I have been a part of a lot of committees in my professional life. None has worked towards a goal like the K-12 Technology Committee. This committee was tasked with evaluating the past uses of technology in school and setting a vision for the future. It was made of of an administrative facilitator, a couple of building principals, the Technology Director and a teacher from each building in our district. Each year we would meet during the school day to discuss where we had been. The administrative facilitator had a good solid agenda and we were asked to prepare for the meeting. There were reports, but mainly we discussed teaching and learning and how it changed with access to technology.
I remember vividly the day that we talked about the impact of laptops on our teaching. Each teaching member of the team had been given a laptop the previous year and we discussed how it had changed our personal lives and our professional lives. While this seems like a trite thing to do now, in 2002 it was an amazing experience. We decided more teachers needed laptops and more rooms needed projectors to go with the laptops.
Then in 2004 we talked about having pushed computer labs as far as they would go. The labs were busy places and filled with learning, but everything else we wanted to do with computers required more. We knew students would each have to have a laptop to take our technology use to the next level. We designed a pilot program for the following school year and we were off. Now every student in sixth through twelfth grade has a laptop. A committee with a leader who is willing to get out of the way, a mandate and a vision is essential to good collaboration.