Kentucky School Leader - Spring/Summer 2013 - (Page 6)

FEATURE Smart Decisions and Techno-fear: Evaluating Equity, Cyber-Bullying and Awareness By: Christopher Wells, Director of IT Policies and Communications Gwinnett County Public Schools, GA I n many school districts, technology and fear go hand-in-hand. The any school districts, technology and fear c oo di tri ric technology d ear hn o ha d-i hand-i a ha d-in-hand. e an fear is steeped rhetoric, misunderstandings, news articles d even fear is steeped in rhetoric, misunderstandings, news articles and even steeped t pe h o c isunder isunde s sund dings, ne ew t e h bi hubris. Principals hubris. Principals or school district administrators filter and throttle i i als scho district administrators filter nd throttle school istr cho dministr m i r minis ra istra d throt e hrot o technology to th point uselessness Our stud ts, however, technology to the point of uselessness. Our students, however, go home e h the uselessness. e s stu tudent h h home and do whatever th wish on th i h dd h t they i h h their home computers, smartphones and h t t h d tablets, negating our efforts to “protect” the students from using technology inappropriately. Instead of fear, though, there are many “smart” decisions that can be made, recommended here because chasing the tail of technology needs with technology standards has never been a great success. Let’s take a look at how equity, cyber-bullying and technology to complete homew rk and project work. What is sometimes mistaken c plete homewo k and project work. Wh is sometimes mistake complete homework and ple mew m n e or or What hat h om im mistaken m ista stak aken for computer access is really a more burning need: access to the Internet. computer access is really more burning need: ompute acces mp ter pu e es a y ore u ing nee nee ss to the Internet. s Internet. nternet. Eq y swift Equity swiftly moving from equipment to sense of con ect ness Equity is swiftly moving from equipment to a sense of connect dness. qu iftly ft ng from equipment g om ipmen ipm nt n n e co connectedness. cted tednes “Flipping classrooms is great, but bein able to communicate more “Flipping” classrooms is great, but being able to communicate more Flipp Flip ing” classrooms great s t being bl ei comm icate more t meaningfully i much more powerful, and a t i f ll is h f l d true lif l lifelong skill. kill kill Smart decisions: • Work within your community groups, PTSAs and local businesses to champion Internet access for all. Filtered is great, but many districts are providing heavily discounted Internet services for low-income awareness can be addressed through smart decisions at the local or district level within your schools. • Equity. One of the consistently mentioned fears of district and local • school leaders is the misunderstanding that all students must have access to technology. Whether school-provided or parent-provided, technology is more and more ubiquitous. Home computers, local libraries and afterhours school functions can often provide the access that students need 6 • Kentucky School Leader Spring | Summer 2013 • areas. The same goes for inexpensive smartphone services. Carefully develop policies and procedures that emphasize flexibility and responsible use of technology, not policies focused on what students may not do while using technology at school. Work with local vendors to sponsor “giveaways” to classes of students for tablets and less-expensive devices, like Chrome books or lower-end PCs. Focus on your community outreach if equity is a concern. Is there a preferred product, vendor, smartphone or resource that can be built

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Kentucky School Leader - Spring/Summer 2013

Note from the Editor
Smart Decisions and Techno-fear: Evaluating Equity, Cyber-Bullying and Awareness
The Code of Ethics Turns 18
Golden Rule is Cornerstone of Ethical Leadership
Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Public Schools
President's View: Feedback for Teachers Inside and Out of the Classroom
Diapers to Diplomas: A Marriage of Career Readiness and Early Childhood Development
From the Executive Director's Desk: The Shifting Landscape of Education Law
Advertiser Index

Kentucky School Leader - Spring/Summer 2013