Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Integrating tech: curriculum and community

In the post Sharing the work of writing a new tech plan, I wrote about working with the District Technology Integration Committee to produce a transformative technology strategy. In describing some of the challenges in the collaboration, I observed, "I can't even show you the work of the committee because the Tech Department requires authorization even for reading the developing documents." But Sally Loughlin, Kate Greeley, and Steve C. have reported interesting developments new public access points. So, I searched for the web pages but I could not find them. When I saw Kate at the district office, I asked about the pages and she quickly showed them to me. She navigated so quickly that I did not follow the exact path to them but I knew that I could always find them with a Google Search. Unfortunately, I still could not find the pages.

I wrote to Kate and requested that she send the link to the page so that I could review and prepare for the meeting. Several days later she sent the following link to the index of pages for drafts of the new plan. The link took me to the new pages, in the curriculum sub-directory of the site so I wrote the following message back to Kate:

I browsed over much of the web site but not there [in the curriculum pages]. Now that I see where it is, it makes sense because you are trying to integrate technology with curriculum.

To check my sanity, I tried to search for this page using a Google Search based on known content:
Google did not find the new page (it did find older tech pages- only 3 pages May
2, 2007) so Google's indexing robots have not yet discovered the page. If Google can't find it, and an interested, engaged member of the community can't find it, then we need to think further about what it means to communicate with stakeholders.

Since Google indexes my blog pages much more quickly than the more than two-weeks for this page, I assumed that it would index the District's pages at least as frequently. Kate wrote back and asked if we should move the link to the District site's main page. No, we need a more robust solution. Effective dialog between members of the school and community cannot tolerate those kinds of delays.

1 comment:

SC Spaeth said...

The index page includes a link to a discussion forum that the Tech Department setup in Sharepoint for feedback. I tried to follow that link so that I could see how people are engaging with the new approaches.

Sharepoint challenged me with an authentication page. I tried to login and it would not let me. It asked if I wanted to request access to that Sharepoint site. I followed that link and in response to the request: Supply a description of the action you were taking and the URL you were trying to reach, I wrote:
Sally Loughlin and Steve C. suggested that I look at the discussion pages associated with the drafts of the new tech plan.
It only returned an error message and as far as I know, no request for access.