Establish Goals and Objectives
Barbara Jean Irwin, Ash Grove R-IV School District (Formerly employed by Walnut Grove R-V School District)
The Technology Committee provides the groundwork for the technology plan by:
1) providing vision and mission statements
2) assessing the current technology
3) conducting needs assessments and
4) analyzing the data.
The committee establishes that it knows "where you are" in the realm of technology. After the committee has made recommendations for technology, it is time to focus on the goals and objectives of the Technology Plan to reach the technological level of "where you want to be."
The Technology Committee should consider several factors when writing goals and objectives for the district. The committee should select goals that are:
1) priorities of the district
3) lend themselves to timelines and action plans
5) concise and to the point
6) within the boundaries set forth by DESE
The practical approach to writing goals and objectives is to select the areas of technology that you will be addressing and create an outline that you will follow consistently in each of these areas. Within each of the chosen areas, limit yourself to one to five goals per area. Too many goals will bog you down in paperwork and take up too much quality time of the record keepers. Remember to write a plan that you can live with for three to five years—one you really will use and that will be of benefit to you and your school district. Don’t waste your time on a verbose plan that will have little value to you and your school.
Here is an example of areas that might be selected for the Technology Plan:
TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT & SUPPORT STAFF TRAINING:
STAFF, STUDENT, AND COMMUNITY TRAINING:
After the areas are selected, you need to choose an outline, such as the one below, that you can consistently follow and feel comfortable with as you develop goals and objectives for each area.
Goal 1: Concise statement of "where you’re going" and "where you want to be."
Anticipated outcomes in terms of student benefit and/or performance (objective):
This is very important because you need a reason to be going towards "where you want to be."
Evaluation: How you will know you have reached "where you want to be."
Here is how a section of a completed outline might look:
Goal 1: Students and staff will be provided with adequate technologies in sufficient quantity and quality to meet the educational needs of the district. Annual evaluation of the hardware will show at least a 5% replacement or upgrade of existing technology in the district. Anticipated outcomes in terms of student benefit and/or performance: Through the constant upgrades of existing technology and the additions of new technologies, students and staff will be provided with quality technology tools to improve the learning environment. Evaluation: An annual evaluation of the district’s technology hardware will be conducted. If after a four-year period at least a 5% replacement or upgrade of existing technology is noted annually, the goal will be considered met.
I highly recommend seeking help from other school districts that would be willing to share their Technology Plans with you. The more plans you read the better prepared you will be to formulate your own plan. Since education and other technology supporters are essentially working towards the same goals in technology, samples of several different plans will help you locate a format that you an adapt and work with comfortably. Don’t try to "reinvent the wheel." Make the experience of writing a Technology Plan a true learning experience rather than one of extreme torture.