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School Environment Evaluation When I found out the next assignment was going to involve an evaluation process, I immediately

went back to my career in the Navy. Evaluations are the key to success of every command. Although dreaded, they provide valuable feedback on ways to improve, procedures to change, and new ideas to implement. Evaluating technology in a school environment is very similar. Since this is a private school, many variables affect budgeting and planning. Student enrollment is the greatest factor to consider. The goal of the school is to increase student numbers so that each classroom has at least 24 students. Due to difficult economic times, student enrollment has dropped dramatically over the past seven years. Planning and budgeting is difficult with decreasing student population and increasing operating costs. Twelve years ago, the school was awarded a very substantial grant to be used for the purchase of technology in the classroom. This could have been the opportunity of a lifetime for such a small school. Unfortunately, the purchase was made and that was it. Maintenance is done on an as needed basis and the school is operating on Office 2003. As the desktop computers began to wear out, the school purchased refurbished replacements and relies heavily on donations from local businesses who are upgrading. It is very difficult for one person to maintain such a large number of computers when it is one of several responsibilities in the school but it must be done if the teachers are going to fully utilize what is available.

Demographics At Shetland Sheepdog Elementary (SSE), the student enrollment is approximately 130 in grades K-6. The school is not culturally diverse and there are no English Second Language students currently enrolled. A number of tuition scholarships are awarded annually to students whose financial situation would not normally allow them to attend SSE. Approximately 15% of the students are from single parent homes.

Maturity Model Benchmark Filters:


Administrative Filter Policy: Behavioral: Integrated; Resource/Infrastructure Islands The overall attitude toward technology is positive in the building. Resistance to change is the downfall of this institution. There are times when erring on the side of caution has prevented progress. Whereas there are some general guidelines regarding integrating technology, much is left to the discretion of the teacher. We are fortunate that the entire staff has the best interest of the students at the forefront. Planning: Behavioral: Islands; Resource/Infrastructure Islands Since active integration of technology has been slow to occur in the building, planning and budgeting have been informal and on an as needed basis. The administration appears to be reactive instead of

proactive. Since beginning this program, I have been sharing as much information as possible, creating a more open dialogue. Although greatly encouraged by this dialogue, it must be approached with caution. Budget: Behavioral: Islands; Resource/Infrastructure Islands The technology budget is contingent upon the current enrollment and this fluctuates annually. For school year 2012-2013, the budget was $6,500.00. To date, half was spent in February on new desktop computers for the teachers, replacing computers that were over twelve years old. Currently only two teachers have received a replacement, the remainders are stowed beneath desks gathering dust. Planning for this purchase was limited with only two individuals making the decision. Administrative Information: Behavioral: Integrated; Resource/Infrastructure - Intelligent All staff members utilize computers on a daily basis, although not always to the fullest potential. Old habits are difficult to break, so some anxiety surfaces when change occurs. Almost each computer in the school has Internet capability through the use of Ethernet cables with the exception of two sets of student computers. Recently, wireless capability was brought into the building which is useful when using mobile devices in the classroom. Curricular Filter Electronic Information: Behavioral: Islands; Resource/Infrastructure Islands Students at the school are quick to embrace any interaction with technology regardless of how great or small the project. It is almost as if they are starved and become energized as soon as contact is made. This appears to me as an indication that more technology is needed in the classroom. Staff members are dependent upon information resources, some more than others depending on their administrative responsibilities. The hardware throughout the building is outdated and functions very slowly. Internet access is available and is reliable with limited downtime. Currently the entire building is using Office 2003. Due to the age of the software, some applications are inoperable. Assessment: Behavioral: Islands; Resource/Infrastructure Islands Until the recent integration of Google drive, no assessment of student work was done using technology. To date, my classroom is the only one fully embracing this approach and it is working out quite well. It is my hope to set the example of how it can work to benefit all involved. I am not aware of any staff utilizing technology for assessment purposes. Technology is used to administer standardized tests twice a year along with Accelerated Reader. Accelerated Reader is used in grades 3-5 on a daily basis. Curriculum Integration: Behavioral: Emergent; Resource/Infrastructure Emergent Online research constitutes the majority of the use of technology use in grades 3-5. Grades K-2 use limited learning software to compliment subject matter taught in the classroom. The only content area with online support in all grades is math. The current math curriculum was purchased four years ago. The supplemental online support is utilized by all teachers with enthusiasm.

