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Running Head: SHARED VISION & RATIONALE

Shared Vision and Rationale

Amy Rugg
ITEC 7410 Technology Leadership and Vision in Schools
Summer 2015
Dr. Beeland

Keywords:

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Shared Vision and Rationale
Vision Statement
The technology vision of Northwestern Middle School is to provide modernized
technologies, present-day training interventions, and excellent support that:

promotes engaged learning for students of all ability levels,

promotes use of technology that faculty and staff use to create meaningful
connections to the curriculum, assessment and instruction,

provides professional development opportunities that are offered in variety of


methods that create a flexible learning environment,

provides accurate and timely communication,

promotes community involvement through access to technology that will


encourage a positive learning environment.
Rationale
When the teachers at Northwestern Middle School (NMS) were surveyed about

various issues surrounding technology, it became apparent that the teachers wanted
support in areas that complimented the current technology vision for Fulton County.
Many of the teachers want to change from traditional teaching methods to methods that
support their students academic growth using technology but are unsure about how to
make the change. Of the 29 teachers that responded to the survey, they felt strongest
about their ability to use data to adjust instruction to meet the needs of all students.
However, they felt unsure about how to meet the needs of their students with the use of
technology. Teachers also felt that the school needs to provide equitable access to

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technology to all students, better training from the district, and offer training for parents
to support student learning needs.
Teachers were also asked to share their vision about how they see technology
taking place in the future at NMS. One teacher stated that, I see kids using it to learn,
review, practice, teach to others, collaborate with others and complete assessments with
quick feedback. This ties directly into the idea of a constructivist teaching design model
where teachers allow students to engage in activities that ask them to classify, analyze,
predict and create (Brooks & Brooks, 1993).
Technology in the classroom is also viewed by teachers as a way to tailor
instruction to meet the individual learning needs of students to assist in promoting
engaged learning for all ability levels. One teacher stated that they thought technology
could be used, during class time, [where] websites can be used for remediation, direct
instruction, and review. Students can access the technology resources from home to
complete assignments and do practice. Another teacher supported this feeling by saying
that, technology [will] replace written textbooks, have more interactive learning and
learning tailored to student's needs.
The vision statement supports these thoughts proposed by the teachers and current
literature on how students should learn. Along with supporting students, the teachers need
to feel that they are supported in introducing methods and technology tools into the
classroom. Teachers did not feel that the current methods in which training takes place is
effective for their own learning needs. An overwhelming 67% of teachers said that they
preferred learning about new technologies in a small group setting. Only 21% said that
they preferred technology training in an online platform. Creighton (2003) states that in

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order for any technology program to be successful, teachers must feel that they are being
supported by the technology leaders in the school. This is a very important aspect that
many schools often forget.

Diversity Considerations
Equitable access to technology for all students can be a challenge to any school.
At NMS, the student population lacks in true diversity with 70% of the population being
white, 10% black, 8% Hispanic, and 3% multi-racial (The Governors Office of Student
Achievement, n.d.). Out of the 1395 students that attend the school, 10% of students are
SES, 1% are ESOL, and 8.8% are Special Education (The Governors Office of Student
Achievement, n.d.). 1.6% of students attend resource classes, while 42% of the total
student population is gifted (The Governors Office of Student Achievement, n.d.). The
median household income for the area is $113,000, which is well above the state average
of $49,179 (United States Census Bureau, 2015). This is very important for NMS to take
into consideration of SES and ESOL students when implementing technology into the
school. It is very easy for this population to be forgotten about and staff members need to
consider the needs of all students when using technology in the classroom. For example,
if a teacher decides to flip their classroom, students need to have alternate options
available to complete the assignments as they may not have access to the technology that
is required at home. Currently, students have access to computers before school, during
lunch and, they are able to check out a MacBook overnight. Individual teachers also offer
access to technology as it is needed for students.

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The current student population is 49% female and 51% male (The Governors
Office of Student Achievement, n.d.). The school did offer a connections class that
focused on STEM initiatives and careers in the field. There were boys and girls in the
class and students were not allowed to choose the class. This class should be continued
and expanded into a club that is for girls and could introduce them to various activities
such as robotics. The club could also be run in conjunction with the career exploration
curriculum that the guidance office already offers.

