EDTC 6433: ISTE 3 Module 3 Communicating Effectively with Confidentiality to meet Individual Needs

EDTC 6433: ISTE 3 Module 3 Communicating Effectively with Confidentiality to meet Individual Needs

#ISTE3    #communication   #individual education plans (IEPs)   #confidentiality

Within Module 3, our challenge has been to address ways in which we as educators can model the effective use of technology in the midst of our work and learning. My initial question posted for this module focused on how can I as a special education teacher, use technology to assist me in effectively and efficiently writing Individual Education Plans (IEPs) that are compliant with state requirements, streamlined for gathering staff input, and presented in a “user-friendly” format for students and parents? The specific aspect of ISTE 3 that is especially high on my priority list is: c.Communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital-age media and formats. Both prior to and during IEP meetings, my desire is to focus more time and energy on my students and their specific strengths and needs rather than “fussing” with processes and documents that are confusing and distracting. One of the software programs our district is considering purchasing is Goalview. Here is the link: http://www.psesd.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=718&Itemid=736

In response to my posted resource, Professor David Wicks, asked if I was familiar with another online IEP system entitled, Goalbook. Following the link he provided, https://goalbookapp.com/goals/goals, I watched a sample video of the program in action and was impressed with what I saw. Just this week, however, the decision in my district was finalized and Goalview has been selected. As I have begun to investigate the Goalview software, I have learned that some of the positive aspects include autotext and drop-down menus throughout the program, multiple goal bank options, and a variety of use-friendly printing features. I am encouraged by a remark from one of my friends who served on the selection committee that she does not think that the learning curve will be too steep. Additionally, our new assistant principal used Goalview in her previous district and has very favorable comments about its use and functionality.

Throughout Module 3, I found myself drawn to posts referencing organizational tools for teachers, however, I noted that again this week I was becoming overwhelmed by the volume of available resources. I would click on a site, and sometimes sign up for free access, then after spending a considerable amount of time experimenting with the digital tool, I would find that some feature was not as user-friendly as I had hoped. In one of our readings, the need to be discerning was especially noted by author, Louise Starkey. In her article, Evaluating learning in the 21st century: a digital age, Starkey shares, “Relatively quick access to a wide range of information means that the user needs the ability to critically evaluate the validity and relative value of information accessed (2011, p. 6).

Also, I must share that when considering signing up students for using online tools I have reservations regarding confidentiality. My concern is that every one of my students has an IEP, so just the mere process of having their name being added to a class list of mine—makes it a known fact that they have a disability. The issue of confidentiality reminds me of a time when our current IEP system was brand new and in the process of the training we discovered that we could create a PDF of each page of the IEP. I was excited to try this feature and with parent permission, sent a draft of an upcoming IEP to a parent via email. In discussing this action later with my special education director (at my initiative) I was asked to not continue this practice.

Unfortunately, what was possible in a technical sense, was considered unwise for the situation, and while I clearly understand the reasoning behind the directive to not email the contents of a student’s IEP, it seemed ironic that the use of such a time-saving tool was prohibited. This illustration is also ironic to me, as I consider the results of a study by Jia Rong Wen and Wen Ling Shih: Exploring the information literacy competence standards for elementary and high school teachers, which found the dimension ‘‘attitude’’ (to be) the most powerful force for promoting teachers’ information literacy competence and their willingness to apply information technology in teaching”. I believe my attitude is one of openness and willingness to embrace technology—especially if it can streamline communication between all parties of an IEP team, however, I must be thoughtful and discerning in the decisions I make—ensuring that the individual needs of my students always trump other factors of consideration. I wonder if confidentiality is one of those issues around which practices must be altered to keep up with the ever-changing needs of society? After all, consider online healthcare and financial records.

Resources:

Starkey, L (2011) Evaluating learning in the 21st century: a digital age learning matrix Retrieved from: https://bbweb-prod.spu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-828829-dt-content-rid-1286046_1/courses/EDTC6433_27233201232/evaluating%20learning%20in%20the%2021st%20century%282%29.pdf

Wen, J. & Wen. (2008): Exploring the information literacy competence standards for elementary and high school teachers. Retrieved from https://bbweb-prod.spu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-828836-dt-content-rid-1286048_1/courses/EDTC6433_27233201232/Exploring%20info%20literacy%20competence%20standards%20for%20elementary%20and%20high%20school%20teachers%282%29.pdf

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One response to this post.

  1. I find it interesting that your district does not want you to use the email system to send IEP material. I understand that emails sent of district property are open to public review, but even public information has the right to be redacted to protect students.

    Reply

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