Teacher Use: Behavioral: Emergent; Resource/Infrastructure Intelligent Teachers have begun to more actively utilize technology in the classroom as they become aware of the changes occurring throughout education. What is interesting to note is that all teachers have desktop computers and Internet access, although actual use is done with hesitation. Student Use: Behavioral: Islands; Resource/Infrastructure Integrated Until recently, student use was limited to several Word documents during the year, two to three PowerPoint presentations, and a brochure. It is encouraging to see slightly more usage in the classrooms. Students are now using Xtranormal to create videos to post on YouTube. They are also using Google drive to translate English to Spanish and then create presentation slides to share. Most students have regular access to technology. Support Filter Stakeholder Involvement: Behavioral: Emergent; Resource/Infrastructure Emergent Decisions regarding technology in the school are made primarily by the principal and technology manager. Recently, I have been able to been included in some of the discussions and this is due to the fact I taking educational technology classes. Other staff members are periodically in the loop but this only occurs if they are directly involved with the outcome of the decisions. Administrative Support: Behavioral: Islands; Resource/Infrastructure Islands The administration seems truly interested in improving technology in the school. I have to believe that due to recent increased awareness more time will be allocated to this issue. In the past, it would appear the attitude toward technology was one of interest but unsure of how to improve student access and integration in the classroom. Training: Behavioral: Emergent; Resource/Infrastructure Emergent It is difficult for staff members to participate in technology training if there has never been any provided. I do firmly believe if training were made available the staff members would actively participate. They are aware of the importance of technology in the classroom but due to lack of experience, are unsure of themselves. Technical & Infrastructure Support: Behavioral: Emergent; Resource/Infrastructure Islands Limited support is available at the school. Teachers rely upon the technology manager to assist with technical difficulties. There is also one other staff member whom several teachers have begun to seek guidance from. This will help the technology manager to address more pressing issues.

Connectivity Filter Local Area Networking: Behavioral: Islands; Resource/Infrastructure Islands All staff members have access to local area networking (LAN). The school building is very old but the staff is fortunate to have dependable LAN. Periodically there are glitches involving the printers but those issues are usually corrected in a timely manner. District Area Networking (WAN): Behavioral: Emergent; Resource/Infrastructure Emergent Currently the school does not utilize district area networking. Internet Access: Behavioral: Islands; Resource/Infrastructure Integrated Internet access is readily available throughout the school with the exception of two classes located on the lower level of the building. The teachers all have access however the student computers in these two rooms do not have internet access. All students in grades 2-6 utilize the internet throughout the school year. At this time the older grades use it more than the lower grades. Two of the upper grades have begun to utilize the internet more in the past months than they have previously. This change is due to an increased awareness of technology in the classroom by one of the teachers. Communication Systems: Behavioral: Islands; Resource/Infrastructure Islands E-mail is used by all staff members although some prefer face-to-face communication. Students in two upper grades have e-mail access since they are using Google Apps for Education. These accounts are for school work only and not intended for socializing. Students in these two grades have signed an acceptable use policy contract acknowledging the consequences if the rules are not followed.

Innovation Filter New Technologies: Behavioral: Islands; Resource/Infrastructure Islands This is an interesting filter since a donation was recently made for the purchase of a small robotics program. The staff appears to be very enthusiastic about the program however there is some question as how to best integrate it into the classroom curriculum. Small robotics programs provide students with an opportunity to explore science, math, engineering, and spend time is a social setting. I am confident this program will evolve into something very productive for both students and teachers. Comprehensive Technologies: Behavioral: Integrated; Resource/Infrastructure Islands The school has many resources but little has changed since these items were received over ten years ago. The potential for growth exists with the implementation of an aggressive training program.

Conclusion: This assignment was truly an eye opening experience. After reviewing my findings, I would classify this institution at the Islands Stage of the Technology Maturity Benchmarks. I believe the available resources are actively utilized although not always to the fullest. It is my hope that existing technology can be upgraded and increased opportunities provided for the students and teachers. Additionally, I would like to require all teachers at this school to complete a Maturity Benchmarks Survey. Once the survey is completed, compile it in to one comprehensive document to be analyzed. It would be most interesting to see their opinion of where this school stands and their vision of the future. Finally, present the findings to the staff and begin an open dialogue of how they view the use of technology in their classroom in the future.