Although there has been a able beforehand to get educational technology into the calmly of agents and students, abounding obstacles to accomplishing still exist. Accessories may not be placed in calmly attainable locations. Accouterments and software generally affectation problems for agents in the classroom, and just-in-time abstruse abutment may be unavailable. Agents may abridgement the time and the action to apprentice technology skills. Able development activities may not accommodate ongoing, hands-on training for
teachers or applied strategies for implementing technology into assignment plans. Initial technology allotment may not be abiding and appropriately not able of accouterment upgrades, maintenance, and advancing able development. Fortunately, these obstacles can be addressed and overcome. This Critical Affair provides applied advice for announcement technology use in schools.
OVERVIEW: The beforehand to accommodate technology in schools has been acknowledged in contempo years. According to Goldman, Cole, and Syer (2000), best schools accept computer labs and abounding accept computers in every classroom. Added than 90 percent of all schools are affiliated to the Internet, and added than 33 percent of agents accept Internet admission in their classrooms. Yet agents readily accept that they are not authoritative as abundant use of technology as they could. According to an Apprenticeship Week survey, about 30 percent of agents said their acceptance use computers alone one hour per week; about 40 percent said their acceptance do not use computers in the classroom at all (Trotter, 2001). Although technology is added accustomed in the schools, several factors affect whether and how it is used. Those factors accommodate adjustment of computers for candid access, abstruse support, able goals for technology use, new roles for teachers, time for advancing able development, adapted apprenticeship of agents at altered accomplishment levels, abecedary incentives for use, availability of educational software, and abiding allotment for technology.
Placing Computers for Candid Access
Access to technology is an important affair for agents and students. Although schools may accept computers available, one agency that determines their use is area those computers are located. If computers are affiliated to the Internet but are not in a acceptable location, the availability to acceptance and agents will be limited. Across the case abstraction sites, there were bristles altered strategies for allocating computers for apprentice use:
· Distribution amid the approved classrooms
· Computers in labs
· Mobile computer labs
· Incremental roll-out
The accepted computer lab is frequently acclimated in schools. If the use of the computer lab is anxiously scheduled, it will accommodate aerial accessories utilization; on the alternative hand, befitting the computers in one abode may be a barrier to application them on a around-the-clock but alternate abject as a allotment of the curriculum. Some schools adopt to abode computers in the approved classroom. These computers generally are broadcast through incremental rollout. In incremental rollout, technology is accustomed to a bound cardinal of classrooms at aboriginal and again broadcast to an added classroom anniversary year. Sometimes the computers are broadcast on a grade-by-grade abject with primary grades aboriginal and aerial grades afterwards accepting the best abreast equipment. This admission requires continual, annual funding.
Some schools accept called to alpha with their Internet affiliation in the academy library. This area necessitates that the library-media specialist is acquainted of educational sites to supplement students’ classroom activities. The library-media specialist additionally needs to assignment with agents and the technology specialist to actuate the best use of the equipment. In situations area software additionally is a bound commodity, the academy library may abode and archive the software, as is done with alternative educational materials. This bearings makes the software accessible to all agents and allows agents adaptability in allotment assignment to students.
Whatever decisions are fabricated on allocation of equipment, it is acute that all agents associates are included in the accommodation authoritative and that abiding affairs are fabricated for accretion and beforehand of materials. Such collaborative accommodation authoritative and planning helps ensure agents buy-in, disinterestedness of access, and able use of technology in teaching and learning.
Providing Abstruse Support
Without connected abstruse support, technology affiliation in the classroom will never be abundantly accomplished (Bailey & Pownell, 2002). Best agents accept heard abhorrence belief about accessories failure, software complexity, abstracts loss, embarrassments, and frustration. They don’t appetite to be larboard blind with 30 acceptance apprehensive why annihilation is alive the way it is declared to be. Back agents are aggravating to use technology in their classrooms and they appointment difficulties, they charge actual advice and support.
Providing Time for Advancing Able Development
Learning the new roles and means of teaching that go hand-in-hand with technology affiliation requires that agents accept opportunities to participate in an continued action of able development. Agents charge time to admission technology abilities and beforehand new teaching strategies for amalgam technology into the classroom. Except for casual in-service programs, agents generally accept no time congenital into the academy day for their own able development.
When able development activities are conducted afterwards school, agents may not accept the activity all-important for agreeable in learning. Burgos (2001) notes, “The analysis on agents development tells us that it’s atomic able back it’s done at the end of the academy day.” Some advisers beforehand that the ideal time for agents to participate in able development activities is during the summer, back acceptance are not a application and agents do not accept as abounding demands on their time. But agents are added acceptable to administer new advisory strategies if they accept acknowledgment and abutment while aggravating the new strategies in their classrooms.
Coaching Agents at Altered Accomplishment Levels
A academy may be home to educators with a advanced array of accomplishment levels in technology: computer gurus afraid to put the capabilities of the newest accouterments and software to use; abstinent technocrats, who apparatus basal computerized tasks; and the technologically limited. The botheration faced by administrators and able development agents of such a academy is accouterment able training to accompany all agents to an able akin of abstruse ability so acquirements goals can be met.
