These definitions should relate to teachers, teaching, learning, k12, school systems

Active Learning (Valerie)

Active learning means that you are responsible for a large part of your learning. It is a technique where students do more than listen to a lecture they are discovering, processing, and applying information (McKinney, 2007)

Some examples of active learning would be group projects, blogs, having students develop research questions for the class to discuss. It will take some time for your students to get used to this type of classroom atmosphere but most will respond positively. Active learning allows for higher order thinking skills to be done by your students. They will learn more and have a more in-depth knowledge of the topic at hand.

Bonwell (1991) states that active learning occurs when students are doing something more than just listening they must be engaged in higher–order thinking tasks such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. It has been shown that the higher up Bloom’s taxonomy we push our students, the more they will learn and retain.

Educators struggle with the idea of passing off the responsibility of learning to the students. This style requires more development by the teacher, as well as time for training students on what is expected and guidance when first starting the process. This type of teaching takes more hands-on time in the beginning too. However, once you are both comfortable with what you want, everyone will feel more relaxed along the way.


Bonwell,C and Eison,J. (1991) Active learning: Creating excitement in the classroom. Retrieved on September 17, 2007 from

McKinney,K. (2007). Active learning. Retrieved on September 17, 2007 from

Change Agent (Ryan)
A Change Agent is something (usually a person) who in some way creates a change or accelerates one. In education, we're talking more about what causes the change from the traditional classroom environment to a technology-assisted (I would not yet say based). This information, from Wikipedia, gives the steps in change:

  • Agent looks for better ways to do things
  • Agent performs change
Management stages:
  • Step 1: Agent determines the need for change
  • Step 2: Agent forms a tentative plan for proposed change
  • Step 3: Agent predicts probable reactions for proposed change
  • Step 4: Agent decides on change
  • Step 5: Agent forms a timetable for performing change
  • Step 6: Agent performs change
Employee stages:
  • Stage 1: Employee denies change
  • Stage 2: Employee responds with anger and resistance
  • Stage 3: Employee accepts and adapts to change
  • Stage 4: Employee becomes committed to new environment

Information was accessed at on 9/16/07.

Change - Organizational (Rebecca)

Organizational change occurs everywhere including education. Dede, Honan, and Peters (2005) suggest that many educators "need the capacity to learn: to be generative and create new ways of looking at themselves, planning, and making decisions" (p. 70). Chapter four in Scaling up Success (Dede, et al, 2005) by Susan Goldman breaks the change process up into ten categories; three dealing with organizational change.
  1. The core of educational improvement is building human capacity for effective performance at all levels of the educational system, but especially at those levels most proximal to students.
  2. Change is initiated, sustained, and carried through systems by people.
  3. Social structures such as learning communitites, practitioners' networks, and study groups can facilitate change.

Through all of these steps, groups of people are involved in changing an organization. Many ideas are tried, discussed and refined.

Geoffrey Fletcher wrote an article titled, It's Our Business, Too (2007), that discusses how education and change are similar to businesses. Schools should use research on businesses and how change has affected them. The article goes into detail the importance on organizations staying on top of changes that are occuring.

Fletcher, G. (2007). It's our business, too. Policy & advocacy, 34(1). Retrieved September 15, 2007, from

Goldman, S. (2005). Designing for scalable educational improvement. In C. Dede, J.P. Honan & L. C. Peters (Eds.), Scaling up sucess (pp. 67-96), San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Change - Individual (Rebecca)

"Change implies that individuals must give up or, at least, soften their grip on their current views, practices and/or beliefs and accept or integrate new ones in their place" (Tunison, 2003, p. 80). This quote summarizes what individual change requires. In order for change to happen, one must be willing to let go of what they are comfortable with and try new things.

