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Reprinted with permission from American School Board Journal, September 2007 © 2007 National School Boards Association. All rights reserved.
All rights reserved. support it. hardware and software. executable recommendations for change. classrooms. practical guidelines. Give a board member a tool for measuring the impact of instructional technology and you have a friend for life (or at least a term of office). The checklist offers 20 items that board members can use to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the district’s technology program. and another three points if you have computer labs. 67 percent go online first to research a topic. daily applications of technology within the school. we need hard facts. As a school board member and university administrator. This item examines four uses that show the teachers’ commitment to model and demonstrate proper technology use. defined as “the use of technology in a school without benefit of a necessary infrastructure to support its application as a viable instructional strategy. or computer labs? Your school receives one point if all your computers are in the library. peers. we continue to find that technology is only as useful as the administrators who prepare their teachers. However. technology-based competencies.ASBJ Technology Special Report The Technology Facade In the scramble to stay ahead. lunch. school boards need a checklist to sift through the IT clutter Lawrence A. 2. or parents. All three venues are important to successfully integrate technology. educational software. but sooner or later we need to make decisions head-on. In a 2006 study by Project Tomorrow. 3. Tomei E very child in every classroom. USE OF TECHNOLOGY These questions focus on computer facilities. Here’s a quick description of each item and an explanation of why it is important to a sound technology program. lesson preparation. The survey can be quickly administered and can provide you with valuable insights into your program and its effectiveness. Are the computer labs in your school used by classroom teachers or is the computer teacher the only educator who dispenses technology-related instruction? This item uncovers the practical. and the ratio of students to computers in both classrooms and computer labs.” I also developed a checklist that applies to K12 technology programs that became the basis for a book published in 2002. 4. Board members should set district policies and determine how to allocate funds in advance of deadlines. American School Board Journal/September 2007 45 . the teachers who instruct our children. September 2007 © 2007 National School Boards Association. 54 percent of students in grades seven through 12 were found to know more of their friends’ instant messaging screen names than their home phone numbers. To perform that responsibility. and then grade yourself by taking the survey on the next page. and school board directors who face the myriad of consequences inherent in addressing the challenges of making the best use of technology. sound technical and financial advice. and student training. laptops. as well as issues associated with faculty. Do classroom teachers use computers for grades. computer labs. They include: 1. and the Internet have changed the way teachers teach and learners learn. I developed the Technology Facade. another three points if they can also be found in the classroom (either desktops or wireless). Reprinted with permission from American School Board Journal. study halls. Consider each question. and professional self-development? Many teachers are forced into using technology by their principal. pay for it. handhelds. and valid criteria for measuring the value of technology. staff. We can avoid it. and 81 percent acknowledge that losing access to the Internet would affect their personal lives and their schoolwork. Since the influx of technology began in earnest in the 1990s. or ignore it. and every person in every community is affected by advances in instructional technology. every teacher in every school. and before and after school or when no classes are scheduled? School board members want to know whether computer facilities are for show or provide a workplace suitable for teacher and student advancement in technology. Today’s school leaders must constantly scramble to stay abreast of legal and operational concerns. out-ofclassroom assignments. Are your computers located in the library. Are computer facilities locked or are they available to teachers and students during recess.
