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Technology 101: Visioning

About this Daily Classroom Special
Technology 101 provides pointers, strategies and suggestions for helping your school design a technology plan that meets the needs of members of your learning community. Technology 101 was written by Peggy Wyns-Madison, a former Teachers Network web mentor.

Visioning

Creating a vision is a very important process. It will help your school team "see" the necessary changes needed to improve or enhance the teaching-learning process in your building. Here are a few questions you can use to focus the group you have assembled.

  1. What is the mission of the school, our raison d'etre? The answer to this question should reflect our school's unique role and contribution.

  2. What do we think young people should be learning in school?

  3. What are some of the major challenges that we face?

  4. What are our values? How do people treat each other? (e.g., teacher-student, teacher-teacher, student-student, teacher-parent, teacher-administrator, etc.)? How are people recognized? (Consider formal and informal recognition.)

  5. What role does our school play in the community?

  6. What role do parents play in the school?

  7. What aspects of our school environment allow people to be autonomous or empowered?

  8. What aspects of our school disempower people?

  9. Describe the role of the teacher in the school.

  10. Describe the role of the student in the school.

  11. What strategies and tools are we using to achieve our curricular objectives?

The first ten questions focus on the teaching-learning process. Technology should be part of the tools available to assist in the teaching-learning process.

Quebec English Schools Network

IMPACT II - The Teachers Network sponsored a New York City Teacher Policy Institute in 1995-96. As a result, a group of 50 teachers examined policies and created a tool for helping others create visions. In their policy document, an envisioning workshop is presented.

Envisioning Exercises

Before the Envisioning Process A group of people should come together:
  • by their own choice

  • with an adequate amount of time to be thoughtful

  • with some real, usable end-product as a goal

Two Exercises Precede the Envisioning Process

1. INSPIRATIONS

Participants take a few moments to remind themselves of why they became educators in the first place and how the use of educational technology continues to inspire them. Then participants share their inspirations in small groups and/or with the group as a whole.

2. CONCERNS

Participants name and explore their deepest concerns related to educational technology and its role in professional learning, student achievement and policy influence.

 

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