IMPLEMENTING THE IMPACT MODEL
A HOW-TO GUIDE
Educators in schools interested in implementing the IMPACT Model always ask, “What is the best way to begin?” While one school might decide to implement all portions of the model simultaneously--hiring all the staff, implementing flexible access, and initiating monthly grade-level collaborative planning sessions, others prefer a phased-in model to help staff prepare for the change in school culture that will ensue. The following guide offers strategies for implementing the IMPACT Model regardless of the timeline that a school adopts. Please be aware, however, that all change is difficult. Moving quickly and resolutely toward a new program may be less painful than a drawn-out implementation.
The first step in implementing the IMPACT Model is creating an awareness of the benefits of the model to students and teachers.
- Administrative support is critical to implementing the model. The principal should be an instructional leader who participates fully in the Media and Technology Advisory Committee (MTAC).
- Teachers and all stakeholders should be represented on the MTAC. Research on the benefits of flexible scheduling can be shared with the MTAC whose members will serve as advocates for the IMPACT Model within the school and community.
- Parents and community members should be represented on the MTAC.
- The school library media coordinator and technology facilitator should be active participants in the School Improvement Team, ensuring that information and technology skills are addressed within the school improvement plan.
- A school wide planning retreat focusing on change, flexibility, and collaboration provides the opportunity to share research on the IMPACT Model and address initial concerns among the total staff.
- The MTAC should communicate with educators in other schools in North Carolina that have successfully implemented the IMPACT Model and learn from their experiences.
The second step in implementing the IMPACT Model is determining the readiness of your school for successful implementation. Consider the following needs as you design this assessment:
- The school library media coordinator and technology facilitator, in collaboration with the system-level technology director and system-level media director, should review IMPACT guidelines and North Carolina Educational Technology Plan recommendations for determining additional personnel.
- The media coordinator and technology facilitator should conduct a needs assessment for staff to determine their readiness to utilize technology and information in a collaborative environment. This assessment may include technology application skills, technology integration skills, flexible scheduling utilization, understanding of collaborative teaching and learning, and how to ask open-ended questions.
- Content area curriculum mapping/pacing guides should be reviewed and updated for alignment to the Standard Course Of Study, relevance to current classroom practice, and consistency across grade levels and subject areas.
- The infrastructure should be evaluated for adequacy according to the standards described in the North Carolina Educational Technology Plan.
- Hardware access and software resources should be evaluated for adequacy and age appropriateness according to North Carolina Educational Technology Plan standards.
- The media collection should be evaluated through a collection analysis that maps resources to the curriculum.
- A long-term collection development plan should be created based on the collection analysis. The collection should balance print and nonprint resources.
- The media center schedule should be evaluated for its capacity to provide point-of- need resources and services to students and staff. The master schedule should be reviewed for options to create flexible access to media and technology facilities and personnel.
- The existing budget should be evaluated for the capacity to fund needs identified in the readiness assessment. All potential external and internal sources of funding should be identified in consultation with the system-level technology director, the system-level media director, and the principal.
- The MTAC should conduct a benchmark assessment of the media and technology program using IMPACT rubrics.
The next step in implementing the IMPACT Model is to create a foundation for collaborative planning that addresses needs identified in the readiness assessment.
- The principal will attempt to meet personnel needs through re-assignment of existing staff and recommendations to the superintendent for hiring additional staff.
- With the support of the MTAC, the principal should articulate school-wide expectations for collaboration. This may include a master planning calendar based on curriculum mapping/pacing guides.
- The principal will develop a schedule to provide flexible access to the school library media coordinator and technology facilitator and facilities.
- The media coordinator and technology facilitator will acquire print and non-print resources based on the collection development plan.
- The media coordinator and technology facilitator will acquire adequate hardware/ software according to the recommendations of the North Carolina Educational Technology Plan and the MTAC committee. These acquisitions should include adaptive technologies for students with special needs.
- The media coordinator and technology facilitator will offer professional development on best practices in using technology and media resources to support student achievement.
- The system-level technology director will upgrade building infrastructure to meet North Carolina Educational Technology Plan standards.
- The media coordinator and technology facilitator, with the principal and teachers, will analyze student data to identify school-wide student needs.
- As members of the School Improvement Team, the media coordinator and technology facilitator will identify goals for technology/information skills integration in the School Improvement Plan.
- The media coordinator and technology facilitator, with input from the MTAC, will redesign the media center and classrooms to accommodate differentiation of instructional activities with technology and flexible grouping.
