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Fort Worthington Elementary/

Middle Technology Plan


2017-2018

Created By: Denise Green


A change I would like to see in my school would be the availability of more

technology resources such as smart boards, computers and iPads for student use.

Because our mission is to prepare our students to be lifelong learners in the 21st

century, technology plays a major role. By having these resources, teachers will be able

to create a wide variety of experiences for students. Virtual field trips and skype

meetings with other classes are just some of the endless possibilities. If all students

were able to have their own device, differentiating instruction could be easier by using

different sites such as Edpuzzle to allow students to really take responsibility for their

own learning and move at their own pace. By being able to expose students to

technology at the elementary level it will prepare them for future careers that they may

have never thought of or considered.

Another reason teachers would want to use this innovation would be to help give

students options in their learning. We are always told that learner centered classrooms

help students to be more successful. If we give them the option to use computers and

iPads to extend their learning, it may be more helpful to specific students who may

struggle when using pencil and paper. If used effectively, technology resources can

have a major impact on student learning and engagement.

Surry

According to Surry, diffusion theory and instructional technology coexist with

each other. In order to see a change, the theory of diffusion is a process that takes

place. Surry defines diffusion as an innovation that is adopted and is accepted by the

members who are responsible for using it. There are four main factors that influence
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this process. They are the innovation, how information about the innovation is

communicated, time, and the nature of the social system into which the innovation is

being introduced. At my school, technology has been slightly pushed in the past but

there hasn’t been much communication about it. When purchasing a reading program,

the curriculum required teachers to use smart boards to communicate information to

students. There was no formal instruction on how to setup and use the board besides a

brief professional development that only went over the books and materials to use.

When observations took place, many staff members received deductions because they

were not using the technology required with the lessons. In this situation

communication was lacking.

For my proposed innovation, I would like to have all teachers use smart boards

for instruction as well as one to one devices for students. I first plan to work with my

administration to make sure that everyone will be supplied with a smart board. Then

determine if we can have all teachers gain access to the laptop carts at least once a

week. Once the innovation materials are supplied, we will setup a date for a

professional development to introduce the idea to staff. This meeting will simply

describe the idea of using the materials and what will be expected. The following PD

will entail actually how to use the materials and set them up. It will be setup by grade

level to show elementary and middle school teachers’ different programs that can be

used with the materials.

Triability- Some teachers already use smart boards but there is very little use of

computer or iPad usage by students or in classrooms. There will be a group roll out to

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show everyone how to use the resources and explain what they can be used for. Once

the materials are available to all classrooms teachers can easily allow students to try

the materials. Help them get a basic overview of how to use the resources. A tech

leader will be available to instruct for the first time if the teachers do not feel

comfortable.

Observability- The results can be seen daily through student engagement. It can

also be seen on benchmark tests like iReady that teachers feel does not really show

students capabilities due to the lack of computer use.

Relative Advantage- Teachers will see how these resources are leading students

into the technological world that we now live in. By preparing them how to use it now

they will not be surprised when entering college or the real world.

Complexity- There is not much complexity in using the devices. For those that

are less skilled in computer, iPad or smart board usage, there will be PDs to help make

it an easy transition for everyone.

Compatibility- The resources are compatible with all grade levels. They will be

able to differentiate instruction to accommodate their class needs. Every resource can

be modified to meet grade level expectations.

The introduction and communication of this innovation will take place over the

first 3 months of school. After the initial introduction and grade level PDs, teachers will

have the opportunity to attend after school sessions to help increase their knowledge of

the resources to be used. The principal’s influence will be necessary to get some of the

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veteran teachers who do not feel comfortable with technology on board. Due to the fact

that Baltimore city school district does not have a big push on use of technology it will

be crucial to have the school leadership team involved to push this innovation and make

it a requirement for teachers.

