Assessing Educational Technology Implementation
A Collaborative Effort of NETC and the Washington OSPI
The Northwest Educational Technology Consortium, NETC, is in the process of developing a suite of tools and procedures which may be used for a program of technical assistance in technology to schools and school districts. A particular type of service of increasing importance to districts is a review of technology implementation.
The purpose of a technology review is to provide to a district a description or summary of how its education technology is being used, what its effect or impact has been, and an analysis and recommendations for change. It is an evaluation of the status and results of technology expenditures and implementation and an analysis of the results in terms of the district's goals and plans. Various sources may prompt such a review: questions from the school community - trustees, parents, teachers, administrators, business leaders; state requirements for the submission of district plans, and federal requirements for indications of student progress and justification of telecommunications expenditures.
In a parallel development activity, a small group of staff members from Washington OSPI and Washington ESDs have been examining the relationships between certain frameworks for technology evaluation and the state-adopted characteristics of effective schools. Their initial work has been in identifying and testing rubrics and checklists which school personnel can use for district self-analysis and identification of areas of needed improvement.
There are a number of areas of overlap in the two efforts. Both groups want to have tools accessible on-line for schools to download and use with a minimum of external intervention. NETC and Washington staff members have begun to work together to identify areas of needed development which will benefit both organizations, in which NETC development work can use the field experience of Washington staff to produce tools that both groups need. This work has included:
A survey and analysis of available frameworks in both school improvement and technology and identification of their checklists and rubrics;
A review of the research bases for the design of existing tools;
Alignment of various prominent technology frameworks and effective school characteristics with the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS), and in particular the NETS Essential Conditions for meeting those standards.
An update of the NCRTEC Profile on-line tool containing indicators of engaged learning and high performance technology. (This analysis is not completed.)
The products of the effort to date are listed below. They are all in draft form and have undergone several revisions from discussion among seven collaborators, but are not yet reviewed or tested by professionals external to the process.
Compendium of Tools for Program Review in Technology and School Improvement - A 21-page document including eight technology review frameworks and four school improvement frameworks.
A Comparison of Five Versions of the STaR Chart - A comparison of state and school district versions of the STaR Chart framework for reviewing district technology plans originally conceived by the CEO Forum.
Alignment of Selected School Technology Review Frameworks - A matrix which displays the alignment of factors from three technology frameworks and two school improvement frameworks with the NETS Essential Conditions.
NETS Essential Conditions and Sample Indicators - A three-page document listing, for each of the NETS Essential Conditions, a set of sample indicators, which one could use to judge the extent of implementation in a district. It contains 51 indicators for the 11 conditions.
NETS Self-Check - A form based on the previous document which incorporates three of the sample indicators for each Essential Condition and a Likert-type scale for recording the evaluator's judgments of district status.
Essential Conditions for Achieving the National Educational Technology Standards - A one-page rubric for recording a rough judgment of the status or progress of a district on the Essential Conditions.