These are notes I’ve taken from the Texas “Long-Range Plan for Technology, 2006-2020” which is available as a PDF file. I read and took notes the first half of this document using the free iPhone eBook Reader Stanza, and used the free Stanza desktop application to convert and share the PDF file in eReader format to my iPhone. MY OWN THOUGHTS, REFLECTIONS, AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS.

Mission of Texas Public Education is based on the idea that:

…a general diffusion of knowledge is essential for the welfare of this state and for the preservation of the liberties and rights of citizens. It is further grounded on the conviction that a successful public education system is directly related to a strong, dedicated, and supportive family and that parental involvement in the school is essential for the maximum educational achievement of a child.

Texas Long Range Technology plan supports educational activities which are:

preparing each student for success and productivity as a lifetime learner, a world-class communicator, a competitive and creative knowledge worker, and an engaged and contributing member of the emerging global digital society.

Texas technology standards referenced in the tech plan:
– Teachers must meet the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) Technology Applications standards
– Students must meet the Technology TEKS

NOTHING IS IN THE SBEC STANDARDS WHICH REFERENCES THE NEED FOR OR REQUIRES COLLABORATION.

A big goal of the tech plan is extending learning to the home / to parents
– SCHOOLS SHOULD HAVE A WAY TO ASSESS HOW WELL THEY ARE EXTENDING LEARNING TO HOMES
– “distributed learning environments” is a key phrase

SBEC technology standards require for teachers:
– access to technology
– quality professional development
– time to implement technology infused lessons

Students must show they can:
– acquire information
– solve problems
– communicate with technology

Provided PD must align to SBEC standards, must:
– support lesson planning
– classroom management
– administrative tasks

PD must be available 24/7 and be available on platforms including online
– a “comprehensive PD initiative is imperative”
– should move teachers from early/developing technology on STaR chart to Advanced/Target Tech levels

Content focused PD must be provided
Schools should budget for TCO (total cost of ownership) as well as sustainability
Key goal is connecting schools, homes and businesses

approach is very top down: “systemic planning, and step-by-step strategies”

“rigorous curriculum standards,” quality instructional materials and comprehensive student assessments form the “framework” for the plan
– this is the “framework for success”

I THINK THERE IS AN ERROR HERE: TEACHERS SHOULD BE A KEY ELEMENT OF THIS FRAMEWORK, RATHER THAN JUST BEING ASKED TO “BUILD ON IT”

schools should provide PD to “personalize instruction”

vision of learners is to:

… engage in individualized real world learning experiences supported by ubiquitous access to modern digital tools…

key phrases include:
– “dynamic, diverse learning communities”
– “create knowledge… apply it across disciplines”
– “requires management of complex processes”

Educators:
– “mentor, monitor and motivate” students
– “participate in communities of learning and inquiry, as co-learners and researchers”
– “leaders provide stewardship for universal education”

Infrastructure
– should support interoperability
– should be benchmarked with exemplary schools around the entire nation, not just the state

A compelling need to change schools:

…essential skills required in this new era are those of agility, self-reliance, self-motivation, problem-solving, collaboration, life-long learning, and facility in using information and communication technologies…

– competitive businesses require employees to “…acquire new knowledge, learn new technologies, rapidly process information, make decisions and communicate in a globally diverse society…”

…the goal in teaching and learning must be to empower young citizens to live and learn in a continuously changing twenty-first century environment and enable this citizenry to effectively interact in the global marketplace…

STATEMENTS LIKE THIS SHOULD HAVE HUGE IMPLICATIONS FOR THE WAY INTERNET WEBSITES / CONTENT FILTERING IS CARRIED OUT AND IMPLEMENTED IN OUR SCHOOLS (REFERENCE: “UNMASKING THE DIGITAL TRUTH”)

schools must extend teaching and learning beyond the traditional school walls
– must serve an increasingly diverse student population

…the learners [today’s students] require a significant, immediate shift in teaching methodology…

– no more “one size fits all” content delivery
– students must develop personal skills like self-assessment

Obstacles to successful technology integration identified in the 2005 NetDay surveys in Texas
– not enough computer time
– computers don’t always work
– not enough computers

Teachers in 2005 said fast wireless was critical for tech integration success along with PD time

We want teacher-education programs which “model current technology in instructional and administrative practices”

…develop new learning environments that utilize technology as a flexible tool where learning is collaborative, interactive and customized…

STATEMENTS LIKE THIS SHOULD LEAVE NO DOUBT THAT TEXAS SCHOOLS SHOULD AND MUST EMBRACE THE USE OF WEB 2.0 TOOLS WHICH FACILITATE COLLABORATION!
– COLLABORATION AND PROJECT-BASED-LEARNING REALLY SHOULD BE A FOCUS OF SCHOOL CHANGE INITIATIVES, IF THE IDEALS AND GOALS OF THIS DOCUMENT ARE TO BE REALIZED

…all leaders…offer expanded curricular and instructional opportunities to students via online, digital technology…

Professional Development:

…provide opportunities for sustained, relevant, and timely staff development in a variety of formats…

Student engagement is the key to all of this:

…The key to success for all students is the assurance that they are all fully engaged in their learning processes…

Equity and access
– it is essential we “equalize the learning environment”
– geography should not matter in terms of the quality of the educational experience which is available for students at all levels

The core framework of the Texas technology plan for teaching and learning:

The integration of technologies into Texas schools can transform the teaching process by allowing for greater levels of interest, inquiry, analysis, collaboration, creativity and content production.

I THINK THERE IS A BIG MISTAKE AND OMISSION HERE. TECHNOLOGY JUST FACILITATES THESE CHANGES, IT DOES NOT BY ITSELF CREATE THESE TRANSFORMATIONS. TECHNOLOGY IS NOT THE CATALYST. IT IS A NECESSARY INGREDIENT. THE KEY CATALYSTS ARE EDUCATIONAL LEADERS WITH THE VISION FOR CHANGING THE BEHAVIOR AND RELATIONSHIPS WITHIN THE TEACHING AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT. A FRAMEWORK IS GREAT, BUT THEY KEY IS PEOPLE, NOT TECHNOLOGY.

Teachers should take advantage of technology to make learning more engaging and relevant
– all learners should have access to resources for individualized instruction 24/7

SO THIS VISION DOES SOUND VERY COMPELLING AT MANY LEVELS. THIS MAKES ME WANT MY OWN CHILDREN ATTENDING A SCHOOL WHICH FULLY OPERATIONALIZES THESE IDEALS, NOT IN 2020 BUT TODAY.

The model of the teacher as the source / student as the receiver of information and knowledge is inadequate
– teacher roles: facilitator, mentor, and co-learner
– students must be “active participants in the learning process”
– teachers need more time to visit classrooms, explore best practices, and learn new curriculum strategies

An online Texas teacher resource center should be created which provides technology-based resources
– “research-based strategies to improve…academic achievement”
– school leaders should “support teachers in developing classroom websites and online resources to share lessons”

critical urgency to support teachers

[THIS IS THE END OF MY NOTES FOR NOW. THIS IS ACTUALLY A DIGITIZED VERSION OF WRITTEN NOTES I TOOK ON MY ALABAMA TRIP THIS PAST WEEK.]

Notes to digitize

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