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.