2001 Conference Proceedings

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Don Johnston, CEO
Don Johnston Incorporated

Educational computer technology holds the promise of educational achievement for all students, especially students with special education needs. Since the early 1980’s, schools have invested in hardware and software. With the explosion of the internet, schools are becoming wired and linked across great distances.

Students are surrounded by technology but have limited successful experiences using computers in the learning process. Students with special needs can achieve more and faster when they are matched with interventions that match their learning styles. Students achieve more when educators expect more of them. Students achieve more when the technology and learning are integrated throughout the educational process.

Critical elements that enable schools to achieve educational success for all students include:

Some have viewed the goal as getting technology into classroom. However, curriculum needs to be the driving force for selecting and using the technology. The real goal is learning and how technology can make learning happen. Repeatedly, schools are identifying professional development as a critical need. Successful schools invest as much as 50% of the technology budget on staff training and on-going support. The typical approach of teaching educators how to use products doesn’t work because educators leave the training enthusiastically but really do not know how to, when to or why to use what they just learned. Educators need to acquire a foundation of learning strategies to apply to the use of technology.

Integrating technology is more than finding a space for it. Successful technology integration means system-wide change in the way teaching and learning happens. Technology integration has to permeate the entire educational process and every learning environment. The system needs to understand the change process in order to face the dramatic challenges of resistance and change.

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand how to integrate technology with sound educational pedagogy

  2. Identify their professional development needs

  3. Understand the change process and how it applies to technology integration

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