The newest offering from Darryl Vidal and Michael Casey:
VISION – the first critical step in developing a strategy for Educational Technology is available now!
Here’s a little teaser from Chapter 1…copyright 2014 – Rowman and Littlefield Education
Here’s a dialog:
“What’s the Vision? Do you have a Vision?”
“Of course we have a Vision!”
“Really, what is it?”
“It’s here on our website.”
Every district website has a page about the Vision or Mission. And typically, there is a bullet point, or two that refers to an emphasis on technology, systems and/or “tools.” The next logical question then is, how do we use these tools to support the Vision? Why specifically for technology? We don’t have a “vision” for other infrastructure and systems – we don’t have a “vision” for plumbing, or lighting, so why do we need a vision for Technology?
Because plumbing is 99% standardized and is designed and maintained to fulfill a specific purpose that all architects and plumbers know and understand implicitly.
Technology, on the other hand, is 99% non-standardized. There are a thousand ways to implement and utilize technology, so a Vision for technology is as important as the overall Vision for education. The Technology Vision must directly support the Vision….
How the Vision Supports Instruction
Of course, the key idea about developing an Educational Technology Vision is “Education”, not “Technology.” The vision needs to not only reflect the educational focus, but also needs to embody the essence of what you are attempting to achieve with your instructional practices.
We hear a lot about 21st Century Learning, and Common Core Standards. How do they fit into your vision? How will you embody the pillars of Common Core and 21st Century Learning practices?
Somehow your vision needs to weave in the concepts Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking and Creativity. If these Common Core precepts are not included in the Vision then how are you supporting instructional practices in your district with the integration of technology?
A lot of school districts have rushed to get technology into students hands without really having a vision for how these devices support the districts’ instructional practices. The current impetus for acquiring technology for student use seems to be Smarter Balanced Testing.
Although technology tools are required for Smarter Balanced Testing and the acquisition of technology to support this new testing environment is necessary, what will you use that technology for after the testing period? Is there a plan? Will these newly acquired tools support your instructional practice as well as support Smarter Balanced Testing?
These are some of the reasons why it is important to include in your Educational Technology Vision the connection to instruction, Common Core, and 21st Century learning skills. Without a clear Vision that supports instruction, chaos reigns.
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