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Technology Use Planning Overview

April 9, 2012

In this assignment, I was to read through several documents on technology use planning, and analyze and relate them to my experience.

Technology use planning is simply the deliberate and strategic planning of how to incorporate technology into all areas of education. As we becomes even more tightly woven into a global technological society, planning for logical and strategic inclusion of technology into education becomes even more pivotal to our success.

According to the National Education Technology Plan (US Department of Education, 2010), technology use planning needs to be completely revamped for education in the 21st century. We need to consider how to incorporate technology into education by determining the outcomes we want to see, redesigning the infrastructure, monitoring the outcomes, and determining accountability.

Technology must be infused into education within five critical areas: learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure, and productivity. While reading through these five areas, I found myself agreeing with much that was said. Technology can be used to personalize learning based on individual learning styles. Technology can improve teaching by bringing  remote resources, including library and information literacy skills, directly into the classroom. Administrators must realize, however, that the infrastructure required for this level of technology use in education requires professional support and additional monetary resources. I found myself disagreeing about the productivity area. I agree that institutions need to make effective use of funds and resources, however, I am wary of educational institutions conforming themselves to a business model of productivity. Businesses exist to make a profit; and thus productivity is a necessity to increase the profit for the business owners. However, education is non-profit and the goal of productivity should be to benefit the student, not a purely monetary motive. In education, we are not creating identical “widgets” as if we were a for-profit factory. This difference should be explored more deeply in the NETP report.

Overall, however, the NETP can be helpful for institutions planning to more fully integrate technology into education by inviting the reader to consider the many areas technology can be implemented to improve the learning process.

John See’s (as cited in NCTP, 2001) 1992 article about technology use planning discusses many provocative ideas. He argues that technology use strategic planning cannot be for more than 1-2 years because of the rapid rate of change. I agree that this is the case if technology use strategic plans are technology-specific. However, even See realizes that the plan needs to revolve around objectives, and not specific technology. If a strategic plan revolves around general objectives and outcomes, and is technology neutral, then I believe that strategic plans can and should extend for longer periods. It is still important for institutions to have a long view, even in the midst of rapid change.

See also argues that schools should not buy and teach technology just for technology’s sake. While I agree that technology needs to be incorporated directly into curricula, I argue that technology instruction still needs to occur deliberately. As a college librarian, I see countless students who are digital natives, they grew up with technology. However, because they grew up surrounded by technology, educators assumed that they also understood that technology, and that is not the case. When they then reach college-level and need to use technology in more advanced ways, their lack of basic understanding hinders their educational progress. I find that I then spend time working with students on very basic technology questions. I believe that when technology is incorporated into educational assignments, there must be deliberate time given to digital literacy instruction. In fact, digital literacy instruction deliberately incorporated into the curricula alongside the use of technology helps the students readily understand the relevance of what they are learning.

In my experience, I have seen technology planning that revolves around the technology, such as introducing ipads and then looking for ways to use them, rather than revolve around objectives and fitting technology to meet them. I certainly feel that technology must fit applications and objectives, and not the other way around!

This Technology Use Planning Overview assignment addresses AECT Standard 5.4: Long-Range Planning.

See, J. (2001). Developing effective technology plans. National Center for Technology Planning. Retrieved from: http://www.nctp.com/html/john_see.cfm

US Department of Education. (2010). Transforming American education: Learning powered by technology: National Education Technology Plan 2010. Washington: DC. Retrieved from: http://www.ed.gov/technology/netp-2010

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