Over the past few weeks, I had the opportunity to conduct an evaluation of technology resources and usage within my school district, and more specifically within my school. It is evident that the district has made technology readily available to staff and students, but there are clear gaps in implementation and integration. In order to effectively utilize the investment in technology, this gap must be addressed.
In completing this assignment, I learned that our district has the equipment and network potential to do some great things with technology, but implementation and integration are lacking considerably. It is sad to think about the vast amount of money invested in providing technology in our classrooms, but not using the technology to really impact our teaching, or possibly more importantly student learning. SMART boards are used as a shiny overhead projector in most classrooms. Much of the technology utilized is teacher-led and is still lacking student engagement.
I don’t think the teachers are to blame for this. While teachers are responsible for providing the best instruction possible to all students, we can’t be expected to do things we aren’t trained to do. It’s great to have money invested in our classrooms, but it is frustrating that we are expected to fumble through and create our own activities with little guidance and support.
One thing that I would like to see happen within our district is to have a forum set up where teachers can post great units, lessons, or activities they have used in their classroom. Being able to access these resources that addresses our district’s curriculum expectations would do a couple of things. First, it would eliminate the endless hours of everyone creating mediocre activities. Increasing collaboration would create more of a team atmosphere within our school and district. With many students we have, it is essential to understand we are all in it together, and just like we need technology support from the district and administration, we need support from each other. Second, it would provide some examples that others could use, revise, and make even more powerful to impact our students’ learning and progress. I would love to see the district take the technology that is available in each school, ensure that it is equitable in each school (device to student ratio), and focus on integrating technology into the curriculum.
Survey Summary Spreadsheet
Evaluation Summary Document
*A pseudonym has been used for the school district and the elementary school included in this evaluation.