Technology Plan Executive Summary
The last few years have seen a transformational shift that is having a substantial impact on how schools educate students. The rise of mobile computing devices and ubiquitous Internet access has made access to information trivial. In this environment, the focus of education is on helping students effectively find, filter, and select appropriate information resources. Then, students synthesize, analyze, and evaluate that information, using innovative thinking and problem solving skills to collaboratively create new ideas and new solutions to authentic problems. These solutions are communicated, debated, justified, and defended in a variety of formats and contexts.
The district’s technology model has traditionally focused on computer labs for student use, with minimal computer access in classrooms. Desktop computers have maximized available computing resources while minimizing costs. Investments in network infrastructure have kept pace with the district’s needs, and long-range upgrade projects are underway or have been recently completed.
Current trends in educational technology are leading toward an environment where computers are tied to people, not to places. Every student and staff member has ubiquitous access to technology that is used to connect with online learning resources and networks of people who interact and learn from one another on a regular basis. At the same time, instruction is hyper-personalized, with students participating in activities and using resources uniquely suited to their needs.
To meet the needs of its students, staff, and school community over the next five years, the district has identified three major technology goals. These goals acknowledge the existing technology resources that are available while planning to meet the challenges and demands that are likely to come within the next few years.
Goal 1: Provide the necessary infrastructure to support the instructional and operational goals of the school district.
Goal 2: Provide ubiquitous access to technology for students and staff.
Goal 3: Provide appropriate levels of support to encourage the productive and efficient use of technology.
The cost of these initiatives is expected to be $4.3 million over the next five years, with $1.3 million in the first two years, and approximately $1 million per year thereafter. In many cases, these numbers include expenditures that are already in the budget. It is expected that currently available funding for textbooks and technology will offset the hardware costs. While the personnel costs are substantial, they are relatively modest considering the magnitude of the planned resources.
This plan outlines technology needs designed to meet the challenges of next generation learning. It is not an overly ambitious plan, but simply acknowledges the technology needs of the district moving forward, and outlines a reasonable plan to meet those needs.