Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tech Communicate

As technology becomes more and more integrated into the daily lives of students and teachers, it's essential that patterns of tech communication and change evolve.

What might that look like?  Many of the ideas below are ideas that people in my school system have put into place.  I've marked those ideas with an *.  Other ideas are ideas I've read about or constructed to meet tech communication and change goals.

  • A Published Vision for Technology Integration: With the help of all in the learning community, draft, discuss, revise and publish the vision to all i.e. families, students, educators, staff, administrators and community members. (our school is putting this process into place)
  • Professional Development and Curriculum Planning and Design Options
    • Interdisciplinary "edcamp-like" PD Sessions*
    • Tech Tuesdays (time with tech leaders and colleagues to learn, share ideas)*
    • Attendance at Workshops--my school system supports this readily.*
    • Professional Sharing Blogs*
    • Regular updates with information related to vision, opportunities, current events and successes shared both with a predictable schedule of newsletters and a spontaneous feed such as Twitter. (Don't forget to credit people too as lack of credit creates an untrusting environment.)
    • An efficient, dynamic process for sharing new ideas, piloting tech efforts, and accessing current practice with dynamic conversation, positive protocols and diverse voices. It may be that educators need consultation and learning when it comes to dynamic conversation.  Old time "factory model" schools did not support this kind of conversation. 
    • One-to-one coaching.*  (While this is currently in place in my system, I believe our current tech integration model could be changed to foster greater collaborative coaching when it comes to tech integration related to teaching and learning. Collaborative could point to many models including teacher-teacher, admin-teacher, student-teacher, community member/family-educator. . .)
    • Professional Development Run By Staff *: Educators in my system are welcome to provide courses for other staff members.  They earn a small stipend and pd points.  Also the educators that attend the courses can earn pd credits.
    • System Institutes *: Our system hosts two institutes to build learning within and outside of our system.  Educators are invited to attend as well as lead workshops.  A noted expert or experts in the field is invited to present at these events as well. 
    • A greater collaborative effort towards learning design that integrates best practice, research and tools.  This could be done, in part, with our current PLC model.  The model would have to be expanded for best effect. 
    • An efficient, timely purchasing system that allows educators to spend money wisely with attention to student needs, current standards and future vision.
    • Assessment of efforts and practice through use of surveys, conversations and written reports.  Assessment results should be shared with all as a way of growing our practice and efforts with student learning as the focus. 
In days of old when information was slow moving and many educators and students were not involved in technology, the model looked more like a top-down, factory model--that's how all leadership models in schools of the past looked.  Today research points us to the direction of "autonomy, mastery and purpose" (Pink's book, Drive), and that demands new processes of leadership, communication and collaboration as the learning landscape evolves. Also, ready access to information and information-everywhere presents a situation that calls for streamline systems and prioritization. How do we all move forward with this vision in mind?