Although the district has both an Information Technology Literacy Program and a Technology Education Curriculum that is not to say that it condones teaching about technology for technologys sake. The philosophy statement, educational technology goals, and the instructional computing program overview portions of the curriculum guide clearly indicate that Voorhees Township Schools view technology-based resources as tools for teaching and learning, rather than as objects of study. In the variety of ways in which the program is implemented, the objectives related to the traditional content areas are always primary in focus, while the technology-related concepts and skills linked to each lesson are secondary. Students are actively engaged, motivating them to be successful in mastering content while developing 21st century skills.
The Information Technological Literacy program represents those technology-related concepts and skills (e.g., keyboarding, word processing, multimedia, etc.), as defined in the Student Information Technology Knowledge & Skills Matrix that are developed as students work through courseware, applications software, multimedia authoring and tools for learning across content areas. This locally developed program is congruent with both the National Educational Technology Skills (NETS) and the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standard 8.1 for Educational Technology. As these state and national standards have been revised, a key activity in this plan is the revision of the Student Information Technology Knowledge & Skills Matrix.Technology-Infused Instruction relates to the inclusion of technology-related objectives within curriculum guides for academic content areas (e.g., word processing and desktop publishing objectives in the language arts, spreadsheet formulas in math, database manipulation and distance learning tools in the social studies, etc.). Those methodologies which provide students access to technology resources and engage them in activities that lead to the acquisition of concepts and skills, whether to reinforce or extend learning, conduct research, or promote problem solving ability, extend creativity, and foster the development of higher order thinking skills. Incorporating more of the elements from the Framework for 21st Century Learning and Goal #2 from the Educational Technology Plan for New Jersey in our activity planning will promote real-world learning and heighten global awareness. Delivering educational content using available technology tools by the teacher during instruction in the classroom also falls in this category.The Technology Education program teaches students about the nature of technology and the human designed world. This is done through Technology Learning Activities (TLA) and Thematic Units which allow the students to design and fabricate solutions in areas such as computer aided drafting (CAD), robotics, structures, space, transportation, etc. The design challenges relate to real world situations. Students work cooperatively, using a design process to develop critical thinking skills as well as skills in material processing and safety. The revised 2009 NJCCC Standard 8.2 for Technology Education, Engineering and Design will drive future modifications to this program.
Assistive Technology The effective integration of technology into curriculum-oriented efforts may require support and assistance. Assistive technology is incorporated into the instructional setting in such a way that education is facilitated without calling undue attention to the technology being used, or to its user. An assistive technology strategy bank is maintained by the districts Special Services to assist educators with examples of methods and ideas, and accommodations are made for students for whom assistive technology has been determined to be necessary. Each students individualized education program is consistent with academic program, district and assistive technology guidelines. Appropriate staff training is provided for teachers responsible for students requiring adaptive resources, and in class support is offered by building technology specialists.
These programs are delivered in a variety of ways in different environments, with all staff members assured access to the resources needed to facilitate appropriate technology integration.