Information Technology Systems
An Insightful Reflection
A Summary of Activities
My collaborative group examined the technology policies of Wilkes County Schools. During the policy review, we identified policies that were suggested by the tech department based upon general statute and then approved by the local board. We also discovered policies in place with procedures that were established solely by our local LEA. We examined who wrote the policies, who was responsible for enforcing them, and who addressed it when policy was not followed. We created a district policy map to reflect this information. Ease of access and policy needs in the area of cyber bullying were also addressed in the project.
Our same group also met several times to work together to put create an infographic on the topic of cyber-bullying. The infographic housed the definition, how to recognize cyber-bullying, the need to report immediately, and how to address it when it occurs. The team selected a one-page format in which to share the information in the most concise, aesthetic way possible. Our final collaborative group project was an examination of the policies of our neighboring counties in relation to ours. We realized during the comparison that some counties addressed cyber-bullying and had policy in place. Other counties had no mention of cyber-bullying in county policy. In Wilkes, our policy mentioned there should be no cyber-bullying, however there was no definition or explanation in how to recognize it when it occurred.
Sharing information through posting on the Facebook class page also was valuable. There were many resources including infographics on other topics, videos, articles, etc. that addressed the "hot topics" of technology in education from cyber-bullying to using technology effectively during classroom instruction.
What Now...What Still Needs to Be Addressed?
Topics for Continued Action
. Research of policy in NC counties in which cyber-bullying is thoroughly addressed
. Creation of cyber-bullying policy within Wilkes County Schools
. Monitoring of copyright issues within my school building
. Addressing copyright issues immediately when observed
. More emphasis on appropriate internet use including student safety lessons
. Provision of professional development opportunities/modeling of effective technology use to drive targeted classroom instruction
. Ongoing professional development map on instructional technology tools
Personally, I learned from the ITC Course that I need to be much more aware of technology use in my home as well as in my school building. Copyright issues that occur within my building, I need to immediately address and hold some of those tough conversations with my employees. I also learned that cyber-bullying occurs much more frequently than I ever dreamed it did. My daughter personally experienced this, although at the time I just assumed it was one student angry at another. When My Space was popular, my daughter had another student to place on her My Space page "The Top Twenty Reasons I Hate Emilee". It had her last name attached and it also stated very vulgar reasons. It was removed after a few days when the other student was approached by some of my daughter's friends. I should have had more input in this situation. As an administrator it is tough to address face book issues or cyber bullying that occurs outside of the classroom. I have determined that the position I need to take is more of a proactive/preventive approach in educating our students on cyber-bullying. I also need to be sure I play a role in enforcing technology policy within our school.
No, this is not actually Jennifer. It's her Pug! lol
We spend entirely too much time working together!
I enjoyed getting to know Candie a little more this class!
Those I Worked With...
These are the ladies I spent entirely too much time collaborating with over the last two years! No, actually we all have very different personalities and at times it was difficult to agree upon the way we wanted to present our project topics, but we had a blast! They are all working in my county as assistant principal or curriculum specialists for middle school. They each bring a different perspective. Jennifer is a high school AP, Beth is a middle school curriculum specialist, Candie was an elementary specialist and just recently became a middle school one. In addressing technology policy and cyber-bullying, it was great to have a different perspective from differing age groups. I would not have incorporated some of the topics in our presentations had I been working alone and coming entirely from the middle school perspective. I had not thought of some of the high school issues Jennifer faces regarding older students. Sexual content in messages is an ongoing issue. Cyber-bullying occurs in the middle school, but in elementary school more of the problem revolves around misuse of equipment and inappropriate gaming sites. It was interesting to encompass all three age group perspectives within each of our projects!
. Embed videos in e-chalk and on school wikis to address parents and students
. Devise a plan with the technology facilitator in my building to teach students responsible internet use and safety on a regular basis
. Collaborate with the school curriculum specialist, media coordinator, and ITF to devise repeated professional development throughout the school year regarding copyright, effective instructional technology use, and internet safety for students
. Invite the SBI agent of cyber crimes department to present to students and parents regarding internet protection, recognizing cyber-bullying, and how to appropriately address these issues when they arise
. Skype with parent advisory members and outside community agency representatives
. Facilitate Skype sessions between our students, authors, government officials and other students from around the world
. Educate myself and stay abreast of the technology tools available for administrators and educators