......handle/schedule technology integration?

I was wondering if you could share your school's technology model. Does your school have a computer lab? Is it mandatory that classrooms have 'computer time' each week? If so, for how long? Who teaches tech skills? Are they assessed? How?

Is 'computer lab time' mostly skill based?

Do any schools have technology facilitators who push-in to the classrooms?

I know districts must be experiencing success with this! Please share what works well for you!

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I am teaching at a private prek-8 school, so we have 3 labs. 2 Mac labs and 1 PC lab. Each lab has between 19 and 22 computers. For Lower School it is mandatory that classes have "integrated tech time." The time is placed into their schedules at the beginning of the year and an instructional technologist who works with those particular grades works with the teachers to plan integrated lessons. The hope is that the technologist would be "modelling" and eventually the teacher would take over and the technologist would be their support. This does not always happen that way. Teachers are required to stay for the lessons in hopes that they too will learn and grow from the experience. Students are not assessed and technologists do not write report card comments. They are there to provide feedback if needed. Hope this helps!
Thanks, Melissa!
I find it ironic that technology 'integration' has to be scheduled. Doesn't it seem logical that the people who need the computers could use them when they need them?
The problem is, some teachers, if not strongly nudged to use technology (ie scheduling it into their week), would just choose not to because it's intimidating to them that their students probably know more about it than they do!
I'm a big proponent of giving the computers and training to teachers who use them. IMO, teachers 'forced' to bring their kids to the lab end up sitting for a half hour while kids practice keyboarding or playing innane games. I know where you're coming from but there's gotta be a better way.
At least at our school, you can't just leave it up to the teachers who "use them." What about the kids in the other classes? When are they going to learn these skills/have those opportunities? that attitude shows an underlying attitude that tech is just something extra - a layer - and is not truly integrated into the curriculum, and kids are NOT learning those skills. Especially if teachers are nervous about integrating technology, a scheduled time not just in the lab, but planning with their team plus an integration specialist is important.
Allison,
I completely agree about the EQUITY issue....and providing ALL students with common experiences. If we left it up to the teachers, some students would definitely be missing out because of their teacher's reluctancy to integrate technology in the classroom. Does your school have a tech integration specialist? When does that person plan with teams? Do classes at your school visit the computer lab regularly to learn 'skills'? If so, who teaches that? Are the classroom teachers required to stay during that time? THanks for your input!
I would have to agree with you here Melissa. If its not required they would probably choose not to due to lakc of experience/knowledge themselves. I think I already mentioned that we have 3 lap carts (mobile) that are signed out based upon need/want. Encouraged to sign up for 30-60 minutes a week min. We did have a lab last year and 30 minutes a week was assigned and that became more keyboarding skill based for some. It varies so much.
Melissa you have hit the nail on the head! If a teacher is not using IT in their delivery of teaching the question should be why! And when are you going to use it! I am constantly stunned by educational environments that see IT as an adjunct to teaching and learning. To me it is like asking when you are going to integrate using chalk or white boards in you teaching.
In the past year our school decided to create a model for using technology in our school. Our main emphasis was on the integrating of technology into our planning (all curriculum areas) with ongoing teacher training. Our staff had in the past been reluctant users of technology but with a change in leadership at the local level ( and the support of our regional leaders) we made technology integration a clear vision.
This meant that technology use was based on how we could use it in English, Maths .... Our focus wasn't on acquiring technical skills (students are able to learn typing skills at home) Technology is used to support our units of work. The implication then is that teachers need access to computers in their rooms so that they can plan to use them. So often if computers are rostered the reluctant teacher finds it difficult to bother with the hassle.
Each classroom at this stage has access to five computers. We have begun a rollout of Smartboards and macbooks. We are moving towards being a Mac school because of the ease of use of the Mac and the creative possibilities for our students with the iLife suite. The Smartboard has been a major addition to classrooms in terms of student engagement and the way teachers interact with their students. Our hope is that the Senior area will move towards having a one on one laptop scheme.
We have a technology coordinator (me) who is allocated a half day a week for the PD of staff, either on an individual basis or a collective basis. Usually PD is based on specific needs, sometimes it's based on introducing something completely new.
Importantly, we aren't a wealthy school but have decided that we need to allocate our resources to technology in order to best meet the needs of our students. Not all teachers are finding this vision easy but with ongoing support of ICT coord and peers, they feel that they are making small steps.
Sounds like you have a good strong vision. Good luck to you and your staff.
Very quickly and a rough guide to get things moving... get all teachers laptops, all rooms to have a fast internet connection, classrooms have at a minimum a data projector and speakers, set up Moodle and tell all teachers to put up their worksheets and assignments on Moodle, get students laptops, give teachers PD. Push this till you are blue in the face but only if you have the backing of your Principal and other movers and shakers will it work... Computer lab time does not work for getting teachers up to speed with IT in fact it pushes the responsibility on to someone else; give the teachers the tools (good quality IT and IT technical Support) and place the onus on them to skill up but give them quick training session opportunities, sort of snack size training.. Hope this helps

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