For the final project of my experience in Boise State’s Edtech 501 class, I have created a Technology Use Plan presentation (this is the narrated presentation on screencast.com) for a school I refer to at The Holmquist Academy. While the name is fictional, the school is based on one that is near and dear to me. Development of this presentation has been a very enriching process. It has allowed me to look critically at the school where I have spent the majority of my career and see what is needed to make real and lasting change. As is the case with most change, this begins with a look back before heading forward.
“Holmquist” is a school of rich tradition. It is a unique educational institution in which students and teachers are closer to equals than in most places. This goes back to the creation of the school which happened in the 1920’s. At the time, the four founders of the school decided that establishing a school that allowed students to connect with the real world and pursue individual interests was key to a quality education. As I sit here in 2011 and type those words, it is not lost on me that those are the goals of education in the 21st century. Pursuit of passion, connecting with the world outside of the classroom and creating products that have real world use are all ideals I see as part of modern education. Luckily, I work at a place that has that as part of it’s core philosophy. We need only learn how to incorporate technology into that philosophy.
Creating the presentation has given me a great chance to see what my school does well and what needs to be worked on. More importantly, it has given me a vision of what I want my school to be and how I want to see technology utilized. One aspect that I found a bit surprising was that, while I was pitching the need for a technology use plan, I realized that the technology needs to become so integrated into the school culture that it becomes background. We need to reach a point where the focus is not on the technology, but on the outcomes that happen to rely on the technology. Imagine trying to conduct a time based experiment, but being lost when it came to the use of a stopwatch or trying to solve a complicated math problem but being bewitched by the calculator.
Looking ahead, I am hopeful for the future of my school and for education in general. As technology becomes more a part of our daily life, it’s incorporation in daily teaching will become part of the norm. Until then, I will push myself, my colleagues and my school to envision the possibility of being a leader in the use of technology in a stimulating and meaningful curriculum.
Below is an adapted version of the presentation without narration: