District Technology Plan
Technology Tomorrow in Little Creek
Technology Goals / Strategies / Implementations
Use technology as a means to individualize learning and to enhance development of basic skills, problem solving, and critical thinking.
Provide individualized learning opportunities for students using instructional technology.
Establish middle school learning labs.
Enhance the high school technology initiatives.
Coordinate the efforts within the District to ensure that all technology funding is connected to the District technology plan. Examples of these funding sources include: Title I, Tech Prep, Exceptional Education, Vocational Education, Title VI, District budget, private contributions, grants, etc.
Provide a technology resource specialist in every school setting to provide support and training for technology integration.
Employ and train school technology resource specialists beginning with middle schools.
Continue to provide resource support for assistive technology in all schools for students with disabilities.
Utilize CCC consultants for training and support in the elementary and middle schools served by Title I.
Utilize distance learning to enhance instruction in schools.
Develop a plan for distance learning that facilitates placing technology in schools that need these services in order to teach courses not otherwise available.
Develop pilot sites for the integration of student-constructed multimedia projects in the curriculum.
Identify three elementary sites to pilot the effective integration of the Internet and multimedia in the elementary curriculum (East, Central and West).
Integrate technology into the learning environment by providing access to students, staff, parents, and community members.
Provide access to technology in all school settings.
Provide appropriate physical plant adaptations and modifications to allow access to the technology.
Utilize the technology resource specialist in the building to make sure that the hardware is properly maintained and utilized.
Assist building sites with flexible scheduling to maximize use of computers in the building.
Support structured opportunities for after hours use of technology by parents, students, and other members of the community.
Link existing programs and facilities to the technology plan to ensure that their existence and availability for use are communicated in an effective and efficient manner.
Identify outstanding programs and uses of technology that already exist in the District for the purpose of expanding their focus beyond their current setting.
Provide assistive technology to students with disabilities based on appropriate assessment and individual needs as stated in the Individual Educational Plan (IEP).
Develop individualized plans with IEP committees (appropriate District personnel, service providers, parents and students) that include assistive technology, when necessary, for the student to benefit from their special education in order to ensure a free and appropriate public education.
Enhance the quality of instruction by incorporating information sources previously unavailable to students and teachers.
Wire all buildings for Local Area Network (LAN) and Wide Area Network (WAN) connectivity.
Develop a plan for wiring all buildings. Technology wiring plans include wiring for: LAN, WAN, distance learning, phones, media retrieval, and intercom throughout the building.
Wire middle schools for immediate projects.
Develop a wiring plan for three elementary pilot sites.
Provide Internet access in all K-12 schools.
Enhance the Internet access in the high schools.
Develop a plan to provide Internet access to remaining school sites.
Provide CD-ROM servers in all K-12 schools.
Purchase and install CD-ROM servers at the three elementary pilot sites and middle schools.
Enhance high school libraries by installing CD-ROM servers.
Plan with each site-based committee to purchase CD-ROM servers.
Develop plans for transition to a technology-based learning environment.
Develop a plan for the retirement of obsolete technology.
Replace typewriters with new technology at each high school site.
Retire old technology.
Utilize the technology resource specialists to support the transition to a technology-based learning environment.
Employ Technology Resource Specialists to perform site-based training to initiate technology changes in the buildings. Initially, each middle school Technology Resource Specialist will also serve his or her feeder elementary schools.
Continue to use the Teacher Resource Center as a preview site for instructional technology.
Expand the library of courseware (software, CD-ROM, laserdisc and other emerging technology), develop a list of critiqued courseware, and develop a resource guide for teacher use.
Establish the Teacher Resource Center as a training site for new technology.
Designate the Teacher Resource Center as the clearinghouse for emerging technologies.
Establish a hardware configuration at the Teacher Resource Center that can review software purchases to make sure they are compatible with existing equipment.
Implement a distributed management system that effectively facilitates site-based management and supports a District accumulator system.
Provide site-based and District level instructional and administrative services utilizing building LAN and District level WAN resources.
Phase in site-based administrative system.
Identify pilot sites at one elementary, middle, and high school to install the administrative system.
Determine compatibility through pilot sites before any final recommendations for management systems are aligned.
Explore the use of the management system as an instructional tool.
Set up an evaluation process that determines the administrative and management needs throughout the District and initiates the upgrade of these systems based on needs and resources.
Establish an evaluation process for administrative management needs throughout the District.
Evaluate the integration of site-based administrative systems with existing transportation, food services, and library services systems.
Evaluate site-based recommendations to ensure the ultimate goal of management systems unification.
Provide professional development on the use of management systems for all administrators and support personnel.
Establish professional development activities that are specific to the implementation, evaluation, and use of the management system and office productivity tools.
Develop a school level technology plan at each site.
Provide District level support and recommendations for site-based managed schools in their development and implementation of site-based technology plans.
Work with each site-based team to develop a site-based technology plan that aligns with the District technology plan.
