Technology use planning is a current topic as students and educators see a transition to more technology use in the classrooms. The definition of technology use planning can be as basic or as intricate as the implementor would like. If an educator is proposing a plan to the school board for purchasing current technology for his or her classroom, the plan may be fairly detailed. However, in my homeschooling classroom I have the freedom to pick and chose what I want to include in my own personal plan. Technology use planning involves creating a plan based on what the educator wants their students to achieve. Based on many reports that I have read, I have come to realize that technology use should not be focused on what kind of technology you want to use, but rather what you want your students to gain by using technology. Only then can you begin to plan for the specific technology needed for your classroom.
In John See’s article Developing Effective Technology Plans published by the National Center for Technology Planning, he discusses major aspects of creating and implementing technology plans for education. See talks about effective plans being short-term, not long-term. This is due to the constant change and improvements in technology. He says that five years plans are too long and that one year plans are about the furthest out anyone should plan to budget for buying technology. This advice is critical. The only thing that stays the same with technology is that it constantly changes. This is even truer today than it was in 1992 when the article was written. For example, five years ago the iPhone 3G was just hitting shelves; in fact the first generation was still the only phone available. Imagine if we created a five year technology plan to budget for 30 iPhone 3G’s for our school. We would be so far behind the technology curve because new iPhones have come out every single year since 2007. We actually wouldn’t even be able to purchase new iPhone 3G’s because they are not even being manufactured anymore. This is how all technology works. It is an issue that anyone would come across with a 5 year technology plan. To be the most effective, technology plans need to be created for a one year budget and implementation process.
John See also states that “effective technology plans focus on applications, not technology” (1992). This is such a great piece of advice. He says to focus technology plans on the output, not the input. In other words, what do we want to see as an outcome from technology use? What do the teachers want the students to achieve, and what do the teachers want to be able to achieve? After these questions are answered in detail, then we can decide what type of technology and how much technology will help us reach our goals. I think this is brilliant. To be effective with technology, we have to be able to narrow down our use to allow for a particular outcome. Technology can serve so many purposes. There is so much available; using it all is impossible. Maximizing the effectiveness of the technology that we plan to use can only be done if we become experts at using specific software or applications.
My current experience with technology use plans is minimal. I am not a teacher, nor do I work in a school. I work for the government on a military institution, so our funding is limited and above our heads. Using resources like See’s article, the US department of education’s National Education Technology Plan, and other peer-reviewed articles like the Guidebook for Developing an Effective Instructional Technology Plan, I hope to be able to create sufficient plans in the future. These plans could be for my homeschooling endeavors or a future employer. This information is beneficial for anyone who hopes to incorporate technology into their teaching environment.
This assignment utilizes AECT standard 3.4 “Policies and Regulations” because it discusses critical information that is important to effectively implement technology into a productive, educational environment.
Graduate Students at Mississippi State University. (1996). Guidebook for developing an effective instructional technology plan. Retrieved from: http://www.nctp.com/downloads/guidebook.pdf
See, J. (1992, May). Developing effective technology plans. The Computing Teacher, 19, (8). Retrieved from: http://www.nctp.com/html/john_see.cfm
U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology. (2010). National education technology plan. Washington D.C. Retrieved from: http://www.ed.gov/sites/default/ files/netp2010.pdf