You are on page 1of 7

Demographics of District 78

District 78 is located in the Chicago suburbs. It encompasses five different towns and is comprised of four high schools. While the majority of students are caucasian, the student body is very diverse in terms of religious affiliation, ethnicity, race and socio-economic background. This can be seen in the infographics below. Enrollment: 8891 students

District 78 is rated very highly within the state of Illinois and also the nation. Teaching vacancies are highly applied for and result in quality hires for the district. This can be seen in number of highly educated teachers working within district 78. Teacher demographics:

Administrative Policy: Behavioral: Integrated

Resource/Infrastructure: Islands There are some pieces of technology within the district for which teachers have been shown how to use and are expected to use it in a certain manner. These include email, powerschool and mastery manager. Beyond these items, there is very little acknowledgement of how to appropriately use other pieces of technology. Part of the problem stems from the district's lack of a comprehensive technology plan. In its current form, the district 78 plan is more of a set of beliefs that stakeholders have about technology. There are no goals, there is no one, two or three year plan and there is no assessment of the outcomes of integrating technology. It should be noted that the district has realized that the current technology plan is unacceptable and has made it a priority to develop a comprehensive one by the end of the current school year. Administrative Planning Behavioral: Islands Resource/Infrastructure: Islands Some planning does occur within the district. These plans pertain to isolated pieces of technology such as rolling out powerschool or mastery manager. Currently, the district is in the process of developing a one to one initiative with ipads. These individual plans are disjointed and do not link up with an overall district technology plan. Again, this is because the district does not have a true technology plan to work from. Administrative Budget Behavioral: Intelligent Resource/Infrastructure: Integrated While district 78 may be lacking in the technology planning department, it had always been strong fiscally. During the recent economic downturn, the district has managed to keep a balanced budget. Part of this budget is considered to be used for technology on the district as a whole. Also, each department within each building has a technology budget. All budgets are healthy with substantial allocations for new technology, repairs and upgrades. Administrative Information Behavioral: Intelligent Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent Information systems are used to take care of most of the day to day operations in district 78. Most contact is done by email. Also, attendance, grading and recently, analysis of

assessment results are all done by way of computer based systems. These systems include powerschool, gradebook and mastery manager. Also, requests for maintenance and technical assistance are done using a system called web help. Curricular Electronic Information Behavioral: Islands Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent The district has the resources available to teachers. Machines, internet access, software and many subscriptions are available to any teacher who will use them. Also, requests for new software subscriptions are often honored. The problem is that a portion of teachers do not access these resources. Either they are afraid to use them, cannot see the utility in them or they simply do not have time to learn how to use them. Curricular Assessment Behavioral: Integrated Resource/Infrastructure: Islands The district has committed itself to one major tool for assessing students, mastery manager. This tool allows teachers to create paper and online assessments that can easily be scored and analyzed. The analysis portion of the software is excellent. All teachers have received training and will continue to receive training with this software. The problem is that this is the only major assessment piece that the district supports. It has yet to commit itself to any other types of assessment tools. Curricular Integration Behavioral: Islands Resource/Infrastructure: Integrated District 78 is committed to providing its teachers and student access to technology to improve the educational environment. Teachers that choose to use technology will find a wide variety of resources available such as smartboards, doc cams, database subscriptions and a multitude of software in all disciplines. The recurring theme is that some teachers will not use these resources. The district does not mandate the use of curricular technology. Until it does, some teachers will refuse to use these valuable resources.

Curricular Teacher Use Behavioral: Integrated Resource/Infrastructure: Integrated Teachers all use grading software, assessment software and an email client on a day to day basis. There are other pieces of software that are absolutely essential to some teachers

such as smartboard software and camtasia, but these pieces of technology are not widely accepted by the entire faculty. The district has made these technologies available to anyone who chooses to use them. Again, the district only mandates that teachers use mastery manager, powerschool and firstclass email client. Curricular Student Use Behavioral: Integrated Resource/Infrastructure: Islands While many lessons are tailored to use technology such as Veriner data collection probes, smartboards, google drive or camtasia, most of the outcomes could be accomplished in the absence of technology. For example, data can still be collected using old fashioned scales, meter sticks or thermometers. Smartboards can be replaced by whites boards and camtasia can be replaced by some creative camera usage. Students can access technology such as databases, cameras and computers before or after school any day they need it. Classtime technology use depends on the course and the instructor. Some teachers use technology everyday and they require students to use it frequently while others do not use it at all. Student access and exposure to technology is sporadic throughout the district. Support Stakeholder Involvement Behavioral: emergent Resource/Infrastructure: emergent There is a technology committee for the district and also one for each school within the district. These committees consist of teachers, technology directors and administrators. Parents and students are not a part of decision making process. This is one of the glaring weaknesses of technology planning in district 78. Support Administrative Support Behavioral: Islands Resource/Infrastructure: Emergent Another area in which the school district could see major improvement is administrative involvement. Administrators are not highly visible in the planning or decision making processes for technology. There are district and school committees that include administrators and teachers. In these meetings administrators are able to give their opinions, ideas and guidance. Beyond these meetings, administrators are not a major player in the technology planning process. Besides some training sessions and the committee meetings, I am not aware of time that administrators have allotted in their schedule for strictly technology.

