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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Techy Administrators

In my new job, I am thinking a bit differently about technology integration.  In my region, many schools have found funding in the past few years to purchase technology, but few teachers are doing a good job of using it in ways that increase student engagement, motivation, or achievement.   I know that we need to have principals and Superintendents who encourage integration of technology, but I'm wondering what are some good ways to do that encouragement?

First of all, those who evaluate and observer teachers in their practice need to understand what "integration" really means.  One tool I have found for this is Arizona'a "Technology Integration Matrix."  This great tool has rollover links and lots of great information.  Another Technology Integration Matrix, this time from Florida is here.  These are quite similar, but you may resonate more with one than the other.

Along with understanding what true integration looks like, I know that administrators must model good practices.    I wonder if anyone out there can add a comment to provide some ideas or examples of good administrator practices related to technology.

Here are a few I have thought of:

  1. Use Prezi to make presentations to the staff.  Prezi is a good tool for students to use, and teachers could see that as the administrator uses it.  However, just like our old friend PowerPoint, it can be poorly used.
  2. Use Doodle Scheduler to schedule observations, appointments, meetings, etc.  
  3. Use Google forms to survey the staff on upcoming topics. (Go to Google Docs, then click "Create new>  form")   This can avoid the meeting in which everyone must put in their two cents' worth, yet everyone gets to voice their opinion, and nobody has to sit through the meeting.  You will need a Google account to use this, but you will like it!
  4. Use Google Docs to work collaboratively on documents with committees.  You won't have to print and you can all view the progress of the work.  There are other apps which allow you to do this, and perhaps even better...but this is a good place to start.
  5. Do Walk-throughs.  I know many principals who are using their Blackberries or iPads to fill out their walk-through forms using Google Forms they view and fill out right on the device.  The results go to a spreadsheet!  Look online for some good forms others have already created.
That's just a start.  I am hoping others will chime in with comments to bring in other ideas.

Looking forward to "hearing" from you!

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