The ultimate step in implementing the IMPACT model is creating collaborative planning times. Using this time, the school library media coordinator, technology facilitator, and classroom teachers collaboratively will:
- Plan together to create and evaluate multidisciplinary units of instruction integrating technology/information skills across the curriculum;
- Design differentiated instructional activities to meet individual student needs;
- Identify regular common planning time for team collaboration by grade level and subject;
- Assess student products emerging from collaboratively planned units of instruction (New assessment tools and rubrics should be created as needed.);
- Celebrate student achievement and recognize teachers for their successes;
- Evaluate the outcomes of common planning times using a variety of methods such as surveys, reflections, and plus/delta charts.
Collaborative planning will expand the opportunities for integrating resources beyond the classroom. The increased use of media and technology resources in instruction makes it important to expand access to these resources beyond the traditional school day and the traditional school community.
The school library media coordinator and technology facilitator will identify and integrate outside resources into collaborative units of instruction. These resources may include local, state, and national educational resources including print, digital, and human resources.
The media coordinator and technology facilitator will work with partners to provide after school programs for children, parents, and community members. (For example, Computer Camps, Computer Clubs, Book Clubs, technology training for adults, family technology and reading nights.) The media center and technology facilities may be opened extended hours and staffed by educators who have negotiated flexible hours with the administration, by separately hired staff, and/or by volunteers.
Implementation of the IMPACT Model may be evaluated by the MTAC using the following guided reflection questions.
- What impact does a supportive environment have on media and technology access and use?
- What impact do media, technology, and collaboration have on the total school program?
- What impact does communication have on the total school program?
- What impact do research-based practices in technology, literacy, and information skills have on student learning?
- Does integration of technology/information skills throughout the curriculum enhance student learning?
- What areas of the curriculum can most effectively be enhanced with technology/ information skills?
- Does the use of technology as a learning tool improve student achievement?
- To what extent is data used in making decisions about hardware/software allocations and selection of media resources?
- To what extent are technology and media resources accessible to all students?
- To what extent are technical support personnel provided and technical support procedures implemented?
- To what extent are technology and media resources accessible during and beyond the school day?
- To what extent has the school established and maintained an effective communications system?
- To what extent does the school support and promote collaboration?
- To what extent are procedures used to monitor, evaluate, and review progress of technology initiatives?
- To what extent is effective professional development provided?
- To what extent are student/curricular needs being fulfilled by identified media and technology resources?
ORIENTATION FOR NEW STAFF AND ADMINISTRATORS:
- The school must recruit and hire teachers who are receptive to the IMPACT Model.
- The MTAC will provide orientation for new staff and administrators to the IMPACT Model.
“THE CONVICTION THAT LEARNING GOALS SHOULD BE FIXED AND TIME A FLEXIBLE RESOURCE OPENS UP PROFOUND OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHANGE.” (United States. Department of Education. “Prisoners of Time.)
In order for the IMPACT Model to work in a school, it must have the support and understanding of classroom teachers. Teachers must understand the changes that will occur in their classrooms and in their teaching as a result of this model. The administrative and media and technology staff must support and nurture teachers through this change.
Supporting and nurturing means addressing teachers as individuals and understanding their concerns about the changes they are or will be experiencing. According to the CBAM model of change, individuals involved in change can be identified as one of the following:
- INNOVATOR: Approximately 8% or any group can be considered innovators. These individuals are eager to try new ideas, are open to change, and are willing to take risks.
- LEADER: Approximately 17% of any group can be considered leaders. These individuals are open to change, but more thoughtful about getting involved.
- EARLY MAJORITY: Approximately 29% of any group can be considered as the early majority. These individuals are cautious and deliberate about deciding to adopt an innovation.
- LATE MAJORITY: Approximately 29% of any group can be considered as the late majority. These individuals can skeptical of adopting new ideas and are “set in their ways.”
- RESISTER: Approximately 17% of any group can be considered resisters. These individuals are suspicious and generally opposed to new ideas. (Hord, S., et al, 1998.)
It is important to recognize that these identifiers are not meant to be negative or positive, but rather they allow a change facilitator to recognize what is needed to move an individual through the change process. For the IMPACT Model, this means being able to recognize how a teacher approaches a change to classroom practice and working with each individual to better utilize the model.
