Schools have been in a technology implementation crisis. That was an unanticipated finding from our Project RED (2010) research that examined 1000 robust education technology sites – including 200 one-to-one sites. Best practices for integrating technology in schools have a major positive impact. However, they are not consistently or widely adopted.
Our research also uncovered nine key implementation factors that are linked most strongly to education success when integrating technologies in schools (www.projectred.org). This is complex work that entails an array of interconnected, moving parts that must come together in a dynamic system in order to successfully implement technologies with teaching and learning.
The Project RED Signature Districts are the ‘living’ demonstration of how key implementation factors ensure desired 1:1 outcomes. These districts avoided the implementation crises because of their laser focus on the tasks that mattered most to reaching student achievement and financial goals.
A key factor that emerged from Project RED was the importance of the principals’ expecting teachers’ and students’ consistent use of technologies to improved student progress. Clear expectations, collaboration among stakeholders and accountability for meeting expectations have been a big part of the Signature Districts’ work. With a specific goal of moving from teacher to student-driven learning through the power of technologies, several districts instituted protocols that facilitated the move in this direction.
East Noble School Corporation in Indiana instituted their 1:1 program two years ago. A year ago, the state adopted a teacher evaluation system that values data, outcomes and teachers’ growth over years of service and degrees. With both efforts in mind, administrators and teachers developed a rubric that defined desired teacher and student activities that would lead to improved pedagogy, learning and meaningful technology integration in the one-to-one program. It was important to these educators to express expectations clearly and in language that all could understand.
They adapted the SAMR (http://www.hippasus.com/rrpweblog/archives/2012/08/23/SAMR_BackgroundExemplars.pdf) and Technology Integration Models (http://fcit.usf.edu/matrix/matrix.php) for the technology practice expectations. There is an emphasis on educators’ personal and pedagogical use of technologies – keeping the teacher at the center of this growth plan.
They added technology integration activities to their overall rubric on effective instruction. Teachers and administrators have clear guidance on what’s expected and the related levels of accomplishment.
While the debate and dialog continues about changing traditional teacher evaluation processes, East Noble Schools are creatively and collaboratively moving down a meaningful, effective path.
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