Susan Goldman (2005) continues her change process with individual change. There are three topics that are included in individual change.
  1. Educational practitioners need opportunities to learn with understanding, so that they grasp the principles of educational improvement efforts and not just the practices and procedures.
  2. Inquiry-based approaches to professional development build knowledge that makes sense.
  3. Changes in thinking and practice come about through hard work in a context that provides opportunities to try out changes in the classroom and to receive feedback and coaching.

Feedback is the key throughout individual change. Feedback from administrators, other teachers and from students. This allows for more individual growth and in the long run more organizational growth potential.


Goldman, S. (2005). Designing for scalable educational improvement. In C. Dede, J.P. Honan & L. C. Peters (Eds.), Scaling up sucess (pp. 67-96), San Francisco, CA:

Tunison, S. (2003). A place among the fossils: Using metaphors from imaginative literature to manage change in our schools. McGill Journal of Education, 38(1). Retrieved September 17, 2007, from WilsonWeb database.

Coaching (Valerie)

Coaching is the act of helping or advising someone to improve their skills. Wikipedia offered this statement,“There is an important difference between Coaching and Mentoring, which are often confused. Mentoring is when someone who has direct and relevant experience of the problem area offers advice and suggestions to help the client. Coaching helps the client to explore for themselves the problem at hand, their potential options and how they might move forward. Coaches in the business arena should never give advice - they work in a non-directive way. In this way the client develops an ability to think in a more effective way, increases self responsibility and takes full ownership of the solutions they themselves develop.”Being a coach is an evolving process. In the beginning you are very hands on and constantly checking with your partner. As time moves on I see you stepping away and allowing your partner to move on and try new things on their own.


Wikipedia. (2007). Organizational coaching. Retrieved on September 17, 2007 from

Professional Development Resources - including Coaching

North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium - Professional Development
The need for technology-focused professional development for teachers is more important than ever. Here are some options for school districts

Collaboration (Aileen)

Definition: working together, especially in a joint intellectual effort (

Collaboration is a concept that has been a hallmark of human development over the ages and yet it remains a concept sometimes difficult to work with, as it requires participants to compromise, hold back on their ideas at times, and at other times, relinquish control over the eventual outcome of the group's work.

In another sense, collaboration is a newly developing concept. The advances in technology in just the past thirty years have altered the type and breadth of collaboration that is possible. In the past, collaboration routinely ocurred in a face-to-face format. Now, however, it is feasible to collaborate with individuals and other groups world-wide, sharing ideas, strategies, and tools. And, such collaboration can ocurr in real-time or asynchronously, as best meets the needs of the collaborative participants.

Much of the vital work happening in both schools and the workplace ocurres within the context of group settings. Working in groups serves to deepen learning, improve learning outcomes, and supply the sparks often needed for creative problem solving. To this end, professional development should emphasize enhancing the quality of collaborative work. This emphasis should center on helping educators learn to work together effectively. If educators cannot work together effectively, it follows that they will have a difficult time creating a supportive collaborative working environment within their classrooms.

Educators must also keep in mind that collaboration involves evolution of the group from strangers to a cohesive, purposeful group. There are several stages in this metamorphosis, as group member become familiar with one another, each others' strengths, the group's purpose, its working rules, and how to effectively handle the inevitable conflicts that surely will arise.

The Free Dictionary (2007).

National Staff Development Council website.

Constructivism (Aileen)

Constructivism is a belief that understanding grows and deepens as a result of reflecting on our experiences. By reflecting on these experiences, we come to understand the framework of the world around us and the “laws” by which everything is governed. Building this framework provides us with a sense of how things are. And, as we gain more experiences, this governing framework is forever being altered.

How does the principle of constructivism affect instruction? Under a constructivist philosophy, teachers aim for pushing students to create connections between the facts and a true understanding of concepts. Constructivism does not advocate standardized curriculum. Instead, learning experiences should be targeted to match each individual’s prior learning experiences. Also, constructivism would do away with tests and quizzes in lieu of assessments that are more formative in concept, so the student has a large and on-going role in determining how he or she is doing.


