In considering Substandard 1C, it seemed to me that there were two big concepts that stood out: advocate for programs (which often encompass policies and procedures) and advocate for funding.
Funding is essential in getting the software, hardware, and infrastructure into the hands of coaches, teachers, and students. You can’t have one without the other. Yet many schools still seem to have a disconnect between those responsible for funding decisions, those responsible for device selection, and those who will be interacting with the technology on a daily basis (teachers and students).
For these reasons, I see there being a great benefit to having a director of academic technology or similar specialist within a school district. This person acts as a go-between with IT, administrators, coaches, and teachers balancing the needs of each group while constantly aligning decisions to best practices in 21st Century learning. With the increasing role that technology plays in students’ education (not to mention future), it is no longer feasible to task an administrator to work part-time on the school’s technology initiative or expect teachers to implement this change on their own.
In an ideal 21st-Century school, this aforementioned specialist takes on a supervisory role and has coaches on the ground in classrooms who report to him/her. This model would allow the specialist to focus on advocating for policies, procedures, and programs (in addition to funding), while the coaches can focus their time and energy meeting the needs of students and teachers.
Coaches would then lead professional development as it relates to the implementation of a shared vision for technology. Often times teachers need assistance in translating broad district goals for technology into manageable daily tasks for their classroom. other teachers may not be familiar with the ISTE student standards (such as aspects of digital citizenship) and may need some assistance in incorporating these standards into their content area curriculum.
My first piece of evidence outlines current barriers to professional development along with proposed solutions based in research.
My other piece of evidence offers some unique ways that schools with limited funds can go about getting more devices into the hands of students.