Implementation Principles for Technology

In a DOE Challenge grant, Barbara Means and her colleagues at SRI cited vital implementation principles for the role of technology in facilitating school reform:

  1. Time must be devoted to developing a unifying vision;
  2. Good curricular content must precede technology design;
  3. Technology should be used across subject matters and classrooms;
  4. Adequate technology access is needed for all students;
  5. Easily accessible technical support is critical;
  6. Teachers need time to learn to use technology and to incorporate it into their curricular goals;
  7. The project must provide opportunities for teachers to collaborate with peers;
  8. The system should provide rewards and recognition for exemplary technology-supported activities; and
  9. Technology has its greatest impacts when placed in the hands of students.

Means, et al conducted a very comprehensive study over a range of projects, looking at the benefits of computer technology for students. Teachers reported that technology enhanced their efforts by:

  1. adding to the students’perception that their work is authentic and important;
  2. increasing the complexity with which students can deal successfully;
  3. dramatically enhancing student motivation and self-esteem;
  4. making obvious the need for longer blocks of time for projects;
  5. creating a multiplicity of roles, leading to student specialization in different aspects of technology use;
  6. instigating greater collaboration with students helping peers and sometimes their teachers; and
  7. giving teachers additional impetus to take on a coaching and advisory role.