The Super Highway of Technology

by Jennifer Hoover, EME 6317

Growing better teachers for the future

Professional Development - the term typically conjures up visions of weary educators packed into a stuffy room forced to feign interest in the words of a teacher who left the field for "consulting" 80 years ago. The picture is far from engaging and doesn't inspire professional growth. But, in reality, growth is the only purpose of professional development. Specifically, professional development with respect to technology is essential to growing teachers. The vast majority of teachers do not come to their classroom with a sufficient working knowledge of instructional technology application. Having had countless experiences where a teacher has submitted a work order only to find that their student computers were unplugged from the wall, administrators and instructional leaders are compelled to support their staff to greater depths of understanding and technology integration. As discussed, there is an overall expectation that administrators and campus leaders accomplish this task through careful modeling and clear communication of achievable expectation. True technology integration in the classroom occurs when systematic planning leads to technology acquisition and installation followed by professional development and long-term support.

“It is not about the technology; it’s about sharing knowledge and information, communicating efficiently, building learning communities and creating a culture of professionalism in schools. These are the key responsibilities of all educational leaders”. – Marion Ginapolis

ISTE Standards - setting the ground rules

The ISTE Standards have wide-reaching implications for Teachers, Administrators, and Students. The standards outline responsible use, digital citizenship, expectations for collaboration and meaningful technology integration, research skills, problem solving, and critical thinking. From these standards, discussions about ethics, application, and technology acquisition leading to the development of technology plans and acceptable use policies. With several different sets of standards succinctly addressing the needs of several unique instructional groups including teachers, administrators, students, and coaches, stakeholders from all perspectives can be aligned in instructional purpose with regard to technology integration within the curriculum. From the class discussion, a weakness was identified in that a relevant set of parent standards focusing on responsible use, monitoring, and digital citizenship. If addressed, the reach of the ISTE Standards would be greater and, likely, longer lasting.

“New technology is common, new thinking is rare.” – Sir Peter Blake

“Teaching in the Internet age means we must teach tomorrow’s skills today.” – Jennifer Fleming

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