Support Training Behavioral: Intelligent Resource/Infrastructure: Integrated Teachers are required to take technology training on the mandatory pieces of software, which include powerschool, mastery manager and firstclass. In addition to these sessions, there are training sessions available during institutes for various technologies such as smartboard training. There are teacher trainers available in each building who specialize in the district mandated softwares. When a teacher needs help, they are instructed to approach a teacher trainer for help. The district also makes experts from the software companies available at the building level at least once a month to provide optional training sessions. Support Technical/Infrastructure Behavioral: Intelligent Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent Whenever teachers are having issues with equipment or software they are encouraged to speak to a building technology specialist. Most, if not all teachers are comfortable in asking for help when they encounter issues. This is evident in how busy most of the technology specialists are during the course of a day. Each building has three to four technology specialists that are employed by the district. At the district level there is also a small team that handles the network and other larger picture issues such a data storage, internet filters and security.

Connectivity Local Area Networking Behavioral: Integrated Resource/Infrastructure: Integrated The district provides a very fast network to teachers. Data transfer rates are very high and the network is able to handle very large file transfers. The district has yet to implement video or voice over the network. The network is available everywhere learning occurs, this includes places such as the football field and track, which are outdoors. Even in these areas, the network is very fast. Connectivity District Area Networking Behavioral: Integrated Resource/Infrastructure: Integrated

The district provides a very fast internet connection. Streaming, uploading and downloading files occurs at a high rate. The district continues to upgrade this connection to allow for greater data transfers. Connectivity Internet Access Behavioral: Integrated Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent Most teachers require their students to use the internet for at least some lessons. Internet usage is not fully integrated throughout the district, though. Internet access is available everywhere, at all times throughout the district for teachers and students to use. Connections are filtered for both teachers and students. Connectivity Communication Systems Behavioral: Intelligent Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent Email is the preferred mode of contact for parents, teachers, administrators and students. It is widely accepted and used by everyone. Questions, comments and announcements are all made by way of email. Everyone within the district, including students, is given a email account with a 500Mb storage limit. Innovation New Technologies Behavioral: Integrated Resource/Infrastructure: Islands There is definite sense of acceptance and curiosity when it comes to new technology within the district. For example, teachers on their own requested smartboards, learned to use them and then developed lessons for them. In another case, teachers took it upon themselves to begin flipping classrooms. This past fall a handful of teachers ran their own training session to instruct their peers on how to flip their own classrooms. Unfortunately, the innovation and creativity is stemming from teachers rather than the technology specialists and administrators. There is no formal plan to introduce new technologies to the district. Innovation Comprehensive Technologies Behavioral: Integrated Resource/Infrastructure: Integrated There are a wide variety of technologies available throughout the school. These pieces help to aid in almost every aspect of the educational process. These include but are not limited to, equipment and software for presentation, video editing, assessment, experiment and collaboration. The only piece that is missing is audio and video conferencing tools.

Conclusion: Overall, I would rate district 78 as integrated. As a whole, the faculty, administration and students understand the importance of technology in the learning environment. Generally, the stakeholders are willing to adopt new technologies and adapt them to their needs. The district has also committed itself to make finances available to fund new technology initiatives, with some left over for repairs and upgrades. The reason I did not rate District 78 as intelligent is that it lacks a comprehensive technology plan. The technology that is used is rolled out sporadically and its effectiveness is not formally assessed. Additionally, the district does not have specific goals set on a timeline. Furthermore, there needs to be more involvement from students and parents in the planning and decision making process. Currently, teachers, some administrators and the technology specialists are making all the decisions when it comes to technology. Even with all of these deficiencies, I would still rate the district as integrated because there is so much technology available and there is a general willingness to use it creatively to enhance the educational experience.