Best Practices for Teaching and Learning
Technology Integration in 21st Century K-12 Environments
Technology has a unique role to play as innovation and economic hardship transform teaching, learning and education management. With its limitless versatility, educational reach and proven ability to boost productivity, technology has become necessary infrastructure in every district office and classroom. But its value to K-12 teachers depends on pre-service training and programs of professional development that help educators make the leap to powerful 21st century instruction and assessment. Here are three programs that make the case for technology integration and move us closer to a 1:1 equity of access to classroom technology.
The standards for educational technology are designed as performance expectations for the use of digital technologies. They work compatibly, and practically, within Washington’s teaching and learning environment.
The assessments for educational technology have been integrated into the core content areas — science, math, health, English language arts, social studies and the arts. They include a checklist for K-2 teachers and offer a comprehensive inventory of free and low-cost digital resources.
The Online Learning Department is a one-stop-shop where educators, students and parents can access online courses and school programs, digital educational resources, research, training and more. Central to their mission OLD is developing an A-list of approved providers of online courseware for Washington state districts. Administrators watch this site - the list is dynamic, and as providers move through the approval process, new names show up. Their rigorous and transparent process for approval maintains a conscientious accountability to the state Legislature, OSPI and the districts it serves.
We provide the state plan for educational technology to the Washington State Legislature as a comprehensive account of the current state of technology integration across Washington's K-12 public schools. Its contents describe the challenges, opportunities and emerging issues that face educators as the pressure to deliver a 21st century education meets the tough realities of funding, disparity and a tightening regulatory environment. The great value of this publication is the proposition of bold strategies that outline a forward direction for educators and lawmakers. Given that we are all dedicated to the development of a highly effective teaching force and technology-enriched learning environment for K-12 students, these concrete, realistic and tactical approaches illuminate the path ahead.