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Technology Use Planning Overview

July 17, 2011

As part of our module 6 assignment, we are to review sources on how to create a technology use plan that would be implemented in our school or district.  As an educational technologist, it would be my job to design a plan that would meet the needs of the school and staff, as well as, be the most beneficial to student learning.

To define a technology use plan appears to be somewhat difficult across various articles.  One thing that is mostly agreed upon is that there are two forms of a technology use plan–the noun form which is the document and the verb form which are the actions taken (Anderson, 1999). Technology use planning is the process to create the written product, as well as, the actions that are taken to follow through on the plan.   In education, the focus of a technology use plan is to better learning through the use of various technologies.  The planning involves various people, committees, time, effort, research, integrations, money, evaluation, and adjustment.   Technology use planning is ultimately to benefit education and can be done by effective research and a focus on learning outcomes.

The National Educational Technology Plan (NETP) 2010 is an effective guide to creating a technology use plan.  It lays out the goals for the plan and how those might be achieved. Goal 4.0 from the NETP states that  “All students and educators will have access to comprehensive infrastructure for learning when and where they need it” (NETP, 2010).  It also lists actions that should be taken to meet the specific goal, such as 4.1 which states “Ensure students and educators have broadband access to the internet and adequate wireless connectivity both in and out of school” (NETP, 2010).  The NETP is powerful because it is so specific about the goals and actions to meet the needs of the five necessary areas: Learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure, and productivity (NETP, 2010).

The next article I read was called “Developing Effective Technology Plans” written by John See.  This article discusses various parts that make a technology plan effective such as being short term, application focused, going beyond computers, using funds appropriately, benefiting staff, and being visioned focused (See, 2001).  I do agree with See in that technology use plans need to short, within one year, rather than long.  Technology these days changes and grows at an exponential rate so it is impossible to meet a long term plan without being out of date on some aspect of the plan. It is crucial to review plans often in order to meet those changes.

See also states that, “effective technology plans focus on applications, not technology” (See, 2001).  I agree with this also.  The focus should be on what you can do with the computer not what type of computer or technology it is.  We must remember that education is the focus and the decisions we make need to be education focused.  I like how See says that typing can be done on $30 keyboard or a typewriter–the most expensive high tech computer is not necessary for this task (See, 2001). I think it can be difficult for some people to focus on the real task or goal, rather than on getting the most interesting new technology available.

I personally have zero experience with technology use planning so far.  As a novice educator, with an enthusiasm for technology, I look forward to being a part of a committee that makes these decisions, if not an actual educational technologist.  I have seen bad outcomes with outdated technology piling up in storage spaces due to a bad plan or bad use of funds with no plan for application of the computers.  On the other hand, I have been in schools that provide students with laptops for their high school career and I found it to be a great use of funds.  The applications on the computers were very helpful and the computers allowed students to work at school and home.  I feel as an educational technologist I would push for that if there was not a better option already in place within the school.  I am also very interested in augmented reality applications and how those can be applied in each subject area.  As an educational technologist, I would attend seminars and discussions to make sure I am aware of all the possible applications and technologies available and used in education, so that I can make the best recommendations for a technology use plan.

Resources

Anderson, L. (1999). National Center for Technology Planning. Technology planning it’s more than computers. Retrieved from http://www.nctp.com/articles/tpmore.pdf

See, J. (2001). National Center for Technology Planning. Developing Effective Technology Plans. Retrieved from http://www.nctp.com/html/john_see.cfm
U.S. Department of Education. (2010). Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology. National Education Technology Plan Executive Summary. Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov/technology/netp-2010
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