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The focus on using technologies in the classroom and in the administration process is the main characteristic feature of the modern teaching-learning process because the use of technologies follows the ideas of the modern Constructivist and Pragmatist educational theories (Whitehead, 2013, p. 12). Technologies are discussed as advantageous tools for students to provide them with opportunities to realize their learning potential (Phillips & Olson, 2013, p. 34).
In this case, school administrators should focus on evaluating the effectiveness of the followed technology plan regularly in order to revise it according to the changed students’ demands and changes in the administrators and teachers’ goals (Lamb & Johnson, 2011, p. 58; Lawless & Pellegrino, 2007, p. 575).
From this point, the technology plan recommended for the Webster School District should be evaluated regarding the appropriateness of the proposed strategies to integrate technologies in the teaching-learning process and to facilitate students’ progress and performance. These papers aim to evaluate the technology intervention’s effectiveness with the focus on the assessment measure and to discuss outcomes and risks of using the recommended evaluation strategy as well as to conclude about the overall plan’s effectiveness.
Evaluation of the effectiveness of the technology intervention is important because it is based on assessing how proposed interventions can improve students’ performance, facilitate instruction in classrooms, improve independent learning, and enhance interactive teaching and learning. Evaluation is necessary in the process of implementing new technologies in order to discuss terms of the plan’s implementation and its appropriateness to respond to the curriculum and schools’ demands (Rodríguez, Nussbaum, López, & Sepúlveda, 2010, p. 167). It is important to assess how technology intervention addresses the Webster School District’s vision and goals (Webster School District, 2014).
In order to evaluate the technology plan, it is necessary to assess the effectiveness of the technology plan according to the range of criteria, including the correlation of the plan with the school district’s goals; changes in students’ performance; changes in teachers and administrators’ work with multimedia and online systems; and effectiveness of the resources distribution in schools (Whitehead, 2013, p. 231). The second step in this important assessment process is the focus on the terms and proposed timeline developed to address the stated goals (Means, 2010, p. 285; Whitehead, 2013, p. 231). The next step in the assessment process is the proposition of revisions and improvements to change the aspects of the plan according to the school district’s goals.
The recommended assessment method is a survey usually used in the assessment process (Whitehead, 2013, p. 232). The effectiveness of the plan will be measured by teachers participating in the survey in relation to the following scale: ‘fully complete/address’, ‘in preparation’, ‘partially incomplete/address’, and ‘fully incomplete/not address’. The focus is on the completeness of the intervention to address the performance gap.
Evaluation of the technology plan implemented in the school district needs to be based on developed checklists used in surveys, according to which it is possible to assess the correlation of students’ interests, teachers’ needs and expectations, and proposed interventions (Phillips & Olson, 2013, p. 34). Focusing on surveys, it is possible to found whether the plan includes clear steps to implement all the technologies and units in the right order as well as determines the outcomes expected to be presented in classrooms and in the field of administration (Lamb & Johnson, 2011, p. 58; Rodríguez et al., 2010, p. 167).
The interviews with teachers and administrators should be used to evaluate how the intervention addresses the academic needs and the budget questions in the schools. The evaluation should demonstrate whether the planned expenses are justified with references to the plan’s elements and steps and the school district’s goals (Kim, Kim, Lee, Spector, & DeMeester, 2013, p. 77).
The questions for teachers and administrators should be formulated to cover such areas as the intervention’s adherence to goals and vision; the presence of the research support provided for interventions; reasonableness of the budget; adherence to needs of district schools; and the improvement of the Moodle system and online interaction. Individual interviews can also be changed with focus group interviews. That is why, such assessment strategies as surveys, focus groups, and interviews oriented to evaluating outcomes, the plan’s completeness, and adherence to schools’ goals can be discussed as appropriate to be used in the Webster School District.
