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Technology Program Evaluation

Technology Program Evaluation Chattahoochee Elementary School

Kevin Scheiwe Spring 2014

Technology Program Evaluation

Executive Summary Chattahoochee Elementary School, located in Gwinnett County, has continued to thrive with healthy support from its prosperous district. Chattahoochees technology center has a wide range of responsibilities and good financial support, allowing Chattahoochee Elementary to keep up with the ever changing demands of technology in the classroom. With limited staffing by the district, the responsibilities of the technology center and Local School Technology Coordinator make it very difficult for the school to utilize all their resources to the fullest potential. At its current state, Chattahoochees technology center is setup to handle the basic day-to-day operations, but with a great foundation in technology and an abundance of resources, the technology center at Chattahoochee has room for improvement.

Organizational Chart This chart was derived from interviews and discussions with the Principal and Local School Technology Coordinator (LSTC) at Chattahoochee Elementary School (CES).

Technology Program Evaluation

Methods Information for this evaluation was gathered using interviews, observations and email discussions with the Principal, LSTC, Bookkeeper and school website (www.chattahoocheees.org) at Chattahoochee Elementary School (CES). Job descriptions were gathered from Gwinnett Countys website. See appendix for descriptions. Center Context and Goals Mission The technology center mission is a part of the school/county mission. The mission of CES is to pursue excellence in academic knowledge, skills, and behavior for each student, resulting in measured improvement against local, national, and world-class standards. Goal The goal of the CES technology center is to meet the continuing and changing demand for essential information through technological systems and processes that support effective performance and desired results. Priorities Access to technology Support for individual technology use Technology is for day-to-day instruction Make technology integration visible Implementation of the E-Class initiative

History Based on interviews and discussions with the current staff, the schools technology history can be described below. Any technology updates and or changes prior to the events below could not be tracked.

Technology Program Evaluation

2001-2011 CES employed a full-time Local School Technology Coordinator (LSTC) and a full-time Technology Support Technician (TST), along with a Media Specialist and Media Clerk.

2008 School-wide retrofit. Included in retrofit: LCD projectors in every classroom, new laptops for all teachers, document cameras and flip cameras, Wi-Fi hotspots, two mobile labs (which includes 16 laptops each), and updates to the schools four computer labs.

2010 PTA purchased Mimios for all classrooms. 2011 CES went to one full-time LSTC, and one half-time TST (per district cuts). 2012 EClass initiative: CES received wireless routers in every classroom to support BYOD.

2013 CES used funds received from printer cartridge recycling program to purchase school-wide security camera system.

2013 Technology team received grants to purchase eight student tablets. 2014 PTA purchased 30 laptop/tablets. 2015 Next scheduled school/district retrofit.

Personal Current positions include: Full-time Local School Technology Coordinator (LSTC) oversees all duties described in technology center organizational chart. Half-time Technology Support Technician (TST) TST is shared between CES and another elementary school. Most of the TSTs job entails the maintenance of school hardware and the oversight of TSRs (technology support requests). TSTs are

Technology Program Evaluation

contracted by the district, report to the district level. They are a part of the technology team, but have a minimal role in the schools technology center. Full-time Media Specialist (MS) oversees media program and media center, which provides media resources and facilities to staff and students. Also, MS supervises the Media Clerk (MC) and is required to teach a Media Special to several grade levels. Full-time Media Clerk (MC) assists the MS, tracks/monitors and aids in the library and other media resources. Other stakeholders include the PTA, teachers, administration, SASI Clerk and Bookkeeper. Budget Funds origination District/county Local School student fees Technology fund raising Amount $8,000 $2,000 $1,000

It is estimated that the LSTC receives approximately $8000 from the county fund. These funds pay for several school-wide programs or software, including: BrainPop, Education City, WritetoLearn, and ClassWerks. Locally, the LSTC receives approximately $2000 from technology fees (charged to each student), and raises approximately $1000 (homework passes), which is used to purchase toner cartridges, laptop batters and other associated maintenance items. Technology Center Activities A. Write to Learn Lab/Technology Special The LSTC teaches three special classes each day to third, fourth and fifth graders. The main duty is oversight of the students, who work in the computer lab, using the WritetoLearn software.

