Tag Archives: Tech Coordinators

Course 4

Casting a Net over the NETs: Meeting the Standards

Some rights reserved by pablog61

The way in which technology integration manifests itself in the classroom is always changing. New tools arrive at a staggering pace and are constantly redefining the way in which we do things in the classroom. However the way in which technology integration itself works remains constant. Boni Hamilton describes integration in her 2007 book “IT’s Elementary!: Integrating Technology in the Primary Grades” as when “teachers use technology to introduce, reinforce, extend, enrich, assess, and remediate student mastery of curricular targets.” The key point that Hamilton makes is that in order to actually integrate technology we need to go way beyond simply using the tools that our schools provide but to actually use them in constructive ways while embedding them into the schools curriculum.

All of this cannot be done on a whim. It requires teachers and administration buy in. Inserting the NETs standards into curriculum mapping is a common start to “ensuring” that teachers are at the very least thinking about integrating them into the classroom. It doesn’t however mean that they are meeting them. In order to ensure that they are being taught teachers need to plan for their use. They need to take advantage of the vast resources already available to them in their schools and/or online in order to extend the learning that is already meant to be taking place in the classroom all the while actively engaging all students involved. Collaboration amongst colleagues across the curriculum and/or their network of experts on the Internet is also essential to guarantee a rich and far reaching experience that ensures that students are in constant contact with the technology standards regardless of subject area. In planning for the inclusion of NETs teachers are able to see how they align with their own subject standards or that of their collaborators. This would make assessment of the NETs simply part of a teachers regular assessment tools. Common assessments across the curriculum could also be established and used a certain number of times throughout the year. The school would then be able to self assess their level of success through the collection of data on a regular annual cycle. Appropriate adjustments could then be made to help solidify the successful integration of technology standards throughout the school.

Course 4

It’s Time to Grow Up and Taking Responsibility

Some rights reserved by Scott McLeod

The expectation that a classroom teacher is solely going to be responsible for and able to successfully meet each NETs standard is highly unreasonable. The obligations already imposed upon classroom teachers or specialists are difficult enough to accomplish by school years end and the onus put upon them just continues to grow. On top of all that we also forget that not all teachers have jumped on the tech train yet, even at schools where technology is being embraced. Many are intimidated by technology or again feel inundated with other obligations to want to even bother spending the extra time to integrate technology into their planning.

So whose job is it to teach the NETs in our schools? In my mind it is still the teacher’s responsibility along with the support technology coordinator. It does take a real commitment of time, effort and perhaps most imperative a willingness to learn about these standards. Teachers need to take an active role in seeking out professional development opportunities that will assist in their quest for understanding the NETs. Rely upon others with more knowledge in the area such as the tech coordinator at school or even by participating in online social networks that share a similar desire to learn about integrating the NETs. ISTE has a great support group called Community Ning for teachers who are there to share and support ideas for integrating technology and all the while incorporating the NETs.

Having a better understanding of the NETs along with taking an active role in integrating the technology into the classroom through collaborative planning will help ensure that these standards are being taught. The administration must also support the processes. Requiring all teachers to link NETs into curriculum maps can effectively reinforce and further extended what is already being taught in the technology classrooms into their own classrooms and beyond!