The Need for TransformationAs emerging technology continues to dictate the way we functionin this global society, the need to restructure our educationsystem was inevitable. This transformation required aninfrastructure that would make learning opportunities available tolearners, educators and administrators regardless of location ortime.
The Need for TransformationTechnology would actually change the whole way we would vieweducation including its basic assumption that teachers are thecommunicators of learning. Through technology, the new technosavvy learners now have opportunities to share in thiscommunication process.
The Need for TransformationThrough technology, learning and communication in theclassroom is no longer just top-down but is now circular and evenextends outside the classroom. To funnel growth for thistransformation, districts must find ways to support connectivity. Students Teachers Teachers Students
The FCCBecause this transformation is a huge undertaking for localdistricts, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)implemented the E-Rate discount program administered by the(USAC) Universal Service Administration Company to providemonetary support with providing connectivity in elementary andsecondary schools and libraries.
Purpose of E-RateThe PURPOSE of E-Rate is to ensure that all eligible schools andlibraries have affordable access to modern telecommunicationsand information services and to provide discounts for services.
DiscountsDiscounts are to promote improved:Internet AccessTelecommunications ServicesInternal Network ConnectionsBasic Maintenance and Support
Range of DiscountsDiscounts range from 20% to 90% of costs for eligible servicesdepending on the level of poverty and the urban/rural status ofthe population served.
Contingent UponE-Rate money for school districts is contingent on the ability ofthe districts toImplement filters that block student access to content that may be harmful to minorsProvide online safety to studentsMonitor online activities
How the Plan WorksSchools can apply each year for discounts.If funded, bills can be discounted directly from the serviceproviders or through reimbursement of services.Programs are capped at receiving no more than $2.25 billion perprogram year.
Provision for Other ResourcesSchools are responsible for providing additional resources tomeet connectivity objectives such asComputersTelephonesSoftwareProfessional Development
StepsSteps needed to apply for and receive these discounts includeStep 1 - Development of a Technology PlanStep 2 - Opening of the Competitive Bidding ProcessStep 3 - Seeking Discounts on Eligible ServicesStep 4 - Confirming the receipt of these servicesStep 5 - Invoicing USAC for these Services
E-Rate Discount ProgramThe USAC Website supplies more details on E-Rate.
Technology PlanStep 1 of the E-Rate application process, development of aTechnology PlanShows how schools will use technology to achieve specificcurriculum reforms and guide planning and investment for bothE-Rate funds and for other resources needed to take advantage oftechnology.
Required Content Clear goals and strategies for using technologies Professional development strategies to ensure staff knows how to use these new technologies Assessment of the components to technology such as the actual services, hardware and software An evaluation process
Technology Plan – Irving ISDIrving ISD has developed its 2010 - 2013 technology plan to movethe district forward in its continued effort to integrate technologyinto schools.
Technology Plan – Irving ISDThe district’s Long Range Plan for Technology expands over 3years and covers four major areas1) Integration of Technology into Teaching and Learning2) Professional Development3) Administration and Support Services and4) Infrastructure for Technology
7 Goals for TechnologyThere are seven goals that the district lists and various strategiesthat accompany these goals.
Goal # 1Goal # 1 - Infuse higher level thinking with technology and qualityinstruction.Strategies include integrating technology TEKS and higher orderthinking into 100% of curriculum areas, increasing integration oftechnology and maintaining the 1:1 ratio of computing devices forstudents grades 9–12, teachers, and administrators.
Goal # 2Goal # 2 - Support assessment and planning through the use oftechnology.Strategies include providing technology support for assessing.
Goal # 3Goal # 3 - Educate all students and teachers in responsibletechnology use.Strategies include trainings on appropriate use and internetsafety.
Goal # 3Not only are students and faculty trained on appropriate use andinternet safety but parents also attend computer classes wherethey undergo trainings about safety on the internet.
Goal # 4Goal # 4 – Ensure that professional development is on-going andhigh quality.Strategies include providing differentiated job-embeddedtechnology training, increasing the use of technology in staffdevelopments, and demonstrating the effective use of digitaltools and resources.
Goal # 4All staff participate in trainings that focus on technology.
TrainingsStaff developments focus on the needs of the campus.Trainings are conducted by Instructional Technology Specialists(ITS).
Goal # 5Goal # 5 - Ensure 100% administrative participation in appropriatesoftware programs.Strategies include using software programs and increasingcommunications through the use of technology.
Goal # 6Goal #6 - Provide leadership to leverage technology for theimprovement of teaching and learning in classrooms.Strategies include integrating technology into curriculum andmaintaining technology resources for continued improvement.
Goal # 7Goal #7 - Ensure a stable infrastructure for technology use.Strategies include insuring dependable operations 24/7 anddeveloping a sustainable system with available funds.
EvaluationLocal evaluations will be conducted for each aspect of the plan.This includes walk through evaluations and a district-developedtechnology standards assessment.The Texas STaR Chart (School Technology and Readiness) will alsobe used to measure progress.
ConclusionThe district has developed a Long Range Technology PlanningCommittee who will meet at least once a year to review progressmade toward the Long Range Plan for Technology.This committee along with the board’s goal of staff to use avariety of technological resources to engage students should helpsuccessfully transition the district into the 21st Century.