School Evaluation Summary

School Evaluation

Peter H.R. Sibley and Chip Kimball have five filters that they have implemented to assess technology within school systems. For our technology assignment we were to use their filters to assess a school district to see where the school falls within the filters. The filters are: administration, curriculum, support, connectivity, and innovation.  The administrative filter primarily deals with how Jersey Academy’s administrators, teachers, and support staff views technology from a usage and planning perspective. The four subsections are Policy, Planning, Budget, and Administrative.  The filter demonstrates how students and teachers determine technology goals, through available resources and usage. Jersey Academy’s Curricular section was rated based on five subsections:

  • Electronic Information
  • Assessment
  • Curriculum Integration
  • Teacher Use
  • Student Use

The support filter identifies contributors to the schools technology plan. Schools should include representation from all groups: students, teachers, administrators, parents, and communities. The issues in each area should be equally represented.Technical support should be accessible to help with technical issues, concerns, and questions. Schools should provide training and administrative support that is effectively educating leaders, students, and administration. Schools should also look into servers to host efficient Internet connections to provide proficient output.
The connectivity looks into three major ways used in school systems. First, there is District Area Networking (WAN) or wide area networks. These networks span a over a large area. Next, LANs exist on the local level within the WANs. Connectivity also consists of Internet access and the schools communication system.  The innovation filter analyzes a school’s ability to implement new technology.

The school that we looked into, *“The Jersey Academy” is located in Burlington County, NJ. The school receives sate and federal funding due to its abbot district status. The schools demographics are as follows:

  • Total Student Population: 328
  • Students: White (178 families), African American (57 families), Asian (10 families), Hispanics (83 families)
  • Employed Teaching Staff: 26 people
  • Employed Staff Support: 6 people
  • Current Available Technology Resources:
  • 3 smartboards for the school
  • 6 computers per classroom
  • no computer lab
  • 36 laptops on mobile station
  • wireless Internet access available throughout buildings

Peter H.R. Sibley and Chip Kimball have created a rubric to guide assessors with each filter, creating continuity among assessors. The rubric as well as the report has been embedded below.

Reflection:
Through this project I was able to attain insight about the schools, area of technological strengths and  weaknesses.  This was a difficult process for me. It is very different to be in the classroom and using technology. I always assumed each  teacher uses technology just a much as I do; apparently, not. The school has funding for computers but there is no incentive to use them in lessons. By doing this assessment I was able to speak with different teachers as they gave me a birds eye view of their technology use (or lack there of). I understand the frustration of having many things to finalize before the next bell rings, but the lack of technology use within the *“Jersey Academy” was both sad and frustrating. I found through this lesson that there is a large gap with teacher knowledge and what they should know and what they do know about technology. The lack of administrations push for technology implementation of plans seemed partially to blame. The “Jersey Academy” fell on the lower half of Peter H.R. Sibley and Chip Kimball’s rubric  in almost all areas. I found  a direct correlation to the administration. They create a divide  between themselves and the staff. There needs to be better communication and extensive accountability directed to both the administration as well as the teachers.
Some of the AECT standards that were connected to this lesson were as follows:
4.1 Project Management 
I saw how projects were brought up and how they fizzled out. Project management is a very important area in technology design. The Jersey Academy did not have a specific manager or coordinator to help keep projects alive and on task. There was such a lack of management many of the staff just threw in the towel.

5.1 Problem Management
This standard was looked into by my team just as project management was lacking true leadership, it seemed to directly impact problem management, negatively. There was one tech teacher that had a span of three schools, as well as the pseudo job of technology project manager. I say pseudo meaning this was not her assigned job, it was just assumed to be by staff members. Speaking with her I can understand her frustration. “I cant do everything, I was not hired to be the technology teacher, project manager, problem solver and tech trainer for all the staff! I teach what they tell me and the rest is assumed by the staff!” *Jane Doe, The Jersey Academy

5.4: Long-Range Planning
Long range planning without accountability, staff training and set goals is equal to failed policy, failed planning and teacher as well as student frustration. This school long range planning could have been much better. The disconnect felt by the staff is evident. Looking into this AECT standard it seems that an entire new administration would be the best way to fix everything! I know that sounds extreme, however the students are suffering as well as the staff.

