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Principles of Good Practice notes

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[These are the minutes of a meeting of the NAIS Principles of Good Practice for Technology committee: The NAIS Technology Task Force on 21st century Curriculum and Technology. We welcome your comments on the discussion page. The draft approved by the committee will be sent to the NAIS board for adoption.--Albert Throckmorton, task force chair.]

NAIS 21st Century Curriculum & Technology Task Force

March 21, 2006

On conference call: Chris Atwood, Steve Bergen, Susan Booth, Will DeLamater, Karen Douse, Lorrie Jackson, Joe Hofmeister, Curt Lineneck, Pamela Livingston, Kevin McAllister, Demetri Orlando, Albert Throckmorton

Unavailable: Jamie Britto, Tim Fish, Bill Freitas, Peter Hess,


  • Clearly articulated Principles that Apply to all Schools
  • Set a Standard
  • Set a Positive Tone
  • NOT to proscribe practice or individual details
  • To raise the bar, be Paul Reveer-ish, cutting-edge, write something with teeth,
  • not vanilla
  • Don’t let them off the hook
  • Do PGPs don’t set the bar for the most advanced schools?
  • Should these PGP be visionary? Pointing to where we ought to be
  • A principle doesn’t mean you accomplish it--Steve
  • Preface to the PGP

Preamble—to make a case for the principles

  • Rationale, Digital immigrants, 21 century learners
  • “Technology includes…”
  • Techie leadership vs. democratic leadership/ownership
  • Why does technology deserve a set of principles?
  • Technology is an important element.
  • 21st century learning is impossible without technology.
  • What are 21st c. skill, student, methodology?
  • Technology is not an add-on, it is integral, essential to the new teaching environment
  • Technology is an inevitable, integral part of the school.
  • Technology is not exclusive of professional growth, hiring, teacher competence, strategic plan, evaluation


1. Technology supports the school’s missions and goals. [Too broad?]

  • "The school implements technology that supports the mission and goals of the school."

2. The school has a clearly articulated vision for how technology supports learning.

  • "The school clearly articulates and publishes its vision for how technology is used to support learning."
  • What do we mean by technology? Modern, digital? Educational? Administrative?
  • Don’t want to let people off the hook. Joe
  • Want teeth in these principles.
  • Title: PGP for integrating technologies into Independent school programs Add a modifier?
  • Technology changes and moves ahead and that is why these PGPs are different so the vision for technology will need to change too.

“It’s not about tech. It’s about information and communication.” (Demetri quoting Alan November)

3. The school’s key IT leader serves as a member on the school’s central administrative leadership team.

4. *The school cultivates technology leadership among all stakeholders. • Buy-in. developing leaders. Ownership. Enpowerment. Decision-making Community. • The school systems and culture promotes the development of technology leaders. The school, through its systems and culture, cultivates technology leadership among all stakeholders • Albert: Success is dependent upon its integration in the school culture • Joe: A school should be looked to as a leader in the way people learn. • Pamela:Technology changes and moves ahead and that is why these PGPs are different. None of the other areas change with the pace of technology, so technology plans need to adapt and morph a lot more than other areas. • We need to address that Technology changes and the vision for technology will need to change also. • Fundamental role of leader in keeping up with change and consistently presenting that vision.

5. The school provides equitable access to technology among stakeholders on campus and at home.

6. Technology is included in the strategic plan, annual review and evaluation of school programs. (move to leadership?) • Essential that Technology should be be included in the strategic planning, annual review, any evaluation; that tech should not be omitted from those normal school processes.


  • From Secondary School Educators PGPs [Joe]
  "4.  Secondary school educators teach to the learning styles, abilities, and life experiences of their students. 
  10. Secondary school educators prepare students to take advantage of subsequent opportunities for learning 
        and to take their places as members of a democratic       society and the global community."

1. Technology can tranform the way we teach and learn and can change the roles of teachers & students. • Doing things that weren't possible before • Learning can be more student-centric with technology. And when the students has the means of production, the dynamic of the classroom changes as technology becomes more prevalent and more essential. Pamela

2. The school will constantly strive to improve learning using technology. [Why?]

3. 21st century learning is impossible without technology. • Kurt: The things that really touch my heart as teacher are those things that are compelling for kids. And what distinguishes the technology iniatives that are outstanding is that they couldn’t have been accomplished without the technology, and if we can hone in on that…but schools that are student-centered now really can’t continue to do things, even very compelling things, without taking into account these different sort of kids that are coming in. It is the learning principles that accomplish compelling curriculum by doing things that simply aren’t possible without the technology that’s there that really move us. • Kevin: “The available technologies [21st. c.] now can provide learning opportunities that without technology are not possible.” Heads need to hear that. Joe: YES! • Kurt: And now if your school in the 21st c. is not moving toward providing those kinds of experiences for children, then you can’t honestly say you are compliant with PGP. • Kevin: Three facet of technology--productivity and communication tools that can change the nature of the pedagogy in a way that was impossible before. Communication and productivity are different. Paradigns have shifted. That’s what allows teacher to change the nature of the way they teach and learn.

