IntroductionThe goals of the Technology Plan center on using technology to further our vision of academic excellence as well as ensuring that students demonstrate proficiency in Information, Media and Technology Literacy Standards as led by the Media and Technology Program. In a time when change is the rule rather than the exception, students need to learn how to adapt to the explosion of new information. In effect, teaching them how to learn is the most critical responsibility we have to our students. It is not only about what we teach; it is about how we teach it. The Technology Plan’s goals speak to the larger issues of preparing our students for their future, providing professional learning for teachers to use information technology tools and resources in the everyday business of teaching, and ensuring proper and adequate funding and resources necessary to equip our classrooms for teaching digitally.
Vision for Educational TechnologyThe changes in our world have introduced an urgent need to teach students skills that transcend across all curricular areas. The 21st century classroom will ensure that technology is an integral and ubiquitous part of a flexible and relevant environment. Students will be challenged to use technology and information resources responsibly and to think critically and creatively to solve problems effectively and efficiently.
Educational Technology MissionTechnology in education is a teaching and learning tool, that when used effectively, will support and help transform how we interact, produce and seek personal growth and enjoyment. We expect effective, competent, and purposeful use of technology by administrators, teachers, and students to establish seamless integration of technology on a daily basis throughout the curriculum and extracurricular activities.
Core Beliefs for Educational Technology1. Engagement and learning increase with the use of technology.
2. Technology supports differentiation of learning.
3. Active participation and contributions to the learning process increase with the use of technology.
4. Project and inquiry based learning experiences are enhanced with the use of technology.
5. Technology skills are best learned in context through project and inquiry based learning.
6. Technology supports broader collaboration opportunities both locally and globally.
7. 21st century communication requires fluency in the use of technology.
Our core beliefs for educational technology are based on research studies and observations recounted in the literature. Case studies, longitudinal research studies and day-to-day anecdotal evidence point to confirmation that effective use of proven instructional strategies with technology improves student learning by reaching diverse learning modalities, supporting differentiation, and by definition, require authentic, project-based and inquiry-learning.
ReviewIn 2006, the district technology plan main goals included providing consistent, high-quality resources accessible from within and outside of the school, media center and classroom to prepare our students for the 21st Century. Specific plans to outfit all our classrooms with Smartboards has progressed successfully as we now have about 50% of our classrooms outfitted with these A/V systems. In addition, new systems to improve web content management, provide students with access to district-wide databases, an online catalog, homework portal and teacher portal were implemented under the guidance of the 2006-09 Technology Plan and will be continued and refined, as needed, within the next three years.
2009-2012 Focus AreasPurposeful use of technologies and digital tools is a centerfold of the 21st Century classroom. In the next three years, the District is committed to moving forward to address our vision by improving access, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness of technology resources and tools to meet a variety of student learning needs within the context of a challenging economic reality. As such, the District Technology Planning and Advisory Committee explored the top technology trends for 2009 and explored how these trends will help to support our vision.
The Trends reflect the priorities of the Plan for the next three years and include:
• Curriculum: Refine and develop interdisciplinary curriculum units featuring standards-aligned, assured experiences and measured through ICT student assessments.
• 21st Century Classroom: Continue implementation of SmartBoard Plan, begin expanding access to Wi-Fi, establish “cloud computing” as well as increase access to technologies through low-cost devices. (See appendix for details on SmartBoard Plan).
• Media Tools and Resources: Increase access to high-quality digital resources including eBooks, databases and ability to videoconference for collaboration.
• Professional Learning: Increase access and flexibility to professional learning as well as provide differentiation based on assessment of staff and administrator skills.
• Systems: Explore, pilot or upgrade critical systems such as Student Information, E-mail and other.
Our journey for creating a vision for the 21st century learning, providing teachers with the tools and resources needed to teach in context and assessing student ICT skills will enable us to ensure their future success. The goals of the Greenwich Public Schools Technology Plan can help frame the larger district discussion on a vision that includes 21st Century learning and skills. In developing this Plan, the Technology Planning Committee considered the reality of the current economic condition while ensuring that our students have access to the tools that will best meet the needs of our students and teachers. The following are the goals and strategies for 2009-12. Finally, we will meet periodically each year to review and evaluate the success of this plan and reserve the option to change this Plan based on changing conditions, needs and funding.
Technology Plan Goals & Strategies 2009-12:
1. GOAL 1: Curriculum Integration: Improve student academic achievement through the use of technology in elementary and secondary schools.
a. Train media specialists and implement new Information, Communication and Technology Literacy (ICT) curriculum.
2. GOAL 2: Professional Learning: Ensure that all educators are proficient in the use and integration of technology and ongoing professional development activities are provided.
a. Train Administrators on a "Technology integration" evaluation instrument for classroom observations, and walk-throughs.
3. GOAL 3: Equitable Access: Ensure that all K-12 educational institutions have the capacity, infrastructure, staffing and equipment to meet academic and business needs for effective and efficient operations.
a. Explore, pilot and implement flexible access to mobile devices such as Netbooks, handhelds and laptops.
4. GOAL 4: Equitable Resources: Ensure that K-12 resources are available for all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, income, geographical location, or disability, so they can become technologically literate by the end of eighth grade.
a. Explore, pilot implement or build upon research-based software to support improving reading and writing skills including but not limited to supporting RTI.
5. GOAL 5: Evaluation: Develop a continuous process of evaluation and accountability for the use of educational technology as a teaching and learning tool, a measurement and analysis tool for student achievement, and a fiscal management tool.
a. Continually evaluate the success and progress of the Technology Plan based on changing environments. Technology Plan Committee to meet quarterly to review progress of the plan.
6. GOAL 6: Funding: Develop a schema of current and future financing requirements to support the District Technology Plan.
a. Fully pursue funding avenues through e-rate, grants, capital and operating funds
7. GOAL 7: Telecommunications: Develop a telecommunications services plan to support both instructional needs and administrative needs.
a. Monitor and maintain voice/telephone over IP system.