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Home » Policy & Funding » School Technology » Educational Technology Best Practices

Educational Technology Best Practices

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Technology has a unique role to play as innovation and economic hardship transform teaching, learning and education management. With its limitless versatility, educational reach and proven ability to boost productivity, technology has become necessary infrastructure in every district office and classroom.

Teaching & Learning

Technology has a unique role to play as innovation and economic hardship transform teaching, learning and education management. With its limitless versatility, educational reach and proven ability to boost productivity, technology has become necessary infrastructure in every district office and classroom. But its value to K-12 teachers depends on pre-service training and programs of professional development that help educators make the leap to powerful 21st century instruction and assessment. Here are three programs that make the case for technology integration and move us closer to a 1:1 equity of access to classroom technology.

 

Educational Technology Standards for Students

The standards for educational technology are designed as performance expectations for the use of digital technologies. They work compatibly, and practically, within Washington’s teaching and learning environment.

The assessments for educational technology have been integrated into the core content areas — science, math, health, English language arts, social studies and the arts. They include a checklist for K-2 teachers and offer a comprehensive inventory of free and low-cost digital resources.

Online Learning

The Online Learning Department is a one-stop-shop where educators, students and parents can access online courses and school programs, digital educational resources, research, training and more. Central to their mission OLD is developing an A-list of approved providers of online courseware for Washington state districts. Administrators watch this site - the list is dynamic, and as providers move through the approval process, new names show up. Their rigorous and transparent process for approval maintains a conscientious accountability to the state Legislature, OSPI and the districts it serves.

Technology Acquisition

GIS Software

Free licenses are available for Washington state K-12 schools to use Geographic Information System (GIS) software for instructional purposes. Esri’s GIS software makes it possible to visualize, question and interpret data in ways that bring relationships, patterns and trends to light. Educators use this valuable software to help students understand geography, earth science, social studies, math, language arts and more. Learn more about the ConnectED initiative or sign up for your free account. 

Once you’ve downloaded GIS software, take it out for a test drive. We’ve compiled tutorials that demonstrate instruction basics, and data sets (boundaries, census, education, environmental, geographic and transportation) that you can use as instructional support.  

Communications & Connectivity

The K-20 network is a high-speed, high-capacity network that connects colleges, universities, K-12 school districts and libraries across Washington state. Easy-to-access and dependable video services eliminate the challenges of geography and economy empowering students and educators to learn wherever they live.

Better than best practice, the K-20 network has institutionalized an equity of access for learning, and a level of administrative cost efficiency that schools now depend on to run the hundreds of data-based applications that support school operations. Fast, reliable video services eliminate the challenges of geography and economy empowering students and educators to learn wherever they live. The K-20 Network delivers on Washington state's priority to make access to education affordable to all. More on OSPI's K-20 network page.

Data Management

Master contracts that offer the best possible price for IT Services are a best practice that all school districts can leverage to save money and gain new efficiencies in their IT operation.

Washington School Information Processing Cooperative (WSIPC)

WSIPC is a cooperative that provides technology solutions, services, and support to K-12 public and private schools. Along with its powerful line-up of student, business, HR, and reporting applications, members receive My School Data, an enhanced business intelligence software designed to provide a variety of information about a student, or groups of students, in an easy to understand dashboard format. My School Data dashboards are assembled to show data quickly and intuitively, and cover a variety of content about students at the individual, class, grade, school and district level. Content includes information on: attendance, discipline and offense, assessment scores, grades, and enrollment. Additionally, the Early Warning System, one of the My School Data tools, identifies at-risk students to allow for early intervention and support.