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DCSS Technology Plan Update

DCSS Technology Plan Update

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Published by Mary Pinson

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Published by: Mary Pinson on Mar 17, 2012
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05/13/2014

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Dougherty County Technology Plan UpdateFRIT 8132Susan Daniels, Summer Mahan, Mary Frances Pinson
 
Introduction
The Dougherty County School System, located in Albany, Georgia, is comprised of four HighSchools, six Middle Schools, sixteen Elementary Schools, and four other learning centers. TheDougherty County School System Technology plan is a three-year plan from 2009 to 2012. Thecomponents addressed in the plan include the planning process detailing the involvement andresponsibility for planning and coordination with other planning initiatives. The plan provides anextensive analysis of student academic and technology needs, as well as, district vision statement and performance objectives for student achievement. The technology mission and the vision for theschool system’s technology use are discussed; further, the current access to technology is addressed.The goals and benchmarks are included in the plan, detailing the instructional, administrative, parent/community uses of technology. The action plan described in the technology plan includes professional development strategies; strategies promoting research-based, best practice uses,equitable access strategies, and parent involvement strategies. The communication and marketing plan discusses sharing evaluation results, encouraging stakeholder involvement, and the roles of technology in helping students achieve QCC. The appendices address CIPA compliance, acceptableuse policies, and other relevant policies and procedures.According to the Technology Coordinator, the plan is actually ahead of schedule and is activelyfollowed. The plan is continuously evaluated to insure that technology resources are adequate tomeets the needs of students and stakeholders.
Strengths/Weaknesses
Overall, this technology plan is very well laid out. It includes most of the required components, andthose components explain what it is, how to use that component, and who will be responsible for thatcomponent. On our evaluation, we scored everything a three, which was the highest you can score.The biggest strength of this plan is it was very well planned and very well explained for everyone tounderstand.Organization was key in the formation of the technology plan. The writers used organizational chartsthroughout the plan to organize data and explain major components to the plan. Using these charts isstrength of this plan.The weaknesses of the original plan are that items are not included in the plan. Several componentsneed to be added such as standards, a pilot program, software agreements, and a gifts/disposal policy.Another weakness of the plan is it combines components that need to be separated.
Planned Changes
The Mission and the Vision elements of the DCSS Technology Plan were combined and should beseparated. The statements should be distinguished from the Dougherty County School Systemmission and vision; there should be specific mission and vision statement for the Technology Plan.There were not originally any equipment standards in this plan, so we found a policy to add fromGlynn County Board of Education.
 
The funding information is incorporated into the action plan tables and should be addressedseparately in a Funding section.There was not originally a pilot program explained. We will add the Google Apps Education Edition pilot program for Albany High School.Maintenance/Support information was incorporated into the Staff Development table; thisinformation should be addressed separately.Software agreements were added to the plan; Glynn County Board of Education's agreement wasused because it works well with Dougherty County’s Technology Plan.A gifts/disposal policy from Murray County’s Technology Plan was added; it is general enough towork well with the DCSS Plan.
Resulting Improvements
The suggestion to separate the Mission and Vision elements of the DCSS plan would clarify thestatements and the intent of the Technology Plan, resulting in an improvement to the overall plan.The other sections that were separated will improve the clarity of the overall Technology Plan.The Pilot Program of using Google Apps will improve the DCSS Technology Plan at minimal cost.It has already been proposed for DCSS to create email accounts for students. Instead of creatingemail accounts on the existing server, use of this pilot program should determine whether toincorporate Google Apps Education Edition for all schools. Additional benefits for using GoogleApps Education Edition would include: IT personnel setup time, server space saved, reduced harddisk requirements for classroom computers, added applications available to students, and overallconvenience. This initiative should prove beneficial to the Dougherty County School System.The addition of the National Educational Technology Standards would prove beneficial to thetechnology plan to clarify the ways the technology tools of the school system should be taught andunderstood properly by teachers and students.The Software Agreement would be a valuable addition to the DCSS Technology Plan. This givesevidence as to how software is purchased for the county. It gives a thorough explanation thatsoftware tools are to be used to benefit the academics of the student. Prior to the purchase of suchsoftware, the tool must be peer reviewed and deemed as effective and valued. The agreement alsostates the people responsible for the approval of software. With this addition to the technology plan,it will give clarity as to how the software for the county is purchased.

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