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Carol Davis ED PS 6445 Final Paper I have been a teacher at a Granite School District Title One elementary school

for four years. When I started my job, there wasnt much technology available in the classroom. Technology was a neat luxury, but not a huge focus. My second year of teaching, technology took on a different focus. Our district appointed a new superintendent and a new principal came to our school. Both understood the value of technology in the classroom and they spent more time and money to bring it in. Of course, I was thrilled to have a larger focus on technology. By my third year of teaching our superintendent required that every teacher had an online presence. The district then picked out many new programs that they would be launching the following year that had more online components. Through this, parents would be able to have more of a connection between home and school. Granite School District has a five year plan which expresses the need to continuously move forward in regards to technology. One of their goals is to provide 21st century tools and resources to support curriculum and learning expectations (Granite School District, 2012). During parent-teacher conferences this fall, I spent a great deal of time telling my parents about the online resources that are available to them. They seemed very pleased, but then would tell me that they do not own a computer or have internet access. I proceeded to explain to them that they could go to the public library to get on. Most agreed and knew of that option, but didnt seem very enthusiastic about it. As the months have passed, I have been consistently checking the number of hits I have gotten on my own

personal classroom website. The stats have been pretty poor. Sheingold (1991) explains that it is not the features of the technology alone, but rather the ways in which those features are used in human environments, that shape its impact. If our district wants to be able to move into the 21st century, then something needs to be done to educate and allow access to parents, especially in lower income areas or all this technology will have minimal influence on the students education. Walt Disney was a leader in customer service. According to Walt, If something could be made better, it was done. He called this effort plussing (Disney Institute, 2001). I knew that I could do better than just telling my parents to go to the library. Disney also talked about combustion statements: Combustion statements are important cues to the process issues you need to address to deliver magical service. The best way to identify key combustion points is to study your guests. What do they complain about? (Disney Institute, 2001). My parents had been complaining about computer and internet access, so I started to come up with a plan to address it. Our school has several instructional aides. There is always an aide in one of our computer labs from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30p.m. They are there to run a computer based math and reading program for the students and to assist teachers during the day with testing. Often times when the lab aide gets the children logged on they dont do much. At the beginning and the end of the day there are minimal children in the lab. I want to propose that our school advertises open lab time available to parents. This would be a time that they could check student grades, class websites, interact with the districts online math and reading programs. The lab aide would be there to monitor and assist the parents.

To be able to launch this, I would need to talk this over with my principal, computer support teacher, and the afterschool coordinator. Together we would work out the lab aides schedules and set-up times where they can receive proper training on the programs parents and students would use. Our school serves a large number of Latino families which only speak Spanish. I would like to see if we could set-up one of the open lab times with an aide who speaks Spanish. Hopefully this would make more of our Latino families will feel welcome in the lab. We have a very knowledgeable teaching staff at our school. I would like to get them involved. Once a month, I would like to have a night where one of our teachers would teach the parents about the programs and how to use them. This night would also be used to show up- to- date educational findings. There would be a different focus each month. One of the barriers that we have is getting parents to realize they are part of our school community and they are welcome in our school. We want them and their families to be successful and receive the help that they need. Our staff is more than willing to assist them through this progress because we both have a common goal, the success of their student. There are three ways that we can get the message out to parents; our electronic sign in front of the school, flyers, and our telephone calling system. To make this successful, all that are involved would have to buy in. It has to be a collaborative effort by the teachers, the principal, aides, and parents. According to Li (2010), The purpose of information sharing is to inform people about a decision, direction, or strategy with the goal of getting recipients to buy into the idea, so that everyone is working toward the same goal.

My hope is that this will be one way to help families that I serve have access to and become more familiar with technology. Sheingold (1991) says, Past technologies have been promoted as the answer for education. I am not saying that this technology is the answer or open lab times will to solve this problem, but it is one idea. It depends on how the user uses it. There are many valuable resources out there to parents. This is just one step to get them to a place where they feel welcome and have assistance from a knowledgeable staff. Through this program, the computer will be looked upon as an educational gift and not something that is out of their reach.

References

Disney Institute (2001). Be our guest, perfecting the art of customer service. (pp. 137-170). New York, NY: Hubsta Ltd. Granite School District. (2012, 10 15). Gsd 5-year plan. Retrieved from http://www.graniteschools.org/depart/superintendent/Documents/GSD 5-Year Plan.pdf Li, C.(2010). Open leadership. San Fransisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

Sheingold, K. (1991, 09 01). Restructuring for Learning With Technology: The Potential for Synergy. Phi Delta Kappan , 73, 17-27.