The Process for Identifying Target Area Goals

by Michael D. King Once the steering committee has developed its vision/mission statements, its members should identify present conditions that may affect the technology plan. These conditions will shape future target areas for technology improvement. Identifying target requires four specific steps. The first component, survey development, identifies specific areas that should be assessed in the technology plan. The second component assesses the school’s present condition through a survey form that asks “what is” and “what should be” in identified target areas. Component three of the process conducts an assessment analysis that provides a school profile that identifies areas for technology improvement. The fourth component of the process develops goals that will address the areas of weakness outlined in the school profile. In Exhibit 1 Developing Target Goals, the authors have included a diagram illustrating the five-component process of developing target area goals.

Exhibit 1 DIAGRAM FOR DEVELOPING TARGET AREA GOALS ______________________________________________________________________________ Component One Survey Development Identify specific areas to target
Future Strategies for School Improvement Assessment of School’s Present Condition

Developing Target Area Goals

What is and What Should Be

Component Four:

Component Two:

TARGET AREA GOALS

Component Three:
Assessment Analysis The School Profile Identifying areas of improvement

____________________________________________________________________________

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Component One: Survey Development In component one, the steering committee members must first identify what they want to know about technology as it relates to student learning. By using the Survey Design instrument in Exhibit 2 Survey Question Design Instrument, the steering committee can determine how to get answers to this question. The questions are categorized into the Five Critical Areas for Site-Based Technology Assessment: professional development, curriculum, assessment and reporting, equipment and network design and maintenance. These five areas will be the basis for future goals and strategies regarding the technology plan and implementation.

Exhibit 2 SURVEY QUESTION DESIGN INSTRUMENT ______________________________________________________________________________
Answer the following questions regarding the development of a technology plan. Some target areas will require larger portions of assessment strategies, while others may have small and specific results. Before goals can be developed, the team will need to identify specific target areas through the assessment process. Once this form has been completed, the steering committee members can identify needed survey questions. =============================================================== Target Area #1 Professional Development– How will professional development promote teacher and staff use of technology as part of the curriculum? What do you want to know about this technology area?      Will there be any incentives offered to teachers for professional development training? Will we provide knowledgeable trainers to train teachers in the use of technology? What types of resources will we provide for technology training? Will the technology training be continuous and introduce teachers to various uses of instructional technology? Will the school have access to multi-media resources that will promote ongoing professional development? Target Area #2 Curriculum and Instruction – Will teachers and students use technology as an intrical part of interdisciplinary learning? What do you want to know about this technology area?    What kind of software and hardware will be selected to support the curriculum? What kinds of methods will be used for integrating technology into the curriculum? What subject areas will be involved when integrating technology into the curriculum?

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Target Area #3 Assessment and Reporting – Will technology be incorporated into the assessment and reporting of student progress? What do you want to know about this technology area?     What provisions will be made for electronic storage of selected student work and information? What types of assessment information will be included electronically to report student progress? What type of software will need to be purchased to meet the need for electronic based student assessment? Will there be an emphasis on training teachers how to use electronic assessment effectively?

Target Area #4 Equipment and Network Design – Will the district support the necessary infrastructure needed to provide telecommunications and online learning opportunities for students? What do you want to know about this technology area?    How will we supply connectivity to the classroom and administrative areas? How will we provide each teacher with a computers and related equipment needed for his/her duties? How will we obtain funding to purchase the necessary equipment to support this plan?

Target Area #5 Maintenance– What technological support will be provided by the district in the areas of maintenance and troubleshooting? What do you want to know about this technology area?  Will there be qualified personnel available to assist students, teachers and staff with computer-related questions or problems? ______________________________________________________________________________ Source: Author Once the steering committee has decided what they need to know, they must decide the best way to obtain this information. The steering committee must recognize the need for continual assessment of technology use within the school setting. One method for determining this information is to tie the assessment process to the development of target areas. The authors have provided an explanation on how this can be accomplished by following the next two components of the planning model: Conducting a Needs Assessment Survey and Conducting a School Profile.

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Component Two: Conducting a Needs Assessment Survey Conducting a needs assessment survey will serve two purposes: 1) to provide data as a means to assess the school’s need for technology in specific areas, so that the school can make decisions concerning priority targets for technology improvement; 2) to provide data at the onset of the project that will serve as benchmarks for the school to measure continuous growth. The Target Area Assessment Survey should be the centerpiece of the planning process, the database from which the technology team unfolds its vision for the future. Target area assessment means obtaining information about obstacles the technology committee may face as it begins the planning process. These obstacles should be outlined in terms of “What Is?” and “What Should Be?” Data gained from the assessment process should help the steering committee identify the school’s technology needs and help to prioritize these needs in the planning process. The needs assessment survey will give the steering committee information about staff readiness for technology and should include information on the following five areas of importance presented in Exhibit 3 Five Critical Areas for Site-Based Technology Assessment.