Focusing on evaluating the appropriateness of the recommended technology intervention, it is possible to identify whether the proposed implementation of technologies will increase the student’s and teachers’ awareness regarding the use of digital devices. The next outcome is the possibility to determine whether the vision of the school district is followed and presented in the plan and whether interventions are reasonable in relation to the issue of the planned budget. Furthermore, it is possible to evaluate how the plan will work in order to improve instructions and contribute to improving the students’ skills in finding and evaluating the information online (Lawless & Pellegrino, 2007, p. 576; Rodríguez et al., 2010, p. 167).
These approaches are also important to assess how instructions in Elementary School will improve because of the previous lack of SMART Boards and laptops (Webster School District, 2014). The focus is also on identifying how the students’ access to the school district’s online courses and databases will be improved after the implementation of the developed technology plan.
Risks associated with evaluating the technology plan include the possibility to receive inappropriate data regarding the areas where the focus on quantitative information is important. The proposed assessment strategies are based on evaluating qualitative data. Still, it is also necessary to pay attention to the quantitative data associated with the budget of the technology plan and its relevance (Phillips & Olson, 2013, p. 35).
In order to mitigate this risk, it is necessary to state in advance what measures of the recommended scale can be associated with a certain level of expected and unexpected spending. The other category of risks includes possible inappropriate evaluation of the interventions regarding their role for improving students’ performance because of the impossibility to receive the immediate complete results. In this case, it is necessary to evaluate the technology plan in terms of its appropriateness to improve students’ experience after the integration of all technical components (Kim et al., 2013, p. 76). The focus should be on changes observed in March and April when all the components will be implemented.
The Webster School District can be discussed as a diverse school district where teachers and administrators work to meet the interests of the diverse student population. Much attention is paid to providing equal opportunities for students with different etethnicnd social backgrounds and for students with disabilities (Webster School District, 2014). The limitations of the focus group interviews are in focusing on subjective visions rather than on general ideas associated with intervention’s response to the students’ learning styles and improvement of performance while addressing the concepts of equity and diversity.
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Effectively developed technology plans provide administrators and educators with many opportunities to integrate modern technologies in classrooms and in the sphere of administration in order to improve the teaching-learning process significantly. From this perspective, technology plans should be effective and appropriate in order to resolve the problems associated with the needs and realities of the concrete school district (Lawless & Pellegrino, 2007, p. 576).
In order to discuss the effectiveness of the technology plan, it is necessary to use surveys, interviews, and focus groups that are helpful to determine what aspects of the technology plan can be revised or changed according to the received results (Kim et al., 2013, p. 77). In this case, having evaluated the technology plan, administrators of the Webster School District receive the opportunity to revise and improve the plan and propose new implementation steps or change the timeline or schedule in order to address their needs and goals.
The proposed technology plan aims to address students’ interests and needs with a focus on their learning styles and visions of the effective teaching-learning process. The recommended technology plan directly addresses the issues of equity and diversity because of proposing strategies to improve distance and online learning; to provide students with disabilities with the additional technical equipment such as laptops and SMART Boards, and to provide students with different learning styles with the opportunity to interact and cooperate online.
Kim, C., Kim, M., Lee, C., Spector, J., & DeMeester, K. (2013). Teacher beliefs and technology integration. Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, 29(76), 76-85.
Lamb, A., & Johnson, L. (2011). Content, context, computing keys to the national education technology plan. Teacher Librarian, 39(2), 58-63.
Lawless, K.A. & Pellegrino, J.W. (2007). Professional development in integrating technology into teaching and learning: knowns, unknowns, and ways to pursue better questions and answers. Review of Educational Research, 77(4), 575-614.
Means, B. (2010). Technology and education change: focus on student learning. Journal of Research on Technology and Education, 42(3), 285-307.
Phillips, V., & Olson, L. (2013). Teachers connect with technology. Journal of Staff Development, 34(4), 34-51.
Rodríguez, P., Nussbaum, M., López, X., & Sepúlveda, M. (2010). A monitoring and evaluation scheme for an ICT-supported education program in schools. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 13(2), 166-179.
Webster School District. (2014). Web.
Whitehead, B. (2013). Planning for technology: A guide for school administrators, technology coordinators, and curriculum leaders. New York, NY: Corwin Press.