DRAFT: Critical questions
Taking our content from our Draft Guideline page, I have tried to organize it under the Critical questions categories and/or the PGP categories for technology.

*= Categories from “Critical Questions for School Leaders
+= Categories from PGP for “Technology Use n Independent Schools”


+LEADERSHIP

*How does school leadership articulate the rationale for educational use of [online learning] and build widespread consensus for its adoption?
*How are school heads, curriculum leaders, and professional development leaders actively involved in the development, implementation, and evaluation of [online learning] goals?
*How has school leadership incorporated technology considerations into strategic planning and created a sustainable financial model for school technology commitments?

1. How do we address leadership?
2. How does leadership support the vision?
3. What is unique about independent schools?


Market, Competition, Sustainability [This is a new category]

1. How do independent schools pursuing distance education relate to colleges and universities moving into the delivery of secondary school courses?
2. How do we balance and reconcile promotion of online learning options with the socioeconomic realities, including the digital divide?
3. How do we ensure that the proliferation of old and discarded computers and other hardware in our school communities does not contribute to the troublesome waste and pollution problems that currently exist?
4. How will online learning impact the long-term financial sustainability of independent schools?

+TEACHING AND LEARNING
New Tools/New Pedagogy/ Traditional Pedagogy

1. How does online learning impact the traditional classroom?
2. Who can "teach" such an online course?
3. What tools should teachers and students be taking advantage of?
4. How does the plethora of "web 2.0" tools change what teachers can do with students?
5. How can we use these tools to help students demonstrate what they know and understand?
6. How closely are we monitoring the impact of online, computer, and other educational technologies on brain development?
7. How does online learning allow teachers to enhance learning in other ways?
8. How do we prepare our students for distributed learning and distributed cognition?
9. What skills do students demonstrate proficiency in? [desired skill set?]
10. How can schools adopt some online learning experiences to improve educational experiences? Or does it need to be a completely separate initiative as Disrupting Class indicates? What are the Essential Conditions for either model in an Independent School?
11. Does this open up opportunities for true collaboration that is most often not possible during a "bricks and mortar" day?
12. Changing the students we serve. If, for example, schools begin an online program, is the audience/student base completely different from who we currently serve? If our self motivated students opt to get an online degree, how different will the students we serve be?


Human Relationships/Ethics [This is a new category]

1. How does online learning and social networking impact relationships?
2. How do you blend new tools/methods with human contact?
3. What ethical considerations should guide our practices and policies and procedures in this areas?
4. How do we design online learning that serves a broad range of learning styles and needs?
5. How do we assure that questions of integrity, online behavior, and ethical use of technology are addressed at all levels?


+PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

*How does the school provide faculty, staff, and students with equitable access to [online learning]?
*In what ways does the school recognize that advancing [online learning] often requires significant support for risk taking, time for faculty planning, and adjustment in the allocation of instructional time?

1. What professional development models best model the participatory culture that our students enjoy in their daily lives?
2. How do we prepare our teachers for this new method of teaching?
3. What is the best way to prepare a teacher for teaching at a distance?
4. What are the best practices for engaging students in understanding through distributed learning?


*How does the school regularly evaluate its use of technology to support its mission, goals, and program?

[We have only one questions about stands and accountability?]
1. What standards will be implemented to address accountability and accreditation of online course?

+INFRASTRUCTURE AND ADMINISTRATIVE OPERATIONS
1. How do schools handle grades, workload, credits and transcripts for online learning?
2. Are online teaching loads equivalent to classroom teaching loads?
3. How do school handle the extra the tuition and the extra salaries associated with a consortium online school?
4. What software and hardware infrastructure and tools are used to facilitate online learning and what support is needed for these tools? (bandwidth, servers, software, licenses, open-source, free web 2.0 tools, etc.)


Task Force questions
  • Is this the best use of committee time? Are the issues of online learning of higher priority and importance to most schools than continuing to promote effective strategies of using technology to impact student learning?
  • Who are we speaking to? Who is our audience? What is their level of expertise or understanding of these tools & technologies?
  • What data does the task force need to gather in order to address the above questions?
Professional Development Resources