|Last updated: 2007; Last revised: August 2008|
|Contact: : Arizona Department of Education |
The US country reports are published on the Insight portal in cooperation with the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) of the United States. Information and data from Arizona, Indiana and Wisconsin have been gathered by CoSN using the Insight country report model.
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NEW! 2011 COUNTRY REPORT UPDATE
1. The Education Context
1.1 Success stories and ICT
The Arizona Department of Education will pre and post test 37,000 5th and 8th graders using the Technology Literacy Assessment (TLA) from Learning.com. This assessment covers seven modules of technology literacy: databases, multimedia/presentation, social and ethical issues, spreadsheets, systems and fundamentals, telecom/Internet, and word processing. The testing window opened in late September 2007 and will close in early November 2007. District coordinators were trained using webinars and phone conferences in September and October. 1.2 Education reform
Once a school completes testing their students, it is able to request the whole school data. In turn, once all of the schools of the district have completed their testing, the district can request the whole district data gathering the results of all the schools. This is the third year for this project.
New Social Studies Standards were adopted in autumn 2006. They are a major change from former standards. Also, by legislation Arizona is attempting to reform how English language learners are taught based on recommendations from the Arizona English Language Learners Task Force. The Arizona Department of Education is building a data warehouse.
2. ICT Policy
2.1 Sharing of ICT responsibilities
The state adopted educational technology standards in 2000. They are to be revised during the 2007/2008 school year. Annually, each district signs a Declaration of curricular and instructional alignment. The State Board of Education adopted the Arizona academic standards articulated by grade level (known simply as the Standards) in the subject areas of reading, writing, mathematics, science and social studies. 2.2 Overall ICT literacy policy
The purpose of the Declaration is to affirm that the central components of standards-based education are in effect at every level in every school district and charter school in the State. The central components of standards-based education include curriculum, instructional materials and teachers evaluation all aligned to the Standards, in order to ensure that they are integrated into instructional practices.
Each of the three documents that comprise the complete Declaration is signed separately by the local governing board as a body, the district superintendent and every school principal (including equivalent charter school officials and administrators).
Arizona was recently awarded an Intel® Teach grant to become an Intel ®Teach Alliance member. It will be the primary teacher professional development model used throughout the state. Intel® Teach will be administered through the Statewide Instructional Technology Project. 2.3 Policies to promote eInclusion, infrastructure and home-school linkages The E-Learning Task Force
Arizona has an educational web portal (IDEAL) that provides digital resources. There is nothing formal to teach digital literacy.
The Arizona Department is leading the "E-Learning Task Force" created in 2006. The Task Force is looking at innovative ways to help students master middle school maths standards using digital curriculum with 1:1 access. The 11 member task force consists of appointees from the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate and the Governor’s office, including the Government Information Technology Agency. The Deputy Associate Superintendent for Educational Technology is Superintendent Tom Horne’s appointee and the chair person of the task force (www.azed.gov/E-Learning). IDEAL
The State of Arizona (Senate Bill 1512) wishes to implement an e-learning pilot programme to deliver digital middle school mathematics content aligned to Arizona State Academic Standards. The programme will provide the digital content with assessments for maths grades 6 through 9 and use laptop computers. Professional development is a critical component of success for the project and will be included in the design and implementation of the programme.
The goal of the legislation is to implement a three-year e-learning pilot programme to help schools achieve academic and motivational gains based on state and national standards. Its scope will be limited to three full academic years for up to a maximum of 10 sites and 10,000 or fewer students. However, vendors must be able to provide a delivery system with the digital math content capable of scaling up to 50,000 students at over 225 districts and 450 charter schools at school and home. The digital content must also provide for students who are above or below grade level.
