Our Instructional Technology Staff, Secondary Principals and Media Specialists, Director of Technology and Assistant Superintendent for Instruction spent a day together last spring reviewing our iPad program and planning for the future. This day turned out to be extremely valuable. If we hadn't scheduled the time to make it happen, I'm sure we wouldn't have been able to carve out the time to get as much done during our monthly meeting of 90 minutes. Having a whole day to focus on our secondary iPad 1:1 implementation with extended time to talk through our next steps allowed us to reflectively take a philosophical look at things.
One of the results of this time was the drafting of our belief statements below. I am fortunate to work with some excellent writers who did a wonderful job crafting each of these statements. We discussed and fine tuned these and found the process to be extremely beneficial. These have helped us to decide how to focus our energies and efforts in our use of instructional technology. We have continued to revisit these statements throughout this school year. We welcome your ideas and thoughts about these belief statements. I would also encourage you to go through a similar process with your own team:
Minnetonka’s instructional model is built on the Charlotte Danielson framework and includes, among other key instructional strategies, an emphasis on the integration of personal technologies in the classroom. The following set of beliefs represents the District’s vision for this integration.
- We believe...effective use of technology will lead to the development of learners who approach problems more creatively, think more critically, collaborate more skillfully, and communicate with higher levels of precision.
- We believe…high-level utilization of personal technologies is the new expectation for our students’ preparedness and success in higher education, careers, and life.
- We believe...technology should be integrated in classrooms in the service of learning, not as an end in itself, and that effective utilization in the classroom makes the device virtually invisible.
- We believe...effective use of technology leads to higher levels of personalized learning for both students and for teachers, and includes a sense of empathy for all stakeholders as well as human-centered design.
- We believe...effective use of technology leads to increased efficiencies of time and resources (paperless classrooms, crowdsourcing, collaborative tools, etc.)
- We believe...teaching with personal technologies creates a more student-centered and differentiated learning environment while also dramatically increasing the potential for real-time or just-in-time learning.
- We believe...fluency with current personal technologies is directly related to success with future technological developments.
- We believe...it is our moral obligation to transform our current instructional practices to align with our stated belief that our students’ future success will depend on their ability to harness new and emerging technologies.
- We believe...effective management of a digital environment requires a proactive approach to digital citizenship as well as regular communication and feedback on the user experience within that environment.
- We believe...leaders must model effective use of the personal technologies that teachers are using in the classroom and should be transparent about their leadership journey.
- We believe...teacher-leadership in the area of technology integration is an essential element of our collective success and efficacy.