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Technology Plan


Technology Plan

2013-2017

Please contact Karin Gravina with any questions regarding this plan.


Executive Summary


The Leverett Elementary School District is a pre-kindergarten through sixth grade public school district. Leverett Elementary School is the only elementary school in the rural town of Leverett (pop: c. 1900).


A complete profile of the school can be seen at the Massachusetts Department of Education website at http://profiles.doe.mass.edu.


This 2013-2017 technology plan addresses the standards and benchmarks referenced in three Massachusetts Department of Education publications:


1.Massachusetts Technology Literacy Standards and Expectations which clearly defines what PreK-12 students should know and be able to do in order to use technology for learning - http://www.doe.mass.edu/odl/student.html



2.Local Technology Plan Guidelines for School Years 2010-2015 that helps districts set realistic goals for their Local Technology Plans - http://www.doe.mass.edu/odl/planning.html



3.The Massachusetts STaR (School Technology and Readiness) Chart a table that summarizes in list form technology integration benchmarks for Massachusetts school districts - http://www.doe.mass.edu/boe/sac/edtech/?section=star




Benchmark 1

Commitment to a Clear Vision and Implementation Strategies


Mission, Vision, and General Technology Goals


Leverett Elementary School’s Mission is to educate all students to their fullest potential, providing a foundation of academic skills and subject areas in a safe, positive and enriching environment that fosters a love of learning. In cooperation with families, teachers and community, Leverett Elementary aims to prepare all students to be lifelong learners and responsible citizens of the world, with individual accountability and respect for others.


At Leverett Elementary School we strive to cultivate a lifelong love of learning and encourage our children to become caring, respectful and ethical citizens. Our curriculum is differentiated so that each learner is engaged in rich, meaningful work. Our school works to provide our students with a physically and emotionally safe environment so children have the confidence to take on new challenges and responsibilities.


The technology program has grown since our last five-year technology plan (2009-2012). We have made improvements in the following areas:

1.Using technology to support project-based teaching and a student-centered classroom.

2.Using technology to improve recordkeeping and promote data-driven decision-making.

3.Utilizing technology to meet the educational needs of all students.


Efforts were made to align the technology program with the Recommended Instructional Technology Standards (http://www.doe.mass.edu/odl/student.html). Technology was used to complement and extend the standards-based curriculum in each classroom. Grade-appropriate instruction in keyboarding, basic operations, word processing, desktop publishing, multimedia, electronic presentations, research, and the Internet were taught opportunities explored for meaningful learning. Students were taught legal and ethical practices related to technology use and safety.


A. Technology Goals (2013-2017):


1.Network/Technology Access – Maintain/add new technology to ensure the system is up-to-date with emerging technologies. Emphasis will be placed on:

•Technology budget

1.Includes staffing, infrastructure, hardware, software, professional development, support and contracted services

2.Apply for Erate funding to procure telecommunications and Internet Services

♣portion of expenditures not covered by Erate discounts will be covered by local funds

•Technical/instructional support

1.Staffing is one full-time technology integration specialist / technology coordinator.

♣Responsibilities include: PreK-6 technology instruction, integration, professional development, troubleshooting and maintenance, and state and federal reporting

2.Additional technical support is available through corporate vendors such as InfiLoop Consulting, Apple Education and Crocker Communications or technology coordinators within Union 28.

•Hardware and software upgrade/replacement plan

•Acceptable Use Policies regarding Internet and network use

•Review and update student policy as needed

•Create policy for teachers and staff


2.Professional Development – Provide high quality professional development to all staff on technologies which support classroom and professional learning

•Identify staff needs

•Design professional development workshops

•Evaluate workshops and knowledge gained


3.Curriculum – Continue aligning technology program with the Recommended Instructional Technology Standards and explore new ways for integrating technology into the curriculum

•Research and expand technology resources to make learning more accessible for all students.


4.Communication – Utilize technology to foster and maintain school/community partnerships through access via:

•School website

•School blog

•Email

•Voicemail


B. Tech Team

The technology team consists of the technology integration specialist/ technology coordinator, library teacher, school principal, a classroom teacher, a SPED teacher, a school committee member and a parent.


C. Needs Assessment

Each year the technology integration specialist/technology coordinator and principal evaluate the progress the school has made in implementing its technology plan in an effort to learn from past lessons, review our progress in meeting state and local technology benchmarks, and consider revisions in relation to changes in local curriculum, technology, policy (local, state, and national level), financial circumstances and any other relevant developments. We consult with classroom and SPED teachers on an ongoing basis to determine both curriculum and instructional technology needs. The technology integration specialist/ technology coordinator keeps an updated inventory of school hardware and software, ensures that all maintenance agreements with vendors are renewed and/or updated and stays alert to infrastructure needs.


D. Acceptable Use Policy

The School has a Student Contract for Internet Use that includes the Acceptable Use Policy. This is reviewed and updated annually.