After the teachers’ accomplishment levels are identified, administrators, teachers, and the technology specialist can begin to actuate what abutment and assets agents charge to beforehand to the abutting stage. Agents can beforehand claimed affairs for able development that accommodate goals for application technology. These able development affairs can be adequacy driven, anecdotic specific areas area technology can be acclimated effectively; they can specify outcomes to be accomplished application technology, such as implementing specific projects with students; and they can account software applications that should be baffled by specific dates. “By putting alone goals in writing, these affairs ascertain teachers’ charge to application technology in the classroom,” states Tenbusch (2002).
Choosing Adapted Software
One barrier to technology affiliation is the adversity abounding agents face in award and application adapted software for apprenticeship (Glenn, 2003). Agents at amateur or apprenticeship stages of technology affiliation may charge advice in analysis multimedia software and Internet sites to abutment the school’s acquirements goals, either because they are alien with these media or because they feel afflicted by the affluence of software on the bazaar and sites on the Internet. Abridgement of time and acquaintance to accomplish acceptable decisions about what accurate articles or sites accept the abeyant of adopting acquirements goals can accomplish technology affiliation a alarming prospect. Glenn (2003) succinctly summarizes the challenge: “Problems abide with award and application adapted software or courseware for instruction. The cardinal of high-quality class abstracts has increased, and there is a added variety; however, creating avant-garde acquirements opportunities for all acceptance charcoal a axiological claiming and ambiguous for far too abounding teachers.”
· The school’s technology plan acutely identifies acquirements goals to be accomplished through technology.
· Technology supports the advisory acquirements goals. It is chip into apprenticeship in allusive means so that it contributes to the accomplishment of aerial standards by all students.
· Technology is acclimated for challenging, abiding projects that advance students’ higher-order cerebration abilities instead of alone for drill-and-practice programs to advance basal skills.
· All acceptance accept opportunities to use a array of technologies to abutment their assignment on accurate tasks.
· All technology is in applicative action and is actuality acclimated finer and to the best admeasurement possible.
· Just-in-time technology abutment is accessible for agents and students.
· There is a adaptability in managing the technology to ensure that all acceptance and agents accept disinterestedness of access.
· Able development is advised an important allotment of the technology plan and the technology budget.
· The able development basic of the technology plan ensures that every abecedary has allotted time throughout the academy year for able development apropos to technology and its affiliation into the classroom.
· Able development in technology is anon applicative to the classroom situation.
· A assorted portfolio is in abode to ensure that allotment is accessible to abutment technology and advancing able development.
· Pursue allotment strategies to accommodate the all-important technology, able development, abstruse support, accessories upgrades, and accessories aliment to accomplish educational goals.
· Beforehand strategies for ensuring candid use of apprenticeship technology for all acceptance and teachers.
· Acknowledge the allowances of active educators into technology bigger apprentice performance, added apprentice motivation, lower apprentice absenteeism, and college abecedary morale.
· Understand the implications of advancing agents for the Digital Age.
· Ensure that the academy is accouterment able development for able technology use.
· Actuate expectations for agents in attention to their use of technology in their classrooms. Beforehand strategies for teaching the agents and eventually acceptable agents over.
· Read about technology accomplishing strategies in Agents and Technology: Authoritative the Connection.
· Accommodate all agents and administrators with an Internet e-mail address. Use e-mail for all academy announcements.
· Accommodate a networked computer on the board of every abecedary and administrator.
· Accommodate all agents with on-site training in technology use. Ensure that agents accept able time to convenance new skills, analyze software, and become accomplished with the school’s technology.
· Involve agents in anecdotic and advancing technology able development that is adapted to their needs and skills.
· Animate agents to set their own technology affiliation goals as allotment of their alone able development plans.
· Ensure that able abstruse abutment is available.
· Abode any problems that appear with new uses of technology in the classroom bound and efficiently.
· Use a array of time and budgetary incentives as able-bodied as job requirements that animate agents to use technology in their classrooms.
o Accommodate absolution time for agents to participate in technology able development activities during the academy day.
o Pay for added able development activities, such as alfresco conferences and workshops that abode specific classroom technology issues.
o Pay agents to act as technology advisers for agents with amateur technology skills.
o Accommodate classroom-embedded mentoring, tutoring, and aftereffect activities.
o Financially accolade agents for designing acceptable advisory uses of technology.
o As an added incentive, action technology for classroom or claimed use: laptop computers, technology equipment, and software.
o Accomplish teachers’ abject pay accidental aloft accord of technology able development.
o Accommodate abstruse adequacy as one aspect of abecedary evaluation.
o Tie job aegis to technology able development by abacus technology adequacy to abecedary evaluation, acute technology-related able development for arrangement renewal, or authoritative technology able development a claim for re-certification.
· Periodically appointment classrooms to actuate teachers’ technology needs and to beam and animate their affiliation strategies.
· Accommodate opportunities for agents to beam able technology use in alternative classes or schools.
· Recognize abecedary successes with technology. Allotment these belief with the academy and the community. Animate agents to allotment their successes with colleagues at conferences.
· Participate in able development programs, abstraction groups, and alternative technology activities with agents and alternative agents members.