Current Status / Needs
In this section, the results of the districts use of the TAGLIT technology needs assessment are described. Additionally, direct staff input from various leadership teams was used. The district student achievement council representatives were asked to evaluate, from their perception, the current status of the district in relation to four areas – student proficiency, educator proficiency & staff development, access to instructionalresources/tools, and support systems/leadership during the planning process.
After reviewing the research found in this plan and the current information related to 21st Century Framework and Skills development, the best practices are thought to be those in which an effective use of technology is evident in the classroom and in the workplace moving from a didactic/basic skills approach to a constructivist/higher order thinking approach. Below is a chart from the EnGauge Assessment Research defining the direction the district subscribes to as a goal for both instructional and work place use of technology.
The School District of the Menomonie Area had used the EnGauge Assessment Process for its previous tech plan, but due to changes in the implementation, the district chose to use the TAGLIT assessment tools. It has provided insight into our current status. The assessment tool uses a four-point scale. The scores will provide us with the information needed to develop a comprehensive plan for review and adjust goals.
The following data is self-evaluation/perspective from district 5th, 8th, and 10th grade students. Further information will be provided regarding the 8th grade class.
The students gave themselves the highest scores in the use of communication technology and the use of the web to access information. Their lowest scores were in the area of productivity software applications, such as spreadsheets, and the use of probes to conduct investigations. They reported word processing and web searches as the two most frequent activities. When asked to evaluate the technology use in a classroom where technology is used more fully they provided the following perspective:
The integration of technology should engage students in their learning on a routine basis. Typical student access to technology may be weak in some grade levels and departments due to accessibility of the resources. The district received Microsoft CyPress funds. Funds will be expended to improve accessibility.
8th Grade Assessment Results
The 8th grade students were administered the TAGLIT assessment in their English courses. The results were similar in regards to strengths and weaknesses. When asked how frequently they are asked to integrate specific tools, it become clear that the areas of weakness are not areas of emphasis in the instructional practices of teachers.
The district uses a method of integrating information/technology literacy standards into the curricular areas. The library media staff has “unpacked” the state information technology standards into grade level benchmarks. Therefore, it is important to review the student achievement data of the district to demonstrate a possible connection between the technology standards and their use in the classroom. It is assumed that since these integrations are listed, students are completing activities to meet those standards at the same time as they are learning their content.
Special Needs Populations
The access to technology is equitable for all students including those with special needs. The use of adaptive technology, to better meet the needs of some of our students, is a focus for all classroom teachers and regularly a focus of professional development. The most recent professional development was in January 2010. When asked about access to technology in their homes, 5% of all students (n=640) and 4% of 8th grade students reported not having a computer in their home. The district does maintain access to the library media centers after school hours in three locations.
The school district also partners with the Menomonie Public Library. The public library provides access to technology evenings and weekends.
Teacher Proficiency Levels
The School District of the Menomonie Area is a one-to-one computer environment for staff. Each staff member has been issued an Apple Macbook since 2003-2004. Our lease purchase agreement allows for the computers to be replaced every 4 years. Professional development has been targeted at full enhancement of the technology.
Access for staff is not an issue. Staff, as noted in the survey, would like additional accessibility for students and greater ease of use. The overall level of support for the previous technology plan was 83%. The level of perceived confidence in the use of technology is indicated in the chart below. It could be noted that staff need more skill development in the use of multimedia, webpage development, and on-line publishing.
The district is dedicated to developing the skills of our staff. The NETS-T guides the professional development, staff evaluation standards, and overall planning.
The National Education Standards for Teachers identify performance indicators for teachers as follows:
1. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity Teachers use their knowledge of subject matter, teaching and learning, and technology to facilitate experiences that advance student learning, creativity, and innovation in both face-to-face and virtual environments.
a. promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness.
b. engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources.
c. promote student reflection using collaborative tools to reveal and clarify students' conceptual understanding and thinking, planning, and creative processes.
d. model collaborative knowledge construction by engaging in learning with students, colleagues, and others in face-to-face and virtual environments.
2. Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
Teachers design, develop, and evaluate authentic learning experiences and assessment incorporating contemporary tools and resources to maximize content learning in context and to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes identified in the NETS•S.
a. design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity.
b. develop technology-enriched learning environments that enable all students to pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in setting their own educational goals, managing their own learning, and
assessing their own progress.
c. customize and personalize learning activities to address students' diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources.
d. provide students with multiple and varied formative and summative assessments aligned with content and technology standards and use resulting data to inform learning and teaching.
3. Model Digital-Age Work and Learning
Teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and
a. demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations.
b. collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation.
c. communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital- age media and formats.
d. model and facilitate effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information resources to support research and learning.
4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility
Teachers understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their professional practices.
a. advocate, model, and teach safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology, including respect for copyright, intellectual property, and the appropriate documentation of sources.
b. address the diverse needs of all learners by using learner-centered strategies providing equitable access to appropriate digital tools and resources.
c. promote and model digital etiquette and responsible social interactions related to the use of technology and information.
d. develop and model cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with colleagues and students of other cultures using digital-age communication and collaboration tools.
5. Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership
Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources.
a. participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning.
b. exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others.
c. evaluate and reflect on current research and professional practice on a regular basis to make effective use of existing and emerging digital tools and resources in support of student learning.
d. contribute to the effectiveness, vitality, and self-renewal of the teaching profession and of their school and community.
The effectiveness of teaching and learning practices could be strengthened with additional professional development. The survey results show that 85 staff members spend less than 4 hours in professional development each year. The assessment also demonstrates limited integration of technology.
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