it is difficult to know when students succeed. 1 for “Seldom”. and before and after school (7 points) Your score: _____ 3. . As board members. Without scope and sequence. 6. 9. and replacement policies for technology. study halls. assigning 0 points for “Never”. professional staffing of technology facilities. lunch. 1. are often lacking in the computer classroom. Is the computer teacher expected to have lesson plans with specific student learning objectives related to technology competencies? Detailed lesson plans. staff. study halls. Take a close look. preparation. and administrators. Items include teacher training. There are general goals for instruction. Transfer the points to your score (maximum 200 points) and rate yourself according to the following formula: A (Outstanding Program): 175 to 200 points B (Satisfactory Program): 125 to 175 points C (Modest Phase of the Technology Facade): 100 to 125 points D (Moderate Phase): 75 to 100 points F (Severe Phase): Less than 75 points 2. 8. Computers are located in our … (All that apply) _ Library (1 point) _ Classrooms (3 points) _ Computer lab (3 points) Your score: _____ 4. similar to those expected of most traditional classroom teachers. NECESSARY INFRASTRUCTURE This section has the most application for school board members. and before and after school (Zero points) _ Available before and/or after school (3 points) _ Available when no classes are scheduled (5 points) _ Open during recess. Do teachers participate on the technology committee and its subordinate teams? It may seem hard to believe. and incentives. but selection was not based on teacher input and seldom reflects actual classroom content (1 point) _ Software was recently purchased but is not readily available for teachers and students (3 points) _ Software selection was based on teacher input (5 points) _ Software is current. and boards pertaining to The Technology Facade Checklist ABOUT THE CHECKLIST Complete each question by entering the most appropriate response. strategic technology planning and funding. you can directly impact this area of your program. Does your software reflect current classroom curriculum? (Select one) _ Software is available. Do classroom teachers use technology for … (Rank each separately. but the staff members responsible for delivering instruction using technology often are the ones omitted from this committee. board members should ask the building administrator to justify the points awarded to this question. Who else participates on formal committees. and 5 for “Routinely”) _ Grading _ Lesson preparation _ Out-of-class assignments _ Professional development Your score: _____ 5. Is the computer teacher expected to have lesson plans with specific student learning objectives related to technology competencies? (Select one) _ Computer instruction is not based on lesson plans (Zero points) _ Lesson plans are not used. September 2007 © 2007 National School Boards Association. Does the software found on computers reflect current classroom curriculum? Or. is the computer software outdated and seldom reflecting what students are doing? Again. but no specific learning objectives (1 point) _ Lesson plans contain generic technological competencies and learning objectives (3 points) _ Detailed lesson plans reflect specific technological competencies expected (7 points) Your score: _____ 6. If you need help here. teams. Are the computer facilities in your school … (Select one) _ Locked during unsupervised periods such as recess. What is the extent of technology training received by teachers? Many teach- ers have received only initial training in technology. 3 for “Occasionally”. on-demand technology training for teachers. lunch. Are your school’s computers used by classroom teachers or is the computer teacher the only educator who dispenses technology-related instruction? (Select one) _ Computer teacher only (1 point) _ A few teachers use technology but not regularly (3 points) _ A few teachers use technology routinely (5 points) _ Technology is routinely used by many classroom teachers (7 points) Your score: _____ 46 American School Board Journal/September 2007 Reprinted with permission from American School Board Journal.5. selection is based USE OF TECHNOLOGY Total available points: 55. Top districts offer continuous. 7. ask your superintendent for advice. All rights reserved.
scheduled with the technology coordinator (5 points) Your score: _____ 8. Again. How is technology funded in your school? (Select one) _ Funded with year-end fallout money (1 point) _ Included in the operating budget under a miscellaneous account (3 points) _ Included in the general operating budget (5 points) _ Is its own specific. 11 Are your district’s technology funds provided by PTA magazine drives. All rights reserved. recurring line item (7 points) Your score: _____ 12. 7 points for full-time) _ Technology coordinator (full-time only)—(5 points) _ Computer technician (1 point for part-time. Does your school provide access to a computer teacher. 13. Positions mean money. 7. recurring line item? A critical measure of success is whether technology is given equal weight with other school programs or funded only with leftover monies at the end of the academic year. bake sales. September 2007 © 2007 National School Boards Association. Reprinted with permission from American School Board Journal. American School Board Journal/September 2007 47 . community leaders. Continued on next page. and school board reports. but shortchanging a school by restricting technology personnel is not wise. and end-of-year fallout monies? Or are they included in the general operating budget as a specific. alumni. 10. monetary compensation. network administrator. on teacher input. 3 points for full-time) _ Network administrator (full-time only)—(3 points) Your score: _____ 11. What is the extent of technology training received by teachers? (All that apply) _ Initial training over six months old (Zero points) _ Initial training only within the last six months (1 point) _ In-service training at least twice a year (3 points) _ At least two teachers per school are encouraged to enroll in formal instructional technology programs (3 points) _ Training classes available on demand. Does your school recognize teachers who develop technologybased instructional materials? (Select one) _ No remuneration or recognition program (Zero points) _ Excellence recognized in newsletters. community leaders. Is there a technology plan for the the use and development of technology? Schools seeking to eliminate the Technology Facade include administrators. and it is routinely used by teachers and students (7 points) Your score: _____ INFRASTRUCTURE Total available points: 104. Does your school provide direct access to these technology professionals? (All that apply) _ None are employed in our school (Zero points) _ Computer teacher (3 points for part-time. alumni. bulletins. Do parents. and students participate on the technology committee and its subordinate teams? (All that apply) _ They do not participate as voting members (Zero points) _ They are on the hardware/software acquisition team (3 points) _ They are on the technology budget preparation team (3 points) _ They are on the instructional technology curriculum team (5 points) _ They are on the strategic technology planning team (5 points) Your score: _____ 10. computer technician. parents. as board members. Do teachers who develop technology-based instructional materials receive compensatory time. you can require by policy that a wide constituency is represented on school-based and districtwide technology committees. or other specific remuneration? Good schools recognize excellence via newsletters. The board has an impact here for sure. and even students on committees. 12. Do teachers participate on the technology committee and subordinate teams? (All that apply) _ Teachers are not full voting members (Zero points) _ Teachers are on the hardware/ software acquisition team (3 points) _ Teachers are on the technology budget preparation team (3 points) _ Teachers are on the instructional technology curriculum team (5 points) _ Teachers are on the strategic technology planning team (5 points) Your score: _____ 9.ASBJ Technology Special Report A critical measure of success is whether technology is given equal weight with other school programs. Board members can recognize the innovators in your schools with little or no cost. and/or a technology coordinator? Most schools place these responsibilities in the hands of a single individual—sometimes even a teacher with a full-time or part-time load.
