Technology Plans, the Policy by the People: But is it for the People?

My initial thoughts on the topic of Technology Plans in schools were very chilling. My low technical reasoning score propelled me to emphatically and unyieldingly throw out a variety of other topic ideas. Nevertheless, my colleagues felt this is a topic that is drawing local and national news attention in the public education arena, and a great topic for discussion. My group members went through a questioning process of “How?, Who?, Where? and When?”.

The “How” questions dominated the conversation and lead to very specific questions that forced us to narrow the topic by examining how technology plans and programs work in our respective school divisions. The “How” questioning series gave insight on how long, how often, or how many challenges lie ahead. The “How” questions allowed the group to select a topic that we could speak to intellectually and with confidence, excitement and enthusiasm. One of the easier ways to narrow the focus of our WIMBA discussion was to quickly brainstorm, asking questions and quickly ruling out topics of noninterest. The prepared questions provided by the professional faculty of Virginia Commonwealth University also aided in the topic selection. With the brainstorming activities and the guided questions, the group was able to select the topic of Technology Plans and Virginia Public School Authority (VPSA) Funds.

The group discussed the implementation of the “Who” questions related to stakeholders affected by decisions of the plan and which groups or communities are most affected by the plan. The discussions lead us to the subtopics and agenda items of who benefited from the plan and which groups were marginalized by the plan. The group was eager to share who were affected both positively and negativity by the initiatives of the plan in our schools divisions.

The technology plan was a bit more challenging to narrow down our topic with the “Why” questions and responses as to why we selected this topic. Albeit a difficult process, it allowed the team to brainstorm ideas as to why we selected technology plans as the focus for our topic and ultimately our WIMBA discussion. We asked what drives the decision making bodies to allocate resources and make the decisions on hardware and infrastructure to name a few. Several of my teammates found this to be an easy topic to discuss because their current profession. Once we approached the “Why’” questions, we were truly able to narrow our topic of discussion to Technology Plan Implementation and VPSA Funding. This type of questioning provoked us to think about how resources could be allocated. It allowed us to look at the topic through different lenses and do a self- reflection.

Where? and When?
Understandably, the “Where” questions were related to LEAs and smaller locations within a community. This type of question leads us to a very involved discussion of how prevalent inequities were with the dispersement of resources in different Local Education Associations (LEAs). The topic did not lend itself to an involved discussion on the “When”; however the processes of question lead us to narrow our topic and begin the building of resources for our Wikki site.

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