Planning technology use within organizations is a process. While it may take time to put a plan into use and see positive results, there is sufficient help for designers, instructors and students. Technology use planning is a plan created to guide users within learning environments as they learn and apply new technology. Implemented over time by creating a sort of ‘blueprint’ outlining the organizations existing technology as well as future needs and expectations. This is a plan that becomes part of an organizations core process. Although this plan takes time, it brings much to the table. Looking into technology use planning one must not forget the emphasis of teacher training. We need teachers to feel confident as they demonstrate new technology within their organizations. Technology use planing needs not to be confined to academic settings. Technology use planning is an effective way to create an efficient workforce within an office or business setting as well as a classroom. Technology use plans are the key to restructuring offices or schools to adjust the dynamic technological advancements within the 21st century.
As technology planing within organizations become more common, so is the need for guidelines helping designers create the systematic plans used to restructure technology use. The new National Educational Technology Plan NETP 2010 is an effective and powerful resource for technology use planning due to its content. The NETP is a guide that is helping technology transform education, created by select professors. The NETP, “urges our education system at all levels to: Be clear about the outcomes we seek. Collaborate to redesign structures and processes for effectiveness, efficiency, and flexibility. Continually monitor and measure our performance. Hold ourselves accountable for progress and results every step of the way. The national plan will help designers in Technology use planning on many levels.” (Education 2010).
The NETP gives the national overview of technological needs in education. As state technology standards vary the NETP looks at the larger picture and brings recommendations all state districts can benefit from. The NETP suggests incorporation of individual assessments, individual learning and learning differentiation as well as personalized learning, all within the use of technology (Education 2010). The NETP states that we must turn ideas into action. The NETP presents “five goals that address the key components of this plan-learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure and productivity- along with recommendations for stats, districts, the federal government, and other stakeholders in our education system for achieving these goals.” (Education 2010). With that said, the outline for the Technology use plans seem well in place as it gives designers their start as they work to collaborate within their districts to create effective plans for 21st century needs.
Both short term and long term tech use plans may be successful, however, according to John See form the Minnesota dept. of education, “Five year plans are too long. Technology is changing so fast that it is almost impossible to plan what type of technology will be available for use five years from now.”(See, 1992). I must admit that I agree with See. Technology is changing at such a rapid pace I can not keep up with it on my own, let alone and entire organization.
Keeping a plan in action for five years may become problematic to all involved on several levels. First, there is the administrative nightmare trying to keep the budget balanced year to year. As technology changes so will the price. What may have been a fair amount to budget for in the beginning may become unrealistic within the five year period. Secondly, a lack of accountability may become problematic as the approval will have been completed for five years. There may also be a lack of work completed that is strictly due to the comfort of job security of a five year plan that is implemented. The thought employees may have that their job is safe for five years because we are locked into a plan may not bring results that are as successful as a one year plan. Third, long term plans may not be updated on a yearly basis, keeping cutting edge technology out of the picture. Therefore, while noteworthy long term plans are feasible, I believe capitalizing one year short term plans are more desirable.
Application of technology is a major goal of tech plans. See states that “effective technology plans focus on applications, not technology” (See, 1992). This is a very telling statement. We need to learn how to meet the needs of each student. Creating a tech use plan that strictly focus on technology is not complete. What good is learning technology based plans with out knowing how to apply them. The purpose in creating these plans is to create the ability for student and teachers to apply learned knowledge and assess their skills more efficiently. This will all be implemented in a student-centric environment due to technology. Technology is the means however application is the end.
Al-Weshail, A. S., Baxter, A., Cherry, W., Hill, E. W., Jones, II, C. R., Love, L. T., . . . Montgomery, F. H. (1996, May 7). Guidebook for developing an effective instructional technology plan: Version 2.0. Mississippi State University. Retrieved from http://www.nctp.com/downloads/guidebook.pdf
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology. (2010).
Transforming American education: Learning powered by technology.
Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov/technology/netp-2010
See, J. (1992). Developing effective technology plans. The Computing Teacher, 19(8). Retrieved from http://www.nctp.com/html/john_see.cfm