E. Budget

The last four years the school’s budget has been held at a 0% increase. The technology line items have been reduced by 10% in each of those years. Funding new initiatives is getting more difficult with these financial reductions. In addition to local funding, Leverett Elementary looks for federal, state and private resources to supplement budget needs whenever possible. For the past ten years, Leverett Elementary has received E-rate funding to procure telecommunications, web hosting, internal connections (networking infra-structure and related equipment), and Internet services. The portion of expenditures not covered by E-rate discounts is covered by local funds. Local technology funding includes line items for staffing, technology support, hardware, software, maintenance, networking, and contracted services (including telephone services).



F. Evaluation



Benchmark 2

Technology Integration and Literacy


According to the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), “effective teachers model and apply the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS•S) as they design, implement, and assess learning experiences to engage students and improve learning; enrich professional practice; and provide positive models for students, colleagues, and the community. The technology integration specialist/technology coordinator works collaboratively each week with all teachers to help them design technology-rich projects towards meeting the following standards and performance indicators:


1. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity

Teachers use their knowledge of subject matter, teaching and learning, and technology to facilitate experiences that advance student

learning, creativity, and innovation in both face-to-face and virtual environments. Teachers:

a. promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness

b. engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources

c. promote student reflection using collaborative tools to reveal and clarify students’ conceptual understanding and thinking, planning, and creative processes

d. model collaborative knowledge construction by engaging in learning with students, colleagues, and others in face-to-face and virtual environments


2. Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments

Teachers design, develop, and evaluate authentic learning experiences and assessments incorporating contemporary tools and resources to

maximize content learning in context and to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes identified in the NETS•S. Teachers:

a. design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity

b. develop technology-enriched learning environments that enable all students to pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in setting their own educational goals, managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress

c. customize and personalize learning activities to address students’ diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources

d. provide students with multiple and varied formative and summative assessments aligned with content and technology

standards and use resulting data to inform learning and teaching


3. Model Digital-Age Work and Learning

Teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and digital society. Teachers:

a. demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations

b. collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation

c. communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital-age media and formats

d. model and facilitate effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information

resources to support research and learning


4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility

Teachers understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their professional practices. Teachers:

a. advocate, model, and teach safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology, including respect for copyright, intellectual property, and the appropriate documentation of sources

b. address the diverse needs of all learners by using learner-centered strategies and providing equitable access to appropriate digital tools and resources

c. promote and model digital etiquette and responsible social interactions related to the use of technology and information

d. develop and model cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with colleagues and students of other cultures using digital-age communication and collaboration tools


5. Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership

Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional

community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources. Teachers:

a. participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning

b. exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision making and community

building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others

c. evaluate and reflect on current research and professional practice on a regular basis to make effective use of existing and emerging digital tools and resources in support of student learning

d. contribute to the effectiveness, vitality, and self-renewal of the teaching profession and of their school and community


Copyright © 2008, ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education)


Technology skills must continually be incorporated into the school’s curriculum in order to prepare our students to manage, store, sort and use the information they are confronted with on a daily basis. On November 18, 2008, the 21st Century Task Force that was commissioned by Secretary of Education, Paul Reville, released their recommendations supporting this concept. (see full report at: http://www.doe.mass.edu/news/news.asp?id=4429). At Leverett Elementary, we emphasize the use of digital tools to facilitate the effective organization, exploration and communication of information. Technology has become a tool to enhance and extend classroom learning and enables students to access, apply, share and present information. Teachers are using technology to customize instruction to meet the diverse needs of our students. As a school, we have been moving toward this model by teaching information, media and technology skills and incorporating these skills into the curriculum and our core academic subjects. Our teaching staff continually looks for ways to collaborate and incorporate technology into the curriculum by working collaboratively with the technology integration specialist/ technology coordinator.


Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy is an excellent example of the process in which students learn. The model suggests:


Before we can understand a concept we have to remember it

Before we can apply the concept we must understand it

Before we analyze it we must be able to apply it

Before we can evaluate its impact we must have analyzed it

Before we can create we must have remembered, understood, applied, analyzed, and evaluated.


Kelly Tenkley, iLearn Technology, breaks down the process for students and teachers, in the following diagrams.




Over the next four years, Leverett Elementary School’s goals for Technology Integration and Literacy will be to:


1.Achieve 85% of teachers using technology daily in some of the following areas:

•lesson planning

•administrative tasks

•communications

•collaboration

•share technology uses with colleagues


2. Achieve 85% of teachers using technology daily to improve student learning. Activities could include:

•research

•multimedia

•simulations

•data interpretation

•communications

•collaboration


3.Show technology proficiency for students and staff. Goals to achieve this would be as follows:

•Students – 85% of Grade 6 students show proficiency using the Massachusetts Recommended PreK-12 Instructional Technology Standards.

•Teachers – 60% of teachers will have reached the proficiency level as defined by the Massachusetts Technology Self-Assessment Tool (TSAT).


Benchmark 3

Technology Professional Development


•By the end of the school year 2014-2015, at least 85% of district staff will have participated in high-quality technology professional development covering technology skills and the integration of technology into instruction with a minimum of 12 hours per year.

•Technology professional development at Leverett Elementary is sustained and ongoing and includes coaching, modeling best practices, study groups and online professional development. Having a technology integration specialist / technology coordinator who works in partnership with our staff is the key for success. We believe that technology professional development must be relevant, timely, authentic and useable. It must be relevant to the task of teaching and beneficial to student learning. We believe in designing staff professional development around curriculum projects.