Integrated Data to Enhance Arizona's Learning (IDEAL) is a web portal providing Arizona teachers’ access to rich standards-based resources that will enhance their teaching and their students’ learning. Teachers and administrators have access to more than 3,500 formative assessment items and pre-made quizzes, school improvement resources, standards-based streaming video library and a resource library of trade books aligned to Arizona Standards. The Ed Tech (ICT in education) section is charged with the refinement and on-going quality assurance of IDEAL. 2.4 Policies to promote new learning environments New Ed Tech Legislation
The 2007 legislation session provided USD 1 million (641,436 EUR) for an instructional technology system pilot programme. The Educational Technology staff created the application to select one K-8 school, either a school in a school district or a charter school, to participate in the pilot programme. The application is a two step process.
Once the application is approved and posted, schools will have four weeks to send in a letter of intent and the eligibility assessment inventory. A team will review the letters and will invite districts to submit the full application. Schools will have eight weeks to complete it. The school that is selected shall use the money to significantly increase academic performance in:
2.5 Foresight (forward looking initiatives)
- upgrading instructional technology systems;
- ensuring access to one networked computer with broadband internet access.
Arizona is exploring the possibility to become state partner in the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. The 21st Century Summit was held on 25 October 2007. 2.6 Education and ICT budget
The federal programme Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) provides USD 5.3 million (EUR 3.4 million). State keeps 5% for its activities, 50% of the remaining is given out as formula grants and 50% goes to competitive technology grants.
The state does not directly give funds for technology. It has funded two projects in the past two years, one for USD 3 million (EUR 1,9 million) and the other for USD 1 million (641,436 EUR).
Therefore the total ICT/education budget corresponds to USD 160,000 (EUR 153,152) spent annually through EETT funding.
It is invested in the following areas:
Ed Tech Goals and Activities
Increased Access to Technology
Increase Student Achievement and Technology Literacy
Data Management Informed Decision Making
Networking and Infrastructure
Proven Learning and Technology Solutions
Assessment and Evaluation
Information Technology Courses
Outreach and Community Support with Parents
3. The Curriculum and ICT
3.1 National curriculum and ICT
Arizona has Technology Standards which are fully aligned with the original National Technology Standards for Students. They can be found at www.azed.gov/standards/technology.
Many districts have articulated to grade levels and have blended within the other content standards. A percentage of 8th grade students technology literacy skills are assessed each year. Arizona also has a large Career and Technical Section of the Arizona Department of Education (www.ade.az.gov/cte/).
3.2 School autonomy
- Organisation of ICT in schools
Arizona is a local control state and is extremely autonomous in decisions regarding their curriculum implementation. The state sets the standards and the districts are responsible for how they teach them. 3.3 ICT support and guidance for schools
There is no specific model for support services, it differs in each state district. However, Arizona has the State-wide Instructional Technology Project (SIT, ww.azed.gov/technology/SIT), which is funded by an EETT competitive grant and provides state-wide educational technology professional development. The two goals of this project are to provide technology integration support into academic standards and to promote IDEAL. 3.4 School ICT plans
The SIT project utilizes full time certified teachers, based in their county educational service agency, to work with teachers throughout the state. There is weekly communication and collaboration between the Ed Tech Section and the SIT Project Coordinator. All Technology Integration Specialists are also qualified to teach iSafe as the official Internet Safety curriculum in Arizona.
Moreover, the Ed Tech Section is charged with the refinement and on-going quality assurance of IDEAL. Part of the offerings is Tech4Learning software tutorials.
In order to receive any Enhancing education through technology or E-rate funding, a district must have a current technology plan on file with the Arizona Department of Education. The template for the Arizona Technology Plan can be found at www.azed.gov/technology/TechPlanTemplate06.rtf. 3.5 New technologies and services
E-Rate is the Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund, which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The programme provides discounts to assist most schools and libraries in the United States (and U.S. territories) to obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access. It is one of four support programmes funded through a Universal Service fee charged to companies that provide interstate and/or international telecommunications services.
Funding is requested under four categories of service: telecommunications services, Internet access, internal connections, and basic maintenance of internal connections. Discounts for support depend on the level of poverty and the urban/rural status of the population served and range from 20% to 90% of the costs of eligible services. Eligible schools, school districts and libraries may apply individually or as part of a consortium.
