Sunday, June 6, 2010

Week 2 Blog Posting #2 Progress Report Technology Plan 2006-2020

The Progress Report on the Long Range Plan for Technology, uses the Texas STaR Chart to show progress in the four key areas of Teaching & Learning (TL), Educator Preparation & Development (EP), Leadership, Administration & Instructional Support (L), and Infrastructure for Technology (NF).

The use of technology has helped in the area of TL by bringing many digital tools to the classroom and has become an integral part of the curriculum. Digital content is widely available for educators and distance and online learning have made it possible for students to reach materials not available locally before now. The data for TL shows that from 2006-2007 to 2007-2008, Early Tech decreased, meaning more schools moved into a higher category. During the same time period, Developing Tech decreased by 4% while Advanced Tech increased by almost the same amount, showing that schools were continuing to increase technology use. Most schools stayed in the Developing and Advanced Tech and data shows that Target Tech for those years remained virtually unchanged.

EP is critical in training educators to be comfortable enouigh to embrace technology and to be excited about using technology in their classrooms. Technology professional development is a high priority due to the urgent need to ready all educators for the tremendous challenges of teaching 21st Century learners. In the area of EP, Early Tech decreased by 3% from the 2006-2007 to 2007-2008 school years indicating that schools were moving toward Developing and Advanced Tech. In the same time period, Developing Tech was unchanged, while Advanced Tech rose 3%. Target Tech remained seemingly unchanged at 1%. I feel like the educational professional development virtually stalled due to professional development increasing in other areas. TAKS is my theory. I know that is where most of my district's inservice dollars are spent.

Strong leadership is essential to encourage and drive the technology integration. It would be almost impossible to continue developing to Target Tech without support and funding from the administration. Between the school years 2006-2007 and 2007-2008, both Early and Developing Tech decreased by 1% and 6%, respectively, while Advanced and Target Tech increased.

21st Century infrastructure includes both hardware and human components. The human aspect assures the network is maintained and kept updated. Infrastructure must be maintained at a level as to provide high speed connections capable of delivering huge amounts of data. The two year data for NF seems to show that the increase in the Advanced Tech is approximately the same as the decreases in Early and Developing Tech indicating that improvements in infrastructure are being made. Target Tech increased slightly.

Week 2 Blog Posting #3 Nat'l Educational Tech Plan

The National Educational Technology Plan clearly states that revolutionary reform in education is needed, now, to ensure that our students can compete in the developing workforce. In order for the US to rise to the top of both the number of college graduates and the global economy, we must set measurable goals and standards for our students. Our lowest performing schools with the highest drop-out rates must secure and maintain effective educators to transform those learning environments into facilities that challenge and retain these future drop-outs.

Obama's plan for national technology is driven by two clear goals. To achieve the goals of raising the college graduation rate from 39% to 60% and of closing the achievement gap for all students, states should adopt standards and assessments that prepare students for college and for the global workplace. States should also build systems that measure the growth and success of students.

Barack Obama introduced the Educate to Innovate plan to improve the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math. This plan is set to improve critical thinking and problem-solvng skills, encourage more women to enter and succeed in these fields and to restore the US to the top of these areas in the next decade.

Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, has stated that a revolutionary transformation, with clear outcomes in education, is needed. These outcomes must be monitored and evaluated to measure their effectiveness. Students' learning experiences at school should mirror their experiences at home. Many create projects with technology at home that isn't available to them at school. If they are either self or peer taught to create blogs, wikis, videos, and more at home, imagine what they could create with expert instruction.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Week 2 Assignment Posting #1

Educator Preparation & Development, or EP, is one of the 4 key areas of the Texas STaR Chart. The STaR Chart is a special online resource tool used since 2004 to help teachers self-assess their use of technology across the curriculum. Teachers can define their educational technology profile using the EP descriptors. These descriptors present varying stages of development for teachers to rate themselves in technology proficiency. Teachers who have received some training for electronic attendance, gradebook and mail; who have done little or no follow-up to large group professional development; who have no more then 9 hours of technology professional development annually and who have only an introductory knowledge of technology concepts would be rated Early Tech.

Developing Tech characteristics include teachers who receive professional development in integrating technology into the curriculum, helping with classroom management skills, and increasing teacher productivity. Also, teachers who attend large group sessions with follow-up activities and opportunities to have feedback or coaching in the classroom could fall into the Developing Tech category. Additionally, Developing Tech teachers are proficient in 2-3 of the SBEC Technology Applications standards and attend 9-18 hours of technology professional development annually to become able to modify instruction through the use of technology and the way they can adapt materials for web-based content.

Advanced Tech teachers attend professional development to become proficient in integrating technology to include advanced instruction in specific interest areas. Proficiency in four of the SBEC Technology Application standards and 19-29 hours of technology professional development are indicators of an Advanced Tech teacher. Advanced Tech teachers cease to think of technology separately, but as one with their lessons and instructional methods. These Advanced Tech teachers have also trained in creating and delivering online lessons.

A Target Tech teacher continues technology professional development, but also collaborates, mentors and teaches other educators and encourages student-led learning activities. Target Tech teachers are proficient in all five SBEC Technology Application standards and attend 30+ hours of technology professional development annually. Project-based individualized activities become the norm for the Target Tech teachers. Target Tech teachers are also able to seamlessly integrate web-based lessons to support learning objectives.

Sadly, the EP area has not only stopped gaining ground on our HS campus, but also taken painful steps backward. We had a score of 14 in 2006-2007 that increased to 18 in 2007-2008. However, 2008-2009 saw a decrease by 11 points for a score of 7. My theory, as District TAKS Coordinator, is that so much emphasis is being placed on TAKS inservices and professional development to produce "Recognized" and "Exemplary" campuses since incorporating the Special Education students' scores into AEIS and AYP that few are attending Technology inservices.

Statewide data indicates that the number of Early Tech teachers is decreasing; showing that more teachers are improving their Technology skills, while the Developing Tech area has hovered around the same percentage for the last 3 years. Advanced Tech has slowly increased in the last 3 years while Target Tech has remained virtually the same at approximately .6%.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


The information in tonight's web conference totally overwhelmed me. I am trying to stay on track with all the assignments, but feel that I'm missing something. I didn't find the information detailing where and how to create my blog account, so I looked at everyone else's and found that they all used blogspot. I am uncomfortable not having everything where I can find it easily and it may just be that I'm new to all of this and it will get easier.

I am glad we got the overview of the whole 18 months. That lets us know what to expect. I'm also glad that Dr. Abernathy mentioned that we can sit out a course if we have to. I am very busy at TAKS testing time, but don't want to sit out unless I absolutely have to.