Funderstanding.(2007). Constructivism.

Thirteen Ed Online (2007). Constructivism as a Paradigm for Teaching and Learning. Follow link near bottom of page to experience their workshop entitled “Constructivism as a Paradigm for Teaching and Learning”

Constructivist Pedagogies (Bruce)

Constructivism allow students to show what they have learned in different ways, not just on tests. These activities help students generate their own knowledge. it believes that hands on instruction is student centered. Roblyer (2006). The idea for constructivism pedagogies is teaching for understanding. Teachers should focus on challenging objectives and challenging tasks to engage students into the process of learning. Some strategies to do this would be think pair share, writing to articulate meaning, revising work, peer discussions, whole class discussions, small group projects, using thinking tools (technology) in real world projects with skill learning embedded into the tasks.
Other activities might include video - based simulations, internet research and desk top publishing. Roblyer (2006).

Some constructivist model assessments would be. meaningful authentic activities such as demonstrating understanding in new and meaningful ways such as creating a web site about a topic to demonstrate new understandings. Have students create a multimedia project to help them build connections with the content, find relevant sources to build on their knowledge, and demonstrate their understanding in a meaningful way that can be shared with others. Portfolios can be used to have students collect good work created by them and that they believe demonstrated their understanding of the content being studied. Rubrics created by the teacher and/or with assistance from the students to evaluate student products.

Roblyer, M.D. (2006). Integrating Educational technology into Teaching. Chapter 2. Pearson Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle Ridge, NJ.

Emerging Technologies (Valerie)
Emerging technologies are new and upcoming technologies in the world. These technologies can make our life easier or they can solve existing problems. E-learning is a recent example of how emerging technology has changed life in schools. Students no longer have to attend class in an actual classroom in some instances they log in when they have time and do the required work such as: watch a video, participate in a chat whether it be synchronized or not, post to a blog, or create a PowerPoint presentation posted to the website. Many technologies have also come about to help in the classroom such as smart boards, wireless connections for laptops and printers, and blue tooth devices.

Higher Level Thinking and Technology (Brigitte)

Instructional Technology (Lynne)

in·struc·tion·al tech·nol·o·gy - Noun
Refers to any classroom tool that can help to increase or support student learning. These tools are not limited to only the computer, but could consist of calculators, video cameras, digital photography, ipods, satellite-based navigation systems (or GPS), dvd or cd players, PDAs, Interactive White Boards, and many more tools that are available now or will soon be available.

The Association for Educational Communications and Technology defines Instructional Technology as: the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation of processes and resources for learning. They further state that the purpose of instructional technology is to affect and effect learning (Seels & Richey, 1994, pp. 1-9). (Cited at: )

Tom Cutshall (1999) compares defining IT to describing an elephant – it depends what area you are trying to describe as well as who is trying to describe it. He decides on the following definition for Instructional technology: “the research in and application of behavioral science and learning theories and the use of a systems approach to analyze, design, develop, implement, evaluate and manage the use of technology to assist in the solving of learning or performance problems. The term instructional technology is often used interchangeably with the term educational technology, but instructional technology often has more emphasis on the scientific and systems approach of instructional problem solving while educational technology focuses more on the craft or art of using technology to support learning”.

Instructional technology is very important for distance learning; today’s technology provides for a learning environment that is very rich and offers opportunities for collaboration and communication that were not previously possible.
This is a great website that explains how Instructional technology affects learning (curriculum, instruction and assessment): funderstanding

Cutshall, T. (1999) Tom’s definition of Instructional Technology. Retrieved September 12, 2007 from:

The Association for Educational Communications and Technology Instructional Technology: Seels & Richey. (1994). What is the knowledge base? Retreived September 12, 2007 from:

Job-related professional development (Lynne)

This type of professional development or training is directly related to a specific job, it can include training, workshops, seminars and classes.
the University of Wisconsin-Madison defines job-related professional development as “professional development or training courses required by the employer to maintain or improve skills required in the employee’s present work. Such training is directly and immediately related to the work needs of the unit and is fully funded by the employer on University time. Such training is usually of brief duration and is not recurring or extensive.”

