Monday, November 30, 2015

Factors Impacting Effective Technology Use: Teacher Readiness

What are the necessary prerequisite skills to integrate digital resources successfully into the classroom learning experience? Is viable technology integration a state of mind, a set of digital literacy outcomes, or a command over a variety of digital tools and resources ranging from social networking to interactive apps? My take is that effective technology integration is a combination of all three.

One needs to look no further than the ISTE Standards for Teachers for inspiration as to what constitutes a truly digitally-literate educator. These standards articulate five key domains that infuse skills, knowledge, and, of course, attitude.
  1. Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity
  2. Design and develop digital learning experiences and assessments
  3. Model digital age work and learning
  4. Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility
  5. Engage in professional growth and leadership
Ultimately, defining a set of prerequisite skills needed to maximize student learning, address each state’s content standards, and promote lifelong learning within a digitally-based learning environment is a relative experience based on one’s philosophy as to how children learn best and the resources that individuals believe are necessary to achieve the desired student outcomes. What I do know is that the same teachers that inspire students to achieve unprecedented levels of academic and personal growth do so because they are passionate and exude that “insatiable curiosity” about one or more aspects of their teaching craft, whether it be the tools, the subject-matter, or the art of teaching in general.

The release of the 20th Anniversary edition of the LoTi Digital Age Survey will provide stakeholders with an opportunity to explore which variables relating to teacher readiness stand out the most for their staff and schools as they plan their professional development. The results may surprise you.

This blog post is the seventh in a series of fourteen online entries highlighting factors that impact the effective use of technology in today's classrooms. This series focuses on each of the research variables used to conduct comparative analyses as part of the 20th Anniversary Edition of the LoTi Digital Age Survey.