My school district does have a technology plan that was finalized at the end of February, 2016. The process of creating one started at the end of October, 2015. I couldn’t find it on the publicly accessible website, but I found it in the employee section that requires a login and password (known as the “Portal”). I find the fact that I had to log in to view it quite odd since I work in the public school system. I feel that anyone should be able to have access to this document. Our tax dollars go to developing these plans and residents of the community may want to know the direction that the school district is going when it comes to technology. It think that the reason it is not yet public is because the plan still needs budget approval to move forward for the 2016-2017 school year.  The plan sets out the following goals:

  1. To formally assess how technology services in our district link to current and future curricular goals and activities. From a technology standpoint, we need to determine where we are now and consider where we want to be in the future.
  2. To ensure that the technology infrastructure has the capacity to support curricular goals, now and in the future. Also, to ensure that technologies are delivered with industry best practices in mind.
  3. To look at ways to improve productivity, through technology, by challenging and revising learning and business processes.
  4. To look at ways to improve cost effectiveness and quality of services by working with other districts and developing shared services.
  5. To assess current administrative technologies to ensure that they are cost effective, of a high quality and meeting the needs of the district.

The plan then is broken down into the following categories which go into greater detail: Principles, Learning, Assessment, Teaching, Infrastructure, Productivity, Research & Development, and Administrative Technology. I found that it is missing some of the key aspects you expect to find in a technology plan that I learned of in our weekly lesson. Since our district’s plan is in it’s early stages, I believe these areas will be addressed as time goes by.

I couldn’t find a plan for professional development related to the pedagogy of using technology. Once in awhile I do get an email inviting anyone interested to come and attend an informational meeting about a specific technology resource. They are usually pretty basic and focus more on operational use. Our district is piloting Google Apps For Education (GAFE) and we could see more of it and professional development related to its use in our district in the near future (hopefully). I personally have just scratched the surface of GAFE and will carry out my own professional development in that area in the future. During scheduled Pro-D days in our district, you can sometimes find sessions that deal with the pedagogy of using a specific technology.

As far as how decisions are made when it comes to technology and funding. I believe that it is done yearly and involves the school board, parental advisory committees, principals and teachers. I believe that proposals are submitted and then reviewed to see where the money can be best spent.

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