Table of Contents
Technology Needs Assessment 3
Problem Statement 8
Project Goals 8
Project Objectives 8
Kurzweil predicts that “in 2009, while schools are still not on the cutting edge, the profound importance of the computer as a knowledge tool is widely recognized. Computers play a central role in all facets of education, as they do in other spheres of life” (Kurzweil, 1999, p. 276). It is now 2006 and Kurzweil’s prediction of the computer being widely recognized as a knowledge tool is ahead of schedule. It is also true that schools are far from being on the cutting edge. Some schools are better than ...view middle of the document...
The most pressing need at this point in time is getting technology in the hands of the students across the curriculum. The computer should be in every student’s backpack as a notebook and pencil used to be in the past.
A computer in the hands of every student in the classroom gives the instructor and students immediacy in communicative and collaborative options they never had before. Homework projects can be emailed directly to the instructor or an FTP server where the instructor can pick up, read, grade, and return assignments. While doing homework, students can ask questions while they are fresh in their mind through email rather than waiting for the next class meeting. The open lines for continued contact throughout the semester enable students and instructors to converse outside of class.
Using technology in this way prepares the student for the digital world they will face when they graduate. The web “provokes a shift toward more collaborative work relationships, ones that resemble open, inclusive communities, more than they resemble secretive, hierarchical administrative bureaucracies” (Kanter, 2001, p. 16). Building a school community that is technologically connected prepares students for life.
In planning technology for classroom use, the writer’s organization uses the Developing a Curriculum (DACUM) process. The curriculum development department puts out a call for entries for new curriculum. Faculty, Department Chairs, Deans, etc. submit ideas for new curriculum. A committee reviews the ideas and chooses programs that appear to be feasible.
Program Advisory Committees (PACs) are then selected from professionals in the industry closely related to the new curriculum. The PAC sits on a panel that puts together what objectives graduates of the program need to meet in order to gain entry level employment in the field. Once the list of program outcomes and tools is gathered from the PAC, a task force of faculty with expertise on the subject, break the objectives into individual courses to make up the new curriculum. Technology is also decided upon in this process.
The DACUM process does not address the general education portion of the curriculum. It is general education that prepares students to communicate well with others and gain knowledge about the world. Students should have the communication tools used in the real world in general education courses just as they have the tools used in their field of study. General education courses are way behind in technology needs assessment. This is unacceptable since the general education portion of the curriculum requires the simplest technological tools.
The writer’s organization has an expansive IT department with the capability and resources to put the needed technology in place. Every school in the system has a Director of Technology (DOT) or a Technology Support Supervisor (TSS). Depending on the size of the school, technicians are hired to provide additional support as needed.