Sunday, June 5, 2011

Implementing Technology: Where Do We Start?

I was recently asked by a superintendent, “How would you start the process for integrating technology?”  My response included the fact that a school must first determine its needs -- what type of technology is needed? what type of training is needed? what do the students need to learn? Creating assessments targeting specific areas will give the information to begin integrating technology.
It’s rather easy to see the main advantage of technology assessments: a clear picture is painted of what the teachers and students do/do not know and what they feel comfortable in using.  Assessments can create a road map of exactly where a district needs to begin in terms of training its teachers to assist their students in learning and using technology.
On the other hand, assessments take time.  It is time consuming to, first of all, develop an assessment.  Luckily, there are assessments available for districts to use.  For example, teachers could take some online assessments including NetCorps ( Technology Literacy Self-Assessment, Lo Ti Digital-Age Survey (, and SETDA Teacher Survey. 
For software, districts could use (for both teachers and students) the pre-course assessments that come with textbooks that normally are used by teachers to assess where they should begin in their classes.
A district must understand where their teachers and students stand in terms of technology knowledge and skills.  Administrators and their teams cannot know where to begin with technology implementation if they do not have a grasp on what their teachers and students already know. 

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