School and District Technology Plans

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The pressure of being the first guest blogger!

As Scott mentioned my name is David Quinn and I am an Assistant Professor of Educational Administration and Policy at the University of Florida .  I am in my second year at UF having previously taught at the University of Arizona for six years.  I am excited about the opportunities that are emerging at UF especially being able to focus my teaching, research and service around issues of technology leadership in schools.  I teach three classes at UF: Leading Change, Data-Driven Decision Making and Technology Leadership in Schools and I am excited at the convergence of literature and research in these areas that are readily applied to administrative practice.  I just read through this bio and it is sounding pretty academic, so on to my musings.

While teaching the tech leadership class this past summer, my graduate assistant, Matt Ohlson, and I were talking about how relevant or irrelevant school and district technology plans can be.  As we looked for school and district tech plans that could serve as exemplars for our students, we were amazed at the spectrum of plans.  Some might contend that a plan is just a piece of paper (or more often than not an Adobe Acrobat file) that schools and districts complete because of a mandate like receiving e-rate funding.  I would argue however, that an inclusive process of planning for technology can be a powerful stimulus for changing schools from something Frederick Taylor would appreciate into an organization that acknowledges that technology, especially the Internet, has radically changed our world over the last 10-15 years.  I am in schools on a regular basis and cringe whenever I see the same rote instruction led by lecture, while 5 networked computers collect dust in the back of the room (that’s a whole other blog entry).

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