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School Technology Evaluation

Shannon Johnson, Lambda Group My Local College is a small, 4-year, private, not-for-profit Liberal Arts College with a total of 698 undergraduates, 322 of which are degree-seeking students. It is an all women college, located in a large town in a suburban setting. It offers Associate, Bachelor's and Master's degrees. The college offers 27 majors, 23 areas of concentration and 32 minors. We have a student to faculty ratio of 10:1. Weve just launched a M.Ed., program online this year. The college also offers a state-certified Teacher Intern Program. The college has two programs that we are known for, our Women with Children program which allows young women, under 24, that have children to live on campus and room their children with them so that they can still get their college education. Weve also got a top-notch equestrian program.

Administrative
Policy
o Behavior Emergent Appropriate technology use is considered, but is informal and inconsistent. Resource/Infrastructure Emergent No technology policy exists.

When searching for technology use policies I was only able to find policies on peer-to-peer file sharing and acceptable email use for students. Because the computer services department reports up to my supervisor, I asked her about a plan and she said that she didnt think there had ever been a formally created plan.

Planning
o Behavior Islands Formal planning takes place, but is isolated to specific projects with some connection to other planning efforts. Resource/Infrastructure Islands Formal plan with isolated implementation and little or no connection to other planning efforts.

The Director of Computer Services is currently working with our Controller to implement a system for use with student data and billing but we could not add the Human Resources module to the package because it cost too much at over $90,000 we couldnt justify the cost within the budget even though we are in desperate need of a formal HRIS system.

Budget
o Behavior Islands Formal technology budgeting process with higher priority, but with relatively simple resourcing.

Resource/Infrastructure Islands Specific technology budget is provided, but other budgets not considered for technology. The budget is what keeps us from being in the higher levels on the benchmark. There is little buy-in to add more technology to the formal budget. Were a very small school that relies on donations and grants. Most budgeted money is spent on keeping the school running so there is little left to expand our technology beyond what is deemed necessary. o

Administrative Information
o Behavior Emergent Administrative systems are utilized by a few of the staff members, primarily to benefit administration. Resource/Infrastructure Emergent Administrative systems are available to administration and/or a few staff only.

Our administrative systems are currently being implemented. Were just starting to move away from using spreadsheets for tracking into formal databases. System access has not been granted to many people yet because were still building the data tables!

Curricular
Electronic Information
o Behavior Intelligent Students and staff are heavily dependent upon information resources and use them daily. Resource/Infrastructure Intelligent Resources are comprehensive providing depth and diversity. All students have regular access.

Faculty, adjuncts, students, and most staff have Internet access and email accounts. We provide a free public Wi-Fi as well as a password protected staff Wi-Fi. Administration has access to shared hard drives to share files. Email is the main method of contact between employees. However, the President prefers that we do not send out all campus emails for announcements but prefers we post to the e-forum within the schools website instead.

Assessment
o Behavior Islands Used by many of the staff and some of the students for the evaluation of work and self-assessment. Resource/Infrastructure Islands

Some reporting and assessment tools are available, with a focus on traditional assessment measures.

This is not an area with which I am very familiar as I work in human resources within the business office. We do not have very good reporting tools within human resources but there are other reporting tools out there for accounting and student data.

Curricular Integration
o Behavior Emergent Some of the technology is used in the curriculum on a limited basis. Resource/Infrastructure -Islands Technology related resources are available for some curricular areas.

We do not have a formal course management system that is used by all students. We are starting to offer some online course for the Teacher Intern Program and also we have a 100% online M.Ed program, but the course management system is somehow outsourced.

Teacher Use
o o Behavior Islands Regular use by teachers, but not integrated into daily work. Resource/Infrastructure Islands Some teachers have access to appropriate technology in their work area.

Through a grant some teachers are getting iPads for this fall, but a lot of instructors still stand in front of the class and talk and dont even use computers, smartboards, or tablet technologies.

Student Use
o Behavior Integrated Students use technology frequently and comprehensively, but outcomes are not dependent on its use. Resource/Infrastructure Integrated Most students have consistent and regular access to appropriate technologies.

