Main

December 5, 2006

Parents' Participation

I have to admit I didn't do much work during this week because the technology coordinator I contacted with just had a baby. I don't want to bother him at this moment, mayme next week will be better. I will read through all the plan and stuff he gave me and have a informal phone interview to discuss the questions I make.

Back to the topic. How much participation could parents involve in technology education? In minimum, parents should be gatekeepers of information resources especially in the elementary and middle school levels. Unfortunately, some parents can't even make it! In the school I taught in Taiwan, a big portion of parents are vendors of a famous night markets near our school. They work from noon till midnight and can't look after their children anyway. Lots students eat take-out dinner everyday and stay alone at home after school. I'm not surprised if those students stick with video game or porno websites.

Indeed, parents also need to educate. If I go back to teach in the future, the first important thing I want to communicate with students' parents will be related to the technology issue. After all, family is the first classroom. We take care of students for eight hours, other 16 hours they stay at home.

November 28, 2006

Technology Visioning-- A Sunflower of Lifelong Learning

In ShiLin Junior High School, learning will become an interesting and cooperating process. All teachers, students, parents, business, communities, and administrators will engage learning with technology and support each other.

 

By learning with technology,

l          Teachers could develop their professional development.

l          Students could enhance the abilities of problem solving and decision making.

l          Parents could foster stronger younger generation.

l          Business could discover potential future leader.

l          Community could strengthen educational teamwork.

l          Administrators could enhance working efficiency.

 

Lifelong learning is our ultimate goal. Technology learning will be a bud of the lifelong learning sunflower. Every petal—every position –will tightly connect with each other for the future continuing learning journey.

November 21, 2006

Some thoughts about Minnesota digital plan...

Compared to the three National Plans and the evaluation from other states' plan in Zhao's article, the digital learning plan of Minnesota focused not only on k-12 level but whole school system, includes higher education. I really appreate this because I believe higher education institutes have more resources, they can provide academic and technical support, especially on preservice teachers' trainning and some technology-integrated system. However, it's also a pity that this plan put too much emphasis on higher education level no matter from the statistic this plan cited or some examples this plan raised. It probably because the higher Ed. itself has "research characteristics" so that it's easier to find the data and resources than k-12 environment. In k-12 environment, I believe there are more issues wait to be explored.

The digital learning plan stated its five-year targets and strategies for 21st century learners, knowledgeable skilled educators, and effective business administration. Under each target, there were several strategies and advices in action. Some of the strategies I think its really novel and foresighted. For example, to incorporate information literacy/technology standard into all initial professional licensing and professional licence renewal requirements. It's a big push for educators to learn technology. Nowadays we don't have any technology standard in Minnesota so that the teachers assessment system become very hard to establish.

I also curious about how this plan disseminate and its influences of district level plans. In this plan, I only saw the suggestion but didn't see how it works.

A Little Progress...

This week I called the technology specialist in the school I student teaching. He housband of one of my colleagues in the school I taught. We had a short conversation. I asked him some questions about the technology funding and planning in the k-12 school level and had a more concrete understanding about this issue.

Unsurprisingly, there was no integrated comprehensive plans in the k-12 schools. School committee made some single plans according to the demand of Taipei City Givernment. The Goverment allocated funding to k-12 schools for the infrustructure and teachers' trainning in the year 1999-2002. After the year 2002, the finding only provide for the renewal but no more funding for educational software purchasing.

He will email me more detailed documents. I will analyze them in my final reflection.

November 14, 2006

National Educational Technology Goals Year 2000

Goal 1: All students and teachers will have access to information technology in their classrooms, schools communities and homes. 

1. Focus on infrustructure: Internet acess/ broadband/ wired or wireless/ desktop or hand held.
 2. Lack of difinition of technology: often narrows it into "the Internet"
 3. It matches the EdWeek Technology Count Report. We found out that the critetia od "access to technology" often focus on "internet access" in the school.
 4. Begin to notice the issue of digital devide.

Goal 2: All teachers will use technology effectively to help students achieve high academic standards.

 1. focus on outcomes rather than process of learning.
 2. begin to look at teachers' professional development and technology knowledge. Have initial plans on teachers' trainning, especially pre-service teachers.
 3. View teacher as a "designer" of technology-integrated curriculum.

Goal 3: All Students will have technology and information literacy skills.
 1. favor modern education concepts of students learning (e.g., problem solving skills, higher order thinking strategies, reasoning and teamwork skills).
 2. view technology as a great equalizing tool that can provide access to everyone.
 3. begin to notice the ethnic problems caused by technology. Teachers become gatekeepers of technology, protect students from damaging information on the Internet.
 4. Technology is an inevitable trend.

Goal 4: Research and evaluation will improve the next generation of technology applications for teaching and learning.

 1. match Bannett's 4th process of techplan: review the research on technology and planning.

Goal 5: Digital content and networked applications will transform teaching and learning. 

1. Hughes (2004) RAT framework: technology as a transformative tool
 2. B. F. Skinner's learning machine theory: technology become a transformative solution of educational problems.
 3. View students as active solo inquirer in this goal, focus on fitting students' individual needs.
 4. focus on school staff and administration trainning: Porter's Phase 3?

First Impression on TechPlan

Till last week, my knowledge horizon had never reached to a school's techplans. In the former class I took before, I always focused on personal professional development and technology integration in my own instruction.

The article of Zhao & Conway (2001) is really interesting to me because of the views and images of technology, student, teacher, and educational goals be portrayed in the techplans of 15 states. It can be made some connections from the issue we talked in CI 5345. For example, the views of technology in most state techplans shows that using technology is a positive, powerful and inevitable trend that fit one of the assumption we made in the class discussion. The "Views of teachers" section is also interesting, I guess Tomi must met some "Luddites" teachers in her discussion group.

I found some techplans from the website of Taipei City Department of Education this week. There are two "White Books" of technology education in the Taipei City. One was planned in the period of 1999-2001, another was planned in the period of 2002-2004. Although I haven't read them thoroughly, I found they used the E-learning techplans of the United States we read this week as refrences. It must be very fun to compare two different techplans from defferent country in the same period of time. Moreover, I plan to contact the technology person in the school I taught or in another school I was student-teaching. I want to ask them if there are techplans in schools to realize how a broad city plan can be concretized to a school plan. Maybe an interview will be helpful!