In defining technology use planning, I see it as a collaborative effort to create a plan that focuses on integrating technology into teaching and learning in an effort to engage students and improve achievement. The end result would be a technology plan to use as a framework of reference.
John See noted in his article, “Developing Effective Technology Plans” (1992), “effective technology plans are short term.” Then goes on to note that five years plans are not reasonable with technology evolving as fast as it does While See makes a great point about five year plans being too long, I don’t agree for technology plans should be as short as one year. How could it even be possible to know why lie ahead in five years as far as technology input and applications that are available. Right now we are experiencing a growth in the textbook market that is evolving to keep up with technology and going digital. What I can agree upon is that every technology plan needs to be revisited, upgraded to evolve and inspired by our educational needs for our students to be, well, 21st century learners.
See makes a good point in stating that a technology plan should focus on “output based” and not the type of input (hardware). Technology plans do need to have hardware and computers with access to be sustainable; the most important is access but that is only one piece of a technology plan. Since the time of See’s writing many things have evolved as far as types of technology available, however what See does focus on is “what we want […] students, staff and administrators to be able to do with technology” (See, 1992), is still relevant today. Dr. Anderson’s article, “Technology Planning: It’s more than computers” (1999), noting that computers are just one component of a technology and that a technology plan should be about people. Though this article is very old, it still makes the statement, which I agree, that computers are just one part of it. We all know that “computers” really has changed since then and “computers” is more of the input (access) method; iPads, iPods, Smart/cell phones, tablets, desktop, notebook, etc. The National Education technology Plan (2010) notes five essential components for learning powered by technology (p.8):
- Infrastructure; and
This plan focuses on, “engaging and empowering learning experiences for all learners”. The National Educational Technology Plan provides a proactive approach for moving forward with technology planning. I agree that we should be using web-based applications that can be accessed from anywhere 24/7. Application technology being the means and our way to access them, hardware, is the end to the means. Though, our overall end result is for empowering our students. Effective technology plans need to focus on the end user and the results we are looking for. So do I agree …. Yes.
While I have not been a part of the planning process in creating a technology plan, I have seen the need to for technology plans to evolve. Our schools have lock down on internet access, available only on hardwired computers. Firewalls block access to sites and keywords. In visiting classrooms I have noticed all the right type of equipment with lcd projectors, white boards, and a few computer stations; but fail to see integration other than one way learning. Yes there is interaction between student and teacher and you can almost see the wheels turning in their heads. My four year old granddaughter uses technology applications on her iPad which will put her ahead of the game on learning with technology. What lies ahead for her in the traditional classroom? Will she be bored? Will she be helping others learn? At least she will have the social interaction to look forward to.
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 April 10, 2012, from http://www.nctp.com/downloads/guidebook.pdf
Anderson, L. (1999, January 24). Technology Planning: IT’s More Than Computers. National Center for Technology Planning. Retrieved April 5, 2012, from www.nctp.com/articles/tpmore.pdf
Atkins, D., Bennett, J., Pea, R., Pellegrino, J., Pellegrino, J., Rose, D., et al. (n.d.). National Education Technology Plan 2010 | U.S. Department of Education. U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved April 14, 2012, from http://www.ed.gov/technology/netp-2010
See, J. (1992). Developing Effective Technology Plans. National Center for Technology Planning. Retrieved April 14, 2012, from http://www.nctp.com/html/john_see.cfm