Once teachers have the knowledge about the resources to be used, they will

then be able to implement it. Once it is implemented, it is normal for more questions to

arise as well as technical difficulties. Due to the fact that this is expected to happen,

that is why more after school pds will take place.

Ely’s Conditions

In order to assess where my school stood on implementing technology in the

classroom, I interviewed three teachers from the staff. The questions asked were all

based around Ely’s eight conditions. Here are the responses listed below:

Dissatisfaction with the Status Quo

The teachers that I interviewed were all elementary teachers’ grades 5, 2 and 1.

Two of the three teachers were upset with the fact that we have the technology to use

but there is no money to purchase the bulbs or to keep up with the maintenance of the

smart boards. One teacher, of 15 years, complained that the technology is not easy for

her to use and she dislikes asking others to help because it inconveniences them. There

also was a common theme that the program they are supposed to use tends to freeze a

lot causing issues with classroom management and keeping students engaged.

Knowledge and Skills Exist

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Two of the teachers I interviewed felt confident enough to use smart boards with

their lessons. Other than that, they weren't too familiar with any other tech resources

besides computers and iPad. They expressed that if there was some kind of

professional developments during school time they would be interested in learning

more. One teacher felt that she did not have any knowledge of using the new

technology and did not feel comfortable using it for her lessons. She would consider

using it if it was a requirement but preferred not to use it

Resources are Available

All three teachers expressed that there was a lack of accessible resources as far

as technology goes. Teachers get 1 iPad and it is really not meant to be used by

students, but can be a great resource when it comes to differentiation. The computer

labs do not have enough computers that actually work for students to use making it

difficult to have all students work at their own pace. Many computers need updates or

have some sort of technical issue that no one seems to be concerned with fixing.

Time is Available

Everyone agreed that there was not enough time to learn how to use some of

the tech resources to use during lessons. No one wants to stay after school to learn the

resources especially if it is not paid time. “We already lose 2 planning periods to

collaborative meetings, why not incorporate tech training into one of those meetings?"

That was one idea presented to help make technology more of a priority and get rid of

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the excuse that there's not enough time. I had to agree with the idea that technology

should be a priority especially as a 21st century community school. Technology is a part

of this up and coming generation so we must make time for it.

Rewards or Incentives Exist for Participants

It was agreed across the board that teachers would feel more motivated to use

technology if there was some type of reward or incentive associated with it. One even

mentioned that even though they were not comfortable with using technology and

preferred to stick to more traditional methods, they would put forth more effort in using

it if there was some type of reward. But all teachers were hesitant to believe that the

incentives would be carried out because currently there are no rewards or incentives in

place for teachers.

Participation is Expected and Encouraged

Teachers believed that all staff should be involved in helping to decide how and

what technology should be used. One teacher said that if they were able to help decide

on what was used they would be more likely to participate. The other two teachers said

that they feel that teacher voices are not include enough and administration makes

decisions with no input from those who know the children they are working with and

can tell what will and won't work well in the classroom.

Commitment by Those Who are Involved

One teacher mentioned that she felt commitment would make the transition to

technology use more accepted and she would be willing to help those who have trouble

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using the tech equipment. The two other teachers thought commitment was important

but felt that at the beginning of implementing the program there would be promises

made and assistance available to help, but eventually that would fade away and they

would be left on their own.

Leadership is Evident

All 3 teachers agreed that there should be one designated technology person.

This person should be in charge of giving out tech resources, fixing any problems or

contacting the right people when the tech equipment is not working. This leader should

also be someone teachers can consult with when they need help using the equipment

or are unsure of how to use it. If the technology is something that the school wants to

be implemented across the board, then the support must be there for it to be

successful.

