Teaching & Learning with Technology

Choosing Instructional Technology Tools (ITTs) in LPS

High-quality instructional technology is an important tool for improving student achievement and preparing learners for adult success. Teacher creativity and passion drive instructional innovations, and a role of the District is to provide information for teachers, students, and families about the use of instructional technology tools.  Our goal is to efficiently identify Instructional Technology Tools (ITTs) that are safe for student use, support district learning goals, and encourage innovative teaching and learning. Want to understand "the why?" See this link for additional rationale.

Belief Statements

High-quality Curriculum and Instruction can and should include instructional technology for improving student achievement and preparing learners for adult success.

In Lincoln Public Schools we believe:

  • Instructional Technology should support student learning and success - supplementing, not replacing, professional judgment and instructional choices of educators.
  • Instructional Technology choices should inform, engage, and empower students, families, teachers, and school system leaders.
  • All students and teachers should have consistent access to instructional technology tools.
  • Student information (identifying information and/or student work tied to student identities) should only be shared via instructional technology under appropriate terms or agreements, for educational purposes.
  • All institutions should have clear, publicly available guidelines and standards for how they collect, use, safeguard, and destroy those data.
  • Research-based instructional strategies combined with teacher passion and creativity enhance student success - teachers should be empowered to select instructional technology to facilitate this process. Instructional Technology choices should be deliberate and based on important criteria.
  • Instructional technology tools should include features that help individualize and differentiate instruction for ALL learners with different abilities, skills, and backgrounds (see "Universal Design for Learning" principles for more information).

STEP 1
Review Tool

Use this question list to guide your decisions about using an Instructional Technology Tool. You may not be able to answer all of the questions and that is OK. 

Instructional Use

  • Does the tool align with learning objectives?
  • How will the tool support student engagement and learning?
  • Does this tool provide features for differentiation?
  • Is there already a tool in LPS that addresses these needs?  Check current lists HERE
  • Have you spoken to the Curriculum Specialist for your area about the need for another tool for students to use?

Functionality

  • Does this tool fill a need that isn’t currently met with one that is already approved?
  • Who will likely use this tool? (grade level(s), courses, individual teacher, department, team)
  • How much time and effort will be required to learn this tool? For you and for the students? Is it worth it? 

Privacy

  • Are there any age restrictions?
  • Is an educational record created? (Record of academic grades, behavioral data, or IEP progress monitoring)

Technical (considerations document)

  • Installed app or web service?
  • Is access available offline?

STEP 2
Answer the BIG 5

If ANY of the responses to the questions below are YES, fill out the form found at the link below:

  1. Is this tool a Chrome or iPad app, or a Chrome extension to be installed on a district student device?
  2. Does the tool (app, web service or extension) require student accounts or login?
  3. Do you plan on using this tool to save student data like grading, behavior or IEP progress monitoring?
  4. Is there a minimum age requirement listed in the “terms of service”  or "privacy statement" for the tool?
  5. Is there a cost (either now or in the future) associated with the tool?

* This process is part of our legal responsibility regarding the use of instructional technology tools.

CLICK HERE to fill out the form to request that a technology tool be reviewed by the committee. [The form is password protected. Speak to building Principal or Curriculum Specialist for password]

The form includes the following fields:

  1. Requestor's Name
  2. Contact email
  3. School/Department
  4. Title of app
  5. App Link
  6. Instructional Practice
  7. Price

STEP 3
Evaluation Process

  • Tool submitted to the District Instructional Tool Evaluation SubCommittee for review
  • Tool reviewed and recommendations made by the Sub-Committee
    • Relevant curriculum specialists will be consulted when an app/extension/online service is most relevant to a specific curriculum area.
  • Recommendations made by the SubCommittee.
  • District Applications Full Committee review recommendations.
    • BIG 5 considered from this level
  • When an Instructional Technology Tool (ITT) is approved:
    • Instructional Tool will be classified on The Matrix as Approved for Use
    • ITT will be visible on the Web Portal 
    • An update will be provided to various groups:
      • Expanded Curriculum Committee
      • Instructional Technology Coaches
      • Instructional Coaches
      • Librarians
      • Building Technology Leaders
      • Administrators
  • When an app is denied

Communicating this story in a consistent fashion is important. Please use the resources found in the Instructional Technology Tool Communications folder for assistance.

To see the notes taken by the ITT Evaluation Committee when reviewing ITTs, see this folder: ITT Evaluation Docs.

Questions and comments about this process should be left in the Instructional Technology Tools Forum and a district committee member will respond.