Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Meaningful Technology Integration through Strategic Partnerships

Relationships.  Education is all about relationships.  Building positive relationships with our students, staff, administration, parents, community, board members...the list goes on and on. 

As Education Technology experts, it is incumbent upon us that the biggest relationship we initiative and develop is that with our Teaching and Learning department.  Far too often, these two entities operate in silos, without the day-to-day conversations about goals, needs, mission, vision, roadmap, etc.  If these two groups are not on the same page and walking the same road (in the same direction), our students and teachers can suffer the consquences. 

 So the question is, why is this an important relationship?  That is easy. 

  • Curriculum Alignment.  As education technology experts, we have an understanding of the role technology plays in the classroom.  We also see where the utilization and implementation of certain technology tools, resources, and applications can be embedded in the curriculum to enhance the learning experience and better engage our students. 
  • Technology Outlook.  Education technology experts should be at the forefront of innovative technologies.  They should be testing, piloting, and pursuing the purpose and value add for new technologies. 
  • College / Career Readiness Skills.  (Formerly known as 21st century skills...how long have we been in the 21st century?)  Huge piece of the Common Core Standards.  Embedded throughout the CCS are the College and Career Readiness Skills.  What skills should students posses when they leave our school districts that better prepare them for the world?  Problem solving.  Critical Thinking.  Collaboration.  Communication.  Digital Citizenship.  Research.  All of these skills can be enhanced and fostered through the effective and appropriate utilization of technology.  
I challenge those school districts that have models in place for these conversations to continue the push forward.  If you don't have the model in place to foster the necessary conversations, reach out to a school district that does.  We have to learn and grow from each other.  No one school district has the magical answer to all education issues.  By sharing, communicating and collaborating together - we continue to ensure the success of our students.


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