With regards to education, effective professional development programs are crucial to school success and teacher satisfaction as well as an impetus for change.


Training and Development. (2007) University of Wisconsin-Madison. Retrieved November 11, 2007 from: .

Leadership (Lynne)


Leading or guiding others towards a common goal.

The American Heritage Dictionary (n.d.) defines leadership as:


Effective leaders have the ability to: lead, challenge, inspire, unite, enable, model, guide, advocate, plan, influence, train, communicate, analyze, problem-solve, make decisions, delegate, encourage, and coach (and many other important qualities).

With regards to educational technology, the technology leader is one who makes decisions and guides the effective integration and use of technology in the classroom.
The Knowledge Loom (n.d.) lists 9 leadership principles in technology:
1. The position or office of a leader
2. Capacity or ability to lead:
3. A group of leaders
4. Guidance; direction
  1. Vision - School leaders must articulate a shared vision of how technology will be effectively used to support teaching, learning, and school management.
  2. Planning - School leaders must play a central role in the cyclical development, assessment, implementation, and revision of school technology plans.
  3. Access - School leaders must ensure equitable access to current hardware, software, and connectivity that supports instructional goals.
  4. Integration - School leaders must model the purposeful use of technology and ensure that teachers and students integrate technology into daily classroom practice.
  5. Assessment and Evaluation - School leaders must utilize assessment and evaluation techniques to inform decision making and ensure continuous improvement in teaching and learning.
  6. Support - School leaders must ensure that a technical and pedagogical support system exists that facilitates the use and maintenance of technology in their schools.
  7. Professional Development - School leaders must provide relevant, meaningful, and ongoing professional development for all staff.
  8. Community Relationships - School leaders must develop strategic community relationships that foster collaboration in planning, implementing, and assessing the use of technology in schools.
  9. Ethical and Legal Issues - School leaders must model and promote an understanding of ethical and legal issues related to the use of technology.
The above principles outline the traits and responsibilities of an effective school technology leader. Technology leadership in the schools does not stop with the principal, the Intructional Technology Resourse Teacher or even the central office administration. Teachers, parents, community members and students can all be technology leaders and advocates in the schools.

Leadership. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved September 12, 2007, from website:

Leadership principles in technology (n.d.) Retrieved September 11, 2007 from: The Educaiton Alliance at Brown University, The Knowledge Loom Web site:

Learning Communities (Lynne)
The North Central Regional Educational Laboratory describes a learning community as “a collegial group of administrators and school staff who are united in their commitment to student learning. They share a vision, work and learn collaboratively, visit and review other classrooms, and participate in decision making (2004).” This type of learning community has the goal of systematic societal change.

Commonly found in colleges and universities, a learning community is also a group of people who learn together and also from each other. The Washington Center for improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education defines three types of learning communities:
1. Student Cohorts/Integrative Seminar – small cohorts that take classes where the faculty does not coordinate or collaborate.
2. Linked Courses/Course Clusters – cohorts enroll in classes that are linked or where the faculty to collaborate.
3. Coordinated Study - this cohort involves classes where the faculty members fully collaborate or team teach.

These types of learning communities often focus on individual change.

Learning communities: national resource. Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education. Retrieved November 11, 2007 from

Professional Learning Community. North Central Regional Educational Laboratory accessed November 11, 2007 from:

Lifelong Learning (Brigitte)

Learning is defined as “the process of acquisition and extinction of modifications in existing knowledge, skills, habits, or action tendencies in a motivated organism through experience, practice, or exercise" (Gove, 1993, p. 1286). Learning is primarily a neurological process. Just as the heart is the seat of the cardiovascular system, the stomach the seat of the gastrointestinal system, the brain is the seat of the neurological system.

