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Why Do You Ask?

From asking questions that require an answer To asking questions that require a conversation.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

LoTi Framework

LoTi Framework at drchrismoersch.com

I remember hearing about LoTI in 1996 or 1997.  Our school system was advancing quickly in the area of technology use at the time.  When this framework came to our attention, we gave it rather careful consideration.  We had a goal to reach Level 4-5 at our Jr. High School by the year 2000.  Our expectation at that time was for the High School to build on what we were able to do at the Jr. High grades (7 & 8).

In 1996 each classroom had at least one PowerMac for the teacher, but teachers who were showing advancement in the LoTI Framework had more; I had an additional four computers...they were older models of Macs, but they did the trick. 

Dan Buetner was doing MayaQuest, and I secured a grant from our local Educational Foundation to participate.  My students had daily contact with Beutner's Team, and we also studied Central America at that time.  The students were "engaged" (I have decided I don't like that term - it bothers me - we are reaching too much - I prefer interested).  The material was interesting, fun, and doggone it...students liked it.  My point is that a project like MayaQuest was somewhere between Level 4a, 4b (Integration - Mechanical & Routine) and Level 5 (Expansion) for that period of time.  When the 9-12 weeks was over, the students wanted me to find something else like this for them to do.  I tried, and in those days there was not much to go on. 

So we tried CUSeeMe software one morning with Tom March's son's class in Australia.  The video did not work, but the chat did.  We discussed crawdads, Michael Jordan, and some other things.  My students came in at 6:30 in the morning, and the Australian school students stayed late in the afternoon.  It was an attempt at what we now call the Flat Classroom.  We also studied Australia/Oceania in 7th grade Social Studies at that time. 

We were on our way to achieving our goal.  Several teachers were beginning to observe that technology was able to attract and maintain the interest of the students.  More teachers were requesting training, and equipment for their classrooms.  It was a good time of progress.

This week, I went back to review the LoTI Framework.  It has obviously been updated since 1994.  But the Levels are still about the same, only the tools have changed.  I had several colleagues read the description of the levels, and from the several who responded, the consensus is that our school is between Level 1 and 2, with a few observations that in some areas we are at Level 0. 

This causes me to ask some questions...please comment. 
  • What happened? 
  • Why have we made "reverse progress" in technology? 
  • How could educational leaders allow this to happen? 
  • Many of the tech-minded teachers have retired (in their 50s) or moved on to other districts.  A couple of teachers retired and are now working for ETTCs. 
  • New teachers, who are from other districts are disappointed that our school lacks technology that was considered basic classroom material (SmartBoards, LCD Projectors, classroom computers) where they used to be. 
  • What would you do in this situation? 
  • Is it worth it to battle in frustration or would you move on for a different setting?
  • If you were interviewing at a new school, what tech-related questions would you ask of your potential employer?
That's probably too much...answer what you like.

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