SEDL Monthly: Advancing Research, Improving Education March 2008

Welcome to SEDL Monthly, our new SEDL news bulletin

Each month we'll bring you information about new SEDL products and professional development plus information that you might find useful in your district or school. This month’s bulletin is devoted to technology issues.

Technology as a Catalyst for School Communities book cover

To order Technology as a Catalyst for School Communities, call SEDL’s publications department at 1-800-476-6861 or order online. The cost for the book is $22.

new at SEDL

New Book by SEDL Program Director Shows How Technology Can Change Teaching, Learning, and Schools

A new book co-authored by SEDL program director K. Victoria Dimock and former SEDL employee Mary Burns has been released by Rowman and Littlefield Publishers. Technology as a Catalyst for School Communities: Beyond Boxes and Bandwidth shows how three very different schools handle the challenges of integrating technology into their classrooms. The book has received rave reviews from administrators and professors around the world.

 “The book is more about creating a community of practice than it is about integrating technology into the classroom,” says Dimock. “We present a framework of professional development to help teachers to become a community of practice as they learn to integrate technology into their classrooms. This framework makes it possible for teachers to collaborate and adopt new ways of thinking and learning."

Burns and Dimock refer to the framework as the 5J approach. It ensures that each professional development activity has the following characteristics:

  • Job-related: The professional development is focused on instructional and curricular needs.
  • Just enough: The professional development emphasizes increased comfort, not proficiency with computers.
  • Just in time: The professional development provides teachers with skills when needed and focuses on using only the tools they have at their disposal.
  • Just in case: The professional development encourages teachers to plan sufficiently in the event of a computer malfunction.
  • Just try it: The professional development includes enough pressure and support to compel teachers to use computers in their classrooms.

Kathleen Fulton, director of Reinventing Schools for the 21st Century says, “The cases presented give one optimism that even veteran teachers can become the vanguard of school change in the right circumstances. The framework Dimock and Burns present shows what is at the heart of teacher change: a supportive community.”

View other technology products available at the SEDL Store. SEDL products support high-quality teaching, improved learning, and increased student performance.

tips and tools

Planning into Practice book cover
Planning into Practice
Buy now

Components of a Good Technology Plan Discussed in Planning Into Practice

A good technology plan should contain the following key components:

  • A vision statement
  • An assessment of current technology use in your district
  • Curriculum integration.
  • An evaluation plan
  • Equitable and practical access for teachers and students
  • Professional development
  • Community engagement
  • Infrastructure

To learn more about creating a technology plan, you may want to order Planning into Practice from the SEDL Web site, or by calling our publications department at 800-476-6861. The book costs $20.

Free Resources

Technology Professional Development and Lesson Plans Available from National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning

digital storytelling screenshot

Digital Storytelling” is one of ten sample technology lessons included in the Afterschool Training Toolkit found online on the National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning Web site. The Partnership is supported by the US Department of Education’s 21st Century Learning Centers program. SEDL is one of seven partners who have worked to identify and disseminate promising practices in afterschool.

The technology component of the Afterschool Training Toolkit focuses on six promising practices in technology:

  • Developing self-expression and creativity
  • Gathering and sharing information
  • Finding and solving problems
  • Living and working with technology
  • Learning in virtual spaces

There are two lesson plans for each promising practice as well as a description of each promising practice, a standards refresher, and instructions for additional activities.

Besides technology, the toolkit contains components for the arts, literacy, mathematics, science, and homework.

View other free resources available on the SEDL Web site. Subscribe to SEDL Letter, our award winning magazine that examines issues that affect schools and districts today: teaching, reading, hiring and supporting quality teachers, and improving student achievement.

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Questions or comments should be directed to:
Leslie Blair
4700 Mueller Blvd.
Austin, TX 78723
Phone: 512-391-6507
Fax: 512-476-2286