We used the school our group created in Assignment 3 for this assignment.
Angela had a familial obligation that prevented her from working with us, but is aware that we continued with this effort so that if there is another opportunity to use this “school” as a group, we will be ready to do so.
The goal for this technology plan is to assess the current state of technology equipment, staff development, and integration with the NCSCS in Group 3 Middle School to direct future decisions about implementation, staff development, and purchasing.
Group 3 Middle School is home to 364 students in rural North Carolina. The population is generally working poor. There are several affluent families that are the backbone of the PTO and they do their best to support the school with fundraising activities and a strong volunteer base.
All of the classrooms are housed in two wings, in a T formation. An addition is in progress to build a new band room for the High School and give the Middle School its own gym and cafeteria. For now, these are shared.
Every classroom has 1 PC that is for the teacher ’s use to enter NCWise data.
There is one older Mac in each classroom, but they are too old to accommodate much of the software supported by the district.
There is one networked printer that is shared for the faculty in the computer lab.
The cafeteria has 1 PC with a laser printer funded by the Food Services division of the district.
The media center has one PC used for inventory and book check out with the Destiny system in place for both the middle and high schools. There are 5 search stations that are EMacs which can also be used for research. These are all networked to a laser printer.
http://www.davidson.k12.nc.us/education/components/form/default.php?sectiondetailid=46518 - login name is student, password is survey
The student survey is linked to the school’s webpage. Teachers will be directed to have students complete the survey either in a lab environment or as part of homeroom activities. An incentive will be offered.
The main goal of the needs assessment is to provide the school/county/state with the information that they need in order to provide tools to assist students to grow or to assess if additional materials are needed at all.
Teachers come into direct contact with what they are provided with technologically and are able to assist in determining what is needed.
Teachers encounter frustration related to the lack of technology and know from what is currently provided what changes should be implemented.
Even parents in a lower socioeconomic environment care about the education that their child is getting.
Parents are an important part of the needs assessment because they know what would help them have better contact with their child’s teacher and they want to make sure that their child is getting the best education that can be provided.
Parents are relying on the school to educate students in a way that will prepare them to be productive citizens in a technological world and are able to provide insight into what technologies the average student has at home.
She has to have an effective strategy for filing and uses technology to do it quickly.
She has direct knowledge of what is being used and can convey this information to the team. The purpose of having the media coordinator included in the needs assessment is that she can let the committee know what technology is being implemented through the library and make suggestions to what is working for her and what needs help.
She also stores equipment in her workroom and is responsible for checking out technologies to staff.
The media coordinator is ultimately responsible for the inventory of all fixed assets in a school, so she is an invaluable source of information.
Sixty-two percent of teachers indicate that they are incorporating technology into their daily lesson presentation. However, the student surveys and focus group responses don ’t seem to support this data.
Teachers feel that they do not have adequate access to computers. This was especially true for sixth and seventh grade teachers who do not have the opportunity to use any computer lab until the eighth grade has completed Computer Skills testing.
Seventy-six percent of teachers and administrators indicated insufficient access to most forms of technology. For example, there is only one document camera for check-out for the whole school, so this data is not surprising.
The data indicates that only twenty-two percent of teachers are implementing the district-supported software, even though there have been opportunities for staff development available to all personnel in the district.
Seventy-two percent of parents indicated a willingness to try new methods of communication from the school as long as they would still feel informed about their child ’s progress.
Staff revealed in their reports that there is little ongoing staff development on the creation of web pages for their parent websites. Once they are trained, they aren’t responsible for the updating of the websites, so they are often unchanged all year.
Reports indicate that more common assessments that can be taken on the computer or run through a scanner are needed in order to create common data that can be compared and analyzed for staff growth through the sharing of ideas.
The reports indicated that staff members are sometimes resistant to technology because they are unsure of how to use it in their classrooms. Some teachers are uncomfortable using the equipment because fear they may break it or because they don’t want to appear foolish using it incorrectly in front of the students.
Teachers will be required to submit lessons that integrate technology (either by formal plan or simply by summary) to the school’s webpage document manager. A separate page that is password protected will be created for this purpose.
The MTAC committee will focus on finding and trying to secure grants for new technology purchases for the next two years. To accommodate the increased time demands of this effort, the teachers who serve on this committee will be released from all assigned duties such as bus duty, etc.
Administrators will work with district level Instructional Technology Facilitators to obtain usage data for software products. This data will become part of a teacher’s observation process.
Common types of assessments will be used by all staff to allow for more uniform analysis of data.
The eighth grade will continue to have complete access to the computer lab in the two months immediately preceding the Computer Skills test. The mobile lab will become available for the sixth and seventh grade to use. Once the test is completed, all computer labs will move to flexible scheduling.
Efforts will be made to communicate more effectively with parents, especially about new forms of technology. One method that will be employed is using data projectors, document cameras, and Keynote presentations for Parent Nights. Another method to be employed is to have the local newspaper invited to cover technology-rich presentations by students, especially PBL ’s.
Administrators will set minimum requirements for maintaining teacher webpages as a means of communication to parents.
These recommendations will be reviewed by the Director for Media Services and Instructional Technology for Davidson County Schools, the assigned Instructional Technology Facilitator for our school, the members of the MTAC committee, and the administration of Group 3 Middle School and will then be submitted to the DCS Board of Education for approval.