Technology Plan Evaluation

Bonita Castleberry Jennifer Edwards Georgia Southern University Spring 2011

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Technology Plan Evaluation Part 1: Comparison of Dr. Paul Allen’s Rubric from the University of Texas with Pulaski County Elementary School’s Technology Plan in Hawkinsville, GA. Grading Scale: 3 complete, 2 adequate, 1 absent or incomplete Executive Summary Indentifies Contributors and Stakeholders Vision Statement Mission Statement Goals Objectives Needs Assessment General Issues Conclusions and Recommendations Acceptable Use Policy Technology Learning Statement Technology standards, requirements, and models For technology and learning Staff Development Technical Support Projects, Budgets, and Timelines Clarity of Writing 1 2 3 2 3 3 3 2 1 3 3 3 1 2 3 3

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Part 2: Supporting Documentation
The Technology Plan for Pulaski County was last updated in 2008. It is a three year plan that was submitted to and approved by HGRESA and State DOE on June 17, 2008. The plan is currently in its third year. It covers the Elementary School, Middle School and High School within the district. All three schools in the district are connected via a fiber optic WAN. The T-1 connections are provided to the school district via the Georgia DOE. A Citrix network is in place to give students and staff access to software applications and resources at home or from any Internet connected computer. In 2008, a server was purchased and installed on the network that is solely dedicated to hosting all of the content from United Streaming / Discovery Education. This was done to decrease the strain on the network’s Internet resources. Every classroom in the Pulaski County School District has a minimum of three Internet – Ready computers for students and teachers were given the option of a laptop or desktop system for his/her classroom. The Technology Plan is being followed as closely as possible with regards to budget constraints. To help with the budgets constraints, two Technology Grants have been written and awarded to the school. These grants allowed for the purchase of Mac Book laptop computers, Smart Boards, video cameras, digital cameras, projectors, Mp3 players, Dell Laptops and Laptop cart and other various technology resources. Executive Summary: In comparing Pulaski County’s Technology Plan to Dr. Paul Allen’s Rubric from the University of Texas, the Executive Summary was absent and therefore scored a one on the Technology Planning Analysis Rubric. In order to gain a better understanding of

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the county’s technology situation, the reader must read the section Instructional Technology Use. This section describes the technology each school has within the system. In order to improve this score, a section entitled Executive Summary would need to be added that would clearly outline the vision, mission, goals, objectives, backgrounds, findings, issues, conclusions, and recommendations of the technology plan for Pulaski County. Identifies the Contributors and Stakeholders: When comparing Pulaski County’s Technology Plan to Dr. Paul Allen’s Rubric from the University of Texas, Pulaski County scored a two out of three in the Contributors and Stakeholders section. After reading through the section Vision for Technology Use, the plan does briefly mention the stakeholders as being: students, educators, staff, parents, community leaders, administrators, and Board of Education members. To improve this portion of the plan, a more defined list of the stakeholders should be included along with their jobs and contributions to the Technology Plan. Vision Statement: Comparing the analysis rubric with Pulaski County’s Technology Plan, Pulaski scored a three on a three-point scale. Pulaski’s vision for technology use within the system is comprehensive and deals with student’s use of technology to improve and enhance learning and not just merely technology usage. The vision statement for the learning outcomes for the Pulaski County Technology plan is …to provide state of the art technologies to our students and staff, provide

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professional learning opportunities to assist teachers in the use of these technologies to produce maximum student achievement, and to provide support to ensure the success of these initiatives. The Technology Vision for Pulaski County includes: • Offer students, teachers, administrators, and parents mobile and high speed access to current information to empower problem solving, decision making, and collaborative learning; • Develop authentic models for accessing student achievement and diagnosing data to differentiate instruction and maximize achievement; • • • Provide equal opportunities and assistive technologies for students with special needs or disadvantaged sub groups; Provide 21st Century standardized equipment and resources in all academic classrooms; Provide on-going professional development for our educators and administrators in the use and implementation of technology into the classroom to maximize learning and to differentiate learning to meet the needs of all students; • • Restructure classroom instruction to make it valid, goaloriented, and connected to 21st Century technology; Allow students to work on areas of individual interest at their own pace with immediate feedback, the opportunity for selfevaluation, and continuous progress and success; • Engage in continuous evaluation of instructional practices and technology integration to monitor student and teacher technology literacy in accordance with National Technology Literacy standards; • Provide a web-based grade book and parent interface for the secure access of student attendance, grades, progress 5

