« If you're not in DC, turn on the TV! | Main | Inauguration Day: A Poem, A Prayer, and A Promise »

When is it too much? AND When do we say "DO IT or GO!"?

| 3 Comments

The entry has been cross-posted to Sentiments On Common Sense.

Technology Integration with Science ContentImage by Old Shoe Woman via FlickrMy colleagues and I got in an animated conversation the other day about the actual demonstrable skills teachers and administrators must have to be successful members of our school community. Beyond the basics understandings that teachers must have of the new uses of the read/write web, what exactly do we expect our educational professionals to be able to use to enhance teaching and build better learners?

I've been pounding my fist of late in these meetings, demanding a well developed professional development plan that is clear, concise and has reasonable accountability build into it- with a sharp eye on the short term and a vision for what will be in year 2 and year 3 of the plan. I personally feel it seems like a reasonable and common sense request, and as I have said over and over, I could probably sit down and write a draft myself, but that would not help us address what really needs to drive our school's technology training strategy. Then...out of the blue... it came out of one of the participants mouth. Their words (paraphrased and combined) were:

When are the school administration going to start holding teachers accountable and make them use technology and follow the technology plan? We have NETS for Teachers in our performance evaluation program. We are working hard to ensure that training is in place for our teachers, but it will all be a huge waste of time if teachers are not held accountable.

Interesting thoughts, indeed! I didn't say it but I wanted to hold someone else accountable. Nonetheless, the conversation continued and what followed was a significant discussion about the frustrations of the technology specialists. These folks are working long hours to prepare lessons for their peers in addition to preparing lessons for the students. As we are all aware, adults are a lot more demanding than children and thus the time investment has been significant. A typical PD session that is voluntary results in just a few "interested" teachers showing up, and the technology use being enhanced in classrooms where there is already integration already going on. It is certainly not a loss, but it is not the gain we're hoping for either.

So the question held in the air around us and we all were responsible for the answer. Ultimately, we are talking about professional responsiblity and instructional excellence. Ultimately, I feel it comes to making the standards and embedded skills in the standards managable and understandable for all members of the instructional community in a school. One of the resources we are using to build from is a resource called "23 Things". This group of educators has put together a great list of resources and concepts that they feel best addresses the current needs of a practicing teacher in a classroom. We took that list, analyzed it, and then added to it and adapted it in ways that will best meet our needs at our school. What I think the 23 things and our additions and modifications does in this Professional Development Mashup is make the whole mess of what would seem to be disjointed applications, resources and skills into chunks of possibilities. I would share it here, but it is not quite done. When it is, I will do so. But, the creation and formation of this structure does not answer the key question posed. Are the administrators going to hold the teachers accountable? If they are, do they have the will- the guts - the understanding of the technology to say "You must meet these standards or go find another school or another job?"

It is a tough call. In 2000 the Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations published a report called School Technology Leadership: Incidence and Impact. In the report it states:

For technology to become an integral part of a school, it not only is necessary to help teachers use the technology but administrators must be involved in it, too. The importance of training for developing teachers in technology has long been recognized in the educational community. These findings indicate that administrative leadership and decision-making are equal, if not more important than spending on infrastructure to maintaining a successful technology program.

...Charismatic people may contribute to technology integration as well, but it is even more essential for a school to distribute leadership and become a "technology learning organization," where administrators, teachers, students, and parents together work on how best to adapt new technologies to improve learning. (p. 17)

(Thank you Drape's Takes for drawing my attention to this quote!)

After it is all said and done, I have to continue to believe that until we hold the ADMINISTRATORS accountable for understanding technology and exploiting the power of the web, we cannot and will not be able to hold our instructional staff accountable. As was stated almost 9 years ago, it is the leaders who must build a "technology learning organization".

What do you think?

Posted by Andrew Torris

------------------------------------------------

Reference:

Related articles

Enhanced by Zemanta
3 Comments

Very interesting your point! and i can understand it... Sometimes we get frustrate because we expect more of our teachers: integration of technology, assessment and evaluation, methodology, good standardize test results, discipline with dignity and many others responsibilities. Our teacher can feel lost in a continuous of requirements that are necessary in today's teacher stage. The problem is that the professional development is typically a fragment of what teacher do or should do in a class. The hole approach professional development it is necessary for our teachers. Starting with a curriculum map of what they teach and how that respond to the standards and national test and then they can see the necessity. If the teachers do not found the necessity of the Professional development it will be hard the transfer the learning to classroom. And yes we have to start value more the technology is a wonderful tool of learning and we underestimate the use.

Andrew,

You make many excellent points.

Administrators MUST model these things and find ways to intergrate these tools into everyday life in the school.

I have been having difficulty getting administrators to see the value in technology applications. But it is nice to see that a few of you get it.

The Stock Mark Report
http://drmarkstock.com

I totally agree...presenting technology to teachers is one thing, getting them to adopt it is totally another. I don't know how many introduction to this or that sessions a school can hold, if people don't take a personal interest in it and follow through on their own time I feel we are wasting our time.

It is frustrating to hear how people don't have enough time to do something repeatedly..even if we offer technology items in professional development sessions, it does no good if you only deal with it one or two days per year. It truly has to be something that an individual adopts, no matter how many consultants you higher or software programs you buy or resources you distribute, if people don't take the time to research it on their own it's just not going to happen.

