Management: Technology Planning and Policies


This chapter addresses the assessment of documented strategies that direct the acquisition, use, maintenance, and expansion of technology in the educational enterprise. These strategies are expressed in policies or as a school or district's technology plan. The overall goal of technology policies and plans is the successful integration of technology to support student learning and school management.

In content terms, technology planning and policies should address three major areas: vision, access, and integration. Vision pertains to what is expected from the technology overall. Access refers to the acquisition, deployment, and availability of technology to the target audiences. Integration of technology is the development and implementation of strategies that make technology useful and capable of accomplishing the vision. More detailed content lists are given in what follows.

In terms of process, policies represent relative end states that begin with the adoption of a technology plan. This in turn involves a series of steps, ranging from the determination of needs, the involvement of stakeholders, and the ratification of a document, to the implementation, evaluation, and revision of the plan.

Assessing plans and policies involves evaluating the content of plans and documenting the existence of policies, as well as assessing the process of plan development and implementation.

The key questions in this section, and the indicators that point to their answers, will be useful to the persons who most likely already know (or can easily find out) their answers: the school or district technology coordinator, or (in larger districts) the Chief Information Officer (CIO) or administrator functioning in the CIO role. They will also provide reporting information to these persons' superiors: superintendents and school board members. That the person closest to the information might find it useful to respond to these questions might seem paradoxical, but the purpose of responding to these questions is precisely to record the state of technology planning and implementation for the local education agency (LEA). Thus, answering these questions provides a snapshot in time, a point of reference and reporting from which comparisons can be made.