ACOT Model

The ACOT model consists of five different stages. The five stages include

entry, adoption, adaptation, appropriation and invention. A majority of the school is at

the adoption stage. Most teachers are able to use technology at the basic level. There

are still quite a few teachers who are at the entry level. This could be due to the fact

that there has been no real instruction or assistance on how to use the resources

provided. Hopefully with the right leadership and helpful professional development

sessions, no one will be left at the entry stage by the end of the school year. In order to

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move staff to the adaptation stage they will need exposure to the many uses of

technology. Different programs that can be incorporated into lessons,

Focus

The mission of our school is to create lifelong learners of the 21st century. In

order to do that technology must be integrated because it is a huge part of 21st century

learning. The focus is to have students be able to use devices to complete their work as

well as enhance their learning. Knowledge of how to use these items must be present

by both students and teachers. Currently there is very little use of technology in the

classroom besides for benchmark testing. To help student become more familiar with

the technology we must incorporate it into daily lessons to help them feel more

comfortable with it.

Change as a process

All innovations go through changes differently. When looking at the

situated evaluation theory, we know that smart boards are a great use in technology,

but it is simply a tool to help integrate technology into education. It can be used in

many different ways to help engage students and make learning more meaningful for

students. We know that each situation is different so what may work for primary grade

classrooms, does not necessarily have the same success in secondary classrooms.

Individuals vs. Organization

In the beginning of the implementation of the innovation there is an

emphasis on the individual. We have to make teachers aware of what they need to

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know in order to successfully implement the change. They need time to get comfortable

with the material and resources. There also has to be time to express their feelings

about the change and how to overcome the resistance to it. Once these things are

worked out then it makes it easier for teacher to implement the task and manage to

push through the change. Each teacher is crucial to the innovation. By having all

teachers on board it will help the school to flourish in the 21st century world of

technology.

Past vs. future

In the past there has been very little use of technology in the school. In

order to keep up with the mission and prepare students for the future, technology plays

an important role. By carrying out this plan, students will get the opportunity to learn

how to facilitate and demonstrate their own learning by using a device. Teachers will

get the chance to create more engaging lessons by using a smart board in a variety of

ways. By carrying out this innovation plan, teachers will have the knowledge and

resources to integrate technology. Through the implementation of a technology

committee and professional development for the faculty the future in technology at Fort

Worthington looks very promising.

Stakeholders

The people involved in this process of change would not only include the

faculty, but community partners as well. Due to the fact that our school is a community

school, we have many partners and donors in the community that are willing to help

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our school. The local businesses and nonprofit organizations are great to have involved

because even if they cannot donate money or technology resources, they could help by

volunteering in classrooms or getting the word out to the public about the importance

of technology use.

These community members will also be invited to attend our meetings and

professional developments in regards to the change in technology. The more people we

have informed about it, the more likely it is to have everyone jump on board. Once we

get through the entry process, it open doors to allow for creativity and personal

invention to use the technology how they see fit.

In order for my vision to be carried out, many stakeholders will need to be

involved. First I would like to include a representative from each grade to be part of

the vision. By including each grade this will insure that the use of technology is being

modified and incorporated based on each grade level. Administrators will also be

incorporated as well as the YMCA who has a partnership with our school. The YMCA

does a lot of fundraising for our school which would help to get the resources we need.

It would also be preferable if a community member or PTA member would be able to

attend meetings as well to have their input.

I think there has not been a tech committee in previous years due to their not

being an importance or push for including technology as well as a lack of resources or

knowledge of how to use it. In order to get stakeholders involved and keep them

involved I would hold monthly meetings and try to incorporate some type of incentive

for attending such as meals or prizes. By at least getting them to a meeting we can

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push how important it is for 21st-century learners to be knowledgeable in technology

and include them in the process. Even though community members and businesses

may not be able to attend meetings we could have them provide donations of items or

volunteer at the school to help with the process of incorporating technology. Due to

the fact that her school is a community school it is important that the community be

involved.

