“Technology coaches inspire and participate in the development and implementation of a shared vision for the comprehensive integration of technology to promote excellence and support transformational change throughout the instructional environment” (ISTE 2011).
c. Advocate for policies, procedures, programs and funding strategies to support implementation of the shared vision represented in the school and district technology plans and guidelines (ISTE 2011).
A successful school technology program is scaffolded by strong “policies, procedures, programs and funding strategies” (ISTE 2011). Technology coaches can support this effort by advocating for the development of policies and procedures, programs, and a dedicated and sustainable budget for technology, as well as incorporating a review of these items in the yearly program evaluation.
Policies, Procedures & Programs
As a member of my school’s Technology Task Force, and later as a Technology Integration Specialist on the school’s Technology Team, I worked to develop, implement and evaluate the policies, procedures and programs that would “support implementation [our] shared vision” for technology integration (ISTE 2011).
As we began to plan the switch from a computer lab to 1:1 laptops in grades 6-8, a laptop cart in grades K-5, and shared iPads, I worked with the Technology Team to develop the school’s first student acceptable use policy. We also developed a plan for teaching digital citizenship, first through a badge-learning program, and then through integrating Common Sense Education’s Digital Citizenship Curriculum into our existing academic curriculum. You can read about this experience in Creating a Shared Vision for an Acceptable Use Policy and Digital Citizenship Curriculum.
I was introduced to school funding strategies when I worked with the school business office to accurately report our technology infrastructure, device inventory, and software expenses. Creating a dedicated budget and means of tracking our technology-related expenses was a goal of our first-year program evaluation, and would allow us to proactively plan for and set aside funding for necessary updates. Being involved with the “business side” of school technology was a new experience for me, however, it was critical to my understanding of a make-or-break aspect of technology integration: adequate funding.
Too often, available funds simply do not cover more than what it takes to “maintain” a technology program. Grant funding can help. A survey and focus groups with teachers provided information that I used to write a grant for our iPad initiative, providing necessary funding for new devices and teacher professional development. This would have been impossible if grant funding had not been secured. Technology coaches should be aware of possible grant funding and apply for any and all grants that could benefit their school technology program. If possible, let feedback from stakeholders (teachers, students, parents, administration), and data from program evaluation guide choices.
When technology coaches advocate for creating, documenting, and sharing policies and procedures, develop and/or implement programs that support program initiatives, and build a cooperative relationship with sources of funding, they are engaged in efforts to “support implementation of the shared vision represented in the school and district technology plans and guidelines” (ISTE 2011).
- International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE; 2011). Standards for Coaches.