Magazine article Technology & Learning

The Tech-Savvy Principal. (Web Sightings)

Magazine article Technology & Learning

The Tech-Savvy Principal. (Web Sightings)

Article excerpt

It's not easy being a 21st-century, technology-savvy principal. Keeping on top of the digital revolution is a time-intensive task. The Web sites below provide avenues for finding solutions to the numerous challenges of planning for and innovating with technology. In addition, we offer a list of portals that open doors to further resources.

* Technology Standards for School Administrators (cnets.itse.org/tssa) Developed by the International Society for Technology in Education and some 25 partnering organizations, this site is dedicated to developing "a national consensus on technology standards for school administrators." It offers profiles of technology-leading superintendents, administrators, and program directors. It also provides scenarios of TSSA in Practice.

* National Educational Technology Standards Project (cnets.iste.org) Also a product of ISTE and its partners, this site's goal is to enable stakeholders in pre-K-12 education to develop national standards for educational uses of technology. It links to the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (including Lessons and Units); for Teachers (including PT3--Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers to Use Technology); and for Administrators.

* Teachers' Tools for the 21st Century: Barriers to Teachers' Use of Technology (nces.ed.gov/pubs2000/2000102C. pdf). Wondering what is standing in the way of technology use in your school? The research described in these two chapters from a larger report will provide excellent background on the barriers to integration as perceived by classroom teachers and also some ideas on what changes need to be in place for technology-rich learning experiences to be implemented.

* An Inch Deep and a Mile Wide: Electronic Tools for Savvy Administrators (ifets.ieee.org/periodical/ vol_3_99/awalt.html) Based on an analysis of developments in Texas, this report discusses what it takes to be prepared for the technology-rich environment and what technology-aware leadership will look like. It also presents resources covering standards development both for technology skills and for accessibility, connectivity, and software. This is important reading for the well-informed principal.

* enGauge (www.ncrel. org/engauge) This site attempts to answer three important questions: What is effective teaching and learning technology? How can a school design a professional development program for technology in the classroom that does not take teachers away from their classrooms? and What types of evaluation and assessment can track the effectiveness of technology funds in a school district? There is also an extensive look at various frameworks, including a detailed examination of digital equity issues.

* An Educator's Guide to Evaluating the Use of Technology in Schools and Classrooms (www.ed.gov/pubs/ EdTechGuide) This handbook helps district and school personnel who must evaluate local technology initiatives. The clickable chapter headings literally walk visitors through the evaluation process as they focus on: What is an Evaluation? What Questions Should I Ask? What Information Do I Need to Collect? What Are My Conclusions? and How Do I Communicate My Results? The appendices offer worksheets and sample technology surveys.

* We won the grant! Now what do we do? (www.memphis-schools.k12 tn.us/admin/tlapages/tech_plan_quest.htm) This useful site is cleverly built in the form of a WebQuest. By working through its multiple tasks, administrators will learn how to show the grant-awarding entity that it is indeed getting its money's worth; the superintendent that the technology is having a positive impact on both students and teachers; parents that the technology is helping with standardized test scores; and the professional development coordinator that training is impacting technology skills. …

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