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Evaluation ArnerT

Evaluation ArnerT

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Published by Tracy Arner
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Published by: Tracy Arner on Jul 22, 2012
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05/13/2014

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School: Freeway Elementary School K-6 Population: approximately 700 students Demographics: largely low-income with over 40%

ELL students District: Really big Unified School District Freeway elementary school is sitting in the middle of a well-established, lower-income neighborhood near a freeway. The school has a fair amount of English language learners and has 90% of the students receiving free or reduced lunch. ADMINISTRATIVE: Policy-Islands The current policy in this school is still in the islands phase because much of the technology that they do have was introduced this year. The teachers have been using computers to make themselves more productive and to communicate for a while but for the most part it hasn’t pervaded the curriculum and was not in the hands of students until this year. Planning-Islands Planning at Freeway ES is somewhere between Islands and Integrated. The current planning process takes place one budget year at a time with one grade level at a time. The principal has created a formal plan for short-term implementation with some connection to future planning at the school site and some connection to district wide initiatives. The principal has used available funds to purchase Kindle Fires for grades five and six and has an overall goal to improve reading. Budget-Integrated The budget plays a large role in the planning for technology and integration as the available base funds are limited. Since this school is a Title I school there are some funding sources under that umbrella that can be used for the purchase of technology. The difficulty with these funding sources is that while they recur every year the dollar amount fluctuates based on enrollment and demographics. A portion of these funds could and should be used for professional development but aren’t. Administrative Information-Islands/Intelligent The administrative information systems are in place and developing at the district level. The school is gradually moving toward a more complete integration and tighter integration of the systems as a tool used daily. The district currently has a learning management system that is available to every student and staff member in the district but it is only being used in pockets at Freeway elementary school. CURRICULAR: Electronic Information-Islands The fifth and sixth grade students are now one to one with a Kindle Fire checked out to them for daily use, including use at home. The long term goal at Freeway ES is to continue adding devices at each grade level over the next few years so that they can move from Islands to Integrated where all students will utilize digital content daily. Assessment-Islands The fifth and sixth grade teachers have begun using the technology to assess their students both in formative and summative assessments. Students may take an exam through the LMS using their device or complete a formative assessment using polling tools like Poll Everywhere. Curricular Integration-Islands Curricular integration has not yet moved from Islands to Integrated for the students who have a device since the teachers are still learning ways to make the integration more seamless. Teachers received very little in the way of professional development before receiving devices to use in their classroom so much of their classroom practice is trial and error. Teacher Use-Integrated

Teachers have integrated some varied technologies in the classroom for some time but it has been fairly limited in ability and distribution. For example, many of the teachers have interactive whiteboards in their classrooms but the integration is inconsistent across the school and limited to teacher use. Student Use-Islands Students are just now getting to use technology daily with this new one-to-one project. They are beginning to find new ways to use mobile devices in the classroom and it is isolated to two grade levels. SUPPORT: Stakeholder Involvement-Islands Stakeholder involvement remains in the Islands stage for a few reasons. The teachers who have received student devices are involved in the planning with the administrator. The instructional technology department at the district level was brought in to help with integration ideas but the networking department has not even been informed of the new implementation that occurred this year or the plans for future technology integration. Administrative Support-Integrated The site administration is very involved in the planning of the new technology implementation and has spearheaded the process by allocating funds to purchase devices for her teachers and allowing additional planning time for teachers who are using this technology for the first time this year. Training-Emergent Training is lacking at Freeway elementary school. There was no formal training for teachers prior to receiving devices and the only funding in that channel has been some additional planning time for those teachers to collaborate and discover new ways to implement in their classrooms. Technical/Infrastructure Support-Islands The infrastructure support has been limited to this point only because the Networking team has not been brought in on the planning process for this project. CONNECTIVITY: Local Area Networking (LAN)-Islands The LAN for this site is currently in the Islands phase mostly because the need for extensive coverage has not existed prior to this year due to lack of technology implementation on a wide scale. This summer Freeway elementary school will receive a LAN upgrade as part of a district initiative to increase wireless at all school sites, particularly low SES schools where erate funding can be used to purchase equipment at a significant discount. District Area Networking (WAN)-Integrated District area networks are being improved systematically as funding allows. School sites that are eligible are being upgraded using the erate discounts to purchase equipment. The district currently has wired internet access to all school sites but wireless is still in the Islands phase. Internet Access-Islands/Integrated Wired access is available to all district buildings and each school site has many wired ports. Most of the schools, including Freeway Elementary have at least one wired port for a teacher computer in the classrooms. The Internet Access for students is still a work in progress as the wireless equipment is still being purchased and the implementation plan is still under development. Communication Systems-Intelligent The one system that we currently have in the Intelligent phase is the the communication system. We have district wide email coverage so that every teacher and staff member has an email account and it has become the de facto standard for communication. Teachers are expected to check email for communications daily. Students also have a Google email account that has been created through active directory integration with our Google Apps for education domain.

INNOVATION: New Technologies-Integrated New technology is in the Islands phase moving to the Integrated phase. The principal of Freeway Elementary is adding new technology one grade level at a time with definite plan to have all students with technology for both school and home use. The integration plan is tied tightly to the budget which is currently unstable for the district as well as the state. Comprehensive Technologies-Islands The teachers are slowly adopting the district wide learning management system and initiating use in the classroom. Teachers are adopting at different levels and at different speeds but there is a definite increase in teacher engagement. Teachers are also slowly beginning to adopt the tools available in the Google apps for education domain as then learn more about how the Kindle Fire can be used by students in their classroom. As more grade levels are provided with mobile devices they will increase their integration of the LMS and GAFE domain. SUMMARY: Overall Freeway Elementary ranks at the Islands stage of Technology Use Planning. The administration has great ideas for where she would like her school and students to go but her inexperience with technology has caused some breakdowns in the planning process. Some of the planning issues are directly related to the current budget situation in the state of California and therefore are out of the hands of the administration. The principal is doing an above average job at looking at the big picture for her school and using all of the resources at her disposal to implement her plan. I do think that she would be able to better leverage some of her resources and those of the district if she were to bring all stakeholders and departments together during the planning process.

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