Plan- Vision and Mission

My vision for technology and learning in my school is that all students will feel

comfortable using technology especially due to the fact that they rarely get to use any

technology now. In order to get them to that point we have to make sure that teachers

provide time to integrate tech use into their daily lessons. I feel that many times

teachers are disappointed in benchmark test scores and feel as though the lack of

experience students have with using a computer is to blame. If we expose them to it on

a daily basis then I think that will no longer be a factor. I would like to see students

having a device to use on their own to complete work. Teachers should be able to

differentiate lessons using technology and allowing students to work at their own pace.

To make lessons more interactive and engaging teachers will be using smart boards

and allowing students to lead a majority of the learning.

I think that just by incorporating devices for students and teachers using smart

boards for lessons it could help to minimize some of the extreme behaviors we see. It

will definitely take time to learn how to use everything and what to do when something

does not work correctly but there may be a change. Test scores may rise, students may

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take more accountability for their learning and students will be prepared to enter the

21st century with a thorough understanding of how technology works.

After adopting the use of smart boards in each classroom as well as one to one

device use 2-3 times a week, there will be evidence of more student engagement.

Students would not have time to fool around or misbehave because they will be so

intrigued by the learning that's taking place. Teachers will be allowing students to lead

more of the instruction and become more of a facilitator. By using their own device,

teachers will be able to differentiate lessons to accommodate each individual based on

their own level allowing them to work at their own pace. There may be some technical

difficulty in the beginning of the implementation but there will be professional

development during collaborative meetings to help teachers feel more comfortable with

the resources. The meetings will also help teachers learn new programs that can be

integrated to help create lessons using technology.

After implementing this plan, the mission is to create lifelong learners of the 21st

century through the use of technology, enhancing critical thinking and problem solving

skills.

Plan- Issues

As with any new product, things will not be easy and problems will arise.

There will be technical difficulties that may occur due to broken laptops or blown

projector bulbs. But in order to overcome this, the tech leader will be readily available

to troubleshoot any issues. Another issue that may appear would be a lack in funding to

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provide the resources necessary. To solve this we will have to reach out to businesses

in the community as well as grants to try to raise money for the items needing to be

purchased and maintained.

Timeline

The entry of this innovation will begin in the fall of 2017. The faculty will

be informed of the plan and have the opportunity to join the technology team. Each

month there will be a professional development session on how to properly and

effectively use the equipment for their classrooms. These professional developments

will be optional during the school year, but the initial meeting will be required for

everyone. Observations will be completed to determine if teachers are using their smart

boards and laptop devices with students. The professional developments will cater to

specific grades making the meetings beneficial to those attending. In order to have a

100% buy in and reach the invention stage of the ACOT model, it will take

approximately 3 years to make it to this stage. If the importance of technology is

stressed through the many PDs offered everyone will be able to master the use of the

resources provided.

Example Plans

One technology plan I reviewed took place at a few schools in Speedway,

Indiana. After looking at the plan, I noticed it broke everything down into parts. It

projected the budgeted costs for the workstations for students to use. The mission and

vision was also included explaining why they needed the technology in the school. I

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liked how the plan explicitly states the goals and how they will assess them. I thought

this was important because anytime you are dealing with money, they want to have

some way to determine if the project is worth funding. One thing I thought was missing

from this plan was a history of the schools technology use. It really didn’t go into detail

as to what they are trying to improve or if the technology was previously put in place.

Other than that I thought it was very thorough and specific.

Another plan I reviewed was for Honey Creek Community School. This plan was

different compared to the plan for Speedway, Indiana schools. In this plan they laid out

the history, vision, mission and goals similar to the previous plan. But I liked how they

included their stakeholders like the PTO to be included in the tech integration plan. I

also thought it was beneficial to break down the goals and strategies by grade level. I

found this to be similar to my own plan due to the fact we are an elementary middle

school as well. The needs for the grade levels are slightly different when it comes to

technology so the goals tend to be a bit diverse. They also included their budget as well

to show the costs of what their needs will be. Altogether I thought the plan was done

very well.

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