Last week I wrote in my blog about who was responsible for teaching the tech standards to students. I also briefly touched on how do we ensure that the standards are being met within an integrated model. This week I want to expand on this based on how I could ensure that my students are meeting the tech standards in an integrated model in my art room.
As I said before good planning and communication can go a long way to making sure tech standards are being met. The plan would be made by the admin and the tech team. It would then be shared with the school including myself.
To begin with a thorough plan on what to do is essential. The plan will allow me to see and understand how the standards will be integrated. It will clearly lay out all of the objectives that need to be met and how to do it on a school wide basis. It should also specify my role as a teacher and make me aware of what needs to done and within a specified timeline.
So as an Art teacher, how do I make sure the tech standards are being integrated into my subject area based on what my school has outlined?
Once I understand what the school wants I would look at the different units that have a technology component and see how the standards work with them. If the technology I am using for that unit does not fit into any standards, then I would modify the units so the use of technology was clearer and met the specific standards.
It could also be helpful if I used integrated tech standards as part of a goal for my yearly evaluation. This would allow me to consciously focus on the standards and let my administrators see the progress I was making towards this. In a way this would also take care of any accountability issues and this is ensures that I am following the plans set out by the school.
Getting feedback through peer evaluation or a structure like Critical Friends can be helpful and informative. Having my peers see what I am doing can be very insightful and help me look at new and different ways I integrate the tech standards in my classes. It is important to get this feedback as I may have missed something or I can simply learn new ways of integrating the standards. Another pair of eyes will often help you see things in a new way.
Lastly, I can also look at things just by using self assessments to see if I am teaching and integrating the standards. I can identify the standards I teach to my students and match them up to when and where I teach them in my art classes. If I taught them, I make a note of it and if I don’t or can’t, I can see if some of my colleagues are teaching them and those standards can get covered from somewhere else. I have to remember that I can teach many of the standards, but some of them may not be very applicable to Art. It is alright if they covered in other subject areas.
There are many ways that I can make sure that they are being integrated into my Art classes. It just takes some commitment and determination to do it on my part. It also helps to have a clear direction of where to go and the support of my admin, tech team and my colleagues. In the end it is important to remember that once the standards are integrated into my classes they will just become a regular part of my program.