I feel that if the administrators were highly engaged with the technology and demanding that their staff follow through with it, we would have more success.

Comments are now closed for this post.

Advertisement

Recent Comments

  • Lesley: I totally agree...presenting technology to teachers is one thing, getting read more
  • Mark Stock: Andrew, You make many excellent points. Administrators MUST model these read more
  • Emma: Very interesting your point! and i can understand it... Sometimes read more

Archives

Categories

Technorati

Technorati search

» Blogs that link here

Tags

#ccko9
#eci831
#ic3s21
#passiondriven
1:1
1:1 laptops
21st century
21st Century
21st Century Schools
21st Century skills
21st Century Skills
Abraham Lincoln
Accountability
accountabilty
adifference
administrator
Adolescent Literacy Panel
advice
aldonza
aleccouros
Alfie Kohn
Angela Maiers
aptitude
Arthur Benjamin
Artists
Arts
ASCD
Assessment
astronaut
Author
avatar
basketball
Beyond Discipline
Blog
blogging
blogs
boss
calculus
Capacity
Career and College Readiness
Carnegie Foundation
CEDS
Cell Phones
Challenge
change
Change
Charleston Children's Museum
Chris Anderson
CIES
class blogs
Clay Shirky
College
Colonel Eileen Collins
commenting
commitment
communication
Community
community
comparative
compassion
compensation
Comprehension
Comprhension
computers in the classroom
Constructivism
cookie
Copyright_infringement
Copyright_laws
Council of Conscience
creativity
Creativity
Creativity Conversation
Creativity Index
Cultivate
Dan Pink
death valley
Decision making
dennisar
Derailed
Disruptive Innovation
Divergent
dkuropatwa
Don Quixote
Dr. Jeff
Dr. Jeff Goldstein
Drive
dulcinea
Education
education
Education in the United States
educational change
Educational Leadership
educational leadership
educational technology leadership
Educators
effectiveness
Element
empathy
Enactivism
energy savings
Engage
engineering
Engineering
evaluation
evernote
evsc
Facebook
failure
Feedback
Festival
Film festival
firing
formative and summative assessments
Frank Smith
friendship
Future
Garr Reynolds
georgesiemens
Global
Golden Rule
Grades
green technology
heart
heart of a teacher
High school
high school
Higher Education
Higher Order Thinking Skills
hire
history
HOME
Home School Partnership
Homework
hospitals
humility
I Notice
Ian Jukes
Ideas
Identity crisis
imagination
improvement
Improvement
Indexing
influence
Innovation
innovation
innovation3
innovation3 llc
inspiration
instructional leadership
Interests
international
International Society for Technology in Education
interview
ipad
ISTE
Jayson Richardson
job
Job Readiness
John Seely Brown
K through 12
K-8
Karen Armstrong
karl fisch
kellychristopherson
Kent
leaderhhip coaching
leadershiop
Leadership
leadership
leadership development
leadership management influence
Leadership Resources
lean
learning
Learning
Learning 21st Century
legislation
Lifelong learning
Literacy
Literacy and Learning
Love
Man of La Mancha
management
math
math education
Mathematics
mathematics
mboe
Media literacy
medicine
mentoring
merit pay
mguhlin
Michael Watkins
Minds on Fire
moodle
Motivation
Movies
Multiple choice
NAESP
NASA
national educational technology plan
National Governors Association
NCESSE
Neil Rochelle
netbooks
NETS-A
Norma Rae
Nurture
Obama
one to one
online
online learning
Online Software
Originality
osu
Paradoxical Commandments
Parent Invovlement
Parent Partnership
passion
Passion Driven Classroom
Passion Education
Passion Leadership
performance
pete reilly
peter o'toole
Peter Senge
plagiarism
pln
PLN
plurk
Positive feedback
power
preconceptions
President Kennedy
Principal
principal
principal preparation
priorities
probability
Problem Solving
productivity
Professional development
publishing
read/write web
Reading
Reading Next
Reflection
reform
religion
reorganization
research
saving IT dollars
Schedules
school leadership
School Reform
schooling
science
Science
Scott McCloud
Scott McLeod
Second Life
self management
Seth Godin
Shall We Dance?
Shanghai
SIF
sir ken robinson
Sir Ken Robinson
SLC
Social Media
Social Networking
sophia loren
Standardized test
statistics
STEM
stephaniepacemarshall
stephendownes
strategy leadership
student achievement
student led conferences
suffering
summer
Switzerland
systemic change
Teacher
teacher
Teacher Professional Development
teachers
Teachers College Columbia University
teaching
Technology
technology
technology change
Technology integration
technology research
TED
TED Prize
textbooks
The First 90 Days
thin client
Thinking
Thomas Dewey
Tim Irwin
time management
Time To Act
transformation
transformative change
transitions
Tribes-We Need You To Lead Us
twitter
Twitter
Uniqueness
United States
University
University of Alabama-Birmingham
University of Kentucky
vacation
Value
Vision
vision
Wagner
walkthroughs
Web 2.0
Web Filtering
Webinar
weighting
Whole New Mind
wisdom
Wordle
workforce
World Read Aloud Day
Young People