We’re doing LoTI (Levels of Technology Implementation) Training. A large group of our ITS crew (Instructional Technology Specialists) are going through a LoTI trainer certification, mainly in an effort to broaden our knowledge systematically, as well as develop a common language as a professional learning community.So what is LoTI all about? Technology integration, right? Wrong. Sort of. We can NOT say that the technology is not important. It absolutley is - it is critical. Often times, however, we put too much focus on the technology itself. This is the key strength of the LoTI framework. It focuses on Bloom’s taxonomy, which directs us back to the value of the lesson and places the emphasis on content (and engagement, in my opinion). David Warlick says in a blog post entitled Contemporary Literacy: Who & When:

It’s confusing that this discussion usually happens among technology educators within the context of technology considerations, but the skills are about information.

While I am taking Warlick’s quote a little bit out of context (as his post focuses on new literacy skills), I fully believe that the concept is then same - we need to shift our dialogue to focus on the content, the engagment, the lessons and the informational skills.Now - let’s consider this in the context of a one-to-one laptop implementation, shall we? While Irving has made huge strides forward, the biggest change that we see happening is not in the students, but in teacher instruction. The shift from the ‘old’ way to the new is drastic, with some that catch on quickly and others that are still struggling with how to ‘use’ the laptops. I fully believe that if we promote more systematic dialogue that (and PLEASE, we MUST not forget the power of the technology) focuses on the content, instruction, engagement and literacy skills that need to be happening in our classrooms, we’ll see a more fluid shift in teaching practice. LoTI provides a framework that is right on target with this discussion. Moving on…

I love it when you see someone processing new content/information! We have a few administrators that are attending our LoTI session today, one of whom rephrased what he saw as the value in the LoTI framework. Moersch has developed a Palm based application that allows an administrator to do a quick walk-through with the ability to quantify (more or less) the LoTI level of any given lesson. While the focus of the application is for administrative purposes (walk-through evaluation), this particular principal noted that it would be twice as powerful for teachers to have the evaluation tool on their own so that they can do continuous self evaluation of their own lessons. Yes, yes, yes! This comment followed Chris’ statement that all of their research blatently shows that the building principal controls the LoTI level on campus. In other words, the Principal’s expectations for their teachers are what the campus will produce. This principal ‘got it’ and saw the value in integrating technology within the LoTI framework. Right on target, in my opinion.

THAT is heading towards where the left lane ends.

Links to check out:

LoTI Levels

Dr. Chris Moersch

David Warlick on LoTI (a little)

Podcast by Wesley Fryer w/ Dr. Chris Moersch

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills

Digital Literacy Bookmarks

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