Colin's Sandbox

Role of art, collaboration, and emotional intelligence to technology planning (#aktechplan week 6)

by on Nov.22, 2013, under Technology Planning

I find it hard to conceptualize either a technology or strategic plan that evokes “creativity” outside of the mission statement area.  Its use and measure is seemingly just so subjective.  Instead of simply using the nebulous term “creativity” I would emphasize the ability of technology in the differentiation of student output while still meeting coursework objectives as a start.  In addition of stressing the importance of topics of “emotional intelligence” and “self-actualization” I would mention how computers can help students reach a worldwide network of peers with whom they can turn to for collaboration ideas, critical evaluation, encouragement, and opportunities to mentor others.

When it comes to examining SERRC’s most recent tech plan, there’s no mention of either art or any sort of emotional intelligence.  Specific mention of the word “collaboration” is found in a few different spots; namely between management and staff, between the agency (SERRC) and other leadership organizations, and between members of the technology committee.  In the technology goals explicitly spelled out, there’s two tools that in particular that are commonly used in what I would classify as a collaborative sense: WebEx, and Google Apps.  However, there’s no justification given for using these, simply that they are to be setup (WebEx) rolled out (Google Apps) and that staff would be trained on their use.  There are no benchmarks given for the evaluation of these goals.

It seems as though with all this catering we’re being seemingly being called upon to meet, it makes my head spin around a bit. I created this quick comic to demonstrate what I thought of when I think of the various warring factions all attempting to guide planning in their own interests (click to view full screen):


6 Comments for this entry

  • colin osterhout

    Andrea – It’s as if collaboration was a foregone conclusion. Well you just slap some of this in there and BOOM collaboration!

    Chris – I like the pilot program idea! Have you been involved in some examples with your district?

    Thomas – bingo, how do you measure creativity? I think it’s al relative to some potential that the student has. Is the student connecting the dots, putting the spit and polish on it so to speak, stretching the limits of the tools / workflows?

    Tiffany: http://stevebowen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/cart_before_the_horse1.jpg

  • Tiffany Pickrell

    SO TRUE!!! We, the educators, are spending so much time arguing about what is best with creativity, assessment and education it’s easy to miss what is going on. I think you’re right. We need to look up and see that the horse is already in front of the cart, we just need to drive the vehicle.

  • Thomas

    Colin,
    Great comic. Seems like admins and plan writers need to learn a little collaboration and emotional learning before writing some of these plans. Also, it is really hard for me to figure out how to measure creativity, does creativity get lowered when guidelines are set or does it just get that much stronger. Like YouTube vs. Vine?

  • Chris

    First thing that came to mind when I read your comic was, “If you hand it to them, they will do”. I want to build a kiosk or area with assigned devices. There will be quests to complete in the form of essential questions. A chest of imbued items (web 2.0and/or apps) to help them on their quest will be presented to them along with the promise of fame and fortune. They are also given a list of Mages (local and otherwise) who could help them along their way. When the boy or girl completes the epic mission, an assembly in their honor is held with the other brave missionaries.
    I didn’t find anything like that in our tech plan. I noticed the exact same thing you did. Most of the tech plan established policy around sustainability, prof. dev. & analyzing software. That being said, I understand the pull. We’re a large district with a lot riding on the success of the choices made with the funds directed to technology.
    I think our next tech plan should call for a pilot program that allowed for self actualization and the freedom to allow students to see all as applied learning.

  • Chris

    First thing that came to mind when I read your comic was, “If you hand it to them, they will do”. I want to build a kiosk or area with assigned devices. There will be quests to complete in the form of essential questions. A chest of imbued items (web 2.0and/or apps) to help them on their quest will be presented to them along with the promise of fame and fortune. They are also given a list of Mages (local and otherwise) who could help them along their way. When the boy or girl completes the epic mission, an assembly in their honor is held with the other brave missionaries.
    I didn’t find anything like that in our tech plan. I noticed the exact same thing you did. Most of the tech plan established policy around sustainability, prof. dev. & analyzing software. That being said, I understand the pull. We’re a large district with a lot riding on the success of the choices made with the funds directed to technology.
    I think our next tech plan should call for a pilot program that allowed for self actualization and the freedom to allow,students to see all as applied learning. Let’s let them make

  • Andrea

    Hi Colin,
    I too only found collaboration in my district’s tech plan. It referred to Parent/Teacher interactions and teacher to teacher collaboration. However, it did not state how or when it would be carried out or measured. This is a tough one!

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