Monday, October 27, 2008

Trust but verify

Three words that exist in my world for many reasons. Reagan used this phrase often and it is a quote from a Russian proverb. During some of my school assignments I check out technology plans, primarily from the schools that we attend (or have attended), on and off line. What do you do to encourage students to question the school’s technology plan while encouraging critical thinking and decision making skills?

Parents, students, teachers, media specialists, administrators, educational and instructional specialists…is your school’s technology plan up to date? Realistic? Was it created as a copy and paste job? Was the plan created by the administrators that report information, but have no idea about your boots on the ground experience with technology in a classroom, media center, or the school? Is the public information in the plan acceptable to all users? Believable? Accessible?

When is the last time you checked the technology plan for your school, school district, and state department of education? If you have questions about conflicting information, how do you resolve the issue? Do the links provided on the site work? What does one do when the link to report an issue does not work and the POC (point of contact) email is returned? Keep an audit trail.

Are the students aware of the Technology Plan? Do they have an opportunity to provide suggestions, make recommendations? Does your school district have a suggestion improvement plan that works?
Just because the plan is in writing…trust but verify. If your child is growing up with technology and takes issue with what works and does not work at school, it is OK to follow through. Don’t buy the media hype, get connected, get engaged…instead of enraged.
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