One of the critical roles of any technology leader is to guide a school or district in the creation and successful completion of a state approved technology plan. Although each state has their own guidelines that schools must follow in the completion of these plans, the International Society for Technology in Education outlines the set of Essential Conditions that must exist to ensure effective technology integration. This list of conditions can provide school leaders with a valuable tool that they can use to measure the effectiveness of their technology plan.
The first essential condition addresses the need for a "shared vision"held by administrators, teachers, and technology staff. This vision can be created and maintained by holding regular meetings of a technology committee in which all stake holders are represented. The vision can be continually renewed through ongoing professional development, such as attending conferences and workshops (such as those sponsored by Vita-Learn here in Vermont) and completing coursework.
Another critical component in any technology plan must address the need for on-going professional learning. I have had the pleasure of working on districts that address this need by providing professional development opportunities as part of the yearly inservice schedule. Other districts encourage peer coaching and workshop attendance so that teachers can acquire the skills they need and share the knowledge they already possess. This can be an extremely beneficial approach in small schools where technology staffing is limited and technology skills are varied among the staff.
One essential condition that has been over-looked by some districts is the need for a curriculum framework that aligns the content standards with digital curriculum resources. While administrators expect teachers to integrate technology seamlessly into their teaching, the most common complaint of teachers attempting to do this is a lack of resources to assist them in their efforts. As the Common Core is implemented, technology committees should dedicate their time to helping to locate these resources and develop a curriculum framework to support seamless technology integration.