Coming soon to IDEAL is access to Google application and iTunesU, a space devoted exclusively to education, where it is easy and safe to search for thousands of approved audio and video educational resources. Arizona is one of the 17 states exploring creating iTunes University for their states. This activity is sponsored by the State Education Technology Directors Association. 3.6 Experience in using ICT for administration, cooperation and learning
Ample opportunities are in place for administrators to become technology literate, though they are not specifically required. Through the Intel® Teach grant, administrators in Arizona can participate in Intel's Leadership Forum geared toward administrators. The goal is to have 150 participants complete the Leadership Forums in 2007. IDEAL has been offered at no cost for three years.3.7 Linking ICT systems (ICT within the school, Intranet)
Arizona has a wide range of network configurations, though it has no state-wide network. However, the already mentioned web portal IDEAL is a relevant tool which operates in this sense.
Some districts have also some bandwidth issues and they had been addressed by Arizona Broadband Initiative and Framework Analysis and Report in April 2007 (www.azcommerce.com/doclib/prop/originals/arizona%20broadband%20initiative%20framework.pdf).
3.8 Targets for students’ ICT competence and assessment schemes
- Assessment of ICT competence
Other than Technology Standards, there are not targets for ICT. Title IID of NCLB states all students must be technology by the 8th grade.3.9 Surveys on ICT in schools
Therefore Arizona administers the TechLiteracy Assessment to 25,000 students, which can be found at www.learning.com/tla. The data received were extremely useful for several major district initiatives around the state. They also gave the Department of Education baseline data in 2006: the state saw an increase in TechLiteracy in 2007.
Arizona has an annual technology survey that all districts receiving EETT or E-rate funds must complete. The survey can be found at: http://www10.ade.az.gov/selectsurveynet/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=n6KK9l8.
Statewide Instructional Technology Project
The Statewide Instructional Technology (SIT) project supports districts and schools in implementing and integrating technology into the Arizona Content Standards to enhance student learning. This monumental task is achieved through their relationship with 15 county Education Service Agencies (ESA) and schools within their regions. This designation allows each county or county cluster the flexibility to determine and meet the needs of their schools while maintaining standards and accountability. Source
The SIT team is comprised of Technology Integration Specialists (TIS) who hold valid and current Arizona Teaching Certificate. Each TIS is trained and able to deliver Intel® Teach Essentials course and Teaching thinking with technology, iSafe workshops and Thinkfinity workshops. They are also encouraged to create customized professional development as requested. A requirement for being hired as TIS is to have a strong classroom background in using technology to enhance students learning. Trainings offered by TISs are designed, aligned, and provided under the guidelines of the Arizona Professional Teaching, Arizona Content standards, National Staff Development Council (NSDC) standards, and International Society for Technology Educators (ISTE) National Educational Technology Standards (NETS).
Professional development sessions are tailored to meet the needs of individual schools/teachers. Pre-training needs assessments and interviews with Principals and teachers are used to determine the trainings. The session content is rigorous and challenging using academic content and the development of pedagogical content knowledge to engage teachers in building projects that integrate technology. Initial trainings are designed to build on existing knowledge, then expand through demonstration, and finally development and implementation of technology enhanced lessons. Arizona Content Standards and research is articulated throughout the trainings. TISs offer job-embedded trainings by modeling and coaching teachers. As a part of training sessions, student examples are used to model embedded application.
Teachers around the state have welcomed the TIS's into their classrooms. Principals have seen dramatic changes from computer-phobic teachers who now have students creating multi-media projects. Teachers have moved from using technology as a productivity tool to developing lesson for their students to use technology as they learn. The success of the SIT Project has been the local accessibility to quality professional development.
:www.azed.gov/technology/SIT/Peer Coaching - Flagstaff Unified
In February 2007, the Flagstaff Partnership EETT discretionary grant began a peer-coaching programme based on the work of the Puget Sound Center. The Peer Coaching Program is designed to train teacher leaders to serve as peer coaches to their colleagues and to help them develop the necessary technology skills and instructional strategies needed to integrate technology into teaching and learning.