monitoring, and other data regarding the students’ academic standing; • • Create baseline standards for classroom technology and initiate system wide purchasing policies; Provide high performance, web-based software with adequate training to administrative personnel that will allow easy data collection and distribution to school personnel; • Provide current, web-based information to inform the community of overall student requirements, performance, and achievement; • • Extend the availability of school technology resources to our students outside of the classroom; Extend the availability of school technology resources to the community. The Technology Plan also clearly states the vision for using technology to improve learning. It identifies the users of technology and how

technology will be used to enhance learning. For example, …the goal is to assist every student in crossing the digital divide by ensuring that every student is technologically literate by the the eighth grade, regardless of the and time the student finishes

student’s race, ethnicity, gender, family, income, geographic location or disability…we will assist students, parents, educators, community members in accessing , analyzing, and preparing information so that they may become critical thinkers, problemsolvers, and productive citizens.

Some benefits and results from the use of technology by students and staff that are indicated in Pulaski County’s Technology Plan state that 6

…technology will enable us to prepare our students for future careers. Our classrooms will be enriched with relief performance tasks, collaborative planning and completion of assignments by diversified groups of students…Our classrooms are student centered where the teacher serves as a coach guiding his/her students through new and exciting learning experiences through the use of technology. Mission Statement: Comparing the Analyis Rubric mission statement requirements with the Pulaski County Technlolgy Plan, Pulaski scored a two on a three-point scale. The mission statement is …to educate students to be responsible, productive citizens who, through continuous learning, will be able to adapt to the everchanging global society. To improve this, the Technology Plan should give a little more information on why and how this mission is to be accomplished. Goals: Pulaski County scored a three on a three-point scale in the goal component. According to the rubric, goals should be broad,

comprehensive and realistic in addressing teaching and learning needs. Pulaski County identified six goals: • • • Continually update and improve 21st Century technology access Improve student academic performance, technology literacy, and motivation Utilize technology to support the professional growth of all staff to maximize student learning 7

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Increase the application and use of technology to enhance job performance and productivity Utilize technology to enhance community communication and provide additional standards based material

Each of these goals direct teachers and administrators in the area of Instructional Technology. The Technology Plan also does a very good job of identifying who is responsible for each goal, when the goal is to be implemented/attained, how it will be evaluated and how much is allotted in funds for each goal. Objectives: Comparing the Analysis Rubric with Pulaski County’s Technology Plan in the area of objectives, Pulaski scored a three on a three-point scale. The rubric states that objectives should be measureable delineated from goals. In Pulaski County’s Technology Plan, these steps are clearly identified and realistic. For example, one objective states that parents will have access to homework, assignments, and assistance via teacher and standards-based websites. In order to assess this, the Technology Director and Principal use a Quality Website Rubric as well as Nettrekker Usage Reports. Needs Assessment: The Needs Assessment Component of the Rubric states that assessment is comprehensive and contains detailed information from hardware resources, technology needs assessment, and Maturity Model Benchmark surveys. Pulaski County scored a three on a three-point scale. Pulaski County utilizes the following data sources to collect valuable data for informed technology planning decisions:

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Annual technology budget which identifies: o Capital purchases and support expenditures. o New and alternative funding sources. Professional Development Assessment, which identifies equitable training between schools and identifies professional learning needs in technology. Ongoing gap analysis of equality of technology resources between schools. Ongoing benchmark assessment, which identifies strengths and needed improvements in our technology department as perceived by teachers, administrators, and support staff. Annual technology inventory submitted to State Department of Education which includes: o Definition of “modern computer specifications” which leads to replacement of dated equipment. o Ratio of student to computers to ensure adequate technology access in all school settings. Annual technology literacy assessment to evaluate students. Levels of Technology Integration tool used to determine a teacher’s effective use of technology in the classroom.

