Monday, November 30, 2009

Pre-K Technology Applications TEKS

In summarizing the Pre-K Technology Applications TEKS for Kindergarten I thought I would paste in a few of my personal highlights.

1."Families are a child’s first and most important teachers. They represent perhaps the single most influential factor in their children’s development. While curricula, educators, and early care settings all contribute significantly to children’s learning and development, the fact remains that prekindergarten programs cannotafford to overlook the important impact that families have on their children."-REVISED TEXAS PREKINDERGARTEN GUIDELINES TEKS 2008.
Wow! This is great that it is posted right up front on the TEKS for Pre-K Technology in the introduction. If you wish to see further detail check the link here at
As a Secondary educator it is often too easy to forget the crucial developmental stages everyone goes through. Some of us are lucky to have good parenting and family or guardian support others not so much.
2."Teachers individualize instruction to facilitate children’s developmental progress."-Pre-K TEKS for Kindergarten 2008.
This sounds very familiar to me. I bet it does to you too!
3. Gradual Release Model
1. Teacher models, demonstrates
and thinks out loud.
Child watches.
2. Teacher does task.
Child helps.
3. Child does task.
Teacher helps.
4. Child completes task
Teacher watches.
(Pearson and Gallagher, 1983)-Pre-K TEKS for Kindergarten 2008.
The above model is a beautiful common sense approach to how we learn. Is it not?
4. Some more tips that sound familair in my PLC training. Keep in mind to get this done we have to manage those precious variables TIME-LEARNING if done properly it equals SUCCESS! Nobody said it was easy though. Flexible and creative scheduling and tutorial and enrichment times can do wonders though!
• Provides the teacher the opportunity to individualize instruction and meet special needs.
Small groups:
• Allows children more opportunity for talking,
• Provides the teacher opportunity for scaffolding, and
• Encourages hands‐on activities and child discovery.
Large groups:
• Build a sense of community, and
• Set the stage for the introduction of themes, information about new concepts, and review.

Long Range Plan for Technology

In reading the Texas long range plan for technology I became much more aware of the necessary vision needed to keep educational technology on the cutting edge in the state of Texas.
I was of course somewhat aware of NCLB but the impact and necessary alignment of the National Educational Technology Plan and the Texas LRPT(long range plan for technology) but did not fathom the depths of planning and specific needs assessments that would be necessary to pull off a plan so all encompassing as technology in education. Timelines and plans for funding and leadership are all specifically adddressed. Instructional leaders need the overview of the technology plan and how it aligns to make their own schools are up to standards and on proper timelines. Educating community stakeholders of it's signifigance is also vital for succes.

Technology Assessments

I can see more clearly now how these different technology assessment instruments can be very useful inimproving our use of technology in education. Obviously you must first know where you stand before you can know where you are going. Each instrument provides a unique look into where the state of technology and it's proper use depending on whether one is a teacher, administrator or technology director. I can clearly see how these intruments may be very useful if used properly. One obvious use is to determine where proper training and expertise is needed in your building and or on your staff. This information may also guide administrators to specify needs to third party trainers.
My own responses made me think and realize still how much I don't know. THiugh i considerate myself computer literate there is a world of benefits i am missing by not utilizing all of the tools available to me as an educator. This leads me to reflect"If I can't do it..What makes me think that my future staff will do it" (utilize technology to it's fullest). I can definitely improve here. Whether a technology leader or a principal modeling technology proficiently is highly valuable and more and more a necessity.
I am convinced that assessments like these are valuable tools but am still somewhat unconvinced of their validity. This concern is mainly due to lengthiness of the instrument. It would be great if something simpler was available. I just think many teachers will rush through the survey putting down what he/she thinks they should instead of thinking it through. I guess the teacher StarChart does somthing similar yet less time consuming. On a more positive note it is obvious that districts trying to make sound data based decisions can use these instruments in a variety a ways to improve learning in the school house and that is what it is all about!