Teacher leaders from the Flagstaff partnership attended a weeklong peer-coaching programme. The Peer Coaching Program comprises 10 sessions, which will be conducted over the course of a 12-month period. As coaches, they assist their peers in identifying ways that technology can strengthen classroom curriculum and offer their students engaging, technology-rich, learning activities.
Some of the skills that were highlighted during the weeklong training include:
- how to facilitate the Peer Coaching Program that guides teachers to become coaches;
- how to strengthen coaching and collaboration skills;
- how to deepen an understanding of best practices in technology integration and lesson design;
- how to create a sustainable Peer Coaching Program aligned with local initiatives.
Due to the success of using Peer Coaching in Flagstaff Partnership, it was selected as a requirement for Arizona’s 2007-2009 EETT competitive grant programme. Source
Holbrook School District is located in the Navajo Nation. Their grant provided the opportunity for mini-grants to be given as incentives for teachers to learn how to effectively integrate technology. Thus SMART Boards were purchased and installed district wide.
In 2006/2007, all data collected showed high student engagement. Again, those from Indian Wells Elementary School showed a direct correlation between SMART Board use and student engagement. Data also underlined a direct correlation between direct instruction and student dis-engagement. Because of the data collection, all principals will be keeping excel databases on their walk through next year.
Research indicates a high correlation between student engagement and retention of content. Students are also learning the SMART Board software and are being required to present lesson concepts in groups on the SMART Board. Teachers reported that the evidence of pre-testing and post-testing for understanding is so much faster and assessing takes less time when using the SMART Board.
Reteaching is a much easier task with many teachers building in reteaching as well as enrichment into their lessons. Lessons are much more effectively designed. If a teacher is hesitant about using the SMART Board, the students are most willing to show them how. In addition, all schools made AYP two years in a row.
4. Digital Learning Resources and Services
4.1 E-content development and sharing initiatives
The two main initiatives E-content development- and sharing-oriented are the already mentioned IDEAL and the coming access to Google application and iTunesU. In addition to the over 3,500 formative assessment items, school improvement resources and library (IDEAL), a space entirely devoted to education with thousands of approved audio and video educational materials will be soon available through Access to Google and iTunesU. 4.2 Commercial publishers (stance of the Ministry of Education)
Arizona contracts with Unitedstreaming, Discovery Education and Tech4Learning.4.3 Online learning offers
Through legislation, Arizona supports 14 Technology assisted project based instruction programs, which are called "On-Line Schools". The schools use a variety of technological educational methodologies including computer assisted learning systems, virtual classrooms, virtual laboratories, electronic field trips, electronic mail, virtual tutoring, on-line help desk, group chat sessions and non computer based activities performed under the direction of a certificated teacher.
Seven districts and seven charter schools are involved in the programme. The districts are:
The charter schools are:
- Arizona Virtual Academy
- Sequoia Choice School Arizona Distance Learning School
- Chancellor Charter School at Sierra Vista
- Pinnacle Education Phoenix Special Programs
- Kids at Hope Online
- Academy Humanities & Sciences of the United States, Inc.
Contact information for the charter schools available at: www.ade.az.gov/stateboard/tapbi.asp
:www.azleg.state.az.us/legtext/46leg/1r/bills/hb2093c.pdf 4.4 Attitude of Ministries of Education towards open source
IDEAL is created through Open Source software – SAKAI and Drupal. Many districts are using Moodle to create online courses. Some are using wiki software to share lesson plans.4.5 Monitoring of content and services
Arizona wanted to take advantage of opportunity provided for educational technology in NCLB by assessing 5th and 8th grade technology literacy. Districts around Arizona encouraged the Arizona Department of Education to take the lead in this area. In addition, Arizona did not have data to show the effectiveness of EETT funding for the first three funding years.
