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Technology Plan Evaluation

Madison Hester and Jessica Horton


Georgia Southern University
Dr. Lucas Jensen
February 17, 2019
Technology Plan Resources

Investigating the quality of the school technology needs assessment (STNA) 3.0: A
validity and reliability study.
Corn, J. (2010). Investigating the quality of the school technology needs assessment
(STNA) 3.0: A validity and reliability study. Educational Technology Research &
Development, 58(4), 353–376. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-009-9140-y

This article addresses the lack of valid and reliable instruments available and accessible
to schools. Schools and districts should use a well-designed needs assessment to
inform important decisions about a range of technology program areas. The School
Technology Needs Assessment (STNA) is a free, user-friendly online survey tool that
meets this need for planning and formative evaluation of technology projects in
educational settings. This source supports the use of STNA to increase a school
implemented technology projects. The article includes a research study done on a
school in North Carolina to show the results of the resource.

What’s the Value of the National Educational Technology Plan for Library Staff?
DEBRASKI, S. (2016). What’s the Value of the National Educational Technology Plan for
Library Staff? Young Adult Library Services, 15(1), 34. Retrieved from http://proxygsu-
ecor.galileo.usg.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=e
db&AN=118843608&site=eds-live&scope=site

It is important for all staff members to be included especially those that can take the
technology plan and do their own content with the sources. This article covers the
benefits of librarians being included throughout the technology plan. The article includes
five technology integrated sources that could benefit a school. The five point plan
focuses on learning, teaching, leadership, assessment and infrastructure. This resources
would be beneficial for schools because the librarian would be able to teach students
outside of their content. Students would be able to address other issues concerning
technology and be more aware of their self online.

Using business criteria to make technology decisions in a school district.


Costello, R. W. (1993). Using business criteria to make technology decisions in a school
district. T H E Journal, 21(4), 105. Retrieved from http://proxygsu-
ecor.galileo.usg.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=c
ph&AN=9501234899&site=eds-live&scope=site

This journal discusses the school technology plan developed by Indiana Bell for
Noblesville Schools in Indiana. The information used in the technology plan would assist
a school needing to design their own criteria. Defining responsibilities; Coordinating
programs; Establishing standards; Program planning model; Support infrastructure;
Curriculum development; Management; Staff development are all included with details
on the importance of including them within their schoolwide plan.

Planning for Technology


Czubaj, C. A. (2002). Planning for Technology. Journal of Instructional Psychology,
29(1), 15. Retrieved from http://proxygsu-
ecor.galileo.usg.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=s
lh&AN=6432925&site=eds-live&scope=site

This article lists the positive results of implementing more technology into the school
systems. The article speaks on the growing population in a secondary school and the
influences technology would have within that environment. The research includes
different status schools and includes detailed information on technology implementation
for each one. The article also includes assessment rubrics for technology plans being
used. This would assist with comparing a recent schools technology plan rubric with the
research shown in this article’s technology plan rubric. By using this article as a resource
technology directors could see the benefits of including a community centered around a
school with a strong technology plan.

Educational Technology on a Turning Point: Curriculum Implementation in Flanders and


Challenges for Schools
Ruben Vanderlinde, Johan van Braak, & Ruben Hermans. (2009). Educational
Technology on a Turning Point: Curriculum Implementation in Flanders and Challenges
for Schools. Educational Technology Research and Development, 57(4), 573.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-009-9126-9

This research article breaks down challenges concerning national technology standards
and how it affects school technology standards. The research takes place in a school
environment and looks at the positive and negative of government issued technology
plans. The purpose of this article is to argue the purpose of school organized technology
plans to fit their students needs. The technology plan issued in this research left the
teachers in a position that caused negative involvement. Using this piece of research
could give schools an idea of how important school regulated technology plans are as
opposed to national government technology plans.

Technology planning in schools: An integrated research-based model


Vanderlinde, R., & van Braak, J. (2013). Technology planning in schools: An integrated
research-based model. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(1), E14–E17.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8535.2012.01321.x
This resources describes an research-based model over technology throughout different
schools. The focused model includes several different research and multiple studies on
other technology plans within school districts. The purpose of this study is to assist
teachers and technology directors with research information as they design their
technology plan. Researchers would use this resource to support other technology plans
being designed and policy makers could include this piece when supporting technology
planning processes. Overall, research on technology planning would be useful to make
an clear decision on the outcome of a schools technology plan.

Forum Unified Technology Suite


https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2005/tech_suite/index.asp

This resource was funded by the United States Department of Education. It’s purpose
is to provide a technology plan guide that is designed specifically for educators, not
people working in business fields. It’s purpose is also to assist educators who do not
have a strong background in technology to understand and become more comfortable
with technology types and uses. The resource address the following areas: planning
technology initiatives, determining technology needs, selecting and implementing
technology; safeguarding, maintaining, and supporting technology; training for
technology, and integrating technology. This resource is particularly relevant to our
project because of it’s educator-specific focus and the scope of it’s content from planning
to integration.

