Edtech 501: Technology Use Plan Overview

A Technology Use Plan is a report that addresses long term and short-term technology goals in a school. It specifies what students and faculty members will be able to do with the technology as well as discusses what types of technology should be purchased and how they should be incorporated into curriculum.

Long term goals may include evaluation techniques that help educators, faculty and students assess technological learning and implementation. Short-term goals may include access to specific technology programs, as well as technology training and time built in for technology planning.

The NETP 2010 Report is an effective and powerful resource for a multitude of reasons. First, the NETP offers a variety of ideas on how to set up and address all aspects of issues that should be covered in a Technology Use Plan. The NETP suggests that “the written plan should be an articulation of what is believed, what exists, what is to be, and how goals are to be achieved”(10).

It also suggests creating a timeline for completion of the entire plan, as well as individualized timelines for each technology goal. Each timeline should have a specified end date as well as some sort of explanation as to what goal should be reached at that particular point in time.

The NETP Report also provides an in-depth look at some issues that one might not think to address when compiling a Technology Use Plan. Issues like public relations, equipment, implementation, new and emerging technologies, professional development, incentives and awards, purchasing, community resources, legal aspects, curriculum, instruction and evaluation, philosophy, networking, maintenance, special needs learners, community involvement, security and funding are all addressed.

In addition, tech use plans need to be short term. We can not foresee future technologies and plan for those. We may only plan with the knowledge of present day technologies and technologies that may be available within the next year. It is important to focus on technology that can be used for immediate results in the classroom. When it comes to implementing, technology needs to be accessible for all students, as well as easy for teachers to explain and understand how to use.

Short-term tech use plans still need to incorporate a long term evaluation system to keep teachers and students aware of their progress.  The NETP stated that “technology plans that are not tied to long term staff development are destined for failure”. This is imperative. Staff need to be trained and allowed time for continued training and support as new technologies are incorporated, in order to ensure that learning is being done and assessments are effective and useful for the faculty and the students.

It’s important for tech use plans to focus on the actual applications because just simply buying more computers is not a legitimate plan. The technology plan needs to address the question of “what do we want our educators and students to be able to do with this technology?” as well as “how does this relate to/ or can relate to curriculum?”. Focusing on applications and activities helps schools to really focus on the learning needs of students as well as the skills that are needed in order to function in the global economy.

The only real experience with tech use planning that I have had, has dealt with begging for technology in my classroom. When I approached the administrators with my technology needs, I gave them a rationale for why I needed the technology in my room. The rationale addressed what specific technology I needed, why specifically I needed it, and how I planned to incorporate it into my curriculum, and how it would benefit students. I did receive the wall-mounted projector as a result of my persistence. It helped students to have more opportunities for active involvement in class discussions, reviews and individual practices. I have seen teachers ask for technology before and be rejected, due to budget cuts. However, I think that by having a “game plan”, it legitimizes a basic “want” into a “need”.  A “need” might be easier for a school board to approve or find ways to accommodate that need.

Resources:

Al-Weshail, A. S., Baxter, A., Cherry, W., Hill, E. W., Jones, II, C. R., Love, L. T., . . . Montgomery, F. H. (1996, May 7). Guidebook for developing an effective instructional technology plan: Version 2.0. Mississippi State University. Retrieved from http://www.nctp.com/downloads/guidebook.pdf

See, J. (1992). Developing effective technology plans. The Computing Teacher19(8). Retrieved from http://www.nctp.com/html/john_see.cfm

Standards:

3.1 Media Utilization: This assignment aligns with this standard because we are being asked to figure out the best way to use a technology plan in order to effectively utilize technology and media. The technology use plan that is referenced in these articles would help a school district understand the basic needs and concerns, technologically speaking, for the faculty and students. It would tell them exactly how the technology should be utilized.

5.4 Long-Range Planning: This assignment also aligns with this standard because of its potential to impact the immediate as well as long-term technological stability of a school system. The assignment makes us think about what is needed and factors that need to be taken into consideration when it comes to the layout and design of an effective technology use plan.

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