What are your three most critical discoveries for this course? How will the learning you have gained serve you in your role as an educational technology leader?
This course has provided me with a wealth of information to process and learn to implement. Primarily, it has given me a new understanding of how districts make decisions. If District 12 were to adopt the Gartner EA process framework, they would have an easy to follow framework that provides an easy transition from current state to the future state. One of the major benefits of the Gartner model is that it also manages the transition, making it an effective model for my district to follow.
Secondly, I learned the importance of FERPA, COPPA, CIPA, and SOPIPA. I learned that through no fault of my own, other than not being informed of how these laws operated, that I need to change my practices. In an effort to push my students into new learning realms, I, like others, have worked in ignorance of the governing laws. This is something that districts need to identify and correct within their PD offerings. It is the responsibility of the district to teach their teachers about applicable laws, and provide opportunities for them to create lessons that are in compliance.
The third critical discovery was the extent of work that is involved in identifying needs, upgrading the networks, and then testing them, along with evaluating the available machines for SBAC testing. I didn’t realize the extent of work necessary to ensure the testing occurs smoothly. Work in District 12 began last August to prepare for the testing in May.
Much of this week’s work and readings focus on setting the stage for Enterprise Architecture. Typically, school districts have maintained separate plans for technology and the district. For example, a district creates a “district education plan” and then has a separate “technology plan.” Moving forward, do you think this is still a good practice, or should they be combined? Please provide a rationale for your decision.
No longer do I think that a school district should have plans that are created in isolation, a “district education plan” and “technology plan” for example. All systems and departments within a district have a symbiotic relationship, with an end goal of helping students learn. Not all departments have an overt role in student learning, such as curriculum or technology, however, departments such as maintenance ensure that children go to school in safe and clean buildings.
Enterprise Architecture is commonly seen as a way of infusing technology into daily practices for any organization. However, we have moved into a learning and business paradigm where technology is already infused within all aspects of society. Having a “district education plan” that does not include technology demonstrates a lack of vision and adequate appreciation for the increasing role technology plays in a 21st century education.
Textbooks are systematically offering digital texts, and online curriculum that requires schools to have robust WiFi and ubiquitous access. Districts need to be aware of these resources as they make their, “district education plan.” Technology and education now go hand in hand, therefore it is impossible to make education plans that are blind to the technology needs of the district. Technology and learning are blended, district plans need to reflect that.