Exhibit 3 THE FIVE CRITICAL AREAS FOR SITE-BASED TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT _____________________________________________________________________________________ Staff development  How will professional development promote teacher and staff use of technology as part of the curriculum? Curriculum and Instruction    How will teachers and students use technology as an intrical part of interdisciplinary learning?

Reporting and Assessment How will technology be incorporated into the assessment and reporting of student progress?

Equipment and Network Design How will the district support the necessary infrastructure needed to provide telecommunications and online learning opportunities for students? Maintenance and Support  How will technology be supported by the district to in the areas of maintenance and troubleshooting?

______________________________________________________________________________ Source: Author

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Conducting a needs assessment survey is a three-fold process. First, the steering committee must identify target area as identified in Exhibit 4 and the people they want to survey. Second, the steering committee must distribute the needs assessment surveys. Third, the committee must compile the information once the surveys have been returned. It is recommended that a subcommittee of steering committee members be assigned the tasks of developing, distributing and compiling the surveys and compiling subsequent information. The author has provided a sample of a technology needs assessment survey, Exhibit 4 for the reader to review.

Exhibit 4 SAMPLE TECHNOLOGY NEEDS ASSESSMENT SURVEY
Check One: ____ Community Member ____Administrator ____ Teacher ___ Parent ___ Student

Directions: This survey measures your thoughts about technology in the school. Indicate how you feel about technology under “What Is and how you would like to feel about technology under “What Should Be” (1 = HIGH) (2 = MEDIUM) (3 = LOW)

TARGET AREA 1.0 Professional Development 1.1 The school supports inservice attendance by providing in-district credit or release time or incentive items such as free software/hardware. 1

What Is

What Should Be

2

3

1

2

3

1.2 The school invites technology and education professionals to conduct inservice training in the areas technology use and online learning. 1 2 3 1 2 3

1.3 The school makes funding available for technology training, materials and teacher compensation. 1 2 3 1 2 3

1.4 The school has someone onsite who can help with computer training and technology-related questions or provides this information in some form of communication. 1 2 3 1 2 3

1.5 The school provides teachers with the equipment needed to do their jobs effectively.

1

2

3

1

2

3

Source: Author

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Additionally, steering committee members may distribute an information cover sheet with the survey. This information should include, the purpose of the survey, how the information will be used, as well as when and how to return the survey. The authors have provided an example of an survey information cover sheet.

INFORMATION SURVEY COVER SHEET

June 20, 2010 Dear Survey Participant, Members of the School Technology Steering Committee would like your input as we strive to improve student learning opportunities at our school.

The committee, which includes members of the community, parents, teachers and administrators, is in preliminary stages for developing a comprehensive technology plan for our School.

To put together such a plan, we became the responsible body for gathering information regarding technology – how teachers, students and community members feel about technology, what technology is currently available, what technology is needed and how instructional technology can be improved in the future.

The steering committee, through a random selection process, has selected more than 200 individuals to assist with this project. The steering committee is requesting that this survey be returned to the school by July 10.

Participants can mail the form to School, Attn: , School Technology Steering Committee, 1109 Oak, Woodville, KS, 73965. A survey form can also be found on our school website, www.

Thank you for supporting our committee in this endeavor.

Sincerely,

Technology Steering Committee Chairperson

______________________________________________________________________________ Source: Author

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Component Three: Conducting A Technology Profile After the surveys have been returned and the information compiled, the technology team will learn what their target audience considers “what is” and “what should be” regarding technology use in the school. In (Exhibit 5 Technology Needs Assessment Profile), the authors have designed a Technology Needs Assessment Profiling instrument to help site-based planners analyze the survey results into a profile of the school’s desire to improve technology. When conducting a technology profile the subcommittee should determine which areas scored most and least favorably on the scale. Lower numbers indicate that participants believed the goal represents “what is” already happening in the school, while higher numbers indicate a need in one or more of the five target areas. These areas of need should be considered as candidates for target area goal development. Subcommittee members should also look for large discrepancies in the continuum of “what is” and “what should be”. Additionally, they should look for large discrepancies in replies from different groups, such as teacher or parents. If large discrepancies exist in either case, the subcommittee should examine their causes. The final product of the technology needs assessment profile will serve as a benchmark for the next step in the process, selecting target area goals and strategies to meet those goals.

