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 UNIT 5: Session II: Educational Technology Plan (Case Study: Port Royal)


Overview
Unit 5: Session II, introduces information technology as an emerging tools in education and the development of educational systems. This case study is an example of the implementing technology in a developing country.

Objectives:

At the end of this unit should be able:

1. To identify ways of introducing technological facilities within existing communities.
2. To evaluate its effects on education process, advantages and disadvantages
3. To demonstrate how technology can be applied to the process of community development.

Readings:


 UNIT 5: Session II: Educational Technology Plan (Adapted Case: Port Royal)

The methodology applied in developing the Educational Technology Plan involved the following:

1. Research into emerging approaches to teaching and learning processes.
2. Analysis of local experiences in teaching basic learning skills.
3. Discussions with community members.
4. Meetings with the School Board Administrative and Teaching Staff.
5. Examination of the physical plant.
6. Tours of other schools.
7. Develop and Implement Assessment Plan
8. Development of the Education Technology Plan.

The research into the new approaches to teaching and learning resulted in the preparation of the Adaptive Educational Technology Plan, a generic draft of how technology is applied at various stages of the development of the learner.

The analysis of Educational Technology Interventions in Jamaica over the last five years provides a series of cases that highlight a number of scenarios of the use of educational technology for improving reading and comprehension, mathematics, language, research and project development.

Dialogue with communities groups provided background about the history of the Port Royal early childhood, primary and junior high [Grade 7-9] experience over many years and the resultant attitudes towards the school.

Meetings and discussions with the School Board, Staff, and the Port Royal Education Committee defined the context of the development programme - areas of difficulty, frustrations and reasons for the decline over the years.

The examination of the physical plant defined what we had to work with. It identified with the multi-age classroom as two classrooms on average is housed in one physical space. The current reading room is a possible site for a computer/reading lab.

The tour of three other communities established linkages with schools that had experienced intervention such as the one contemplated for the Port Royal All Age School. On a tour of the Oracabessa Primary School the representatives of the Port Royal Development Company viewed the school's organic garden and preparation for establishing a computer lab. The visit to Jacks River provided meaningful testimonial as the effectiveness of the programme being proposed. The third visit to St. Mary's College provided a different experience in the application of the technology for engaging students in innovative application of technology for education, training and production.

An Adaptive Educational Technology Framework

The Adaptive Educational Technology Framework, described below, facilitates learner centred and group centred processes.

Firstly, the system provides for the acquisition of basic learning skills. It ensures the mastery of cognitive, affective and life skills, essential to access, use to the best advantage emerging technology-based systems of learning.
Secondly, group programmes consists of well designed projects that support inter-dependent, inter-disciplinary, inter-cultural, inter-generational and multi-age learning experiences. Here outcomes are dependent on the contributions from each member of the group.

There are four stages of Intellectual Development [ID]:

Preparation for Learning
This process is designed to augment the home, nursery and kindergarten experiences to prepare the child to communicate, interact to develop social and emotional norms and reasoning skills. These include the ability to differentiate objects, shapes, colours, sizes, direction and sounds.

Development of Basic Competencies
The system assesses the ability of the student to learn a given task and, where necessary, a remedial process is specified or designed to develop the lacking skills. The system ensures that the basic skills of learning - Reading, Numeracy and Languages, are "over-learned" giving rise to automaticity in their use and the freeing of the faculties to comprehend and assimilate more effectively.

Curricula Integration and Enrichment Programme
At this stage, the teacher designs or selects programs, projects and subject-related courseware to address the requirement of any given syllabus and to otherwise enrich the process of teaching and learning. A range of objectives are met in demonstrating different approaches, acquiring content, analysing data, creating new knowledge, establishing new linkages, achieving new levels of comprehension and applying new knowledge for solving problems, creating new processes, producing new goods, and performing at higher levels. These support the objectives as set out in Bloom's Taxonomy; incorporates the Learning Styles Theory as promoted by Garner and others. They approach appeals to individual interests and facilitates collaborative experiences, provides a variety of forms of presentation and interpretation of learning outcomes, and optimizes the process by matching learning activities with learner abilities, interest, experiences and skills.

Adult and Life-Long Learning
The adult learning programme is individualized to fit each adult's unique requirement. The coursework is designed to complement the areas of work in which he/she is engaged or would wish to engage so that the outcomes are of immediate benefit to the adult. A variety of strategies will be employed to achieve these goals that equip the adult for training in the chosen area of professional skills.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

The recommendations are as follows:

1. The establishment of a Day Care and Early Childhood Centre that provides care for pre-schoolers and ensure that they are adequately prepared to enter the primary system.