Dr. Levine (2002), founder of All Kinds of Minds Institute and Director of the Center for Development and Learning, postulates eight systems whose proper performance is essential for learning to occur. The foremost system is the Attention Control System. As implied by its name, it is responsible for focusing the brain’s mental energy. The other systems are: Memory, Language, Spatial Ordering, Sequential Ordering, Motor, Social Thinking, and Higher Thinking. “At any point, the strength of functions within each system directly influences performance in and out of school” (p. 30).

In one sense, learning is innate and occurring over one’s lifetime. Biologically, day-to-day survival dictates that learning be ongoing. Learning can be formal, where it is orchestrated by one possessing more information and/or experience about the content being transferred, or informal, where the knowledge is uncovered in a self-directed manner. More recently, lifelong learning has been named an objective for those educators engaged in Constructivism.

Gove, P. (Ed.). (1993). Learning (3rd ed.), Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.

Levine, M. (2002). A mind at a time. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Meeting the needs of diverse learners with technology (Bruce)
Meeting the needs of diverse learners can include those with special needsand can be met with assistive technology. This can include technology making it easier for those learners to use or implement. Something as simple as spell check or more complicated such as some of the new communication resources. Johnston (2007).
M.D. Roblyer also deals with the use of multimedia in the classroom to reach all types of learners. It is explained that the diversity in each class will be aided by the different types of multimedia uses. Roblyer (2006).
Making all types of tools and strtegies available will reach out to each of those diverse students.
Roblyer,M.D. (2006) Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching. Upper Saddle River. NJ: Pearson-Prentice Hall.

Johnston, L. (2007) Assistive Technology Acess for All Students. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice - Hall.

New Technologies (Bruce)

New Technologies is defined as new hardware or software that brings innovation to the learning world. It can introduce downloadable information such as podcasts or online virtual reality like Second Life. It can be wikis or blogs or online chats. Most of these technologies are constantly changing and allow for expansion. The New York Times Web site gives you several examples. Another good Web site to learn about new technologies is MITs site on emerging technologies - Technology Review.

Getting the technology to conform with the system being utilized is one of the hardest thing to accomplish. Non conforming technology brings about non usage or at least a period of slow usage.

Technology. (2007). New York Times. Retrieved October 15, 2007 from

Observing Teacher Technology Use (Bruce)
A way of assessing the use of technology and how they integrate the technology into the classroom. Each teacher is evaluated in their yearly evaluation, several of the questions deal with the proper use and integration of technology. These observations can help the school and county technology departments grasp a better understanding where they also stand in the need for professional development and in the prchasing of new technology.

Organizational Improvement through Technology (Valerie)
Organizational improvement through technology: Schools and businesses alike are trying to use technology to increase productivity and decrease cost. When implementing any change people are skeptical and anxious so administrators or those implementing the change need to make sure that everyone is trained effectively. In schools we have used databases to store all sorts of students’ records such as grades, phone numbers, behavior issues, and SOL scores. We also use software programs to keep up with daily attendance. Businesses can use technology to keep track of inventory, schedules and payroll.

Problem Solving with technology (Brigitte)

Reform movements (Ryan)
A reform movement focuses on using gradual changes in society, rather than major changes. The theory is that the gradual changes will allow society to adapt, rather than have to completely change. I also typed in "educational reform" and found that:
"Education reform is a plan or movement which attempts to bring about a systematic change in educational theory or practice across a community or society." Same idea, only with education rather than society.

I found this information at: on 9/18/07

Risk Taking (Aileen) – what does it mean in the context of education, technology, and teachers?

According to a Web-hosted dictionary, people take a risk in the hope of a favorable outcome ( Within education, risk-taking can be thought of as “the willingness to make mistakes, advocate unconventional or unpopular positions, or tackle extremely challenging problems without obvious solutions, such that one's personal growth, integrity, or accomplishments are enhanced (Learning Point Associates, 2004).

