The Texas Long Range Plan for Technology describes what is needed in order to meet the unique needs of today’s 21st century learners and ensure their success in this new technological world. Teaching and Learning goals are identified in the Texas Long Range Plan for Technology. These goals include having access to technology tools and resources, using technology to solve real world problems, improving academic achievement and effective communication.
The area of Teaching and Learning is particularly interesting to me because I feel that it is a weak area for my school. We have been at the developing stage for the last three years. Content Area Connections and Online Learning have been two key areas on the STaR Chart that have fluctuated for my campus. Despite our lack of improvement in the past, I am proud to say that we have a 1:1 ratio of students to computers. All students at my school have a laptop that they can take home. This is huge progress for my school. I believe that we do need to improve the way we use the laptops in our classrooms. We need to work on using technology to solve real world problems and communicate effectively. I believe that if we embrace blogging and online learning communities, we can improve in this area.
The state of Texas has also made progress in the area of Teaching and Learning. The majority of teachers describe themselves as Developin Tech on the Texas STaR Chart. Most campuses in Texas have shown improvement in this area. Few teachers feel that they have reached the Target Tech level; however, the number of teachers at this level did increase. In order to improve this rating, we need to work toward creating more opportunities for student-centered learning and encourage online collaboration.
At the national level, there has been a push for increasing technology in the classroom. Teachers are encouraged to practice connected teaching in which they have access and connections to their students and technology resources. Educators are encouraged to provide engaging and powerful learning experiences that will aid students in becoming contributing and successful members of a new digital society.