A guide to effective technology integration
Raise Student Achievement Students to become independent learners
Shared Goals Encourage Collaboration on
Make technology work for you
Transform the school & achieve an effortless efficient technology environment
mbracing technology is a decision that has been taken out of our hands. Like it or not management teams must evaluate hardware, build infrastructure, employ specialists and up-skill teaching staff to best realise this acquisition. Alternatively, you may believe that adding a compulsory 1 to 1 computing model will simply distract from the traditional teaching and learning environment. Now this is true, diversion from effective pedagogy is a distraction we could do without. But it is evident that our students already exist in a world where technology is ubiquitous and I believe that executed properly, your technology adoption plan can not only enhance education but create an efficient and productive school. I’m certain that most bursars and principals are either squirming at the thought of the enormous IT budget or pondering whether or not the whole process has, in fact, been beneficial. After all, it is very hard to measure the success of your investment. In this short article I will share with you my views on technology integration. I will address the pedagogical implications, but most importantly point you towards a simple model you can use to measure your financial investment.
People make a community, and I measure a great school by its pragmatic staff and students. Learning is a product of good student interaction with their teachers. Pastoral care, student/teacher wellbeing and a strong community were the lessons I valued the most at school, and preparing a shared vision across your whole school community is your first challenge. Every teacher, student and parent needs to be behind your vision of creating a “21st Century Learning Environment”.
these goals periodically. For example each term (when reviewing spend) I would suggest involving teachers to assess classroom use and address your goals to see if you need to realign your focus. I have included Diagram 1 above showing considerations which I always keep in mind as I work at school or deliver PD.
The two points at the bottom of the diagram are the most pertinent. The first is to make the technology work for each distinct user, no matter how basic/advanced, no matter which learning area, you must be able to accommodate the individual. No teacher or student is left behind in the drive to achieve your vision. The second key point is paramount. I believe we are in a transitional stage with technology, a place where adoption is hindering general productivity. We know when we have achieved successful technology integration – it is when we use technology without even thinking about it. When you make a telephone call with your mobile phone, rarely do you think about the process of unlocking, filing through names and tapping the green ‘call’ button. You likely never
What are your goals? Why do you want to spend all this money on modern technology and risk the adverse consequences of a digital world? The biggest gamble is that school grades diminish, your chosen tech investments become quickly outdated and the budget is depleted. First find some common goals amongst staff. You may decide on something simple, for example: • Our aim is to increase numeracy and literacy levels • We want to provide teachers with admin and research tools • To Increase communication between staff/ students/parents. Whatever you settle on, it is worth reviewing
Education Today – Term 4 2012