14. has the school developed a “scope and sequence” to include technological competencies for all students. and it is revised at least annually (7 points) Your score: _____ 14.. eighth. human threats. this might be the most difficult section of the checklist to measure. special needs learners. and workbooks to guide the lesson presentation? An overreliance on off-the-shelf instructional materials is one indication that teachers are not truly committed to learning how to use instructional technology. maintenance. and school board reports (1 point) _ Formal awards program recognizes teachers (5 points) _ Teachers receive time off. do teachers prepare their own handouts. eighthgraders and high school seniors)—(3 points) _ A scope and sequence available for selected grades (first. A fiveyear-old plan needs your attention. They should design some of their own materials to ensure instruction is addressing their students’ learning styles. This saves money and ensures that teachers are differentiating instruction.school and is it revised regularly? A viable technology plan is critical to meeting the school’s long-range goals. or other specific remuneration (7 points) Your score: _____ 13. bulletins. by grade and subject area? “Scope and sequence” is a tool used by educators to design a curriculum with explicit learning objectives (scope) delivered in a precise arrangement (sequence).” A viable plan includes most. . students. Rate the computers in your school’s lab and classrooms. demographics. but no formal plan has been prepared (3 points) _ Yes. 15. and exceptional learners. Does your school’s plan contain the following? (All that apply) _ No plan exists in our school (Zero points) _ Vision/mission statement (1 point) _ Demographic review of teachers. special-needs learners. by grade and subject content area (7 points) Your score: _____ 48 American School Board Journal/September 2007 Reprinted with permission from American School Board Journal. monetary compensation. Is there a technology plan for the school? (Select one) _ No plan exists (Zero points) _ The district has a general plan but no local building plan exists (1 point) _ The school has an informal technology strategy. Does the school’s technology plan contain the following: vision/mission statement. 17. and an evaluation plan? Many plans are in “name only. When using technology-based lessons in the classroom. Don’t be snowed by the Technology Facade—look for proof. Insist on it. of the items mentioned in this question. and Internet threats to technology (1 point) _ Formation and operation of a viable committee with diverse membership (2 points) _ Impact of technology integration on the curriculum (2 points) _ Technology uses for lifelong learning. and security. fourth. but it needs to be revised or has not been revised in the previous two years (5 points) _ Yes. a plan for the use of technology for lifelong learning. All rights reserved. procedures for purchasing. Has your school developed a “scope and sequence” specifically addressing student technology competencies? (Select one) _ None available (Zero points) _ A scope and sequence available only for graduating students (e. 12th)—(5 points) _ Comprehensive scope and sequence available for all students. (All that apply) _ Most machines are less than three years old (1 point) _ Most machines are CD-ROM-capable (1 point) _ Most machines are connected to printers (1 point) _ Most machines are connected to the Internet (2 points) Your score: _____ INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGY Total available points: 41 16. if not all. As a board member. and exceptional learners (2 points) _ A comprehensive facility plan for installation and periodic upgrades (2 points) _ A formal plan for formal and informal continuous evaluation (3 points) Your score: _____ 15. ask to see the scope and sequence and let the curriculum director explain it so you understand it. curriculum impact.g. study guides. Run your next school board meeting in a computer lab and find out for yourself. For technology-based lessons. facilities. INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGY For school board members. 16. 10th. and community (1 point) _ Technology-related purchasing procedures (1 point) _ Periodic and on-call maintenance for instructional technologies used in classroom teaching (1 point) _ Security plan regarding physical threats. September 2007 © 2007 National School Boards Association. Are the majority of computers in the school less than two years old and capable of running today’s educational software pack- ages? Some schools declare their commitment to technology while employing outdated systems.
