, for us, this is a really bad idea” or “hey, this would be a really good idea for this school even though this other school didn’t do it.” (Guidebook, 1996)

3. Do you agree with See about tech use plans needing to be short, not long-term?

Regarding Dr. See’s article, I am trying to fathom anyone spending 30,000-50,000 on a single computer. (See, 1992)

I think long-term goals are important, both in life and work.  It is clear that it might be foolish to write-up long-term hardware purchases – for instance, in the year 2025 I am going to purchase and iPad 2 for my math classroom.  This is ridiculous.  Steve Jobs’ predecessors will have us projecting apps onto walls from our eyeballs that we can interact with by then.

Things like the NETP mentions – having 60% of our citizens be college graduates by a particular date – that is the sort of long-term goal that you should be writing into your technology plan.  For an elementary school or junior high, it might be a little smaller scale – for instance, having 70% of a school’s 6th graders passing Pre-Algebra on their first attempt within 2 years.  That could be your long-term goal.  Maybe you purchase iPod touches immediately and re-evaluate your situation in 3 months.

Photo Credit: Kent K. Barnes / kentkb

4. What do you think about his comment that “effective technology plans focus on applications, not technology?  Do you agree/ disagree?

I don’t really agree that we should write in as many types of technology into our plan as possible – that seems a bit excessive.  I do agree that we should plan for applications and not for the software or hardware that we will use to those ends.  Plan for output and not input. (See, 1992)

5. What experiences have you had with technology use planning and what have you seen for outcomes (both good and bad?)

When I was first hired at a community college in 2008, they had been given grant money to use and decided they were going to use it build a “math technology lab” and hire me – the “math technology lab coordinator.”  They got some opposition from faculty and went ahead with it, anyway.  Almost immediately, it was made clear that I should keep a low profile and not draw attention to myself… I spent a lot of time tutoring students and learning how to deal with adversity in the work place.

Eventually, I was moved out of that position and into one where I worked largely on my own or with my supervisor, whom I adored, and everyone was happy.  The good outcome was that I started working with the one-woman distance learning department, in addition to working with my supervisor, and became familiar with the area that I’ve decided I want to spend my life working in.  The department head in the math department was also changed, eventually, to someone who didn’t mind working with a young-ish whippersnapper, and I was allowed to teach math online.

As I spent more time at the school, I heard about the plans for the grant money that paid for my position and I don’t think their planning was very effective.  For instance, certain people would ask for things for their area and get them, no questions asked.  I didn’t and still don’t understand this – I am  truly of the mindset that schools are for students and we as employees need to cooperate and come up with the plan that best benefits those students.

AECT Standards


AECT Standards
  1. 1.1 Instructional Systems Design
  2. 1.4 Learner Characteristics
  3. 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies
  4. 3.1 Media Utilization

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