Sunday, January 31, 2016

Factors Impacting Effective Technology Use: School Climate – Shared Vision

How effective is the shared vision for using digital resources in the classroom on your campus? Consider the technology vision statement below for a sample school like many I have visited around the nation, ABC Middle School.

We envision using technology to further a learning community where: 
  1. Students are engaged in a challenging curriculum that is focused on inquiry-based, hands-on learning, are comfortable and proficient using technology, and take responsibility for their own learning and educational success. 
  2. Teachers use technology to support all learning across the curriculum through their role as coaches, mentors, advocates, and managers of information. Through on-going, comprehensive professional development, all teachers acquire the knowledge and skills to integrate technology into a challenging and interdisciplinary curriculum which addresses students' specific needs, developmental levels and learning styles. 

If I told you that after five-years of implementing the technology plan associated with this vision statement, the campus’ primary LoTi (Levels of Teaching Innovation) level was at a LoTi 2: Exploration, what conclusions might you draw? Clearly, the above vision statement aligns with a LoTi 6: Refinement implementation; not a LoTi 2.

What do you think could possibly have happened between creating and implementing the vision statement? Choose one answer.
  1. The vision was most likely created by the building principal and/or outside vendor with little collaboration from faculty. 
  2. Faculty members were not engaged in developing the corresponding technology plan that aligned with the vision statement. 
  3. Decision-making relating to technology purchases and professional development seldom referenced the adopted vision for technology. 
  4. PLC meetings seldom used the vision for technology as the platform for discussions about technology integration strategies. 
  5. Campus walkthroughs and/or teacher evaluation rubrics did not integrate the key "look-fors" embedded in the vision for technology. 

If you selected A, B, C, D, or are correct. A carefully, worded mission statement or vision, if implemented without input and continuous feedback from all key stakeholders, will remain just that—a statement, rather than a living document for change.

In the LoTi Digital Age Survey 20th Anniversary Edition, a comparative analysis will be conducted to determine if a correlation exists between the variable, Shared Vision for Using Digital Resources, and the variable, LoTi Level. My hunch is that a strong correlation will exist between teachers/leaders who collaborated in all facets of their technology vision process and implementation, and the corresponding higher LoTi Levels.

This blog post is the thirteenth 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 LoTi Digital Age Survey 20th Anniversary Edition.