2. The conversion of the current Port Royal All Age School in an Educational Technology Learning Centre to satisfy the needs of the primary and R. O. S. E. curricula and to serve the community in adult education for life long learning. The facilities will include:

Multiage Classroom
Art & Craft Room
Library
Performing Arts
Computer Laboratory
Sports & Games
Multimedia Classroom
Administratio

3. Professional Development Programmes for Teachers in the areas of computer assisted instructions, integration of technology into the education process and the on-going programme of being at the learning edge of educational reform.

4. An Implementation Plan that engages the entire community to achieve the goals of ensuring that within one year all students are readers by Grade 3, community members achieve their reading potential over three years and use the opportunities of the facilities to advance their academic achievement and adequately prepare for the opportunities of the Port Royal Heritage Project.

Early Childhood
It is proposed that a new Day Care and Early Childhood Centre be constructed to facilitate working mothers from within and outside of Port Royal, and to ensure the effective preparation of children for school. The Project would be a joint effort between the Young Women's Christian Movement (YMCA) and the Port Royal Environmental Management Trust (PREMT). They will access funds from various sources to design and construct a facility that reflect the outlook of a new Port Royal.

The Centre will recognise the acceptance by administrators and educators that investment in at this early stage of the education cycle is crucial to optimizing the success of each learner. It is estimated that the demand from Port Royal residents would be to accommodate about 60 children and another 60 children of mothers working in Port Royal from outside the community. The design should be modular to facilitate addition or contraction as necessary.

The main activities to be undertaken are:

Prepare detailed plan for the Early Childhood Centre (ECC)
Identify a site for the ECC
Design the complex
Prepare the detailed programme of curricula delivery
Select and train teachers and child-care aids.

The matter of revenue for the centre, government support, responsibilities of PREMT and the Port Royal Community, and involvement of the YMCA a to be the subject of further discussions.

The Educational Technology Learning Centre
We recommend that the entire school complex be converted into a Community Educational Technology Learning Centre of four multi-age classrooms [G1-2, G3-4, G5-6, G7-9], library, computer lab, multimedia classroom, art room, performing arts theatre and an administrative area. In the afternoon and on week-ends, the centre will extend its facilities to high school students who attend other institutions and during the summer the centre would host workshops for teachers and researchers earning revenue to maintain and expand its offerings.

Multi Age Classrooms:
The multi-age classroom in fact exists in Port Royal to a large extent. Two, and in the case of Grades 7-9, three classes operate in the same physical space. The proposal recognizes this and seeks to use it to the advantage of the system by encouraging team teaching, individualize pacing and individualized attention.

Grades 1 - 2 The mastery of reading, numeracy and penmanship skills will be of primary focus. The lab will be used regularly and consistently to ensure each learner acquire these skills. A peer tutoring and mentoring programme would provide additional individualized support at this stage.

Grades 3 - 4 Building on reading skills, developing writing, language, comprehension and logic skills whilst continuing the numeracy programme.

Grades 5 - 6 Creating independent, in depth learners, through challenging and collaborative research projects entailing wider reading, providing access to more information for analysis and evaluation, developing critical thinking, problem solving and decision making skills.

Grades 7-9 In the context of the Reform in Secondary School Education (R.O.S.E.) curricula and its emphasis on application of knowledge and technology we recommend that these classroom be fitted with selected additional technology based programmes such as desktop publishing, electronic, electricity, hydraulics, optic etc. Student attending other institutions will find the facility useful to upgrade their basic skills, facilitate their research and support their preparation for the CXC examinations.

Library
It is proposed to enhance the Library by adding CDROM titles, videos and a schedule for selected viewing - direct or recorded from local television, cable or satellite. Outcomes from students' knowledge-building activities will become part of the library information base through publishing, ongoing exhibitions, displays and/or by becoming a part of the school's database. The technology will be used to increase the efficiency of the administration of library activities, enhance research capability and increase the capacity of the facility to fulfill user needs. Some items of equipment are: a multimedia workstation connected to the Internet, laser printer and scanner.

The Computer Laboratory
The proposed Computer Lab is designed for individualized learning and will accommodate a network of fifteen multimedia computers complete with headphones. The library of selected software will offer a full range of learning systems from reading, numeracy, English, foreign languages, subject-related courseware, pre-vocational and vocational program. The lab will provide access to electronic libraries, encyclopedia and the internet and the management system will store students' files and records and track each learner's progress in the development of cognitive and affective competencies.

Multi-Media Classroom
It is proposed to equip a Multi-Media Classroom to deliver instruction using a mix of technologies - multimedia computer + TV + VCR + cable + internet + overhead projector. This facility supports curricula, team-teaching and interdisciplinary instruction. Teachers will work together to prepare lesson plans, select media and material to be used, prepare presentations using authorship tools and deliver instruction in accordance with plan.