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Exhibit 5 TECHNOLOGY NEEDS ASSESSMENT PROFILE
TARGET AREA PROFILE What Is -------------------------What Should Be (1 = HIGH) (2 = MEDIUM) (3 = LOW) The higher the number the more desirable the goal. GROUPS DIFFERENCE IN PERCEIVED AND DESIRED RATINGS CM = Community ADM = Administration TEA = Teacher P = Parent S= Student AV = Average Score CM ADM TEA P S AV

TARGET AREA: Professional Development 1.1 The school supports inservice attendance by providing indistrict credit or release time or incentive items such as free software/hardware.

1.06

.87

.73

.91

.94

0.902

1.2 The school invites technology and education professionals to conduct inservice training in the areas technology use and online learning. .45 .96 1.13 .73 .31 0.716

1.3 The school makes funding available for technology training, materials and teacher compensation. -0.6 .87 .88 .80 .63 0.962

1.4 The school has someone onsite who can help with computer training and technology-related questions or provides this information in some form of communication.

1.5 The school provides teachers with the equipment needed to do their jobs effectively. TARGET AREA: Curriculum and Instruction CM ADM TEA P S AV

Source: Author

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Component Four: Developing Target Area Goals and Strategies One important function of the profiling process is that it allows for a truer picture to emerge of what the school needs when it approaches the development of site-based target area technology goals. It is well known among collaborative planners that people are more willing to commit to goals they have helped establish. Additionally, they are more likely to stay committed to those goals if they receive timely and accurate feedback for their participating. The goals themselves are not reinforcing. Instead, motivation to achieve goals stems from learning what needs to be accomplished and developing specific strategies that give direction to future technology accomplishments. The development of target area goals is one means by which the school can compare their desired practices in a systematic way to desired standards of excellence. Target area goals will serve as the benchmark resource for the future and the overall development of the schools technology plan. As a guide to developing goal statements, the authors have provided in Exhibit 6 (What Is A Goal Statement?) three statements that goals should address as they relate to the planning process and benchmarks for technology improvement.

  

Exhibit 6 WHAT IS A GOAL STATEMENT? ________________________________________________________________________
Goal statements are broad and general declarations of what the school will do to accomplish its mission. Goal statements reveal ways that a mission of the school will be accomplished. Goals are derived from belief statements to relate to the needs of clients and must be appropriate to the capability of the schools. Source: Author When developing technology goals, the steering committee should identify at least one goal under

each categorical domain established as a priority within the Technology Needs Assessment Profile. For example, in the profiling process, there were five critical areas the committee wanted to address in assessing technology. In (Exhibit 4Technology Needs Assessment Profile), subcomponent1.2, under the category of professional development, demonstrated that teachers believed inviting technology and education professionals to conduct inservice training in the areas of technology use and online learning should be a priority. Since this area was a priority among teachers, the target area goal developed under the category of professional development should address this need, as demonstrated in Exhibit 7 Target Areas Development Worksheet. An example of a target area goal that would address this need is as follows: Given a series of professional development opportunities, teachers will become proficient in integrating technology into the curriculum. Using this system of analysis, goal statement development will assist the school in comparing their practices to meeting identified standards of excellence as they have been outlined for the reader in Exhibit 7.

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Exhibit 7 TARGET AREA GOALS DEVELOPMENT WORKSHEET
Using information gained through the profiling process develop one goal statement under each target area presented on this worksheet. When developing your goals please use the following guidelines: What is a goal statement?    Goal statements are broad and general declarations of what the school will do to accomplish its mission. Goal statements reveal ways that the mission of the school will be accomplished Goals are derived from the school profile and relate to the needs of students and must be appropriate to the capability of the school.

Essential Components of Goal Statements     Condition is the circumstances in which the goal will be addressed Behavior is the method of demonstrating the action Method is the focus of the strategy Outcome is the results of the goal

Staff Development: Given a series of professional development opportunities, teachers will become proficient in integrating technology into the curriculum.

Curriculum and Instruction: Given the needed equipment, teachers and students will use technology to score in the 60-percentile or better on the Criterion Reference Test.

Assessment and Reporting: Given the needed equipment, teachers, administrators and staff will use technology to better organize lesson plans, student records, report cards and attendance records.

Equipment and Facilities: Given the needed tools and ongoing training, district and school staff will support the infrastructure, routing, computer, and telecommunications equipment necessary to meet student goals in the area of technology.

Technical Support: Given complete and thorough information regarding technology use, the school will establish a policy for the purchase of new equipment and software. Additionally, the school will offer a fulltime, computer-supported help option to assist with equipment and software questions.

Source: Author

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