A task force was created consisting of the Director of Educational Technology, and the school district's eight (8) Technology Specialists; four based in elementary schools, three based in the middle school and one centralized staff member servicing the entire K-8 structure.
Each task force member served as both a chairperson and representative for building-based subcommittees consisting of building-level and central office administrators and support staff members, regular and special education teachers, librarians and community liaisons. In their usual role of Technology Specialists, these task force members not only regularly keep abreast of research, trends and developments in technology impacting the educational environment and society at large, but they also have hands-on experience and a strong sense of the specific problems, issues, requirements and potential solutions as related to their separate constituencies.
In a decentralized approach, site-based planning subcommittees each met independently to evaluate the status of the existing technology plan. The group examined the plan for both degree of completion and continued relevancy of goals and objectives. Within the context of the nine (9) target areas from the previous plan, and with an eye toward current trends and future opportunities in educational technology, current problems and technology-based solutions were identified and prioritized.
Each committee member received an edited copy of a NJDOE checklist, originally provided by the Camden County E.T.T.C., in advance of the initial meeting. The committee members were directed to use it as a guide in examining the current plan (1999-2002 Update) prior to attending. The checklist was distributed containing text representing a description of data required in the new document, as well as notes, observations, recommendations, etc., regarding how the new required items relate to information already included in the district's current plan.
Subcommittee feedback in the form of recommended insertions, deletions and modifications to the existing technology plan were gathered and provided to each of the representatives. Information was developed via a combination of group discussion, informal dialogue, and use of survey instruments.
Each member brought his/her consolidated subcommittee recommendations back to the task force in a general meeting. The group worked through the items requiring the least amount of effort and discussion during the first portion of the meeting, with the Action Plan (Target Areas, Goals & Tasks) revision consuming the balance of the available time.
Edited copy of core components of the plan were distributed to the committee members as available via e-mail attachments. Changes reflect those agreed upon by the group during the initial planning meeting. Copies of the edited Executive Summary, Action Plan (Target Areas, Goals & Objectives components), Planning Process, Current Environment components and Appendices were revised and shared with the committee members as they had become available. Recommendations for change, discussion and consensus were reached collaboratively using e-mail tools.
New additions to the plan were also developed, with drafts being periodically sent to all technology specialists seeking feedback from school-based subcommittees. These components include Student Technology Proficiencies by Grade Level, and Educational Technology Competencies for both teachers and administrators. The development of these new components consumed a significant portion of two follow-up planning meetings. These components have a significant impact on instructional technology integration planning strategies and staff development program development.
Additional community input had been obtained using a survey instrument designed to specifically address the Community Access Opportunities component of the action plan. Feedback concerning ways the district may use technology to improve home-school communications, provide access to technology resources and update information technology adult education courses was gathered. The Voorhees Township School District Information Officer and the Director of Community Education and Recreation had both contributed in the development of the survey instrument.
The survey was administered to the following groups: 1) Board of Education members; 2) Voorhees Educational Technology Association (V.E.T.A.) foundation officers; 3) Parent/Faculty Organization officers & Key Communicators Committee members. These groups are proven supporters of the school district and serve as representatives to larger bodies of community members.
All remaining feedback and input by subcommittees and community members were considered as the remaining components of the plan were completed. A final planning meeting was held, during which final decisions were made and house-keeping items were completed.
Board of Education Approval and submission of Technology Plan to County Office for approval had taken place in May, 2001.
At the conclusion of the strategic planning process, the Educational Technology Planning Committee had reaffirmed the continued viability of the nine (9) target areas that were included in the last two revisions of this document.
- Instructional Technology Programs and Initiatives
- Administration and Productivity Initiatives
- Community Access Opportunities
- Facilities, Hardware Resources and Infrastructure
- Software and Online Resources
- Staff Development Programs
- Educational Technology Staffing
- Maintenance, Service and Support
- Technology Resource Acquisition