Establish a District funding source as a means of rewarding District staff for the development and implementation of creative technology programs.
Establish District funding to provide for release time to provide training opportunities for staff. This release time could include: attendance at conferences, professional development activities, sharing of programs within the District, and modeling lessons within the District.
Include the library media specialist in the development and implementation of the technology site-based plan.
5.2 Implementation Issues
Section 5.1, Technology Goals/Strategies/Implementations, outlines the basic implementation steps for the District's broad goals and specific strategies. While the District will play a pivotal role in most aspects of the networking backbone, each school site will become ultimately responsible for their instructional programs within the District and State curriculum frameworks. As the District continues to move aggressively toward full implementation of site-based management and budgeting, individual schools will develop their own goals, strategies, and implementation plans for technology. This plan will provide a conceptual blueprint from which schools can work in alignment with the District and the State Department of Education. Table 5-2 outlines this framework which will support the District's move to a site-based administrative management system.
As schools receive funding from wide-ranging sources (District maintenance, grants, state and federal programs, etc.) for the use of technology, this plan provides them with a clear direction as to what things they should consider in executing their site technology plans. This plan will spur thought processes within our professional staff at each site as to how technology can assist them in achieving their goals of increased student achievement and learning.
The strength of each site plan will have far-reaching implications for future District expenditures for technology. The Technology Committee unanimously supports the concept that once a baseline of support and connectivity is achieved (as outlined in this plan over the next few years), a significant portion of additional funding should incorporate some type of competitive process among school sites. The exact form of this approach has not been decided, but it will incorporate some type of request for proposals (RFPs) similar to our existing Education Foundation Trust Grants process. The intent is to reward and to support creative and successful programs.
5.3 The 21st Century Schoolhouse Model
The model of the 21st Century Schoolhouse is based upon the supposition that the basic learning environment must reflect the dynamic nature of our world. Children will live, learn, and work in environments vastly different from our traditional classrooms. Future classrooms must accommodate and support everything we know about learning styles, instructional practices, and available technology. While it is impossible to build a school or a classroom that is "futureproof," we do believe we have to construct a plan and a model to reflect what we believe to be our best estimates given what we know today. Our model of the 21st Century Schoolhouse is built around the "Site-Based Local Area Network Model" that is graphically depicted on Table 5-3 and discussed in the next section. This model is currently incorporated in the new Sandy Shores Elementary School design that is under construction.5.3.1 Site-Based Local Area Network (LAN) Model
Within each 21st Century Schoolhouse, we will reexamine the way we design and equip everything from the classroom to the office to the media center to the computer lab. Below are brief descriptions and conceptual models that will be available to sites as implementation guides.
The model school will provide students and teachers access to the latest technologies thus creating a dynamic learning environment. The best and most innovative teachers will not only seek employment here, but will also choose to make long-term commitments to the Little Creek community. We will offer the most extensive curriculum-based technology program found anywhere in the State. This model classroom which is depicted in Table 5-3-1 will include:
- Adequate electrical power supply (@ 20 duplex outlets)
- Adequate cabling to provide efficient technology services (nine Category-5 ethernet drops into each classroom to support six student workstations, one teacher workstation, one network printer, and one signaling drop for the media retrieval system)
- A telephone with voice mail
- Distance learning capabilities
- An overhead projector and screen
- A 30" television/monitor with computer attachment capability from the teacher workstation. This television will be connected to the media retrieval system
- The teacher workstation will have on-line connections to all site and District level administrative and management services
The model K-12 Media Center will have varying capabilities depending upon the student population and the grade levels served. This center would include the following equipment as a minimum:
- An infrared controlled media retrieval system
- An automated circulation and catalog system
- Student research stations
- A CD-ROM server with minimum of 14 bays to serve the entire building
- A state-of-the-art desktop publishing workstation with 17" monitor
The office of the 21st century school will provide dynamic and timely responses to data and information crucial in day to day operations. It will include the following:
- District level connectivity and site-based access to a centralized management system for interfacing with every facet of instruction and support services
- Voice mail and fax capabilities
- On-line access to the District and State curricula
- Student and staff demographical information databases
- Internet access
- Global e-mail
A training lab will also be a component of the 21st century school. This lab will provide a variety of services to the school and community. Its role and function will be determined by each site council as they determine the most strategic use of the lab in implementing their technology plan. It will serve as a central site for the previewing and training of emerging technologies. The lab will serve both as a site for large group instruction of students, staff, and parent/community instruction, and training in the evening.
5.3.2 Wide Area Network (WAN) Design
Table 5-3-2 depicts the existing WAN for the District. It represents the current infrastructure diagramming the connections that exist between the current administrative office complexes and eight high schools.
Central to the WAN is the small box in the center of the diagram. It is the main router. All of the connections to the cloud are actually T-1 or 10BaseT connections into this router. For convenience, a cloud is used to diagram these multiple links. The ring LAN graphics are Ethernet LANs except for the Mainframe LAN which is a Token Ring connected by gateway. The remote sites come to the Central Office for centralized services such as Internet, Mainframe, Mail, or Data maintained by the Central Office. Whatever can be moved to their LAN will optimize network traffic and reduce response times.