Technology Program Evaluation

B. Oversight of the ClassWorks lab Various paraprofessionals monitor the ClassWorks lab, which is academic software used mainly in specials classes. The LSTC ultimately facilitates this lab. C. Provide Professional Learning to staff Professional learning opportunities are done mainly on a needs basis. These learning opportunities range from anything on the employee portal, to showing teachers how to utilize the BYOD in their classroom. It ultimately is whatever is needed by the staff. D. At the end of each nine weeks, the LSTC has to oversee the exporting of grades and printing of report cards. E. Coordinate the Technology Vertical Team The LSTC must lead, plan and organize the team, which meets once a week. The Technology Team is in charge of putting together the school-wide technology plan and the oversight of Technology Night for parents and students. F. Oversight of the EClass initiative - informing/training staff of new elements to ECLass. G. Basic technology support aid and assist in the response to TSRs (technology support requests), and other technology issues and troubleshooting. H. Online testing oversee all online testing by students I. Surveys coordinate any school-wide surveys J. BYOD maintain list of approved students/devices to participate in the BYOD initiative. K. Closed-circuit announcements facilitated by the technology team, but ultimately lead, produced and completed by students.

Technology Program Evaluation

Evaluation The technology center at Chatthoochee Elementary has a broad range of responsibilities that vary in specific duties to open-ended responsibilities. Through the evaluation process, it was determined that the majority of the technology center responsibilities were managed by the Local School Technology Coordinator, making the LSTC and the technology center essentially the same thing. Most of the responsibilities on the organizational chart, although wide-ranging, seemed appropriate and attainable. Despite seeing TST support cut a few years ago, it seems that overall, technology as a whole continues to prosper at CES. With a good infrastructure, the school is equipped to keep-up with the ever changing direction and use of technology in the classroom. The main goal of the technology center was to keep up with the changing demand of technology in an effort to support student performance and desired results. Based on the history and funding of the program, the school seems to continue to evolve and acquire new technology to support instruction, in turn making the goal easily attainable. The one downside was the large gap or time frame the district was providing a school-wide retrofit. With the last retrofit in 2008 and the next one scheduled in 2015; it seems the technology center is fortunate to have the funding as well as the PTA resources to continue to support its goal. Because of the aging equipment (laptops, printers, etc.), maintenance costs are continuing to rise. One consequence of the (whole school) Wi-Fi access is teachers are using laptop batteries much more frequently, in turn significantly raising costs for replacement batteries. While district funding seems adequate, it is obvious that the stakeholders have invested in the longevity of the program through the school-wide initiatives like Mimios, software and programs for the computer labs.

Technology Program Evaluation

It is still unclear what other resources the EClass initiative will bring to the local schools. But, having the infrastructure, like school-wide Wi-Fi, and already have taken large strides in the BYOD imitative, its obvious the school and district are focused on the digital age learning environment. On the contrary, like most districts and schools, cuts in the last five years have resulted in less staff, putting more responsibility on key members, like the LSTC. Because the LSTC is required to teach special area classes, opportunities to provide support to teachers and students are very limited. With the LSTC tied down for a large portion of the day with scheduled classes, many of the tasks in the organizational chart get very little attention. Items like professional learning, providing technology support, and overseeing EClass initiatives are not being addressed frequently enough. With all the new technology the school continues to integrate, more support for staff and students is needed to fully take advantage of all the resources the school has. Although the WritetoLearn program being initiated in the technology special is a good asset for students, the design of the program requires little oversight and instruction, allowing students to work independently. Considering the value the LSTC brings to the school, monitoring the WritetoLearn lab does not seem to be the best use of time for the LSTC. Through my visits in the high school and middle school technology centers, I found that only elementary schools utilize the LSTC in this capacity. It is my recommendation that the leadership at Chattahoochee utilize other staff to oversee the WritetoLearn labs, allowing the LSTC to better use her time to address staff support and technology initiatives. Another consideration for improvement is the report card responsibility. Because of the time sensitivity of progress reports, all other technology responsibilities are put on hold for four to five days, each 9-weeks, in order for the LSTC to oversee the report card process for over 1200 students. Adding staff

