This assignment was very informative and eye opening. I definitely think that performing this evaluation would be a great way to orient myself to any schools’ technology maturity if I were a newly hired technology director. This evaluation would need to be updated yearly though because technology use could change rapidly depending on lots of different factors such as new technologies, curriculum revision, training sessions, and more. After completing this evaluation I was able to get a sense of what areas needed addressing within the school’s technology plan. I think it would also be helpful if the Maturity Model Benchmark was updated to include all the changes we have seen in educational technology since 1998. Subsections that deal with wireless networks, mobile devices, interactive whiteboards, etc. would be great to add to this model. Overall, I really enjoyed this assignment and learned a lot about how to really learn about a school’s technological maturity.
Learning about digital inequality was very informative. The digital divide is not something I have thought much about because where I grew up everyone I knew had computers and access to the Internet. Being a teacher, I have seen students who do not have the Internet or computers at home and the struggles they face to keep up with the technology. Being more aware of the digital inequality in my own school will greatly help my instruction. When using technology in the classroom, I know that some students may understand the technology more quickly if they have it at home. Knowing this allows me to meet the needs of all students when using technology in the classroom.
The seven options we were given to explore digital inequality really helped break down the possibilities for how the digital divide can be fixed. We discovered that providing low cost or free Internet would most likely be the best solution to bridge the gap because it would cover two of the main reasons for digital inequality—availability and accessibility. Providing training to students about the technology could cover literacy, another reason for the digital divide. Students of the 21st century have to have access to technology to keep up with their education. By not having access to the Internet, they are shut off from endless resources that other students have at their fingertips. My focus was creating free educational content for all which I found would not be the most economical use of funds because if students don’t have access to the internet they can’t view the content. This issues of access and availability need to be addressed before creating new content.
Collaborating with the gamma group was a fun experience. I had never been a part of a group meeting using Blackboard Collaborate’s Elluminate, and it was great how we could view the project together and discuss the seven options and goals for the presentations. I definitely want to learn more about Elluminate and how to use all the components of the program to conduct meetings. It was also very informative hearing the different opinions on digital inequality. Our group used Google form to discuss meeting times, Google docs to collect research, and Google presentation to complete the assignment. It was helpful gaining experience with all these programs.
Through the development of our presentation we utilized many technologies as mentioned above. This project required us to manage resources to create an effective presentation. This artifact aligns with AECT standards 2.4, 3.2, 3.4, and 4.2.