Implementing Digital Technologies in my School District

The term “digital divide” has been used to describe many situations that have occurred in response to the increasing use of digital technologies in education. My pitch has taken the form of a review of the District Technology Plan for the district I work in. Many people involved in this course have expressed points of view that support the way their experience in the MET program has contributed to their views on education. How do we as educators facilitate change in our classrooms, schools and district to reflect what we feel to be important developments in education based on the affordances provided through digital technologies? If you are interested in facilitating change in your environment to enable learners to utilize these new tools for learning then by reviewing existing plans and providing input regarding technology implementation your knowledge and experience can make an impact.

Please view my report here


1 Cindy Leach { 12.02.09 at 4:55 am }

Hi Mark, as I read your pitch I myself am divided. I understand the issues with the digital divide, and I like your problem statement, but then I don’t find myself piqued to find out how you propose to fix it for your district. Perhaps in the executive summary you could give us some quick insites into a few of your ideas that would solve this problem?

2 Jeff Laird { 12.02.09 at 7:04 pm }

I have to agree – I’m not sure what the pitch is here. Are you advocating that teachers review their own districts plan? Are suggesting examining your plan to see to see where we should go? Are you proposing all teachers review and provide feedback to district technology plans?

I’m just not sure what the pitch is.

3 Mark Reed { 12.03.09 at 8:48 am }

Hello Cindy and Jeff
thanks for leaving your feedback. My original intention was to do a review of the technology plan for my district. This did not really fit with the assignment we were given but I check with the instructors and they were ok with it. What I learned was that applying what I am learning in the MET program to a real situation is difficult and challenging. I have made a video presentation and I have found that your comments are well founded in reviewing my own pitch. The two pieces that I am advocating are
1) not enough emphasis is being put on training teachers and getting them onside with implementing digital technologies into the classroom.
2) digital technologies are a new type of literacy and are very important to develop in students today, as well this is how students learn and are engaged.

I believe in what I was trying to pitch and will continue trying to refine and communicate my pitch more effectively.

4 Bev { 12.04.09 at 4:43 pm }

Hi Mark- You mention a video presentation- is it available- or did I miss something? I think that would really helpful in understanding where you are going with this.

Your points above re; training teachers is so very true. Through my research, teachers tell me that the most effective training they get is just-in-time and usually involves colleagues who are just around the corner.
Teachers need to have technical support that they can access immediately. It isn’t that they don’t think tech. is a good idea- they just don’t have time to spend fixing things- If it is too much of a bother- they’ll find another way to teach it.

5 Greg Lewis { 12.04.09 at 9:31 pm }


Your proposal is not the typical one where you are asking for money from investors per se. My take was that you were making a pitch to District 79 to modify their technology plan.
Just about everything you said regarding this, I agreed with since I had done a very large paper on a very similar topic in ETEC 532 which covered major barriers to change in terms of teachers using technology in constructivist type learning environments. That part was effectively communicated and well done.
A couple of things that I thought could have been discussed that would have made the pitch stronger were:
1. For in-service to occur or Pro-D for teachers, the District has to commit funding which is a money issue. Most teachers, myself included, are not going to show up on a Saturday morning or after school (especially if we already volunteer 150 hours plus per year as coaches) on our own time for the most part. Funded release time would definitely go a long way to getting people on board.
2. Minor but…if a copy of the tech plan was there I could/would have been able to cross reference it with the comments you made which might have made things a little easier.

I thought your point on infrastructure was bang on – putting something on a piece of paper/theory is one thing but having the physical capacity to do it is another and again, that is a money issue.

Given the sad state of affairs of most districts financially speaking, I don’t think that many would provide the funding necessary to make your ideas a reality on a large scale – which is really unfortunate for us in the MET program that teach in public schools.


6 Len Pelletier { 12.05.09 at 3:05 pm }

Hi Mark,

I agree with your assessment that teacher technology training is sorely lacking. This is the case in my district as well (39) and I suspect every district.

However, I also wonder if this is the result of an intrinsic flaw in the top-down model for introducing technology, where the district decides what to use and then trains teachers to use it. I wonder what would happen if the district supported “grass-roots” technology projects started by ambitious teachers themselves?

7 Ernest Pao { 12.05.09 at 4:07 pm }

Hi Mark…having read your pitch, I certainly agree that there is a “digital divide” present amongst our schools. I applaud your efforts in wanting to take charge and provide your district with a Technology Plan to facilitate change in the classrooms. My only concern from this pitch is that you haven’t mentioned how you are going to do this. From your last sentence, “If you are interested in facilitating change in your environment to enable learners to utilize these new tools for learning then by reviewing existing plans and providing input regarding technology implementation your knowledge and experience can make an impact”, I get the impression that you are trying to create some sort of forum where teachers could provide input into your plan. Am I right? It’s difficult to explain everything in 150 words or less, but I sure you’ve explained in much more detail in your full pitch.



8 Barbara Mair { 12.05.09 at 7:29 pm }


You mention a video. I have not seen it but i think you need to sell your point better. From what i am reading here it is a very common problem and a great need for someone to come up with a creative solution. You need to get people’s attention with a simple compelling message. I think you have studied the problem thoroughly and have thought through what needs to be done. I believe you need to present it more convincingly. Remember budgets are very small and getting squeezed constantly. Why invest in this rather than in another pressing matter. Good luck

9 dawinder mann { 12.05.09 at 9:27 pm }

Hi Mark,

As the others before I was also a little confused of what your pitch was but then reliezed what you were after. I also believe their is a digital divide.

Within our district Im currently in the process of conducting a research study that will deal with some of the issues you mentioned in your district technology plan analysis. I agree with you that many districts approach technology top down. They purchase hardware/ software and the expect teachers will automaticaly use it. This does not happen. Many teachers require a lot of training before they are confortable with anything.

As Barbara mentioned in the previous post, you have some great ideas but you need to present them in away that will gather and sustain an audience. Creating a video could surely help.

Overall good job!

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