Stakeholder Roles
In order for a technology vision to be successful the school must have the support
of the stakeholders that are involved with the school. Stakeholders include administrators,
teachers, parents, students, and members of the community. It is important that
administrators support staff in assisting them in creating meaningful connections with
curriculum, assessment and instruction. This can be achieved through sharing exemplary
lessons with professional learning communities (PLCs), allowing teachers time to
observe other teachers who have exemplary lessons using technology tools, giving
teachers coverage to help other teachers implement technology tools that they are
successfully using in their classrooms, and purchasing more devices to allow each
content area equitable access. Administration should also examine the equipment that is
already in the school and assess how much it is being used, along with the impact that it
has on student learning. Administration should also organize sessions for parents to learn
how to use various tools that the school has decided to implement.

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Teachers hold the key to successful implementation of the technology vision.
Lessons that are created within the PLC should look to create engaging lessons that allow
for students to explore the curriculum. It is recommended that at least one person in the
PLC should be designated as the technology coordinator for the group. The technology
coordinators should meet once a month to share ideas and train others on technology
tools or strategies that work. This will facilitate the desire of teachers to have small group
technology training in a setting that they feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and
asking questions.
When the parents are included into the technology vision, they begin to feel a
sense of ownership and will support the vision and all of the initiatives that go along with
it. Parents can not only attend the technology sessions, but they can share the information
and train other parents that may not be as comfortable. Parents can also influence the
PTA into purchasing devices for the PLCs so that more students can have access to
technology in the classroom.
The entire technology vision centers itself around the needs of students. The main
goal of the vision is to engage students so that they can be successful, not only in the
classroom but in the world as they become global citizens. Some of the best technology
tools are ones that the students find and use on a regular basis. It is important that they
share these tools with their teachers on a regular basis. In an ideal classroom, students
should be allowed to explore the curriculum in a way that meets not only their needs but
their interests as well. Many students at the school bring personal devices to school and
these should be utilized in a way that is engaging to students.

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Members of the community can help in creating meaningful connections between
the real world and the curriculum in a way that goes well beyond the classroom.
Members of the community can work with students on real projects in a variety of ways.
Establishing a good tie with the community can have a lasting impression on students.
NMS currently does not have an instructional technology coach and this is a
position that the school should look at creating. The creation of this position would allow
for all the other stakeholders to be better supported while they implement the vision.
When the vision is fully realized, the school building will become a well-oiled machine
that will bring in all of the stakeholders in a meaningful way that will allow for students
to explore the curriculum in ways that they never thought of before. It is very important
for all of the parts of the machine to work well within one another because if one system
fails, they all fail. With a clear vision in place however, this allows for stakeholders to
stay focused on where they want to head in the future.

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References
Brooks, J.G., & Brooks, M.G. (1993). Becoming a constructivist teacher. In In
search of understanding: The case for constructivist classrooms (pp. 103-118).
Washington DC: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Creighton, T. (2003). The principal as technology leader. Thousand Oaks, Calif.:
Corwin Press.
Fulton County Schools Technology Plan. (2011). Retrieved June 28, 2015, from
http://www.fultonschools.org/en/divisions/it/Documents/2012_2015 Final tech
plan.pdf#search=technology vision
Georgia Department of Education Instructional Technology Vision. (n.d.).
Retrieved June 28, 2015, from http://www.gadoe.org/Technology-Services/InstructionalTechnology/Pages/default.aspx
The Governors Office of Student Achievement, (n.d.). Report Card. Retrieved
June 22, 2015, from http://gosa.georgia.gov/report-card
Northwestern Middle School Mission and Vision. (n.d.). Retrieved June 28, 2015,
from http://school.fultonschools.org/ms/northwestern/Pages/Mission.aspx
United States Department of Education Mission. (n.d.). Retrieved June 28, 2015,
from http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/mission/mission.html
United States Census Bureau. (2015). City of Milton Quick Facts. Retrieved June
28, 2015, from http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/13/1351670.html