The approach and use of the technology will engage teachers and students to extent attention span to an entire morning. In that time several topics may be introduced, effectively illustrated, discussed and reviewed. The exercises, projects and programmes to be done in the classroom, library, lab, art room, theatre or on field trips will be explained and distributed at this time.

Such sessions can be recorded and reused in the absence of teachers, by students who were absent from school or lagging for one reason or another, for review/revision, and, as a basis for preparing future lessons.

The Art & Craft Room
The Art & Craft Room will support activities that link directly to Language Arts - expression and interpretation, Social Studies - History, Culture and Heritage, and Natural Science - Environment, Eco-Systems, Flora and Fauna. This is the early training ground for researchers, planners, producers, creative writers, artists and graphic artists, photographers, video producers, set and costume designers, lighting specialists, and multimedia programmers.

In the first instance, it is proposed to upgrade the effectiveness of the current room by supplying required material to satisfy the curricula objectives and encouraging the school to produce meaningful outcomes and products related to the opportunities of the Port Royal Heritage Tourism Project. In the second year, the provision of a mix of technologies - cameras, video, and multimedia computers should complete the room.

Identified talent is linked to apprenticeship programmes with local practitioners.

The Performing Arts Facility
The Performing Arts is viewed as a level of the interpretation and presentation adding music, dancing, drama and comedy to skills of writing in prose or poetry, illustrating in visual arts and capturing the art form on camera and video for multimedia production.

The objectives in our proposal are to satisfy the requirements of curricula in the following ways:
1. Establish links with Port Royal Heritage Tourism Project.
2. Provide additional professional lessons for talent to develop at a rapid rate.
3. Provide a variety of instruments.
4. Encourage a variety of forms of music, drama and dance through workshops and inter-cultural exchanges and experiences.
5. Investigate the application of technology to facilitate practice, growth and development.
6. Establish club or troupe to sustain interest and development.
7. Identify a calendar of school events and other opportunities in community activities, and/or arrange regular sessions to perform and exhibit talents.
8. Build library of classics, local production and selected works for review by students.
9. Establish links with professional companies for parts and roles in on-going productions.
10. Establish and maintain WEB Page of Talent and activities.

Sports and Games
Sports and Games as a part of the technology of education must be viewed as processes to identify a variety of additional talents, "build a better body", to develop discipline, encourage individual and team spirit, to provide action for reporting - writing and developing journalism skills. It provides a forceful link with community and is a source of pride.

With limited space, alternative sports and related economic opportunities must be considered. The technology available presents a range of challenges for its use and application in enhancing sports, providing alternative careers possibilities and establishing links among communities and between countries

Administration
The administrative functions relate to students' information, record keeping and the development of a reporting and decision making process that is information based. The software applications being proposed will track the students' progress in developing learning skills. The proposal further seeks to complete this by providing an integrated reporting system for administrators, teachers, parents and students.

Professional Development
The Professional Development programme is for all players - principal, teachers and administrators. It is the key to attaining established goals and requires extensive teacher training, effective implementation and continuous nurturing towards sustainable success.

Assessment Processes
Success as a learner is dependent on mastery of basic skills. Testing is required to establish the status for planning purposes, effective application of remediation and provision of the basis for advancement.

1. The use and application of software tools and techniques to establish learning competencies, reading levels and numeracy skills of each student
2. Determination of remediation and/or counseling where necessary
3. Specification or design of ongoing programme of development
4. Examination of methods and procedures with respect to each student
5. Review of learning environment of home, school and community

Computer Assisted Instructions
Selected teachers from K1, K2, G1, G2 and G3 should be trained in the use of computer assisted instruction to remediate and/or provide a process to prepare for learning, reading, numeracy (grade 1-6) and language skills.

Development of New Practices and Procedures
Principals, teachers and administrators need professional development in the use of technology in the management of the learning process, its application to support curriculum goals and its capacity to address the learning needs, interests and goals of individuals or groups.

1. Evaluation of alternative educational software products
2. Design and development of information technology based projects to support curricula.
3. Use and application of thematic units to support instruction.
4. Use of application tools, (word processors, databases, spreadsheets), for presentation, administration and instruction.
5. Use of hypertext authoring systems to develop curriculum based and other products for classroom application.
6. Use of Team Teaching and Collaborative Strategies
7. Management of the Learning Process.

Membership of Professional Bodies
Teachers should maintain membership in professional bodies that keep them up-to-date with emerging educational technologies. They need to make contributions to the knowledge base through publications, sharing experiences with the educational community, conducting in-house, community and national seminars. There is the need for a teacher support system within the school that promotes collaborative
work through team teaching, daily meetings to share information and address issues.