It seems that every time I move to a new school I arrive in the midst of the accreditation process. On one hand, it’s a great opportunity to shape the future of the school. On the other, it can be difficult to thoroughly assess a school when you’ve only just arrived. Once again, I’m in the same boat here at YIS. We’re in the second year of the accrediation process, and we spent our professional development day today working on the self-study.
In my opinion, the self-study is a fantastic opportunity. It’s an excellent way to bring concerns to light and to ensure accountability for resolving those issues. When challenges or struggles are highlighted through the self-study process, and selected for improvement by the accreditation team, the school is responsible for improving them in order to earn re-accreditation. To me, this seems like a great way to ensure that the voice of the school community is heard and that the school continues to develop over time.
The self-study requires each subject committee to assess the school according to a set of standards provided by CoIS & NEASC (the accrediting body), but we also have the option of adding a few indicators ourselves. Since the existing questions were so broad and open-ended (and do not lead to a discussion about technology integration in any sort of direct way) the IT department decided to add a few indicators of our own. Our goal is to both raise awareness of what we could/should be doing with technology at YIS and to gather specific feedback from all stakeholders about what is actually happening at the school. We’re hoping that these statements will bring to light specific challenges and successes of technology at YIS so that we can continue to move the school forward.
Here’s what we came up with so far:
- Curriculum design and delivery are consistent with the school’s technology philosophy, objectives and policies.
- Written curriculum materials specify expected learning outcomes for meaningful technology integration.
- The curriculum encourages students to leverage technology resources to meet the needs of their learning styles.
- The curriculum emphasizes the responsible use of social media to promote digital citizenship.
- The curriculum includes technology rich experiences articulated horizontally and vertically.
- There is clear designation of responsibility for effective and well articulated integration of technology into the curriculum.
- The curriculum provides opportunities for students to utilize technology to document and reflect on their learning over time as a means to promote life long learning.
- The school provides PD to promote new ideas and approaches to effective technology integration.
- Teachers manage digital learning environments to engage students in collaboration with others beyond classroom walls.
- Current technology resources are provided to promote effective teaching and learning.
- Sufficient academic technology professionals are assigned to facilitate effective technology integration.
- Sufficient technical and infrastructure specialists are assigned to support effective technology integration.
- Social and ethical use of technology & information is clearly defined and communicated to students and parents.
- Staff members consider current technological advances in revising curriculum and instruction.
We know we won’t be able to use all of the indicators we developed, but we also want to make sure we aren’t missing anything. Most likely we’ll be able to add 5 – 6 questions (out of the 14 below) to the self-study. The items listed in bold are the ones I feel really strongly about.
So, I need your help!
Which ones really get to the heart of effective and successful technology integration? Which ones will provide us with the best feedback from staff? Which ones can we dump? What are we missing?