Once the school library media coordinator, technology facilitator, and/or administrator have identified each teacher’s adopter level, they should identify Stages of Concern. The Stages of Concern help to identify how a person feels and thinks about a given initiative. In the implementation of the IMPACT Model, teachers will move through the stages as they become more comfortable with the collaborative process and the IMPACT culture.
CHANGE: is a PROCESS, not an event is made by INDIVIDUALS first, then institutions is a highly PERSONAL experience entails DEVELOPMENTAL growth in feelings and skills (Hord, S., et al, 1998.)
STAGES OF CONCERN
- AWARENESS: The individual either isn’t aware of the change being proposed or doesn’t want to learn it.
- INFORMATIONAL: The individual has heard of the program, but needs more information.
- PERSONAL: The individual’s main concern is how this program will affect them on a personal level.
- MANAGEMENT: The individual’s main concern is about the management, scheduling, etc., of a specific program.
- CONSEQUENCE: The individual’s primary concern is how the program will affect students or how they can make the program work for their students.
- COLLABORATION: The individual’s primary concern is how to make the program work better by actively working on it with colleagues.
- REFOCUSING: The individual’s primary concern is seeking out a new and better change to implement.
When the media coordinator, technology facilitator, and/or administrator have identified each teacher’s Stage of Concern, they can more easily communicate the needs of both the teacher and the program. Teachers in the early stages of concern will need more one-on-one assistance and encouragement than those in the later stages.
When teachers understand that a change will take place, they will need to be completely aware of what implementing the IMPACT Model will mean to their classroom and their teaching practice.
TEACHERS MUST BE WILLING TO:
- Take risks
- Try new things
- Step out of the box
ASSESS STUDENT NEEDS
- Analyze test scores
- Understand individual learning styles
- Survey individual interests
- Brainstorm ways the collaboration process can work for them and their students
- Share ideas with school library media coordinator/technology facilitator and other teachers
- Begin the collaboration process
- Evaluate project successes
- Technology doesn’t always work
- Students don’t always work well collaboratively
- The “best” lesson plan doesn’t always work out the way you planned
ASK FOR HELP
- School library media coordinator
- Technology facilitator
- Tell other teachers what is working well
- Share with school library media coordinator and technology facilitator
- Share with other schools
- Share at conferences
- USE: Web sites, bulletin boards, newsletters, displays, sharing lessons, press releases, system-level collaboration fairs, school-wide activities (Poetry Day, Technology Night), etc.
- Move from being the “sage on the stage” or “guide on the side” to the “mentor in the center”
- Facilitate the learning process
- Allow students to begin taking responsibility for their own learning
- Become a team member
- Become a life-long learner
“THE IMPORTANT ISSUE IN EFFECTIVENESS FOR LEARNING IS NOT THE SOPHISTICATION OF THE TECHNOLOGIES, BUT THE WAYS IN WHICH THEIR CAPABILITIES AID AND MOTIVATE USERS”
(Dede, C., 2001).
Innovation Middle School is wired. Every classroom has three multimedia, Internet accessible computers, an LCD projector, a Digital Interactive Whiteboard, a DVD player, and curriculum appropriate hardware and software. Networked printers are located on every hall, and each grade, 6th, 7th, and 8th, has a mobile computer lab. For Mrs. Ray, the technology facilitator, a wired school means a very busy schedule. Mrs. Ray has worked at Innovation Middle School for many years. Through her experience and education, she has gained and applied many insights about technology and the job of teaching.
Mrs. Ray knows that technology brings new resources into the classroom (Bajcsy, 2002). For instance, this is the first year that Mr. Price has participated in the Global Lab project with his eighth grade 1st period science class. Global Lab students around the world create environmental profiles of their school. Students measure parameters such as light intensity, carbon dioxide concentrations, air and soil temperature, and soil moisture, then compile their data and exchange it with other schools across the globe. Through the global lab project, Mr. Price’s students have information that has not been available to his students in previous years. With observations available from other students in diverse environments, his students make comparisons of their environmental profile with profiles of other environments to make hypotheses and observations. This morning Mrs. Ray works with Mr. Price and his students organizing the data from the various environments in a database. While Mrs. Ray works with students on creating a database, Mr. Price will work with students on organizing and synthesizing the information in appropriate searchable fields and records.
