The Need for Two Levels of Planning:
What the School and District Can Do Versus What Teachers Can Do
The mere presence of technology is not an automatic guarantee for improved education. Despite its potential power, educational technology has had some well-documented, high-profile failures (Ferrell, 1986; Morehouse, Hoaglund, & Schmidt, 1987; The revolution that fizzled, 1991), and the most recent research shows that how technology is integrated is more important than how much it is used (Archer, 1998).
Certain factors profoundly affect whether or not technology helps education take a leap forward of a pratfall. Planning is the key to addressing these concerns. Planning should be done both by school and district personnel and by teachers to increase the likelihood that technology will have the desired impact on teaching and learning.
For technology to work in classrooms, most teachers depend on their school and district to provide several kinds of support. Teachers do not have time for these tasks… The teacher’s primary responsibility is developing and implementing effective technology integration plans.
Technology Integration Planning Tasks at District and School Levels
Developing District and School Technology Plans
Most reports (Apple Computer Company, 1991; Brody, 1995; Bruder, 1993…) recommend assigning planning tasks to technology planning committee made up of both educators and technology experts as well as representatives from all groups in the school or district. Such committees are most effective when appointed by top-level administrators who give them authority to implement what they recommend. Kwajewski (1997) adds one more concern: Educational leaders must view technology as a “core value” if it is to work effectively in the school system.
Setting appropriate goals and developing sound plans for reaching them are such commonsense prerequisites for success in any endeavor that it could be assumed that any technology project would follow a well-conceived plan. Sadly, this is not always the case. Technology experts and technology oriented educators generally agree that developing and maintaining a school-level or district-level plan increases significantly the likelihood of receiving the full benefits of technology’s potential for improving teaching , learning and productivity. A technology plan helps a school or district save money, achieve specific goals, and build a community support for the plans.
Several good sources document the steps that a planning committee should follow to develop a sound technology plan.