Developing Technology Vision Statements

Dear Principals,

Let me ask you an honest—albeit uncomfortable—question:  If I asked you to explain the rationale behind the technology choices that your school is making, could you do it?

Could you:

  • Describe the kinds of things you’d like to see students doing with technology—and more importantly, how those actions and behaviors will ensure that your students and your school are more successful than they currently are?
  • Describe the core technology expectations you have for every teacher and team in your building—not just those who are drawn to new digital spaces and behaviors already?
  • Guarantee that every teacher in your building was aware of—and invested in—the same core technology expectations that you’ve embraced?
  • Prove that the choices made when spending your technology budget are supporting your school’s mission?

If these kinds of questions are hard for you to answer—if developing a systematic plan for integrating technology into your building’s practices that is connected to your core priorities has been more challenging than you expected—consider giving these planning documents a look:

 

Technology Planning Guide

High-functioning learning communities are driven by the core beliefs detailed in their mission, vision, values, and goals statements. Working together, parents, principals, and teachers define priorities that carry great implications for instruction.

Those priorities should play a role in all of the choices made by a school—including choices about the kinds of technology to incorporate into classrooms. Use this handout to ensure that your technology plans align with your school’s mission, vision, values and goals.

Technology Planning Scenario

Stories help to make complex ideas concrete—and will keep you focused on the core beliefs of your learning community when making decisions about digital behaviors, tools and projects to pursue. While every school should write their own collection of technology integration samples that detail the decisions of fictional teachers and teams that are effectively translating their mission, vision and core priorities in action, this piece is designed to serve as an example of the kinds of stories that can help to guide actions.

 

Crafting Technology Vision Statements

In Professional Learning Communities at Work (1998), Rick DuFour and Bob Eaker argued that effective vision statements in a PLC articulate, “a vivid picture of the organization’s future that is so compelling that a school’s members will be motivated to work together to make it a reality.”

Use this handout to begin crafting a set of 5-10 vision statements that articulate a vivid picture of what technology use will look like in your school’s future. Remember that all vision statements must be connected to your school’s mission.

 

Here’s to hoping that these documents—which I’ve created as a part of a two-day workshop that I’m developing centered around my newest book—are valuable to you.

And on that note, if you’ve got any feedback for me, I’d LOVE to hear it!  How could I improve these tools?  What am I missing when it comes to creating a pervasive, school-wide vision for teaching and learning with technology?

Thanks in advance for helping me to improve my work!

Rock on,

Bill

9 thoughts on “Developing Technology Vision Statements

  1. Stacy

    Bill,
    Great resources here, but I have a suggestion on the planning scenerios…you talk about crafting fictional scenerios, but I think it would be better to search for real scenerios. I think it promotes better buy-in when you reference a real place/event…

  2. Karen Szymusiak

    Bill,
    We crafted a Technology Plan last year that was more of a vision statement. But it was our first attempt. I want to go back to it now with your references in mind. It will be a great opportunity to reflect and refine.
    Thanks so much.

  3. Bill Ferriter

    Very cool, Kim!
    Im glad that the technology visioning documents looked valuable enough to you to use! If youve got the time, Id love to hear a bit of feedback about how they worked in action. What worked for you and your team? What didnt work? How would you change the documents?
    And if not, no sweat….just thought Id ask!
    Rock on,
    Bill

  4. Renee Hawkins

    Thanks for your timely response. Your suggestion is an interesting one and makes a lot of sense. Like most schools we have a mission statement, and I wonder how more discrete vision statement would affect the community because once you say it, you have to live it. This will make for the start of a great discussion with my PLPeeps and administrators. Thanks again!

  5. Bill Ferriter

    Hey Renee,
    Good to hear from you and glad that you found my PLP presentation to be helpful a few weeks back. Im always hopeful that the ideas I share will make sense to someone besides me!
    As far as your question about semantics goes, my view is that every school should have a mission statement that is focused on learning and learning alone. Then, they should craft vision statements for every discrete area that impacts learning—parent communication, budgeting, hiring, professional development, curriculum development, homework, etc.
    So the statements you see me suggesting here would be just one set of a larger collection, making the Technology title more sensible and appropriate.
    Does that make sense?
    Bill
    Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

  6. Renee Hawkins

    Bill, I am a member of the DublinDallas PLP Cohort and participated in the TPACK session you did a few weeks back. It was really instructive as were your wiki resources. Thanks!
    I’m wondering if there is an advantage to referring to the document you describe in this blog as a “Technology Vision Statement” as opposed to a “Vision Statement on Teaching and Learning” (other than it being unwieldy). It there an advantage to placing the focus on “technology” rather than “teaching” or “learning.” I work at a private school where teachers have a great deal of autonomy. Conversations that speak only to technology or technology integration seem to a) end quickly, or b) lapse into stories about Internet research or how dangerous Wikipedia is. I’ve been trying, as the Dir. of Instructional Technology, to direct the conversation to updating our practice and our learning outcomes. We are making progress (especially my PLPeeps), but could definitely use a clear statement of vision and outcomes. I’m eager to look at your planning documents, but still wonder if at this point in time, should the vision focus on technology or teaching and learning…even if the difference is only semantic.

  7. Trey Mohler

    Hey Mr. Ferriter,
    I am a student at the University of South Alabama. One of my projects in my Microcomputing Systems class, EDM310, I am required to post comments on the blogs of teachers.
    Your blog is very interesting. I wish I could have had more experience with technology in my years at grade school. The use of the Technology Planning Guide would be very helpful. I believe all teachers should be technologically literate. I respect what you are doing for students. If you have any questions about EDM310 I will leave my class link.
    http://www.edm310.blogspot.com
    Twitter @trey_mohler1

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