Friday, August 15, 2014

Leadership Day 2014 #leadershipday14

Technology use at my school can best be described as nascent. However, it was a very prolonged labor to get this far. My mostly veteran staff has been reluctant to embrace much in the way of Modification or Redefinition in their use of tech. When I arrived a few years ago, there was little more than some word processing going on. The staff had been scared by a recently-retired tech guy so that they barely touched the five year old laptops they had. The interim principal before I arrived had begun to modernize with a new laptop cart, document cameras in most rooms, and a Smartboard in one room. Slowly, over the these last last three years, the new tech guy and I have added laptops, iPads, and (soon) some chromebooks. We believe that different students at different ages with different tasks need different tools.

With some small exceptions, most of the technology use at my school is very basic substitution with a bit of augmentation thrown in of or good measure. Tech activities like math games on iPads or spelling sentences on google drive offer little new (other than exposure to technology) over their analogue counterparts. We are hoping to get teachers to move their practice by changing small pieces of their tech integration. For example, last year, one teacher started having students type spelling sentences into google drive. Once her students got the hang of it (and we ironed out some tech wrinkles), the tech guy and I pushed the teacher to allow the students to comment on each other's sentences back and forth before students submitted to the teacher. This modified the spelling sentence activity because the students in that class had never shared their sentences with classmates before.

I would love technology use in my school to redefine learning for every student. To get there, we are growing one unit, one level of SAMR, at a time. Just like our children gradually grow and mature, so to is our technology integration.