Technology review committee gets to work

Technology review aims to identify best uses for electronic tools
Posted on 10/26/2018
Technology review aims to identify best uses for electronic tools
A review of Tahoma School District’s use of educational technology is underway, following the first meeting of the Technology Model Review Committee on Oct. 4 at Tahoma High School.

The volunteer committee is made up of teachers, technical support staff, School Board members, students, parents and other community members. Its task is to review how Tahoma uses educational technology, identify foundational beliefs and aspirations for technology use, conduct research and finally make recommendations to the School Board about the direction the district should pursue for classroom technology.

Dawn Wakeley, director of Teaching and Learning, told committee members that it is essential to put students at the “center of our process” and to focus on how technology can help students achieve academic progress. “Technology is a tool for us, connected to the outcomes we want,” she said.

The School Board, last spring, called for creation of the committee after voters rejected a four-year technology levy renewal. With expiration of the old technology levy happening this year, the school district has reduced spending for classroom technology and suspended the proposed technology plan that was the basis for the levy request. The committee’s work will be reviewed by the School Board before decisions are made about future technology funding in the district.

Three more meetings of the full model review committee are planned, on Nov. 1, Nov. 29, and Jan. 10. There also will be subcommittee meetings to work on specific issues, the results of which will be brought back to the full committee. A recommendation will be brought to the School Board on Feb. 12.

Once the committee has completed its work and it has been reviewed by the School Board, a new district technology plan can be crafted. The plan, created by the existing Technology Advisory Committee, also must be approved by the School Board and would form the basis for future technology levy requests.
Committee members were provided with background documents focused on classroom technology, including student technology standards published by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). They also read articles dealing with how technology is being applied in classrooms and what skills will be in demand as students move into jobs and careers, including digital literacy.

The next committee meeting will focus on research, gaps in the district’s current reality and its aspirations for classroom technology, and the start of constructing a model technology plan.

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