Reality Bytes: A Formative Technology Implementation Plan for Public Schools
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The rise of the Digital age is before us; technology saturates every level of our society. America must prepare its children to thrive in the technology driven future. For decades, the predominant thought has been to implement technology into public schools where instruction can be fostered. While several authors have made suggestions for implementing technologies into public schools, no federal or state directives or strategies exist to guide public school administrators. This research develops a practical ideal model for implementing mass technologies into public school. The model consists of nine categories: goals/purpose statements, commit needed resources, learn from others, communication, building relationships, assess skill levels, training, motivating staff, and utilizing blended learning styles.
The viability of the model was then used to evaluate a case study, at Pleasanton High School, which already implemented a 1:1 Laptop Initiative across its entire campus. Document and archival analyses were used to examine various articles, memorandums, personal e-mails, and lists. Focused interviews were conducted to corroborate all document and archival analyses. Observations were also made to further assess the program. The results of the case study showed that Pleasanton satisfied five of the nine ideal categories. The district committed needed resources, learned from others, communicated effectively, built relationships to benefit the program, and motivated staff to employ the technology in the classroom. Pleasanton was unproductive in establishing and employing goals/purpose statements, assessing staff's skill levels, and providing adequate training for the entire staff. As a result, the school was unable to effectively implement a blended learning style. The primary fault of the program hinged on the inability of the administration to secure adequate training for all personnel during the implementation period. Consequently, the program's success was impeded; the technology has not been integrated at the level originally anticipated.
The findings of the research indicated that all ideal categories are applicable to the degree that the individual school administrator chooses follow them. Student training should also be added to the model. A refined model for mass technology implementation was then developed using the research data.