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General Issues: Comparing the Analysis Rubric with Pulaski County Technology Plan, Pulaski scored a 2.8 out of a three-point scale. All of the components were clearly addressed in the Technology Plan. When analyzing the component of professional development …Pulaski County seeks to provide high-quality professional development programs with follow –up and support that promotes knowledge and enhances skills related to the use of technology for productivity, teaching, and

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learning. Of the eleven components on the Analysis Rubric, only one was not identified. In order to receive a three out of three, the plan needs to include a section with the National Technology Standards listed for students and educators. Conclusions and Recommendations A review of this technology plan reveals that it scored a one out of three on a three-point Analysis Rubric scale. This plan does not identify the most important needs and challenges confronting the school. The school system needs to recommend the projects and steps to be taken to achieve its vision. Acceptable Use Policy The Pulaski County Technology Plan does include an acceptable use policy thus scoring a three out of a three-point scale. Acceptable Use Policies are necessary to ensure proper use of the technology resource. These policies are included in the plan’s appendices. For example: Appendix A outlines the Board Policy in regards to Internet use and safety. The Descriptor Code is IFBG with an adopted date of 5-14-2002. In addition, it also includes a Student User Contract, Parent Internet Use Permission Slip, and Teacher or Supervisor’s Agreement. Technology Learning Statement Pulaski County obtained a three on a three-point Analysis Rubric scale. The technology plan clearly provides how technology is used in the learning environment and

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ways it will be used to achieve instructional outcomes. This plan provides an appendix that delineates the levels of technology integrated within the classroom. Technology Standards, Requirements, and Models for Technology and Learning According to Dr Paul Allen’s Rubric from the University of Texas, Pulaski County scored a three on a three-point Analysis Rubric scale. A clear and comprehensive description of the capabilities of hardware and learning environments was identified. …Pulaski County’s Technology Plan denotes what hardware and software exits at its schools. Each classroom is equipped with two to five modern computers (laptops or desktops), an LCD projector (ceiling-mounted or cart-mounted) with at least 1600 Lumens and all necessary cabling to connect to instructional devices, an interactive whiteboard (wall-mounted or stand-mounted) with accompanying software, and a student response system. In addition, wireless access points were installed in all schools, all switches were replaced with 1GB capacity equipment and several servers were replaced. A Citrix network is in place to give students and staff access to software applications and resources at home or from any Internet connected computer. Available software programs for Pulaski County Elementary School include Accelerated Reader, Accelerated Math, STAR Reading, STAR Math, Class Works, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Publisher, and Microsoft PowerPoint. A sample of the available software programs at Pulaski County Middle School include Accelerated Reader, Accelerated Math, STAR Reading, STAR Math, Class Works, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Movie Maker, and Microsoft Photo Story. Hawkinsville High School utilizes Accelerated Reader, Accelerated Math,

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STAR Reading, STAR Math, Class Works, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Movie Maker, Microsoft Photo Story, Page Maker, and Geometer Sketch Pad. The Technology Plan for Pulaski County describes the learning environments that currently exist and those to be created by the plan. …Pulaski County Elementary School has one computer lab and a mobile lab of laptop computers. The cart houses 25 machines and is easily moved to any classroom in the building. The computers are equipped with the Microsoft Office Suite as well as configured to access the school network and then Internet via a wireless connection. …Pulaski County Middle School provides three computer labs. One lab is equipped with 28 computer workstations and is used for instruction of Connections class; the second lab is equipped with 28 computer workstations used for academic remediation and enrichment; and the third lab is outfitted with win-terms that connect to the Citrix network only and is available for a teacher to schedule to bring their classes. …Hawkinsville High School provides two computer labs used to teach Business Education classes, one lab used for Computer Assisted Drafting, one lab used in the Information Technology vocational program, and one general ‘sign up’ lab. The science department is equipped with digital microscopes and several sets of student response systems are available for check out purposes. In order to maintain the Technology Standards, Requirements, and Models for Technology and Learning, Pulaski County should continue to engage in data driven decision making as a result of current data being available through the use of technology 12

