Executive Summary. Teaching and Learning

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1 Executive Summary The Mississippi Department of Education has developed a plan for educational technology to improve student achievement through enhanced curriculum content, instructional delivery, and access to and support for educational technology integration. The Mississippi Department of Education Plan for Educational Technology contains information on technology needs of the state, strategic and measurable actions for technology integration, and guidelines for local technology planning. The plan is divided into four major sections. Each section is highlighted below with key goals and objectives. Teaching and Learning Goal I: All students will meet or exceed the state standards for student literacy in technology by All Mississippi students will be technology literate by Students will utilize emerging technologies to enhance learning. Goal II: All students and educators will have equitable access to high quality educational content and resources. High quality online content will be available for Mississippi high school students. Mississippi core frameworks will include strategies for technology integration. All Mississippi schools will have access to revised and expanded web-based teacher resources. Assistive technology information will be available to students, parents, and educators. Online assessments will be utilized for state tests. All Mississippi students will have access to revised and expanded quality electronic resources. Educator Proficiency Goal III: All teachers will be qualified to use technology for instruction by meeting the Mississippi Technology Standards for Teachers by High quality professional development for teachers will be based on Mississippi Technology Standards for Teachers, utilize research-based best practices as identified by National Staff Development Council, and reflect the advances and changes in technologies. All teachers will have in-building support for technology integration. All teachers will be required to meet the Mississippi Technology Standards for Teachers. ii

2 Goal IV: All administrators will be qualified to use technology appropriately to improve their efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity. High quality professional development for administrators will be based on Mississippi Technology Standards for Administrators, will utilize best practices, and will reflect the advances in technologies. All administrators will be required to meet the Mississippi Technology Standards for Administrators. All districts will have a certified Technology Coordinator as a state-funded position. All curriculum coordinators and other district specialists will become technology literate and knowledgeable of the role technology plays in improving student achievement. Leadership and Support Goal V: All schools will fully integrate technology into curriculum and instruction by December 31, All Mississippi public school districts will have a current plan for technology integration. Mississippi school districts will acquire additional funding for technology and provide appropriate district funding to support technology integration. Goal VI: All districts will increase the involvement of parents, business/industry, and community members in education through the use of technology. All Mississippi school districts will promote community awareness that focuses on school technology use. The Mississippi Department of Education s partnerships with business/industry and public and private entities will be expanded to encourage collaboration with local school districts. Environment and Infrastructure Goal VII: All school districts will utilize an up-to-date reporting and accountability system to make data-driven decisions. All Mississippi public school districts will provide to the Mississippi Department of Education requested information for evaluating the impact of technology. All Mississippi public school districts will evaluate technology effectiveness. All Mississippi public school districts will include educational technology in the fiscal planning process. iii

3 Goal VIII: All students, educators, and educational systems will be connected to a statewide telecommunications infrastructure that provides broadband capacity and network connectivity for Internet and other technological resources to every classroom in the state. Mississippi school districts will have high quality access to technology and telecommunications. Expertise and assistance will be provided to school district staff in planning for and using technology. Information regarding the wide area network will be regularly communicated. Leadership will continue to be provided in the deployment of technology within the state. A safe, secure K-12 infrastructure will be provided in compliance with the Children s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Children s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). High speed, broadband Internet access for the K-12 network will continue to be provided. Infrastructure security (systems and data) will be increased. services will be available to K-12 network users. Emerging technologies will be researched on a continual basis. Timely help desk support for districts will be provided. Technology planning is vital to the proper implementation of educational technology into the teaching and learning process. The Mississippi Department of Education Plan for Educational Technology will serve as a blueprint to assist schools in utilizing technology to improve student achievement. Students must acquire the skills today to think, research, question, and collaborate in order to be the successful leaders of tomorrow. Educational technology integration is a critical step in achieving the goal of leaving no child behind. iv