Head Start/ECLKC
https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/organizational-leadership/article/whats-involved-
technology-planning

This resource was developed for leaders of the Head Start program, a program that
provides early childhood education for low-income families. This resource is particularly
beneficial for our project because, much like the Forum United site, it is particularly
geared toward educators and the unique needs for technology integration for education.
This particular plan is very user-friendly, easy to understand for those with limited tech
knowledge, and provides a step-by-step guide for tech planning.

Special School District of St. Louis County Instructional Technology Standard Program
Evaluation
https://www.ssdmo.org/about_us/program_eval/05_07/Instructional_Technology.pdf

This resource is an actual report on the evaluation of the SSD of St. Louis County’s
technology plan. This resource is useful for this project as it provides an analysis of
actual data related to the school district’s technology plan and implementation. Rubrics
are provided showing how scores on surveys led the evaluation team to determine the
district’s technological strengths, areas of progress, and continued challenges. This
evaluation is an excellent example of using quantitative data to evaluate a plan.

Texas Education Agency EPlan


https://tea.texas.gov/Academics/Learning_Support_and_Programs/Technology_Plannin
g/ePlan/

This resource describes the Texas Education Agency’s EPlan system. The EPlan
system enables Texas schools to “develop technology plans and submit them within the
online system. The ePlan system serves as a tool for the assessment and evaluation of
a district’s technology capabilities. Documentation is maintained of past and current
technology plans”. Basically, it provides a standard for technology plans for all schools
in the state of Texas. The eplan used to be required, now it is optional, but still heavily
used by schools in Texas. This resource is particularly relevant because one thing we
noticed about our three Georgia technology plans is how different they were. This
resource shows how a state can standardize their plans.

Technology Plan Rubric


Criteria Does Not Meet Meets Expectation Exceeds Score
Expectation (0 (5 points) Expectation
points) (10 points)

Goals No goals are Goals are identified, Goals are


mentioned. but not clearly identified and
explained. accompanied by
an explanation of
the goals.

Professional No professional Professional Professional


Development development is development is development is
mentioned discussed described,
including a
timeline for
training.

Services No description of An assessment of A complete


services or current hardware, assessment of
hardware. software, and current hardware,
services is included. software, and
services is
included along
with an
assessment of
future needs.

Accessibility No accessibility is Accessibility and the Plans and


mentioned. Americans with procedures for
Disabilities Act are accessibility and
discussed. the Americans
with Disabilities
Act are fully
discussed,
described, and
implemented.

Budget No budget is Funding sources Funding sources


mentioned. are identified. are identified
along with specific
dollar amounts for
various
categories.

Ongoing No mention of Evaluation is Ongoing


Evaluation ongoing discussed and evaluation is
evaluation. planned. planned and
specific
instruments and
measures to be
used are
determined.

Technology No mention of a Need for a Specific plans for


Skills technology skills technology skills a technology skills
Curriculum curriculum curriculum is curriculum are
identified included

Quantitative No quantitative Report includes Report includes


Data data is quantitative data quantitative data
documented in and a thorough
the plan interpretation of
the data

Policies No district District technology District technology


technology policies are included policies are
policies are as a reference included and
included referenced
throughout the
plan

Range of Plan includes Plan includes Plan includes


Technology only educational educational educational
technology technology and technology and
business technology business
technology, and
addresses
business
technology current
status and goals

Total Score: /100

Technology Plan Evaluation for Forsyth County, Georgia

https://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/cms/lib/GA01000373/Centricity/Domain/
75/Three%20Year%20Technology%20Implementation%20Plan%20.pdf

Criteria Does Not Meet Meets Expectation Exceeds Score


Expectation (0 (5 points) Expectation
points) (10 points)

Goals No goals are Goals are identified, Goals are 10


mentioned. but not clearly identified and
explained. accompanied by
an explanation of
the goals.

Professional No professional Professional Professional 5


Development development is development is development is
mentioned discussed described,
including a
timeline for
training.

Services No description of An assessment of A complete 5


services or current hardware, assessment of
hardware. software, and current hardware,
services is included. software, and
services is
included along
with an
assessment of
future needs.

Accessibility No accessibility is Accessibility and the Plans and 0


mentioned. Americans with procedures for
Disabilities Act are accessibility and
discussed. the Americans
with Disabilities
Act are fully
discussed,
described, and
implemented.

Budget No budget is Funding sources Funding sources 0


mentioned. are identified. are identified
along with specific
dollar amounts for
various
categories.