Mrs. Ray also knows that with technology, teachers are able to develop new forms of instruction (Means, 2000). Last summer, the Innovation Middle School Social Studies team, developed lessons and an accompanying selection of online resources and software, of texts, photographs, audio and video content. This morning in Mrs. Foust’s second period social studies class, students are using the resources to create multimedia reports instead of the traditional written reports on Asian history and culture. The group assigned to explore the economy of China, uniquely explore the ties between the American economy and China’s economy and working conditions in their multimedia report titled Made in China. Students use photographs and voiceovers to explain the implications of importing products from China to the United States. This morning Mrs. Ray and Mrs. Powder, the school library media coordinator, are working with the students on their projects. Mrs. Powder is instructing students on how to correctly cite sources for multimedia and online resources. Mrs. Ray is helping students incorporate multimedia sources into their presentations correctly. Mrs. Foust comments that using the multimedia resources gives greater content and depth to instruction and student assignments.
Discussions with many teachers confirm something else Mrs. Ray already knows. Technology motivates student learning. Teachers suggest that technology motivates students, because it creates an environment that involves students more directly than traditional teaching tools (Schacter, 1999). Before Mrs. Ray heads to the sixth grade team weekly planning meeting, she stops by Mrs. Brown’s 8th grade language arts class.
Since Mrs. Brown replaced journal writing on required reading assignments with Weblogs, her students’ writing has increased dramatically. Students are so involved in writing and reading Weblog entries that they all scramble to get on the computers before lunch. Because students are posting their responses online where every other student can read the entry, students are reading the young adult literature thoroughly and are posting more in-depth observations about what they are reading. Mrs. Brown is ecstatic. Not only are students more engaged in the literature, but they are also taking responsibility for their own learning.
After lunch Mrs. Ray heads for Mr. Mulroney’s room. Technology has been extremely helpful in individualizing instruction for students, many of whom are served in exceptional classrooms (Lou, 2001). While Mr. Mulroney believes that technology helps adapt instruction to student learning styles, he does not believe in isolated learning. In Mr. Mulroney’s class, students are learning about volcanoes together through a variety of activities. Mark and Adam are building a model volcano from everyday kitchen products. Mary is using simulation software to simulate a volcanic eruption by combining different gases with magma and rock. Linda and James are creating a Hyperstudio stack on Mount St. Helen’s in Washington. Mr. Mulroney asked Mrs. Ray to join the class this afternoon as students’ work on their different projects.
As students are leaving school, Mrs. Ray is setting up for professional development. Mrs. Ray knows that effective use of instructional technology is dependent on the teacher (Grove, Strudler, and Odell, 2004). Teachers must be confident in applying technology when and where appropriate. To maintain their technology competency in a fast-paced environment, professional development has becomes a high priority for teachers. Today, Mrs. Ray is teaching sixth grade teachers about handhelds.
Before Mrs. Ray leaves for the day, she checks the next day’s schedule. She notes that tomorrow Mrs. Caison, the music teacher, is using midi software in music appreciation class…
For online video examples of technology facilitator scenarios visit the following Web site: <http://nditsvns04.its.state.nc.us/ramgen/dpi/MediaTech/ProfessionalAssessment/tfpai.rm>
INFORMATION LITERACY IS A TRANSFORMATIONAL PROCESS IN WHICH THE LEARNER EVALUATES AND USES INFORMATION IN ITS VARIOUS FORMS FOR PERSONAL, SOCIAL, AND PROFESSIONAL PURSUITS (paraphrased from Abilock, 2004).
It is 7:00 a.m. – just another day in the Innovation school media center. Students cluster in the foyer waiting for the library doors to open. The library is always used heavily before the school day begins. Some students will come to the media center to work on class assignments. Others will check out books. Teachers stop by to schedule a class in the media center for a project. At 8:00 a.m., the first bell rings and the media center empties while students flock to homeroom class.
Mr. Reynold’s seventh grade math class is the first class of the day for Mrs. Wright, the school library media coordinator. Geometry is always a favorite part of the math curriculum in seventh grade because students never tire of constructing shapes and figures. Today, students are exploring an engineering geometric wonder of the world, domes. Mrs. Wright is excited today to share some of the books in the media center on the design and construction of structures. Some of Mrs. Wright’s favorites are Building Big by David Macaulay, Experiment! Spiderwebs to Skyscrapers: The Science of Structures by David Darling, and Eyewitness Books: Force & Motion by Peter Lafferty.
