A good technology program doesn't just “happen” and that is where Standard VII plays a part. As the District Technology Coordinator, my job encompasses technology procedures, policies, planning and budgeting. My superintendent and I work closely developing both short and long-term goals. One long-term goal includes developing a desktop computer rotation that provides updated machines to the users who need them and one short term goal is updating our infrastructure with Erate funding. A good technology program is dependent upon technologists who "establish a stable technological infrastructure to support the effective use of technology in school." (Williamson & Redish, 2009, p.147)
In order to provide students with a 21st century education, schools must provide teachers with both 21st-century digital tools and the professional development to implement them. Technology procedures must be in place to ensure quality training. "Without adequate infrastructure support, teachers are easily frustrated and prone to abandon technology..." (Sandholtz & Reilly, 2004) Professional development is a crucial part of Standard VII because if the teachers don't know how to use the tools purchased for them, the money will be wasted. I have learned that there are four main duties to provide access to technology in a school. In my school, the first step of planning for technology occurs between the administration and me. The actual acquisition of the hardware and software takes place between me and the vendors, and one other person and I are in charge of implementing maintaining and monitoring the network and the hardware in the district.
In my opinion, Standard VII is the foundation upon which all of the other standards rest and strong leadership should strive to make intelligent thoughtful decisions. I've learned that a needs assessment should drive a budget that will accommodate infrastructure, hardware, software, maintenance and professional development. The field based activities I performed to satisfy Standard VII are jobs that I do regularly and have been doing for 13 years.
Two things that were reoccurring concerns voiced by my colleagues over the last 18 months were lack of professional development and lack of practice with new technologies. “Scheduling training after hardware and software implementation stage ensures that users have access to their new equipment or services upon the conclusion of training, and they can begin to apply their new skills immediately-a factor frequently linked to improved learning and performance.” (Broad & Newstrom, 1992) My past interactions and collaborations with colleagues have caused me to offer more technology training to teachers who want to use technology in the classroom. As a lifelong learner, I will continue to attend the monthly technology meetings at my Education Service Center to stay informed of new technologies, services and professional development offered at their location.
Broad, M. & Newstrom, J. (1992). Transfer of training: Action-packed strategies to ensure high payoff from training investments. New York: Perseus.
Sandholtz, J., & Reilly, B. (2004). Teacher, not technicians: rethinking technical expectations for teachers. Teachers College Record, 106, 487-512.
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