Here’s how one Colorado middle school is using technology literacy assessment results to change instruction in classrooms:
Leo Fua can count on one hand the number of eighth-graders in his class of several dozen who were technologically literate at the end of the 2008–2009 school year. That’s a tiny percentage.
Educational technology teacher at Denver’s Lake International School, Fua knows that teachers and administrators at his school and many others have their work cut out for them if all students must be technologically literate by the end of eighth grade as required by NCLB.
The plan: Implement K-8 technology curriculum districtwide; educate teachers about technology literacy standards; and offer professional development to help teachers bring the standards to life in their classrooms.
In Denver Public Schools, part of the challenge is that students move frequently from school to school. They arrive with differing skills, making it tough for teachers to know where to start with each student – some who can’t even type.
“Our results are all over the page,” says Fua. “Kids come from other schools where there is a lot of technology – or very little.”
Over a year ago, Fua began coordinating with fifth-grade teachers and elementary school principals to teach keyboarding so students could advance to other skills in middle school. He also joined a district committee to identify and implement a new technology curriculum spanning K–8.
“We didn’t have a districtwide cohesive plan and technology curriculum K–8,” says Fua. “That’s what we need so if kids transfer, they’re not lost.” The district will implement that new curriculum in 2009–2010.
Fua’s work at Lake will start with educating the educators. He’ll communicate the school’s most recent technology literacy assessment results, familiarize teachers with technology literacy standards and what students need to be able to do, and determine with them how they can apply those standards – and technology – in their classrooms.