Monday, June 15, 2009

Opinion on Texas LRPT: Educator Preparation and Development

NOTE: This blog post is written as a requirement for Lamar University graduate course EDLD 5306 Fundamentals of Educational Technology.

The Educator Preparation and Development (EP&D) area of the Texas LRPT focuses on professional development of educators to equip them with the necessary skills “to effectively facilitate and manage 21st Century learning in technology and information-rich settings”.

Progress indicated by the 2007-2008 STaR Chart for Texas schools in the EP&D area is as follows: 5.4% are at Early Tech level, 74.2% are at Developing Tech level, 19.9% are at Advanced Tech level, and .6% of campuses have attained the Target Tech level envisioned by the LRPT.

Since a majority of campuses are at Developing Tech level, I assume the following trends: Most teachers have access to and have participated in nine to eighteen hours of large group professional development regarding increasing productivity and integration of technology into their content areas, and most have attained two or three of the SBEC Technology Applications Standards. Most educators are adapting technology knowledge and skills for content area instruction and have received training on the use of online content for instruction. Administrators expect teachers to use technology and allocate 6% to 24% of their budget for professional development.

For continued improvement in EP&D, I recommend that a standardized measure be developed so teachers can earn a required Technology Applications endorsement on their teaching certificates by proving they have mastered the SBEC Technology Applications Standards. This requirement will spur districts and ESCs to offer a variety of staff development opportunities, and teachers will more quickly attain the skills they need to teach 21st Century learners.

First paragraph quote and statistical data taken from TEA Progress Report on the Long Range Plan for Technology. Statistical data also taken from STaR Chart Campus Statewide Summary by Key Area.
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