Technology Program Evaluation

assistance to this process would reduce time requirement and allow the LSTC to continue other responsibilities on a more regular basis. Overall, the Chattahoochee technology center and LSTC are in a fortunate position to have so many resources and the ability to be cutting edge on the technology front. On the other hand, with limited staff support, these resources are not being utilized appropriately. The top three job duties of the LSTC, as described by the Gwinnett County job description, are to provide technology leadership, provide technology integration in teaching and learning, and to support digital age learning. Most of the responsibilities of the Chattahoochee technology center and LSTC support these duties, but with a little reorganization of staffing, the school would better utilize technology to support effective performance and desired results in the classroom.

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Appendix A LSTC Job Description


LOCAL SCHOOL TECHNOLOGY COORDINATOR J o b D e s c r i p t i o n

JOB INFORMATION Division: Dept/Office: Job Title:

SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT AND OPERATIONS Local School

Job Code: Original Adoption Date: Latest Revision Date:

060041 July 1994 May 2013

Local School Technology Coordinator ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE Reports to: Local School Administrator Local School Technology Coordinator EMPLOYMENT TERMS FLSA Exempt; Contracted

JOB QUALIFICATIONS Licenses/Certifications Valid T-4 Georgia teaching certification or S-5 Instructional Technology certification or S-5 Media certification required. Education Bachelor's degree in related field required. Master's degree in related field preferred. Skills Strong background in the use of technology to support teaching and learning; excellent technology skills in instructional and productivity software; strong communication skills and the ability to work well with others; ability to problem solve, lead, and multitask; and ability to teach/deliver complex technology systems to end users with varied computer competencies. Work Experience Three years experience integrating technology in instruction in a K-12 environment required. PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY Provide leadership and support in the use of technology in teaching and learning. ESSENTIAL JOB DUTIES 1. Provide technology leadership and oversee the planning of technology initiatives. a. Collaborate with leadership and technology team to develop and implement a shared vision for the comprehensive integration of technology in support of the Local School Plan for Improvement (LSPI). b. Contribute to the planning, development, communication, implementation, and evaluation of technology infused strategic plans that support the shared vision. c. Facilitate the implementation of technology standards at the local school level. d. Implement strategies for initiating and sustaining technology innovations and manage the change process in the school. e. Collaborate with other local school technology team members to ensure comprehensive support of technology initiatives. 2. Provide technology integration in teaching and learning. a. Coach and model the design and implementation of technologyenhanced learning experiences for teachers that addresses the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS). b. Demonstrate an understanding of research based, learner centered instructional strategies including Quality-Plus Teaching Strategies. c. Differentiate instruction including adjusting content, product, process, and learning environment based on student readiness, learning styles, interests, and goals. d. Work with students to assume professional roles, research real world problems, collaborate with others, and produce meaningful, useful products. e. Coach and model the design and implementation of technologyenhanced learning experiences for teachers that emphasizes creativity and higher order thinking skills and processes. 3. a. b. Support digital age learning environments. Work with school leadership to ensure equitable access and full utilization of technology for teaching and learning. Support the use of online and blended learning, digital content, and collaborative learning networks.

Technology Program Evaluation


c. d. e. Maintain and manage a variety of digital tools and resources. Collaborate with teachers and administrators to select and evaluate digital tools and resources. Troubleshoot software problems.