My Local College is a private college and its pricy. Most students can afford to supply what technology they need. They have tablets and smart phones. The College provides Wi-Fi access for them as well. Their consistent and regular access is mostly self-provided.

Support
Stakeholder Involvement

Behavior Islands Some of the groups are aware of the planning and implementation procedure, but few are engaged in the process. Resource/Infrastructure Islands Few groups are represented in the planning and implementation process.

Cabinet, which is made up of the VPs of the college and the President, makes decisions on large projects; the vice-presidents of each functional area have the responsibility of planning and implementation. Some decisions are made by committee and all committees have student involvement.

Administrative Support
o

Behavior Islands Peripheral involvement by the administration in planning, practice, and implementation. Resource/Infrastructure Islands Little formal administration, time and support allocated to the planning and implementation process.

This process works the same as the stakeholder involvement. There are committees and Cabinet involvement in projects. Individual project implementation is then left to the functional area.

Training
o

Behavior Emergent Few staff members participate in technology training activities. Resource/Infrastructure Emergent Limited formal training.

When asked if they wanted to attend a formal training session to learn how to use the new department copier only one person from the business office replied. People are usually really busy and do not wish to attend trainings that are not absolutely mandatory.

Technical/Infrastructure Support
o

Behavior Integrated Most staff utilizes formal and informal support. Resource/Infrastructure Integrated Formal technical assistance provided through staff release time, hired help, and/or formal district support.

With only three full-time computer services staff access to technical help is sometimes limited. The Director of Computer Services is working on the implementation of Datatel right now, so his time is extremely limited, so the College is limited to two people and there is no helpdesk hours for technical support.

Connectivity
Local Area Networking (LAN)
o Behavior Islands Staff and students use available networks often, but use is unsophisticated and limited. Resource/Infrastructure Integrated High-speed networking with access to all working environments.

Our computers have high speed Internet access and we have shared network drives, some with limited access to administrators that need the access. For instance, I have access to a HR drive that only two others have access to.

District Area Networking (WAN)


o

Behavior Islands Staff uses district services often, but in very traditional and basic manners. Resource/Infrastructure Integrated District area networking infrastructure with dedicated high-speed lines; several data services are available.

The staff uses what is available. We just have one campus with access in many different buildings. The infrastructure is equipped with high-speed lines.

Internet Access
o

Behavior Integrated Most staff and students use Internet frequently. Use is integrated into the curriculum. Resource/Infrastructure Intelligent Direct Internet access to all locations.

There is Internet access throughout the campus.

Communication Systems
o

Behavior Integrated E-mail is used frequently to form administrative and learning activities. Resource/Infrastructure Intelligent E-mail is available to all staff and students.

Everyone on campus has an e-mail address. We have Wi-Fi for public and staff so there is no lack of ability to communicate with e-mail on campus.

Innovation
New Technologies
o Behavior Emergent New technologies are readily rejected by staff member, with few opportunities for experimentation. Resource/Infrastructure Emergent New technologies readily rejected with implementation limited to a few areas and staff.

When approached about implementing a new HRIS system the former Director of Human Resources said no that he did not want to spend any money on a system. The system that was in place was fine. But the system that is in place is full of errors because of data entry errors and other human error. If hed have implemented a system there would be a cost savings for not having to

Comprehensive Technologies
o

Behavior Emergent Technology limited to computers, VCRs, overheads, etc. Resource/Infrastructure Emergent Available technology is limited and underutilized.

We do not have state of the art equipment in most classrooms. We did have a state of the art science center built that is very innovative. So were not completely out of the loop we just dont have great technology everywhere on campus.

Assessment:
I feel that My Local College has a great deal of room for improvement. For a lot of areas weve reached the Island stage within the Maturity Model Benchmark. Were still in the emergent stage for some areas but I really feel that the colleges budget is the deciding factor for the lower levels of technology use. I feel that if we had a bigger budget we would definitely be more in the integrated and intelligent stages. While there are some areas with little to no buy-in for new technology I feel that many departments do not ask for additional funds because they know that there is not a lot of room within the budget to add many extra technologies.