Risk taking has three important facets; loss, significance of that loss, and uncertainty. With the realm of education, teachers are more willing to engage in risk taking behaviors if the school culture is one that encourages experimentation and risk taking (Ponticell, 2003).

Ponticell (2003) further explains that school systems are systems of bureaucracies and that bureaucracies do not tolerate failures. This in turn perpetuates a culture in which teachers are faced with potential loss and uncertainty. In such environs, many teachers are not willing to engage in risk taking behaviors.
Yet, risk taking is inherent in innovation as innovation involves starting something new. Any time some new is started, there are many variables and conditions which interact with each other, so predicting exactly the outcomes expected of an innovation would be an exercise in futility. Educators should base the use of innovations within their classrooms on sound research and pedagogical considerations.
The Free Dictionary. Retrieved November 10, 2007, from
Learning Point Associates, 21st Century Skills. Retrieved November 10, 2007, from enGuage Web site:
Ponticell, J.A. (2003).Enhancers and inhibitors or teacher risk taking: A case study. Peabody Journal of Education. 78, 5-24.

Scaling-up Success (Mike)
In March of 2003 the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Technology in Education Consortium hosted a conference to discuss how technology can be scaled up to other levels in academia to improve education. Speakers cited examples of technology infused ideas that have been passed up through school buildings, district wide systems and throughout state educational systems (Dede, Honana & Peters, 2003).

The basic premise calls for a technology integrated idea to be implemented at higher levels in education. Teachers often share ideas amongst each other, and Scaling Up Success provides ideas of how to achieve this on a much grander scale. The Harvard University based conference was such a success that the organizers assembled the speeches into a book with the same name, Scaling Up Success, to help share the ideas. The concepts presented throughout the book demonstrate, specifically, how various schools have been able to overcome obstacles to improve education using technology from the bottom-up. If a teacher possess success with a style of learning it only makes sense to share that with as many teachers as possible.

Dede, C. Honana, J., & Peters, L. (2005). Scaling up success. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Software Adoption Committee (Ryan)
Frazier recommends creating a Software Adoption Committee within the school, which would consist of representatives from each grade level and subject area. Basically, this is a committee that evaluates different software types and decides the best ways to allocate resources in order to software that they choose. They would coordinate with the technology director of the school.
This is referenced on page 34 of Frazier's text.

Some evaluation tools are listed below

Frazier, M., and Bailey, G.D. (2003). Technology coordinators handbook. International Society for Technology in Education

Systemic Reform (Mike)

Systemic reform first gained popularity during the early 1990s based upon the research of Marshall Smith and Jennifer O’Day. The overall meaning can vary depending on how it is being used, but there are several common meanings. Systemic reform can refer to a change to the overall education system. Usually this would encompass reforms throughout the entire state system down to the building level. Another definition of systemic reforms correlates “policy integration, coordination or coherence around a clear set of outcomes” (Fuhrman & Massell, 1992, p. 2). It focuses educational reform, at any level of the state, around objectives to help students.

Margaret Goertz, Robert. Floden and Jennifer O'Day (1996) state that “…systemic reform embodies three integral components: (1) the promotion of ambitious student outcomes for all students; (2) alignment of policy approaches and the actions of various policy institutions to promote such outcomes; and (3) restructuring the governance system to support improved achievement” (¶ 4).

The Information Infrastructure Task Force identified, in 1994, the way we teach, learn, access, and transmit content/data/information remains unchanged from a century ago. Why is this? How does this impact systematic reform in our schools as it relates to teaching and learning and the use of technology in our schools? The Goals 2000 legislation helped identify strategies that teachers could utilize in their classrooms to help change the way information/content is taught, learned, accessed, and transmitted in our schools. Do we even know about these strategies?

