Friday, February 10, 2012

Technology Integration: How to Get There?

I read a fantastic article a couple of days ago that really hit home with me. Why did it resonate so much with me? I will tell you after you watch this great movie. (I also got it from the article.)

Alright, here it is. I was sitting in a meeting a few weeks ago with all the building administrators in our district along with the superintendent and assistant superintendent. The topic was technology. Everyone wants it. More screens, more gadgets, more WiFi, etc. The problem is that we have staff members that don't know what to do with technology. How to use it in class, how to create lessons with it, how to have students create and present and publish online. There are brave souls that have been self-taught and try things out. Those aren't the ones we are worried about. We need to move teachers that are not comfortable with using technology to a place where they can use it and have their students use it to increase interest and achievement. What is the solution? We came up with the idea of instructional technology guides for teachers. Paul and I would be have release time in the morning or afternoon to meet with teachers, assess their needs, work with them to infuse technology into their already existing curriculum (let's not recreate the wheel), and most importantly, follow-up with teachers. We called it the "Guide on the Side Model". Problem is, there is no money or money is tight. To pull this off, we would need to add a part-time teacher. Tough sell for some people. In my mind, it is an easy sell. This would be making an investment in our teachers, an investment in our school, and an investment in our students. We have the technology to use, but we can't use it effectively. It is time to step outside the box and make a bold statement about what we want our teachers to be able to do. Everyone wants technology integration in the classroom, but who is willing to take the steps to get it done?

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