4 Background In 1994, the Mississippi Legislature passed the Education Technology Enhancement Act, Senate Bill This legislation established the Council for Education Technology (CET), which in cooperation with the Mississippi Department of Education, created the Mississippi Master Plan for Educational Technology (Master Plan) that outlined activities related to purchasing, developing, and using technology to accomplish specific goals. Since the 1995 adoption of the Master Plan, state and federal funds have been used to improve Mississippi s K-12 educational technology environment. Through the implementation of the Master Plan, Mississippi has seen a significant increase in the acquisition and use of technology statewide. The following highlights demonstrate the progress made in educational technology over the past seven years. The state has funded a robust ATM/frame relay backbone that currently connects 100% of schools, districts, universities, and community colleges to the Internet. Mississippi school districts have connected 85% of classrooms to the Internet through funding assistance from the E-rate program, the state Technology in the Classroom program and the federal Technology Literacy Challenge Fund Grants. The student to computer ratio has improved from 55:1 in 1995 to 5.4:1 in The Mississippi Student Information System (MSIS), which provides for the electronic collection and storage of comprehensive detailed data about teachers, students, and administrators of PreK-12 schools, has been fully implemented in all 152 Mississippi school districts. Mississippi has established technology standards for teachers and administrators. Over 15,548 teachers have participated in the Mississippi Department of Education s Phase professional development program. The MDE Novice 1.5 and Phase 2 components of the program are being redesigned to include online modules. The Mississippi Online Learning Institute (MOLLI), a web-based educational service, provides a variety of high school courses to Mississippi students. The MAGNOLIA (Mississippi Alliance for Gaining New Opportunities through Library Information Access) Project provides access to electronic databases that contain over 4,000 full text journals to students and teachers at school and home. While a solid foundation for educational technology has been established, it is time for determining the next steps through the updated Mississippi Department of Education Plan for Educational Technology. The focus of this document is improving teaching and learning through the proper use and integration of educational technology. 1

5 Vision Statement The Mississippi Department of Education is committed to the belief that the effective use of technologies will enhance the quality of teaching and positively impact the learning process. We envision an educational environment that is rich with opportunities for all learners to be exposed to the benefits of the latest emerging technologies. Helen Keller was once asked, What would be worse than being born blind? She replied, To have sight without vision. Mission Statement The mission of the Office of Educational Technology is to provide active leadership, quality support, and valuable resources to students, educators, parents, and communities which improve academic achievement and teacher effectiveness through the use of technology. 2

6 Technology Needs In the fall of 2001, the Mississippi Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology created the Mississippi Online Technology Evaluation (MOTE) to assess the current status of technology in Mississippi schools on an annual basis. The purpose of MOTE is to provide schools, districts, and state leaders with information needed to measure progress and plan for the future. While data shows that gains have been made in many areas, especially infrastructure, much work remains. In the baseline data gathered spring 2002, preliminary execution of MOTE provides educators and policy makers with the information needed to identify the next steps. Listed below are several key findings from this evaluation of technology in Mississippi schools. Teaching and Learning Data indicates that 57% of students regularly use a variety of technology resources to gather data. However, when students go beyond basic uses of technology, the study indicated that few students were using technology regularly to accomplish tasks that may require higher skills. Data indicates that 83% of teachers use technology regularly to perform such tasks as word processing, and spreadsheet applications and management; however, the percentage of teachers that facilitate the integration of technology across the curriculum is 54%. Educator Proficiency Data indicates that 40% of the time technology is used to provide opportunities for professional development follow-up. Data indicates that 13% of schools report school-based professional development as not available. Data indicates that only 1% of teachers utilize online professional development opportunities. Leadership and Support Data indicates that 29% of schools have a full-time staff member or technology coordinator for technical support. Data indicates that 36% of the time technology is used to acknowledge or reward exemplary employees and/or innovative instructional practices. Data indicates that 27% of the time technology is used to establish ongoing dialogue with business/industry and/or higher education regarding technology skills needed. 3

7 Environment and Infrastructure Data indicates that 82% of classrooms have at least one Internet connected computer available for student use; however only 8% of classrooms have at least five or more computers available. Data indicates that 49% of schools wait one week or longer before receiving technical support for equipment or network problems. The information gathered from Mississippi school districts through MOTE has provided critical contributions to the technology planning process. The collection of this data has allowed the big picture to emerge and gaps to be analyzed. This needs assessment affords educators and policy makers an opportunity to measure growth and transform the teaching and learning process to incorporate educational technology. 4

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