Fuhrman, S. & Massell, D. (1992). Issues and strategies in systemic reform. Retrieved online September 18, 2007 from

Goertz, M., Floden, R. & O'Day, J. (1996). Systemic reform. Retrieved online September 16, 2007 from

Teacher Technology Professional Development (Brigitte)

The field of Teacher Technology Professional Development (TTPD) is still in its infancy. Federally-mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), its goal is to have all teachers smoothly integrate digital technology into the curriculum. This goal is being attempted through various avenues:
  • staff development opportunities
  • one-shot workshops
  • online and/or face-to-face university courses
  • visits by software representatives
  • demonstrations by industry experts
  • advice by peer teacher-mentors
  • coaching
  • support from technology coordinators
  • teacher-only computer laboratories’
  • laptop computer lending

A number of school districts aim for one technology coordinator per school. Wealthier ones are finding successful curriculum assimilation of technology by providing teachers with a laptop. “Administrators report that not only has this approach been effective in terms of staff development and the use of technology, but it also has unleashed a mass of creativity and has given the teachers a sense of technological empowerment” (Picciano, 2006, p. 247). Those school districts with lesser means find that peer coaching or mentoring is very effective. “From our research and development experiences, K-12 teachers need exposure to a wide range of specific examples created by other teachers that resonate with their own classroom experience” (Ehman, Bonk, & Yamagata-Lynch, 2005, p. 260).

Ehman, L., Bonk, C., & Yamagata-Lynch, L. A model of teacher professional development to support technology integration. AACE Journal, 13(3), Retrieved September 11, 2007, from

Picciano, A. (2006). Educational leadership and planning for technology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Educational.[[|]]

Technology Based Management and Operations Systems (Rebecca)
Technology based management and operation systems cover a wide variety of things. These can include email, intranet and professional development records to name a few. Email is self-explanatory. Intranet is designed so that a specific group of people, like a school system, can access information only available to them on computers that are logged onto their system. In the past, teachers have had to keep track of their own professional development, now there are management systems that will keep track of everything for you. The other part of operating systems include a help desk for software and hardware problems. Teachers are able to email their problems through this system for the TRT and the system keeps a running log.

Frazier, M. and Bailey, G. (2004). The technology coordinator's handbook. Eugene, OR: ISTE.

Technology Committee (Ryan)
A technology committee is a group that analyzes, evaluates, and determines what type of technology could and should be useful in a particular environment. According to the ITC of U.C. Santa Cruz, the main functions of the group are to:
  • "Identify strategic directions, capabilities, and objectives for campus IT support, including learning technologies
  • Identify opportunities where IT can help achieve campus goals and recommend priorities
  • Ensure a coordinated implementation of campus IT projects and initiatives"
Additionally, a technology committee will help others in implementing the technology into their own environments.

Information comes from:

Technology for communication throughout the school (Mike)
Technology has become a valuable tool for communication throughout schools. There are two technologies that specifically have helped many schools today, email and a school intranet. According to Max Frazier and Gerald Bailey (2004) in The Technology Coordinator’s Handbook, “email is a vital tool for all staff members.” It allows a staff member to contact one person or a group of people with a touch of a button. Through the use of attachments within the email, it becomes a way of sending any type of file to another staff member. Teachers can collaborate from different ends of the building or the principal can issue directives to the entire school, without wasting paper. Email also allows the user to save the email for future reference, which can help organize information.

Another effective method of using technology to communicate throughout a school is to institute an intranet. This type of system would allow private access for staff members to help conduct everyday procedures by supplying “regulations, emergency procedures, human resource materials…” (Frazier and Bailey, 2004). A wide range of files can be shared, manipulated or evaluated to help schools improve communication. Depending on which staff members have access, it can allow people from other buildings to share information as well. Some intranets can be used from other locations through a secured access, which would allow people to share information if they are in a professional development training, conference or even at home.

