Sunday, November 29, 2009

Texas And Campus STaR Chart

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Opinions Regarding Texas Long Range Plan

All four areas of the Texas Long Range Plan are critical to the plan’s success, but the area over which I have the most control as an administrator is Leadership, Administration and Instructional Support. Administrators must be well versed in the Long Range Plan and its implications for the future of education in Texas. Administrators must utilize their campus STaR charts to appraise their campus’ level of technology use and to create a strategy to progress to the next level.

At the campus level, the administrators must motivate their teachers to utilize and embrace technology. Administrators must clearly articulate their goals for technology and how it fits with the campus goals. Administrators must lead by example by not being afraid to learn and use technology, and they must set specific expectations for technology use in a non-threatening manner. Administrators must coordinate ample quality professional development for their faculty and have a plan in place for follow up. Professional development should include specific pertinent examples for how to use technology effectively in the classroom. Administrators must also allocate adequate funding from their budgets to maintain and enhance their campus’ technology level.

My principal has embraced technology as evidenced by teacher response in the campus STaR Chart. Until our school population exploded this year, our campus had a primary computer lab, intermediate computer lab, and an internet computer lab available for any class to use. The internet lab had to be reconverted to a classroom. The district is striving to make technology available to all teachers and students. It has implemented a strong network and staff development department. This year marks the completion of a three year initiative for all teachers to have a laptop.

In reviewing the 2007-2008 Campus Statewide Summary, it appears that districts are striving to reach the target tech level. Less than six percent are at early tech level; most campuses are developing or advanced tech. Clearly there is still much work to be done, but districts are heading in the right direction. Consistent implementation of technology use in schools is increasing nationwide due to the No Child Left Behind Act.

It could be beneficial to have an annual survey similar to the STaR Chart, but at the national level to compare statistics and progress. It would also help to have additional state and federal funding for technology.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pre-K Technology Applications TEKS

The Pre-K Technology Application TEKS include basic skills that students should be able to perform by the end of Pre-Kindergarten.
X.A.1. Students will be able to open and use various programs.
X.A.2. Students will be able to utilize and identify various input tools.
X.A.3. Students will be able to utilize recorders and touch screens.
X.A.4. Students will be able to communicate using software.
X.A.5. Students will be able to use technology to obtain information.
The Pre-K TEKS prepare students for future expectations by introducing vocabulary and skills used in the Technology Applications for grades K-8.

A spiraling curriculum builds on itself. It starts with new knowledge and then adds to that knowledge. Each year knowledge and skills are revisited to ensure that learning and understanding is developing.

Some examples of the spiral curriculum in the Technology Application TEKS include:
1.B Students are able to perform a few basic functions in software programs.
2.D Students are able to create documents using a keyboard and check for mistakes.

Grades 3-5
1.B Students are able to perform basic functions in multiple software programs.
2.D Students are able to create documents using a keyboard and check for mistakes.
Grades 6-8
1.F Students are able to perform many basic functions in software programs.
7.A Students are able to utilize a word processor in making a document.
7.B Students are able to utilize a spreadsheet in making a document.
7.C Students are able to build a database.

Long-Range Plan

In reading the Long-Range Plan, I learned that the plan has very high goals and expectations for all stakeholders in the Texas education system. I truly hope these goals are attainable because it would be wonderful if all Texas school children, parents, and teachers had the skills, hardware, and infrastructure to utilize technology for education anywhere and anytime. I am glad that students and almost all teachers are beginning to recognize the importance and the role of technology in teaching and learning. In order for the plan to be fully realized, the various constituents must follow through with the ETAC’s recommendations.

As an instructional leader, I have many responsibilities to help achieve the goals stated in this plan. I can refer to the plan for guidance in incorporating technology effectively on my campus. I can use the campus STaR Chart to gauge my success in implementing the plan. I must ensure that teachers have plenty of professional development to learn the Technology Application Skills and specific training to incorporate technology in to actual lessons. I must budget plenty of money to acquire technology hardware, software, and professional development. I must comprehensively support the use of technology on my campus.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Reflections of Assessments

The two assessments, Technology Applications Inventory and the State Educational Technology Directors Association Teacher Survey, were very useful in uncovering several areas of weakness in my technology skills. Since middle school and high school I have loved computers and technology and have taken many courses, but there is always more to learn since technology is ever evolving.

From the Technology Applications Inventory, I learned that I could not answer yes to all questions in any of the domains, but I am particularly weak in the Foundations and Solving Problems with Technology Tools Domains. Some of the Foundation questions that I had to answer no in include: “understand the difference between operating systems,” “create and save files that can be used cross platform,” and “delineate between .au and .cwk files.” (Lanclos, p.1) In the Solving Problems with Technology Tools Domain for example, I have no idea what it means to “create linear and non-linear multimedia projects,” and as a music teacher I have not “integrated acquired technology application skills” in the core curriculum. (Lanclos, p. 3) The questions that I answered no to were items that I have never had the need to utilize, have not used in a long time, or simply vocabulary that at some point I learned but do not remember.

From the State Educational Technology Directors Association Teacher Survey, I felt a little bit more positive about my technology skills and efforts. I utilize the internet from home daily. (SEDTA/Metiri Group, 2004, p. 4) I am highly skilled in the areas of word processing, email, presentation software, multimedia editing and authoring software (Adobe Premiere Elements and Paint Shop Pro), graphic peripherals (scanner, digital camera, and projector) and technology specific to music (Audacity and Finale). (SEDTA/Metiri Group, 2004, p. 13)

From the assessments, I learned that although I believe that I possess technology skills equal or greater than my professional peers in my district I still have much to learn. In particular, finding and using research based applications for technology as well as integrating technology with core curriculum. As a principal, my strengths include a willingness to learn and utilize new technology, to model the use of technology, and willingness to support technology initiatives.

Lanclos, P. Technology Applications Inventory, 1-4. Retrieved from

SEDTA/Metiri Group. (2004). SETDA Teacher Survey, 1-26.
Retrieved from