4. Productivity and communication tools change the nature of pedagogy. The learning environment is different.

5. The dynamics of the classroom change as technology becomes more prevalent and essential.

6. Learning targets the acquisition of 21st century skills using 21st century. technologies.

7. Learning involves 21st century skills, a 21st century. technology rich environment, and 21st century methodologies. • School needs to use these modern methods which are accessible by technology: collaboration, media literacy, problem-solving, critical thinking, research skills, self-direction, and global awareness. [Pamela and Lorrie: put this list elsewhere because it will change faster than the PGPs. It needs to be another resource that can be updated more often.] • Technology makes this possible and should therfore be used. [Joe] • Educators teach 21st century skills in the classroom (Lorrie/Joe) and use 21st instructional methodology [delivery of instruction ] (Pamela). Classroom teaching and learning embraces 21 c. skills/literacies. • Is “21st century” meaningful? [Steve] • 21st c. is problemmatic and impossible to define. “The school will strive to constantly seek to enhance learning using appropriate technologies.” [There is an active process going at all time believing that technology can infact enhance learning.] [Kevin] • 21st century learning is a defined term. [Pamela]

8. Students are using technology in authentic hands-on ways.

9. The school selects only those technologies that enhance the learning environment. (trying to say "don't buy the bells and whistles just 'cause you have the money", instead purposeful use of technology)


1. Classroom teachers embrace technology tools in the delivery of instruction, and technology integration is part of the teacher's tool-set. • Delivery of instruction embraces 21st c. skills.

2. Technology supports the diverse learning styles and needs of students.

3. Technology is implemented in a developmentally-appropriate manner (see appendix A). • Be aware of the age, be aware of the learning style. • Albert: Too much too sone. Technology is introdcued too soon to youngsters. • Joe: Too little too late. We’re using old technology • Lorrie: Technology meets the learning style of every student • Pamela: Don’t commit to when it should be introduced.

4. Educators integrate/infuse meaningful technology within the normal curriculum. • Curriculum drives technology use, not vice versa • Kevin: Teaching with technology and about technology needs to integrated into the normal curriculm. • Susan; “infuse”?

5. Schools understand that teaching with technology as well as teaching appropriate use of technology is important.

6. Technology fluency (info literacy/proficiency) is the responsibility of all educators . • Teachers and librarians working collaboratively

Professional Development 1. The school sets expectations for skills and proficiencies and provides the means to achieve them. • Growth comes from the inside; training for the outside. Does this provide an “out” for a teacher who says, “I wasn’t given the proper means to achieve proficiency.” • From NAIS Principles of Good Practice: Teachers and Supervisors of Teachers

        "5. The teacher initiates growth and change in her own intellectual and professional development, seeking out conferences, courses, and other opportunities to learn."

2. The teacher initiates growth and change in her own intellectual and professional development, seeking out conferences, courses, and other opportunities to learn technology and implement best technology practices for her discipline. • Technology is an essential part of professional growth • Educators recognize their responsibility to acquire skills and keep current on technology instructional developments in their subject areas. • Technology should be included in the definition of professional growth targets. • Change the culture of professional development. Teachers learn from each other. Communities of learning. • Educators aquire necessary technology skills in their work to integrate technology into curriculum. • Technology is an inevitable, integral part of the school. (preamble?) • Every teacher needs to acquire and use these tools.

3. The school budgets for and provides the necessary resources to aquire and learn technology.

Character Development 1. The school educates students, teachers, and parents about the safe, ethical, and appropriate use of technology resources. • (action step: AUP in place?) 2. Students are taught critical internet skills.

Evaluation 1. The school regularly evaluates how technology contributes to the school's program. (move to leadership?) • Avoid tying it to student achievement, test scores • Technology offers things that aren’t as measurable. 2. The school involves stakeholders in assessing how technology contributes to student learning. Technology may enhance how we assess learning. 3. The school aligns itself with nationally recognized standards and benchmarks. 4. The school solicits input into the success of its technology initiatives from all community members: students, parents, teachers, staff, and others. • Assessment component of tech program • Kevin: add how technology helps us assess learning

Infrastructure and Administrative Operations [Not reviewed--ran out of time] 1. The school uses technology to support efficient administrative operations. 2. The school has adequate technology staffing and/or consultants consistent with its size and operations. 3. All aspects of the school's technology infrastructure are documented and protocols are in place to recover from network issues both minor and major. 4. The school stores all important data securely and backs up the data consistent with best practices. 5. The school budgets adequately for technology

Other Proposed Products and Services

  • NAIS conference session directed to heads to unpack the PGP
  • Independent School magazine article or NAIS monograph about What is a 21st century learner? What are those skills? What are those tools? A visionary statement to answer the questions that the PGP will raise
  • What needs to be included in New Head Training?
  • Evidences, preconditions, component of a 21st century technology-rich environment that is dated and updated every 2 years.
  • Appendix A: what technology is developmentally appropriate for which age?
  • Independent school technology Benchmarks and Standards

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