5.3.3 Distance Learning
Little Creek Public School District is approaching Distance Learning in two separate, yet related, approaches. Internally, we are pursuing a highly innovative program for our individual schools. Externally, the District is working in concert with the State-level Star Schools Program.
River High School - Working from Within. Little Creek Public School District students will receive instruction in a technologically advanced, non-traditional way. The school District has established an internal "broadcast quality" distance learning system. Currently, a River High School classroom has been selected as the site of origination. Transmission of instruction will be conducted via microwave antenna to a cable system and then to all schools in the District. Students will receive instruction in Spanish through this high tech program. The Spanish instruction will be available to the Alternative School on an "audio only" basis, via video cable and telephone lines, in the 1996-97 school year. Program expansion will be a continuing effort as the District strives to increase the educational opportunities available to all of its students.
Creek High School - Our first "Star School." Little Creek's Public Schools' philosophy on the integration of distance learning closely mirrors our technology plan. We want to provide children with educational opportunities which have never been available. Creek High School was selected in January 1996 as one of thirty-five school sites to receive a "Star School" as part of a competitive grant application process administered by Mississippi Educational Television. Crerek was selected by the Little Creek Public Schools District because the District recognized the need to provide more challenging coursework for the students. Historically, the students of Creek and its feeder middle and elementary schools have always produced high scoring students who qualify for such distinguished programs as the Duke Scholars program and the National Honor Society. Accelerated course work for these students was limited under the current educational program. Creek needed more Advanced Placement (AP) course offerings. With the benefit of an electronic classroom, the District can significantly expand the number of AP course offerings to gifted students.
5.4 Software Applications
In support of the District's move to site-based management, each school will decide what courseware best meets the needs of their students and instructional programs. To help schools, the District Teacher Resource Center will serve as a clearing house for teachers to use in evaluating and selecting instructional courseware. The Center currently serves as an official preview center for numerous educational resource companies in the industry. The Center will continue to aggressively pursue and establish relationships with more companies so the District can provide a single site for teachers to visit to assess compatibility and integration issues. The Center will also provide teachers with evaluations and ratings of different programs from different groups and publications specifically devoted to educational courseware.
The Center currently has five 486 Windows-based workstations and two Power Macintosh workstations. All are connected to networked laser printers. A color scanner and color printer are also available. Each of the Windows-based workstations offers high speed Internet access.
5.4.2 Administration and Communication
Effective and efficient communication is a constant challenge within any large organization. Although enhancing interactions between school sites and various administrative offices does not appear on its face to directly benefit children, such improvements will have a profound impact on learning. By streamlining every facet of our administrative system, we will be better prepared to respond to all types of requirements generated from the school sites.
By moving away from the seemingly endless paper trails that slow productivity, we will provide timely and responsive service to the school sites. This transition will be tied to the WAN model discussed in Section 5.3.2. Once this overall District framework is in place, we will incorporate every school site into the site-based administrative system shown on Table 5-2.
Voice mail for each school site is another application which will have a tremendous impact on student achievement. Studies continue to confirm a direct correlation between parental involvement and student achievement. By providing direct communication links between parents and teachers, we will be investing in each child's future. With the use of voice mail systems, parents will be able to access their children's teachers, homework assignments, grades, attendance records, and school announcements. This program is being instituted at Estuary Middle School in the 1996-97 school year.
Library media automation is another integral component of this plan. Its immediate and long-range benefits justify the inclusion of media automation into our program. Immediate benefits include efficient use of time, accurate location of materials and equipment, accountability of all media reports, and the convenience in the performance of routine tasks. Students will be prepared to use existing automation services found at most public and university libraries. Long-range benefits include connectivity of District schools and the coordination of the purchase and the use of software on the Local and Wide Area Networks. Immediate and long range benefits to students include having access to all available media materials. These benefits include the book collection, Internet, periodicals, network versions of encyclopedias, multimedia authoring tools, word processing, and popular reference sources.
5.5 Operations, Maintenance, and Support
The support for the district technology is provided by three divisions: Instructional Technology, Information Services and Electronics of Plants /Operations.
Instructional Technology Division ensures that technology is integrated in the curriculum and ongoing training and support is provided for successful implementation. Information Services Division provides the technical and networking support. The Electronics Division of Plants/Operations maintains the hardware and cabling.
Existing technology is evaluated by the three divisions for instructional value, courseware availability, networking capabilities and cost effective maintenance. Based on the evaluation, recommendations are made for its continued use, reallocation for other instructional areas, or retirement.
Proposed technology plans are reviewed by the three divisions to evaluate instructional purpose, expected outcomes, and appropriate technology configuration for implementation. These divisions provide support to each site for the implementation and maintenance of their site-based technology plan.Return to the Quest