as well as comparing themselves to other school district technology departments. Staff Development Pulaski County scored a one on a three-point scale to evaluate the staff development element. The Pulaski County Technology Plan stated that: …at the system level, experienced trainers facilitate professional development opportunities in the area of technology for all Pulaski County personnel. The Heart of Georgia Educational Technology Training Center also offers classes on a regular basis and ETTC personnel will go into individual classrooms and assist teachers and students or model lessons. The plan does not describe how teachers and other staff will move from present level of technology competency and knowledge to the level of skill required in the plan. An assessment should be taken to determine the technology needs of teachers and staff in order to develop short and long term goals. Technical Support Pulaski County scored a two on a three-point scale in the area of technical support. Technical support provides available services and support technology for schools within a district. This district’s networks are maintained by the technology department in addition to services provided by outside vendors on an “as needed” basis. Pulaski County employs one full time Technology Specialist and on half time Technology Specialist. Trouble-shooting issues are handled through an online system of work orders. Pulaski County lacks the comprehensive element of the plan. Clear details

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should be stated in the plan for the requirements and plans need to support network, computer, and software uses. Projects, Budgets, and Timelines Pulaski County scored a three on the Analysis Rubric scale on their technology plan in the area of projects, budgets, and timelines. A prioritized list of major technology plan projects with budget summary estimates and funding resources was thoroughly addressed. Clarity of Writing In comparing Pulaski County’s Technology Plan to the analysis rubric, Pulaski County scored a three on a three-point scale. The plan used concise and clear writing with not misspelling, grammar, or punctuation mistakes evident. Pulaski County should preserve this means of communication when appraising and updating its technology plan. Summary Pulaski County’s Technology Plan produced knowledgeable content in a wellorganized format. The use of Dr. Paul Allen’s Technology Planning Analysis Rubric provided educational insight of the components necessary for a thorough technology plan. The technology plan for Pulaski County was enlightening and followed the State of Georgia mandates for a school technology plan. When comparing the technology plan to Dr. Allen’s rubric, three components of were found lacking and four components were found incomplete. The plan should include an Executive Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations, and more concise Staff Development components. Suggestions for

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improvement include a revised Table of Content that is more in line with Dr. Paul Allen’s Technology Planning Analysis Rubric. Out of the six goals established by Pulaski County, three have been successfully achieved. Completion of the remaining goals should be realized prior to the expiration date of the technology plan as of June 30, 2011. As a result of Pulaski County’s Technology Plan, implemented on July 1, 2008, Pulaski County has made several major improvements in the area of technology: • The majority of this system’s classrooms provide student access to 21st Century equipment. • • The system utilizes a credit recovery system for “at-risk” students. Expanded use of on-line credit courses via Odyssey and Georgia Virtual School, accommodates those students with extenuating circumstances in order to increase graduation rate. • Parents are provided access to homework assignments and assistance through teacher and standards-based websites; in addition, parents are able monitor student’s educational progress through i-Parent, an online tool. Major budget constraints over the last several years, have prevented the successful achievement of the lacking components. In order to meet increasing technology demands, Pulaski County should update their technology plan annually rather than every three years.

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References

Allen, P. (n.d.) Technology analysis rubric. Retrieved from https://goml.view.usg.edu/webct/urw/lc18395011.tp0/cobaltMainFrame.dowebct White, R. (2008, July 1). Pulaski county three-year technology plan. Retrieved from rwhite@pulaski.k12.ga.us

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