Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Using Technology to Raise the Achievement of All Students

Those of us working in the Assistive Technology field often look for tools that will improve professional practice. This can include new technologies for our students but it can also include resources that serve to identify where we need to concentrate our personal resources. The Using Technology to Raise the Achievement of All Students project is a major initiative of CoSN (The Consortium for School Networking). They have developed a valuable tool that can improve technology integration and facilitate learning for ALL students. Their website explains their admirable goal:

The goal of this initiative is increased achievement and success for all students through the unlimited and effective use of accessible technologies.

It is our core belief that accessible technologies and the close collaboration of assistive technology (AT) and instructional technology (IT) services at the school district level will enhance and facilitate learning for all students – those with disabilities and those without disabilities.

As part of their mission, they have created an online self-assessment tool that allows one to obtain immediate feedback for school district analysis in six areas - Vision, Communication and Collaboration, Infrastructure, Funding, Professional Development, and Instruction and Assessment. These areas are believed to be critical to ensuring that students have access to technologies that support engagement with the curriculum and promote learning. The survey takes less than ten minutes to complete and provides instantaneous analysis, comparison to other school districts that have completed the survey and resource information. It is possible to quickly determine where your district strengths and weaknesses are.

Gather your tech team and your administrators and complete the online survey. Analyze the results and explore the resources for best practices. Move your district forward through collaboration and evaluation. There is so much that can be done and this tool will help you identify the areas that require district energy and resources to improve learning opportunities for ALL learners.

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