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Vision Paper

I believe the academic environment can foster an environment which provides all students an
opportunity to use technology efficiently. Technology should be used in conjunction with an
academic curriculum plan that fosters an environment that provides all students an opportunity to
use technology efficiently, effectively and creatively to develop thinking skills, organize and
process information, reinforce prior learning, enhance communication and apply technology to
real life situations. I believe students need to have access to a variety of technologies in the
classroom. The capstone project I will engage in will give teachers the opportunity to participate
in professional development opportunities in order to develop and integrate technology in all
areas of instruction. Technology should be used to improve communications throughout the
school and among the community. Becker & Ravitz (1999).

The integration of technology should be with the goal of creating lessons and projects that foster
higher level thinking skills to be used. Technology should be used as a tool to enhance a higher
order of thinking; to help solve, real world problems: to influence academic performance, and
to improve motivation. Roblyer and Doering (2010). Often technology is seen by teachers and
parents as word processing tools, or glorified movie projectors. The opportunity for engaged
learning projects needs to be shared with parents in order to help facilitate a buy in of all
stakeholders to help academic achievement among all students. Parental support is essential in
building a learning environment that leads to student achievement and success.

Many teachers have not received adequate training in the assistive technology devices available
to give all students access to grade level curriculum. Research has shown that although great
advances have been made in public schools during the last decade in acquiring computers and
Vision Paper

Internet access for the general education student, the same cannot be said for participants in
special education programs. Many special education teachers are not provided with the training
to enable them to teach advanced technology and/or assistive technology skills to their students.
Jackson, V (2010). The need to have all teachers trained on the assistive technology potential for
differentiating instruction in order to give all students equal access to the curriculum is essential.
Technology should be used in the classroom as a differentiation tool that can give all students
equal access to grade level content. Technology enables students who are non-readers to
participate independently in activities with their peers. The incorporation of read aloud software
and word processing software can help level the playing field for students with disabilities. The
visually engaging nature of skill and drill games can hold the attention of students with
behavior disorders, autism, and attention deficit disorders. Student engagement has been shown
to be increased when visually engaging programs are utilized. In my own classroom I have had
success using read-aloud software with third and fourth grade students who are non-readers.
The read aloud software allows the student to listen to the grade level text aloud and equally in
lessons and classroom discussions. Through word prediction software students who cannot spell
or read can create word documents independently. The software predicts their spelling patterns
and presents the student a list of words to choose from. The read-aloud software is already a part
of most Microsoft Office software packages. The option to run the read aloud program is as
simple as clicking on the programs tab upon start up and choosing the icon narrator. The
software will read aloud all the text on the screen. There is no additional cost for schools,
because this program is a standard feature of Microsoft Office. There are many resources and
assistive technology devices available through the county office that many teachers are not even
aware of. The vision I have for myself as a technology coach is to be a mentor to both general
Vision Paper

education and special education teachers in order to help determine technology devices that can
help increase student achievement for all classroom learners.

Through my course work I have learned that the ISTE definition for a technology coach is an
individual who can inspire peers and participate in the development and implementation of a
shared vision for the comprehensive integration of technology to promote excellence and
transformational changes throughout the instructional environment. (ISTE Coaches 2014) As a
technology coach, I believe that technology is a valuable tool which can enhance student
learning and expand the scope of the curriculum in many innovative ways and improve
efficiency in all operational areas of the school. The 21
century professional development
opportunities should emphasize how staff should demonstrate a sound understanding of
technology and its application as outlined in the teacher and administrator technology standards
published by the MSDE. Such an understanding will provide increased and enhanced
opportunities for students to benefit from technology in the classrooms. Technical support staff
as well as instructional staff must be involved in ongoing training.

Data Teams and school staff must work together to create a shared vision in order to improve
technology integration within the curriculum. This may be accomplished by the integration of
technology tools to help promote engaged learning opportunities, and lessons that provide higher
order thinking skills. The vision I have for the data team, and the staff I work with is to improve
in the area of technology integration within the curriculum. It is asserted that many general
education, and special education teachers are not provided with the training to enable them to
teach advanced technology and/or assistive technology skills to their students. I hope to mentor
Vision Paper

my building level peers in order to foster a positive appreciation for the differentiation tool that
technology can provide.

Technology should be seen as an assistive tool to developing a learning environment that is
creative and engaging. Technology should never be used as a replacement for effective, quality
teaching methods. Teachers should be guided in creating lessons that provide enriched learning
opportunities that still completely deliver the required content material. Technology should
enhance the delivery of the content. Project based learning is a new concept for many teachers.
The model of direct instruction through lecture based delivery of material is one that is hard to
change for some teachers. Technology coaches need to model and support the change to project
based learning. The concept of being a co-collaborator or facilitator is one that takes some time
and coaching for teachers who have been in the classroom for many years. There is often
resistance to change, but as a technology coach I hope to be able to model effective technology
practices that will help increase student achievement. The use of technology for data collection
purposes is another area I will emphasize as a technology coach. The Active Vote devices can be
used as a polling device to give teachers instant feedback with content acquisition. Once a
comfort level has been achieved with utilizing the new technology made available to all
classroom teachers, I think the benefits of technology integration will be seen and embraced by
the majority of teachers.

The ultimate goal, or vision for this Capstone Project is to strive to prepare our students for the
future. We present them with problem based learning opportunities that will foster the positive
growth and development of the learning process. However, as a school we must embrace the
Vision Paper

systems that will incubate those that need development until they are ready to be hatched into the
realm of comfort and productivity.

Special Education Ready for Cyberspace? Ludlow, B. (2014). Special Education: Ready for
Cyberspace?. Teaching Exceptional Children, 46(5), 68. doi:10.1177/0040059914528104
Atta, M., Jamil, A., Ali, U., Ayaz, M., & Bashir, S. (2013).Comparative Effectiveness of
Instructional Technology Regarding Educational Attainments of Students at the Elementary
Level. Gomal University Journal of Research, 29 (1), 49-55

Roblyer, M.D., and Edwards, J. (2000) Integrating educational technology into learning. (2

Ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.