For the 2005/2006 funding cycle, Arizona strengthened its evaluation process for all EETT funding. A requirement was included in the 2005-2006 EETT RFP to set aside 2% of all discretionary funding and of those who received USD 10,000 (EUR 6,447) or more in formula funding with the intent secure an online technology literacy assessment for 5th and 8th graders.
As a result, Arizona contracted with Learning.com for the TechLiteracy Assessment product and tested nearly 25,000 5th and 8th grade students in spring of 2006. Baseline data in 2006 showed that 27% of 5th graders were proficient as well as 37% of 8th graders. In 2007, the results showed an increase in both areas: 36% of 5th graders were proficient (9% increase) as well as 55% of 8th graders (18% increase). Based on this data, Arizona is making progress towards all students being technology literacy by the 8th grade. In 2006/2007, a segment of teachers involved in the EETT grants took the 8th version of the TechLiteracy Assessment created by Learning.com. The results indicate that 97% of teachers are proficient.
Added to the 2007-2009 EETT RFP the following list of Absolute priorities:
- to correlate project to school/district school improvement plans;
- to use AIMS and/or district level data to identify the curriculum area the project will focus on to improve student achievement;
- to describe how the project will support the principles and standards for professional development as adopted by the Arizona Department of Education and developed by the National Staff Development Council (www.nsdc.org/standards/index.cfm);
- to interweave the use of ADE’s technology resources, such as the State Integration Technology (SIT) Project and Technology Integration Specialists (TISs) and the professional development they provide such as iSafe, Intel Teach and Thinkfinity (formerly MarcoPolo);
- to adopt a research-based impact model to support academic standards and increase student achievement;
- to incorporate the use of a Peer Coaching model to build capacity among the partnership;
- to continue and expand Technology Literacy for Arizona students;
- to incorporate the professional development and resources available through IDEAL, formative assessment, etc. ;
- to allocate 50% of the project funds to provide classroom-focused, ongoing, sustained, and intensive high-quality professional development in order to support technology tools and resources to enhance teaching and student academic achievement of the Arizona Content Standards;
- to provide 50% matching funds. The matching funds may be in-kind support from all partnership or consortium members, such as staff, resources, project evaluation, equipment, coordination of other NCLB funding such as IID Formula allocations, or other services having a monetary value;
- to represent a partnership with partners providing measurable resources and services which will impact the project;
- all LEAs, whether qualifying LEA and LEA partners, must have a current approved technology plan on file with ADE that incorporates the proposed activities of the project and covers the two years of the project.
Initially, the AIMS (Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards) was the sole measure of increased student achievement for Title IID. It quickly became apparent that it was not possible to contribute the increases of student achievement in Arizona to Title IID funding. However, sub grantees have targeted specific achievement areas and reported results that show an increase.
Here are a few examples. Creighton
The instructional impact of the project at Creighton School District has been apparent and data obtained through surveys, reports and observation/discussion support this. Math and Social Studies teachers have been utilizing the technology enriched lesson plans from TechPaths that the TMT’s created in order to bring technology into their content curriculum and instruction. Flagstaff/Tuba City
Teachers have been trained in and are utilizing assessment technology (ATI) to develop and administer online formative and summative assessments in order to make data driven decisions in planning instruction. Also, teachers reported using their laptop for activities such as: lesson plan creation, student PowerPoint creation, modelling, creating handouts, research for software and lesson plan ideas, collegial coaching logs, instruction, grading, data analysis, research, graphing, interactive lesson development, parent communication, curriculum mapping, movie creation for class use, Individual Education Plans, and grade level team meetings.
Lastly, since being issued classroom projectors and participating in online professional development in projector use and care, teacher access and downloading of United Streaming media via ASSET has increased over 200%. Through teacher use of ATI data, student learning has been positively impacted as instruction is more and more data driven.
Students use teacher created classroom web pages to access instructional resources and content, such as studies of Aztec and Egyptian cultures and information of the state of Arizona. Teachers are utilizing current technology to create online formative and summative assessments.
