Setting Goals for the New Year

Just this week, Bud, Kyle1  and I sat down to talk through our goals for the 2011-2012 school year.  For us, it’s a chance to make sure our work will be centered on the priorities and important work that will most benefit the district. It’s also an opportunity to ground ourselves on where we’ve been and where we hope to go next.

To me, it’s not so much the writing of the goals that’s significant, but the time we spent working on adding, deleting, refining and finalizing the points we agree best describe our hopes for the year.  The words are important because they become our common text; but the undocumented negotiations, clarifications and explanations that are hidden in the conversations that led to the final document are even more essential.

And so, we’d like to share our goals, essential questions, and benchmarks with you. You’ll be hearing more about each of these areas this year through the sharing of our work on this blog and in other venues.  As you look through these, let us know where you think we’ve hit the mark and where we should be moving in new directions.

Focus Area: Communication

Goal
To provide regular communication on best practices in instructional technology on:
• Tools, resources, instructional practices, ideas, integration models,
• District provided hardware and software resources that have direct classroom impact,
• Classroom and staff connections and Works in Progress discussions,
Instructional technology personnel and availability of help.

Essential Questions:
What does the St. Vrain community (staff, students, parents, larger community) value and need to know in order to accomplish district goals and objectives?
What do we need to articulate in order to share our essential priorities with the larger community?
How do we model a practice of public work in order to promote thoughtful and purposeful sharing within the district?

Benchmarks:
Regular postings on blog and other online sources by Instructional Technologists (ultimately with guest postings by others in the district)
Publication of relevant and useful forms of media that model or support the work of the district

Focus Area: Professional Learning 

Goal
Develop a process for identifying and meeting the instructional technology support needs within each school community through:
• Adoption of a common language for levels of instructional practice and technology integration,
• Alignment of instructional technology training and learning goals with School Improvement Plans and district goals,
• Continuing to refine systematic collaborative and cooperative procedures for meeting identified needs and determining the success of the outcome.

Essential Questions
How do we best support the learning needs of the students and staff in the district?
How do we measure the effectiveness of instructional technology personnel and programs as it relates to improving the practices of teaching and learning through the use of technology?
How do we model professional teaching and learning using the tools, resources, and practices promoted by the district?

Benchmarks
Evaluation of best practices and developing models both in district and elsewhere for incorporation into district context
Work with OPD to further develop formal learning opportunities around needs
Develop a community-based, sustained model of practice to support informal learning needs
Develop further formal and informal methods of evaluation that assist us in determining the success of our work as aligned to district priorities
Experiment with and model thoughtful uses of technology to create professional learning spaces and opportunities

Focus Area: Practices and Policy

Goal
Provide guidance and vision regarding district policy and good practice with regards to the use of technology in education.

Essential Questions
How do technology practices and policy impact educational and community environments?
What are the rights and responsibilities associated with the use of technology for teaching and learning in the 21st Century?
How does the access to digital tools modify the rights and responsibilities of staff and students?
How does technology support collaboration and participation in a digital culture?

Benchmarks
Support and facilitate conversation and implementation around district technology policy and practice
Give continual attention to ensuring that policies and practices that define good and thoughtful uses of technology are in alignment with school and district culture and habits

Focus Area: Technology Tools and Environments 

Goal
Provide guidance and vision regarding current and future tools and toolsets and how they work to support district goals and objectives.

Essential Questions
How do the tools offered and managed by DTS work together to create a rich district digital learning environment?
How does the inclusion of new tools modify that environment?
What does the next generation of tools for teaching and learning look like?
How do physical structures and learning environments influence the use of technology for teaching and learning?
What tools do learners need in the 21st Century?

Benchmarks
Continuous evaluation of the digital environment for all district stakeholders
Continue to help increase interactivity and interoperability between district-supported and managed tools
Explore available and developing tools and environments for future inclusion into district work to ensure maximum functionality and minimal duplication
Work to communicate care for staff, students and learning via the toolsets and environments we manage and facilitate

  1. Kyle Addington is our newest Instructional Technology Coordinator in the district. We’re so glad to have him join us and bring his expertise to St. Vrain. You can meet Kyle through his bio page on our blog. []

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