This school indeed has found itself at the low end of the filter.

* names changed to protect the innocent!

“Technology Use Planning Overview”

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.

References:

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

AECT Standards

AECT Standards

STANDARD 1 DESIGN 
Candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to design conditions for learning by applying principles of instructional systems design, message design, instructional strategies, and learner characteristics.

1.1 Instructional Systems Design
Instructional Systems Design (ISD) is an organized procedure that includes the steps of analyzing, designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating instruction.

1.2 Message Design
Message design involves planning for the manipulation of the physical form of the message.

1.3 Instructional Strategies
Instructional strategies are specifications for selecting and sequencing events and activities within a lesson.

1.4 Learner Characteristics
Learner characteristics are those facets of the learner’s experiential background that impact the effectiveness of a learning process.

STANDARD 2 DEVELOPMENT 
Candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to develop instructional materials and experiences using print, audiovisual, computer-based, and integrated technologies.

2.1 Print Technologies
Print technologies are ways to produce or deliver materials, such as books and static visual materials, primarily through mechanical or photographic printing processes.

2.2 Audiovisual Technologies
Audiovisual technologies are ways to produce or deliver materials by using mechanical devices or electronic machines to present auditory and visual messages.

2.3 Computer-Based Technologies
Computer-based technologies are ways to produce or deliver materials using microprocessor-based resources.

2.4 Integrated Technologies
Integrated technologies are ways to produce and deliver materials which encompass several forms of media under the control of a computer.

STANDARD 3 UTILIZATION
Candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to use processes and resources for learning by applying principles and theories of media utilization, diffusion, implementation, and policy-making.

3.1 Media Utilization
Media utilization is the systematic use of resources for learning.

3.2 Diffusion of Innovations
Diffusion of innovations is the process of communicating through planned strategies for the purpose of gaining adoption.

3.3 Implementation and Institutionalization
Implementation is using instructional materials or strategies in real (not simulated) settings. Institutionalization is the continuing, routine use of the instructional innovation in the structure and culture of an organization.

3.4 Policies and Regulations
Policies and regulations are the rules and actions of society (or its surrogates) that affect the diffusion and use of Instructional Technology.

STANDARD 4 MANAGEMENT 
Candidates demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions to plan, organize, coordinate, and supervise instructional technology by applying principles of project, resource, delivery system, and information management.

4.1 Project Management
Project management involves planning, monitoring, and controlling instructional design and development projects.

4.2 Resource Management
Resource management involves planning, monitoring, and controlling resource support systems and services.

4.3 Delivery System Management
Delivery system management involves planning, monitoring and controlling ‘the method by which distribution of instructional materials is organized’ . . . [It is] a combination of medium and method of usage that is employed to present instructional information to a learner.

4.4 Information Management
Information management involves planning, monitoring, and controlling the storage, transfer, or processing of information in order to provide resources for learning.

 STANDARD 5 EVALUATION 
Candidates demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions to evaluate the adequacy of instruction and learning by applying principles of problem analysis, criterion-referenced measurement, formative and summative evaluation, and long-range planning.

5.1 Problem Analysis
Problem analysis involves determining the nature and parameters of the problem by using information-gathering and decision-making strategies.

5.2 Criterion-Referenced Measurement
Criterion-referenced measurement involves techniques for determining learner mastery of pre-specified content.

5.3 Formative and Summative Evaluation
Formative evaluation involves gathering information on adequacy and using this information as a basis for further development. Summative evaluation involves gathering information on adequacy and using this information to make decisions about utilization.

5.4 Long-Range Planning
Long-range planning that focuses on the organization as a whole is strategic planning….Long-range is usually defined as a future period of about three to five years or longer. During strategic planning, managers are trying to decide in the present what must be done to ensure organizational success in the future.