When using technology-based lessons in the classroom. Hopefully. not sure of expected learning outcomes (1 point) _ Applicable to what they are covering in class (5 points) _ Appropriate for current classes and important for required/anticipated future skills (7 points) Your score: _____ Adapted from The Technology Facade: Overcoming Barriers to Effective Instructional Technology in Schools by Lawrence Tomei. and criteria (assessment standards)—(7 points) _ Cognitive objectives are used. reapply the checklist toward the end of the year and compare scores to see how actions you have taken affected your score. He is the author of The Technology Facade: Overcoming Barriers to Effective Instructional Technology in Schools (Allyn & Bacon Publishers. and particularly not to another school in another district. or humanistic teaching style) when using technology-based resources. copyright © 2002 Allyn & Bacon. 19. How do students in grade 6 and above describe their experience in the computer classroom/laboratory? (Select one) _ Play time or game time (Zero points) _ Unstructured. your scores will increase as you and your fellow board members seek to address all the elements that make up a sound instructional technology program. constructivism (building of new meaning). study guides. Do students in the computer classroom/laboratory describe their experience as play time or preparation for self-learning and future vocations? Students know when their computer time is productive. publishers. it is difficult to identify criteria for successful student learning (1 point) _ Behavioral objectives are used. All rights reserved. Then. Ask them. Are computer labs available for scheduling without significant delays or are they always filled with students who are “required” to receive a certain amount of lab time each week? The Technology Facade manifests itself all too often by computer labs occupied by students who are there only because “every student gets two hours of computers every week” whether they are ad- dressing technology competencies or not. Is there evidence of learning objectives consistent with accepted educational psychology? (Select one) _ Learning objectives are not identifiable in lesson plans (Zero points) _ Learning objectives are used but for technology-related lessons. American School Board Journal/September 2007 49 . Tomei (tomei@rmu. Can other teachers use the lab too? 20. but ask your curriculum director to explain. cognitive. The cor- rect application of the checklist is to obtain a particular school’s score early in the academic year.edu) is associate vice president for academic affairs at Robert Morris University and a school board member for Pennsylvania’s Montour School District. Criteria for success are readily identified—(7 points) Your score: _____ 19. Describe what typically happens when teachers wish to use technology resources to present a lesson. They include components of discovery learning (student-centered growth). Reprinted with permission from American School Board Journal. affective education (values training). (Select one) _ Labs or technology resources are often unavailable (Zero points) _ The technology teacher or coordinator must present the lesson (1 point) _ Technology must be transported into the classroom for the session (3 points) _ Labs or technology resources are available for scheduling without significant delays (5 points) Your score: _____ 20. September 2007 © 2007 National School Boards Association. They include components of behavior (actions to be performed).ASBJ Technology Special Report 18. s Lawrence A. and humanistic learning objectives are used. and intrinsic learning (learning for its own sake)—(7 points) _ Behavioral. cognitive. Is there evidence of behavioral learning objectives? A teacher’s lesson plan should include specific learning objectives (based on a preference for the behavioral. 17. and work books to guide the lesson (5 points) _ Visual-based resources such as PowerPoint slides or overhead transparencies to support presentation (5 points) _ Web-based course home pages for student discovery and cooperative learning (5 points) Your score: _____ 18. which resources do teachers personally develop and use for instruction? (All that apply) _ Text-based materials such as handouts. and reception learning (structured learning)—(7 points) _ Humanistic objectives are used. Lesson plans should include specific learning objectives when using technology-based resources. HOW DO YOU FARE? How will your district’s schools fare on the Technology Facade test? The answers may surprise you. They include components of individualization (student-tailored instruction). 2002). condition (instructional tools). This may seem technical. It is important to note that it is not appropriate to compare the score of one school to another within your district.
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