Mississipi Department of Education
Design and Implementation
In an effort to promote the integration of technology in the total educational program, this year the Mississippi Department of Education, through a taskforce of individuals from the public and private sectors, developed technology standards for school administrators. The seven (7) standards are in the areas of: vision; funding and long-range planning; professional development; model user; the learning environment; student learning; and legal, ethical, and security issues. Aligned with the Milken Seven Dimensions and NCATE Curriculum Guidelines, the standards are intended as a template for the development of future technology training for administrators.
The Mississippi Department of Education is in the process of developing a state-of-the-art Technology Academy for School Leaders. TASL, will be offered in regional locations statewide, will give administrators the knowledge and skill to provide effective leadership for the integration of technology in local schools and districts. Leadership teams composed of one superintendent and up to 4 principals from 70% of the accredited public and private school districts will participate in the academies.
The goals of the Technology Academy for School Leaders (TASL) are as ffollows:
These goals are aligned with the Mississippi Technology Standards for Administrators, available at: http://teacherexchange.mde.k12.ms.us/new/Announcements/mississippi_technology_standards_
The Mississippi Department of Education has adopted the team concept module in training for school districts. Many of the training modules offered to districts require teams of one administrator and one to two teachers depending upon the module. Through district feedback we have found that to effectively integrate change in a school or district there must be a collaborative effort of both administration and teachers. In designing the Team concept for TASL we applied these same principles. By creating teams of a Superintendent and four principals, all members will have a sense of ownership to the
project and its success.
The TASL will be based on the Authentic Task Approach (ATA), a research-based process that incorporates hands-on training with real-time, team-driven projects to set priorities and accomplish goals. Participants will work in teams on issues they select as important to technology integration in their school or district. Prior to attendance at the summer portion of the TASL, the teams will complete four sets of data:
These data will be completed and an issue to be addressed will be chosen prior to attendance at the retreat. Teams will make application for entrance into the program via a web-based application and be selected based on the district/schools' completion of the required data, their willingness to actively participate and support the process, and successful completion of the application.
The academy will engage school leaders in activities that show how technology fits into the larger picture of school reform. It will provide superintendents and principals with opportunities to understand the administrator's role in teacher professional growth and specific strategies for promoting the teacher's growth through the stages of technology integration. In addition activities on effective program evaluation and systemic reform will be conducted. SERVE and SEIR-TEC have developed quality resources on Comprehensive School Reform Model that will be built into the TASL.
Each TASL summer retreat will take place over three consecutive days. During this time the teams will focus on the issues they selected through the data gathering activity. During the school year, participants will engage in online activities to extend learning and collaborate on targeted issues during two follow-up retreat days approximately 3 months apart. Participants will have an opportunity for sharing products and celebrating successes.
First year teams will have the opportunity to mentor the second year teams. Through an extensive website, listserve, and other resources, the teams will have the support to continue with their projects. There will also be additional support through training and activities offered by the Mississippi Department of Education. The online activities will include participation in Connected University's online courses. Individual team members will receive a subscription to Connected University (CU) and will complete at least one of CU's 14 project-based courses. Other online activities will include participation in discussion groups, listservs, etc. Administrators will access courses for brushing up on basic skills as well as learning new technology concepts.