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4. Provide professional development. a. Conduct needs assessments to inform the content and delivery of technology related professional learning. b. Design, develop, and implement technology rich professional learning programs that promote digital-age best practices in teaching, learning, and assessment. c. Provide learning opportunities in a variety of formats including formal classes, informal hands-on sessions, and job embedded staff development. d. Deliver training on district technology initiatives to appropriate staff. 5. Demonstrate content knowledge and professional growth. a. Engage in continual learning to deepen content and pedagogical knowledge in technology integration and current and emerging technologies. b. Develop and improve knowledge through professional development, conferences, workshops, publications, and networking of colleagues. c. Evaluate and reflect on professional practice to improve and strengthen the ability to effectively model and facilitate technologyenhanced learning experiences. 6. Promote digital citizenship. a. Model and promote strategies for achieving equitable access to digital tools and resources and technology related best practices for all students and teachers. b. Model and facilitate safe, healthy, legal, and ethical uses of digital information and technologies. c. Model and promote the use of digital-age communication and collaboration tools to interact locally and globally with students, peers, parents, and the larger community. 7. Perform other duties as assigned.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS This position requires extended periods of computer use. The lifting of computer equipment and peripherals are often required of this position. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit for extended periods of time. Employee is also required to talk, hear, stand, and walk. The employee may be required to use hands to finger, handle, feel, and/or reach. Employee is occasionally required to stoop, kneel, or crouch. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

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Appendix B Observation Record NAME: DATE & TIME: OBSERVER: SITE/CLASS: T. Parrish February, 13th 2014/12:05-12:45

Kevin Scheiwe CES Computer Lab B WritetoLearn Observations/Events/Records: One class of fourth grade students came to WritetoLearn (WTL) lab for their specials class. Each student was at their own computer. Ms. Parrish showed the class how to log into WTL, but most students remember how. Once logged in, students either began a new essay or continued their last one they worked on in the lab. I asked a couple students when the last time they worked on the essay and everyone said at the last time they the WTL special has (8 days prior). There were a few login issues, forgotten passwords, but once the students got working, Ms. Parrish just walked around and monitored the students. Occasionally there was a question and most of the time Ms. Parrish responded that she couldnt help them as it was part of the essay they had to figure out. Towards the end of the class, Ms. Parrish confided in me that, sometimes shell work on some other tasks once the students get going, as she feels her time is wasted just standing around, given the independent nature of the WTL software. Ms. Parrish and I discussed her schedule: She has to teach a 4th and 5th grade special everyday (12-12:45, & 1:40-2:25). She also has to be available during the Kindergarten specials, but the Kg Parapros come into the lab with their class to manage their students. Although if there are any technical issues, Ms. Parrish has to handle it.

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Appendix C

Interview Protocol Form


Faculty Interview Protocol Institutions: ___Chattahoochee Elementary School___________________ Interviewee (Title and Name): __Jeff Lee - Principal____________________ Interviewer: _____Kevin Scheiwe___________________________________ Surveyed: _____ A: Interview Background __x__ B: Institutional Perspective _____ C: Assessment __x__ D: Department and Discipline _____ E: Teaching and Learning _____ F: Demographics (no specific questions) Other Topics Discussed:___Budget____________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ Documents Obtained: _____GCPS Job Description_______________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ Post Interview Comments or Leads: ______Permission to get budget figures for Tech. Center from Bookkeeper_____ Interview: Q: What would you classify as the schools technology center? Q: What personnel or staff are part of the technology center?

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Q: What is the background or history of the center? Q: What are the activities or responsibilities of the technology center? Q: Who are the other stakeholders of the technology center? Q: What are the goals/missions/priorities of the center?

Interview Protocol Form


Faculty Interview Protocol Institutions: ___Chattahoochee Elementary School___________________ Interviewee (Title and Name): __Tracy Parrish - LSTC____________________ Interviewer: _____Kevin Scheiwe___________________________________ Surveyed: __x__ A: Interview Background __x__ B: Institutional Perspective _____ C: Assessment __x__ D: Department and Discipline __x__ E: Teaching and Learning _____ F: Demographics (no specific questions) Other Topics Discussed:___Center activities, positives and negatives of job__________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ Documents Obtained: _____N/A_____________ _______________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ Post Interview Comments or Leads: Interview:

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Q: What is the history of technology at Chattahoochee ES? Q: What are the daily responsibilities of the technology center? Q: What is your budget? Q: What are your goals and mission? Q: What equipment does the technology center have? Q: What activities or programs does the center oversee? Q: What other positions or stakeholders are invested in the technology center? Q: What does the center do well? Q: What things or activities can the technology center improve on?