The technology advisory group for my building has just embarked on a most ambitious plan. It was pointed out to us last week that if we want to have the really cool tools that we know will help us deliver the digital content that our already strained resources and computer labs can’t handle, we should start with a plan. An instructional technology plan that’s focused primarily on modalities of instruction, delivery of content, and our ability to interact in a meaningful and visual way with our students.
Yes, yes, I know those sort of things are included in a district’s technology plan, but we want this to belong to us, our building, and have specific goals, outcomes, and experiences that relate to later elementary life. That leads us to tomorrow; a day long meeting of myself, our district IT Director, the administrator for our building, and at least two representatives from every content area and grade level, including special ed and other resource providing instructors within the building.
And we’d love all the help we can get. It’s not that we’re not a capable group of individuals; I’d gladly teach my way through the Sahara with any of them using nothing but a dried up expo marker and a solar-powered calculator. But I do know that there are quite a lot of really smart, and highly experienced people out there that have had some terrific success with writing these sorts of plans, and gosh darn it, we’d love to have you on our team. Metaphorically speaking that is, and from a long distance, preferably via e-mail or comments. I have lots of links ready for us with great examples of tech plans that I feel are top notch including Detroit Public Schools and Pinckney Schools. I also have lots of good resources about crafting such a plan, but to have a few extra voices of experience would really bolster our efforts.
To give you some idea of where we’re starting, here’s our starting goal:
The Later Elementary will empower every students’ right to intellect by providing best practices in current learning strategies, access to 21st Century digital learning tools, and collaborative reflective experiences. This can be accomplished through providing more integrated content across the curriculum and using differentiated teaching strategies with interactive learning environments, and digital work spaces that will create connectivity in real-time. Today’s learners are living in a visual world, with media speeding toward them from all directions. That is why we will engage the students with the interactive tools that are the reality of their future learning and work environments.
It’s a bit prosaic, and we’re currently not in love with any particular piece (except maybe the bit on connectivity in real-time), so feel free to tear into in, offer your insights, and help make our 5 year tech plan kick some serious butt!