Through the increased amount of student-created digital projects and presentations, it is evident that students are becoming more comfortable with the use of technology as a learning resource and as a way to demonstrate what they have learned. Multimedia and mobile computer cart checkout is currently reserved three months ahead of time, while the district is continuously looking for a means to provide more technology assets. The 2007 Arizona Technology Literacy Assessment results will support the anecdotal evidence gathered regarding student technology literacy.
Baseline maths achievement data were collected from Tuba City students at the start of the school year using the Galileo Online Data System and subsequent benchmark testing done throughout the year. In Flagstaff, one TEC teacher utilized the 4Sight Online Data System throughout the year; the special education teacher used the Woodcock Johnson Achievement Test to measure maths achievement. In Tuba City, all teachers saw student math scores increase from the baseline maths test to the Benchmark #3 maths test, with 2 out of 3 teachers seeing more than 50% of their students increase their scores. In Flagstaff, both teachers saw maths scores increase from pre-assessment to post-assessment, with a range of 50 to 81% of students seeing an increase in scores.
TEC classroom teachers have all noted increased student motivation, increased participation and improved attention during technology-integrated lessons. Students are becoming more proficient with the technology itself and comfortable with trying new activities. They look forward to coming to school when they know that the technology will be integrated.
5. Teacher Education for ICT
5.1 ICT in teacher education and target competence
Training to support IDEAL is offered through the State-wide Instructional Technology (SIT) Project funded through EETT. The major focus of the SIT project is to support academic achievement by helping teachers integrate technology into the curriculum they teach. Each county Educational Service Agency has a Technology Integration Specialist (TIS) who offers a wide array of training and/or works directly with teachers in their classrooms. 5.2 Assessment schemes
In 2005-2006, TISs provided professional development to more than 5,400 teachers. Although not required, many teachers take professional development courses in technology integration and other technology classes for recertification hours. In addition, some districts give bonuses to those who take technology courses through Arizona's Proposition 301.
For 2007, the state in partnership with ASSET received an Intel® Teach grant. This opportunity will provide greater access to Intel's Teach Essential and Thinking with technology courses. The goal is to train 750 participants in Intel's Essentials and 750 participants in Intel's Thinking with Technology courses during 2007.
Moreover, in 2005/2006 78 online navigators (course facilitators) assisted 5,244 learners though 351 online courses. Currently, teachers are not required to take online training but there is ample opportunity. In fact, the state encourages alignment with ISTE NETS-T standards for teachers. Technology is also mentioned in the Arizona Professional Teaching Standards which can be found at: www.ade.az.gov/certification/downloads/Teacherstandards.pdf
The Florida Department of Education technology division has graciously agreed to provide their performance-based teacher assessment to Arizona at no cost. Currently, the discretionary partnership grantees and selected Arizona school districts are piloting the programme. The assessment covers technology operations and concepts, planning and designing learning environments and experiences, teaching, learning and the curriculum, assessment and evaluation, productivity and professional practice, and social, ethical, legal and human issues.5.3 Models of provision
The Arizona Department of Education was awarded an Intel® Teach 2007 & 2008 grant programmes. Focusing on schools recently coming out of school improvement, the ADE School Improvement and Intervention coaches and the Technology Integration Specialists will work as a team and recommend districts to utilize the research-based Intel® Teach Essentials and Thinking with Technology courses. Intel® Teach Leadership Forums will also focus on creating a strong leadership vision for technology in the state. The Ed Tech Section will collaborate with the School Improvement and Intervention Section on this project.5.5 Incentives for teachers
A requirement of Title IID (EETT) is to provide 25% of their funding to professional development. Therefore many districts provide a variety of incentives to their teachers using this funding stream as there is no support from the state. Substitute reimbursement funds are also available through the Intel ® Teach grant.
Ministries of Education are asked to update their country report on the basis of the 2011 questionnaire.
Timeline: March - June 2011- Download the 2011 questionnaire (doc)- Download the guidance sheet for Ministries (pdf) COUNTRY REPORTS 2009/2010
Reports (pdf) available hereARCHIVE
Previous reports (pdf) available here