After Mr. Reynold’s class leaves, Mrs. Wright checks on a couple of eighth grade boys who are investigating the various estuaries in North Carolina. Their assignment is to locate an estuary to visit on a field trip. Mrs. Rowland, the media assistant, helps the boys do a search on the Internet on estuaries in North Carolina. So far the boys have information on the Neuse River, the Albemarle, and the Pamlico River Estuary. Mrs. Wright directs the eighth grade boys to resources in the reference collection. Several books on North Carolina can aid their decision. Notably, The Nature of North Carolina’s Southern Coast: Barrier Islands, Coastal Waters and Wetlands by Dirk Frankenberg describes several estuaries of interest.
The Lunchtime Book Club meets today. Students who join the club bring their lunch to the library and discuss a book that they are reading. Currently, they are reading The DoubleLife of Zoe Flynn by Janet Lee Carey about a girl who hides the fact from her classmates that her family lives in a van. Mrs. Wright has several book clubs to meet the varied interests of students. Her personal favorite is the sports heroes book club she jointly coordinates with Mr. Reynolds. When reading is connected to real-world contexts and personal interest students are more motivated to read (Ivey and Broaddus, 2001).
After lunch Mrs. Wright meets with the sixth grade collaborative planning team for the afternoon. Each year the sixth grade teachers focus the instructional program around a central theme. This year the theme is cities. The team has already decided the theme for next year will be detectives. Today, they want to pinpoint resources and plan ideas for integrating the theme with the SCOS. Mrs. Wright is excited. The detective/mystery genre of young adult literature is always a favorite with middle grade students. Today she suggests to Mrs. Johnson, the language arts teacher, Wolf Rider by Avi and Getting Lincoln’s Goat by E. M. Goldman as literature for next year.
Mrs. Wright also thinks the history detectives Web site (http://www.pbs.org/opb/ history detectives/index.html) will be the perfect fit for the social studies curriculum. During the planning meeting she shows this Web site to Mr. Carter, the sixth grade social studies teacher while Mr. Grady, the science teacher and Mr. Brown, the math teacher discuss some ideas for integrating math and science with a detective theme. Mrs. Wright has appreciated the insight that a theme-based approach has brought to the sixth grade teachers. The sixth grade teachers recognize that their role as the content specialist combined with the media specialist’s role as resource specialist has helped build a stronger, more dynamic instructional program (Russell, 2002).
Theoretically, every unit of instruction in any subject curriculum has an opportunity for a problem- or inquiry-based learning component that requires data, information, and knowledge (Georges, 2004, p. 34). For Mrs. Wright, her role within the educational institution is clear. It is her responsibility to seize every opportunity, to provide her colleagues with instructional activities, and to create a collaborative atmosphere that fosters information literacy.
For online video examples of school library media coordinator scenarios visit the following Web site: <http://nditsvns04.its.state.nc.us/ramgen/dpi/MediaTech/ProfessionalAssessment/mcpai.rm>
Abilock, D. “Information Literacy from Prehistory to K-20: A New Definition.” Knowledge Quest 32.4 (2004): 9-11.
Bajcsy, R. “Technology and Learning.” Visions 2020: Transforming Education and Training through Advanced Technologies. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Commerce, 2002.
U.S. Department of Commerce, 2002.
Georges, F. “Information Literacy, Collaboration, and ‘Killer Apps’: New Challenges for Media Specialists.” Library Media Connection 23.2 (2004): 34-35.
Grove, K., N. Strudler, and S. Odell. “Mentoring Toward Technology Use: Cooperating Teacher Practice in Supporting Student Teachers.” Journal of Research on Technology in Education 37 (2004): 85-109.
Hord, S., W. Rutherford, L. Huling-Austin, and G. Hall. Taking Charge of Change. Austin, TX: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, 1998.
Ivey, G. and K. Broaddus. “Just Plain Reading: A Survey of What Makes Students Want to Read in Middle School Classrooms.” Reading Research Quarterly 3. 4 (2001): 350-377.
Lou, Y., et al. “Small Group and Individual Learning with Technology: A Meta-Analysis.” Review of Educational Research 71. 3 (2001): 449-521.
Means, B. “Accountability in Preparing Teachers to Use Technology.” 2000 State Educational Technology Conference Papers. Washington, DC: Council of Chief State School Officers, 2000.
Schacter, J. The Impact of Education Technology on Student Achievement: What the Most Current Research Has to Say. Milken Exchange on Education Technology, 1999 <http://www.milkenexchange.org >.
United States. Department of Education. “Prisoners of Time.” National Education Commission on Time and Learning. Apr. 1994 <http://www.ed.gov/ZipDocs/PrisonersOfTime.zip>.