Both, email and a school intranet, are effective uses of technology for communication thought a school. Each technology can provide immediate methods of exchanging ideas, concerns or files. Staff members can now have access to forms that may have taken hours or days to receive through traditional paper methods. As technology advances, the methods in which staff communicate within a school will also evolve.

Frazier, M. & Bailey, G. (2004). Technology coordinator’s handbook, the. Eugene, OR: ISTE Publications.

Technology Skills Self-Assessment for Teachers (Mike)
As technology in schools increase it is important to determine a teacher’s level of comprehension toward the technology. Many schools and states require teachers to demonstrate a variety of technology skills. Although there are times when a teacher would prefer to evaluate his/her own level of technology skills. A simple Internet search would provide a plethora of links to school systems and companies that offer self-assessments for technology skills. Below you will find four different self-assessment instruments.
This is a very simple self-assessment to determine technology skills. It is based upon New Jersey technology skills requirements. There are 3 levels of proficiency.
This self-assessment provides a wide variety of technologies for evaluation. Several technologies have multiple levels of proficiency. Although it simply asks yes or no questions for the user to determine if he/she meets the required criteria.
This link is sponsored by It does require a log-in, but is more comprehensive in determining a teacher’s level of technology skills.
This self-assessment was designed by Baltimore City Public Schools. It provides a wide range of technologies for evaluation. One advantage of this assessment is it also asks integration skills as well as basic fundamental technology skills. Simply knowing how to use hardware/software does not mean that it is being integrated effectively. *Warning, it will try to open into Microsoft Word and may ask for your permission. Please do so at your own risk… although my computer still works just fine : )

Technology Integration (Aileen)
According to the Edutopia website, “technology integration is the use of technology resources – computers, digital cameras, CD-ROMs, software applications, the Internet, etc. – in daily classroom practices, and in the management of a school.”
The Edutopia site went on to state that “technology integration is achieved when the use of technology is routine and transparent. Technology integration is achieved when a child or a teacher doesn’t stop to think that he or she is using a computer or researching via the Internet. Technology integration is achieved when technology tools support the curricular goals, and help the student to effectively reach their goals.”
The Superintendent for Public Instruction for Washington state’s website claims that Technology integration is occurring if:
  • teachers are trained in a full range of technology uses and in the determination of their appropriate roles and applications;
  • teachers and students routinely turn to technology when needed; and
  • teachers and students are empowered and supported in carrying out those choices.
My favorite explanation for knowing when technology integration is achieved came from one of my professors, when asked how we will know when we’ve reached integration in our classrooms. The answer, “When you can’t imagine doing the lesson without technology.”
Edutopia The George Lucas Educational Foundation Retreived November, 10, 2007.
Bergeson, T (2007). Educational technology. Retrieved November 10, 2007, from Superintendent of Public Instruction, State of Washington Web site:

Total Cost of Ownership with Technology (Rebecca)
This phrase can be taken two ways. The first being the actual price of technology. How much will I have to spend to have technology? The other is more meaningful: What do I have to do in my classroom and my teaching so that technology is an integral part of my instruction? Laurence Peters defines technology integration "as enabling students to make deeper gains in learning than might otherwise be available through conventional means rather than simply enabling greater technology facility" (Dede, Honan, Peters, 2005, p.106). This would allow teachers to feel that the students are gaining knowledge through the technology.

Peters, L. (2005). Scaling up professional development in the united kingdom, singapore, and chile. In C. Dede, J.P. Honan, & L.C. Peters (Eds.), Scaling up success (pp.97-109), San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Vision and Leadership (Ryan)

"Leadership, in its essence, is the ability to articulate a vision or a desired path of progress and to motivate others to strive for that vision."
"The most important thing for a leader to have is vision. Vision, as described by Warren Bennis, is the 'guiding purpose' and the 'compelling goal'. The vision is how the organization will be defined in the future."
The vision is what you would like for the outcome to be; schools have visions of what they hope their students will become; the leadership role is played by those who take the actions necessary to help develop this vision.

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