Ongoing No mention of Evaluation is Ongoing 0


Evaluation ongoing discussed and evaluation is
evaluation. planned. planned and
specific
instruments and
measures to be
used are
determined.

Technology No mention of a Need for a Specific plans for 10


Skills technology skills technology skills a technology skills
Curriculum curriculum curriculum is curriculum are
identified included

Quantitative No quantitative Report includes Report includes 0


Data data is quantitative data quantitative data
documented in and a thorough
the plan interpretation of
the data

Policies No district District technology District technology 5


technology policies are included policies are
policies are as a reference included and
included referenced
throughout the
plan

Range of Plan includes Plan includes Plan includes 0


Technology only educational educational educational
technology technology and technology and
business technology business
technology, and
addresses
business
technology current
status and goals

Total Score: 35/100

Recommendations for the Plan

Goals - The Forsyth County Technology Plan clearly states five goals: Develop a
Learning Commons, Foster Personalized and Differentiated Instruction, Foster the “Six
Cs”, Develop Relevant Professional Development, and Create a Transformational
Model of Blended Learning. While the goals are clearly stated and explained, we feel
the explanations are a bit succinct for a goals that are so large in scope. We would
recommend that they elaborate on the five large goals they’ve set.

Professional Development - Professional Development is discussed in the plan, and in


fact is one of the five main goals the district has set. However, there are no details as to
how they are going accomplish this goal, other than each school has to submit a
professional development plan each year. We recommend that they provide concrete
information about how they’ll achieve this goal. They will need to determine what types
of professional development they’ll offer, on which technology. Will they bring in outside
trainers, or will their own staff provide the PD? How many PD sessions should
individuals attend? These are questions that should be addressed in the plan.

Services - The Forsyth County Technology plan does have an inventory of technology
as part of the plan. They also describe the school based team responsible for
technology integration at each site. However, the plan lacks an evaluation of future
needs. For example, there is no mention of student population. Is Forsyth County
growing in population? Will they need more devices to keep up with enrollment? How
long will the current devices last and how many devices will need to be purchased to
keep pace with evolving technology? Answering these questions will lead to a more
complete technology plan.

Accessibility - The Forsyth County plan has absolutely no mention of accessibility or


the Americans with Disabilities Act. Our recommendation is to include a new section of
the plan devoted entirely to accessibility. There are countless software and hardware
solutions that make devices accessible for those protected under the ADA, and no
technology plan is complete without including an inventory of those devices and a plan
to secure them as needed.

Budget - There is no mention of a budget or sources of funding in the Forsyth County


Technology plan. The only financial discussion at all is a brief sentence or two about a
technology grant the district secured, however, there was no mention of an amount.
The grant, according to the plan, is now over. Our recommendation is that Forsyth
County develops a complete technology budget, and if one is already in place, they
should include it in their plan. The budget should include specific amounts for various
technology items, and should include specific funding sources.

Ongoing Evaluation - The technology plan does not mention ongoing evaluation at all.
The plan has the years 2017 - 2019 in the title, with no mention of what happens after
this year. We recommend the district include answers to the following questions in the
plan: When will the current plan be evaluated and by whom? What instruments will be
used to evaluate its success? Who will be on the team to develop the next plan? Who
developed the current plan, and will any of those individuals help with the next plan?
What adjustments and modifications need to be made going forward?

Technology Skills Curriculum - The Forsyth County plan earns full points in the area of
Technology Skills Curriculum. They provided a full description of the Digital Learning
Curriculum they plan to use and how they’ll implement it. Our only recommendation
here is to set an approximate timeline related to the implementation.
Quantitative Data - We could find no qualitative data in the Forsyth County Technology
Plan. We would recommend that the district include survey data that gives them a
picture of the technical abilities of their users and the needs of their teachers, staff,
students and parents. This data will help them more accurately plan for what district
needs are related to both products and professional development. Then, a thorough
analysis and interpretation should be included in the plan, along with the data.

Policies - There are brief mentions of technology related policies and laws, such as the
Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act of 2008. They also mention there is a
requirement for each school to submit an Internet Safety Plan once a year. However,
the district does not include their Board of Education policies related to technology and
internet safety. We recommend that the plan developers add a section related to
Forsyth County Board of Education policies, with explanation, and include the policies
as an appendix to the plan.

Range of Technology - The Forsyth County Plan only includes educational technology.
While this type of technology is certainly important for a school district’s technology
plan, there are other types of technology that should be included in a complete
technology plan. We recommend that the plan authors include a description of the
business technology that the district has and plans to acquire. As professionals, we
should model the expectations we have for our students, so if we expect them to
engage with technology, our district’s professional operations should as well.