Resources and Reflections

Friday, August 14, 2009

Some things I believe....

Effective technology integration is achieved when its use supports curricular goals.

Training for tech use should be “personalized, customized, informal, school-based, small group, flexibly scheduled, and needs based” (Kinnamen, 1993, p.51).

“Teachers must determine how technology tools are used, and they must have a hand in designing the staff development process that trains them.” (Schrum, 2000).

“The focus of professional training should be on teaching and learning strategies that make a difference in daily practice –on activities that translate into stronger student performance” (Tomei, 2002)

We should be at the point of not whether to use technology but how best to use it

"It is not how much technology is being used but how it is being used that matters."

The infrastructure means people in the right places doing the right thing for integration to occur.

Fear, reluctance, and change undermine integration as much as poor professional development and poor school curriculums.

Most disappointing about inadequate training is that teachers are not allowed time to experience successes and failures with integration and do not become involved in constructive discussions about the pros and cons of integrating computers

Integration will fail unless time issue and students learning is included and emphasized in professional development.

Integration fails when professional development doesn’t include all stakeholders. “Schools often assign only one individual or a few people to develop the professional development program for technology use, without allowing for the input of teachers, parents, and the community” (Schrum, 2000)

The best place for the computers is in the classroom, despite the fact that every classroom doesn't have one. If computers are present in the classroom, then teachers and students are inclined and motivated to use them with their lessons. Uprooting students to go to a lab disrupts the flow of the routine. Periodic and sporadic visits create a situation that computers are separate from the learning rather than an integral part of it.

Avoid lack of support for technical disruptions, lack of administrative support, poor and/or outdated teaching methods, poor and outdated equipment, equity issues, and lack of a technology plan (Tomei, 2002).

Teachers, technology coordinators, curriculum designers, parents, school board members, community and corporate leaders, technology committees, and principals effect technology integration. Technology coordinators who fail to keep equipment repaired and functional contribute to the failure of technology integration; curriculum designers who neglect integrating standards into the schools’ curricula limit the potential for successful integration; community and corporate leaders when they fail to solve budgetary issues related to technology effect technology integration; technology committees contribute to technology integration problems when they fail to govern adequately the technology resources and the technology vision that are a part of their school, and without the bold and strong leadership of their principal technology integration will fail.

The absence of a functional technology plan that all staff are aware of means technology integration will never occur as it should until one is developed by a technology committee and other stakeholders. A plan that doesn’t develop a vision statement; a plan for upgrades and repairs; a security plan; a plan for purchases; a plan that encourages the impact of technology integration on the curriculum undermines technology integration (Tomei, 2002).

Until a professional development model is created, professional development will be a major factor prohibiting technology integration at our school.


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