A successful EdTech implementation is the result of a carefully planned approach that comprises of developing a tech integration vision, a tech integration plan and roadmap and supporting the integration plan.
This is the first of the three part article series that will serve as a guide for EdTech implementation, focusing on developing a vision, a plan and supporting the plan for the integration of technology in education. This part focuses on creating a tech integration vision for EdTech implementation.
The vision for using technology in education should be to strive towards using technology to create a positive change in the learning experiences of students based on best teaching strategies and careful alignment with curriculum standards. The vision should also promise recreation of the learning experience and overcoming its current restraints. The focus should be on improving the teaching of content material while also developing 21st century literacy skills for students through the implementation of technology.
For creating a tech integration vision, you should take certain points into consideration, they are listed below:
- The goal of technology integration: Your vision should clearly elicit your goal behind the integration of technology in education. The aim should be to use technology seamlessly in the classroom and to employ technology to provide a variety of new ways to learn which foster 21st century skills like independent thinking, problem solving, communication, collaboration and more.
- Elements required for integrating technology: The common elements for tech integration are teachers, students, content and technology. The use of technology in classroom changes the classroom structure, operation and management, and teachers should learn to take the roles of mentors and guides to facilitate student learning rather than just being mere sources of knowledge. This requires a change in philosophy and practice.
- Technology should help students learn new things in new ways and prepare them for the future. It should help them think critically and solve problems, engage them and make their learning authentic so they can relate it to the real-world.
- The use of technology should enhance the effectiveness of the learning content so that the digital age learning helps students demonstrate creativity and innovation, communicate and collaborate, conduct research, think critically, solve problems and make decisions by using technology effectively and creatively.
- While choosing the technology for implementation you should consider the tools you have got available at the school site, the software/hardware restrictions, and whether your students, teachers and administrators are aware of the usage of technology you plan to implement.
- An integration team: Successful implementation will happen only through team work. Tech integration cannot be done by a single person alone, relationships are vital and all stakeholders must be involved. A team is needed which should include a technology coordinator, principal, media specialist, curriculum director, technology integrator, teachers from every department, and some students and parents as well.
The creation of effective and authentic tech integration vision statements should follow a well-defined process. When all the stakeholders are involved and participating and a team is formed to work towards the development of a vision for tech integration, the process should begin by conducting a brainstorm. Members of the group should jot down their ideas and share any key words or concepts they feel are critical to be included. When these ideas are received, brainstorming should begin and the keywords should be discussed. All the critical points should be added to a list and highlighted so that they’re not left out for consideration in the next steps. After brainstorming you should organize the thoughts and ideas. This organization or classification of ideas can be done in categories which can include attitude and behavior, learning environment, actions and decisions, learning experiences and community.
The next step should be to revise the lists of ideas that were put into categories. On having a set of lists, group members can share a brief re-cap of which words they used and how and why they chose them. Each topic should be clearly elaborated and discussed in detail and words can be added and removed as the group comes to a common understanding. The final step should be to develop the vision statements by taking the lists of words that have been agreed upon and develop statements that reflect the big ideas for each of the categories in which they were put into. The statements should reflect the school community, vision and priorities. The set of statements should then be discussed in the whole group to further refine them and come down to one final select statement that sums it all.
However, sometimes even the most well prepared plans will still end up blocked by school filters and fears. As an educator of the 21st century, your goal should be to maintain a positive attitude despite discouragement and continue to educate and share what you have learned about educational technology with the local faculty and profession at large. The more we each contribute to the spread of accurate knowledge and training, the more likely we will be to collectively overcome the censorship and concerns of the past.
The next part of the series will guide you on developing a tech integration plan and roadmap. How did you develop your school’s technology vision statement? What aspects of a vision statement are you finding critical for your school? Share with us in the Comment Box below.
Read Part 2 of this article series here: EdTech Implementation Guide - Part 2: Creating a Tech Integration Plan and Roadmap