“… standards also benefit indirectly when educators use technology to enhance their own productivity and professional practice.” (Williamson & Redish, 2009, p. 101) Technology timesavers can make educators more efficient with digital tools. Premade lesson plans, streaming media lessons, data disaggregation software and collaborative meeting places are just that a few of tools available to help teachers provide quality instruction and address professional tasks faster and better. As a teacher, these tools help me reduce the time I once spent assembling all the materials I needed for my lessons, and as a learner, I love exploring educational publications and RSS feeds for new ideas that I can both use myself and share with my colleagues.
There is also a downside to all the time saving technology. I have seen in my own school teachers who are stretched to their limits by the demands placed on them by the principal, parents and the curriculum. My district bought into CSCOPE completely and the timelines required by the curriculum allow for very little other instruction. As a result, my teachers don't have time to practice the digital tools that have been provided to them. I have visited with the teachers in my school and the most prominent complaint is that they don't know how most of the digital tools can be helpful for them. They indicate that the learning curve is too great and the amount of practice it takes to become proficient with technology is hard to come by. I tell them that that's where I come in! I'm a technology coordinator and I can help them become better technology users if they’ll just tell me what they want to achieve with their digital tools. Many of my teachers want to be able to use the productivity tools they been given in the complex ways they’ve seen at workshops and conferences. For example, they tell me that they can all use the Internet to search topics and can all use Microsoft Word to type a letter, but want to be able to use the tools together to be more productive. I understand, as a facilitator and a teacher, that this is difficult when stumbling through it alone.
My idea for improving these types of technology problems would be to combine three aspects of learning. I would like to implement collaborative learning groups among the teachers, provide them with professional development using the tools and then create a technology skills assessment. This would provide a plan for training, peer assistance and measurable evaluation. I believe that I have a strong background in facilitating technology learning both with students and with teachers. As a teacher, I can teach them, as a colleague, I can help them form peer groups and as a leader, I evaluate their progress. Hopefully with this experience I can make improvements and positive changes in attitudes concerning technology in my district.
Williamson, O., & Redish, T. (2009). Iste's technology facilitation and leadership standards,
what every k-12 leader should know and be able to do. Intl Society for Technology in
Educ. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books/feeds/volumes?q=9781564842527