•Leverett Elementary School believes educators should be prepared to meet the following technology standards and performance indicators:

oDemonstrate a sound understanding of technology operations and concepts

oPlan and design effective learning environments and experiences supported by technology

oImplement curriculum plans that include methods and strategies for applying technology to maximize student learning

oApply technology to facilitate a variety of effective assessment and evaluation strategies

oUse technology to enhance productivity and professional practice

oUnderstand the social, ethical, legal and human issues surrounding the use of technology in PK-6 schools and apply that understanding in practice

•Professional development planning includes an assessment of district and teachers' needs. The assessment is based on the competencies listed in the Massachusetts Technology Self-Assessment Tool.



Benchmark 4

Accessibility of Technology


A. Hardware Access

•Students per Instructional Computer. Leverett’s goal is to maintain access and improve the student-computer ratio by continuing to add/replace equipment as technology changes.


•Leverett maximizes access to the general education curriculum for all students, including students with disabilities.

oSoftware is procured for classroom use such as Symphony Math, Lexia Learning Systems, Fastt Math, Read Naturally, Tux Math, Destination Software

oHardware is procured with universal design principles and assistive technology principles such as laptops for individual use, interactive white boards, student response systems, Onyx visual system, iPads and alphasmarts

oA mobile workstation with a laptop computer and digital projector is available for classroom teachers to use.


•The technology coordinator keeps an updated inventory of school hardware and software, ensures that all maintenance agreements with technology vendors are renewed and/or updated and that infrastructure needs are met.


•Computer repairs can be costly. Whenever we purchase new equipment, we purchase extended warranty on parts and labor (if available) to safeguard our technology investment.


•In order to maintain an acceptable level of computing power, maximize limited funds, and eliminate costly repairs, Leverett Elementary School will replace its technology every five years; however, the specifics of the school technology replacement goals will change as we perceive new needs and refine our views of technological literacy.


oThe priorities for replacement are as follows:

1.Mission critical application status

•Primary network servers and equipment related to infrastructure

•Upgrade to lastest operating system

•School-level administration systems (student admin, email, web-hosting, etc.)

•Upgrade wiring for wireless connectivity

2.Instructional objectives

•Individual Education Program requirements

•Student computer access ratio (lab and classrooms)

•Software requirements driven by instructional goals including web based instructional learning programs

•iPad Cart

•Interactive projects/Apple TV in every classroom with a Promethean board

•Laptops for teachers

•Online textbooks and books

3.Administrative processing requirements, such as:

•Staff workstation and office automation tools

•Library Circulation system

•Data reporting/assessment systems


oThe computer replacement cycle will begin by evaluating equipment older than 5 years and will replace machines in order of priorities. Currently, we lease our computers and pay the lease over a four-year period. This allows us to cycle in new computers every three years. Beginning in the 2008/09 year, the schools in Union 28 have collaborated to lease/purchase computers. By buying in bulk, we are able to bring down the cost/computer substantially thus being able to purchase more computers with our money. This is a model we will plan to use in other areas of technology purchasing.



B. Internet Access


1.Leverett Elementary provides connectivity to the Internet in all classrooms including wireless connectivity, if appropriate.

2.The district provides bandwidth of 10/100 MB to each classroom.


C. Networking (LAN/WAN)


1.Leverett Elementary provides a 10/100 MB Cat 5 switched network and 802.11b/g wireless network.

2.Leverett Elementary provides services for secure file sharing, backups and scheduling internally. Email and web publishing is provided through contracted services.


D. Access to the Internet outside the School Day


1.The Leverett Library provides students and staff access to the Internet outside of the school day. Leverett is located in a rural area where dial-up Internet access is the primary method. With no cable in town and a mountainous terrain that limits broadband access, high-speed Internet access is limited to the school, public library and less than 15% of Leverett households.

2.As fiber is installed in town, high speed Internet access will be available for all residents.


E. Staffing


1.The staffing for the technology program at Leverett Elementary consists of one FTE Technology Coordinator / Technology Integration Teacher whose responsibilities include technology troubleshooting and maintenance, K-6 information literacy instruction, technology integration, professional development, and state and federal reporting. Additional technical support is available from corporate vendors such as Apple Education and Crocker Communications, contracted services with InfiLoop Consulting, or other technology coordinators within Union 28.


Benchmark 5

E-Learning Environments


1.Leverett Elementary encourages the development and use of innovative strategies for delivering specialized courses through the use of technology. We are aware of the benefits of e-learning for:

a.Student instruction (e.g. educational courses, field trips and student-to-student projects)

b.Professional development opportunities for teachers

c.Social learning and use of social software such as blogs, wikis, and podcasts.

d.Technology Integration Specialist maintains a school blog to publish 21st Century technology curriculum projects. The website can be viewed at: http://leverettschool.edublogs.org/



2. The district maintains an up-to-date website for parents and community members. The website can be viewed at: http://www.leverettschool.org/



3.The school complies with federal and state law, and local policies for archiving electronic communications produced by its staff and students. Email is archived for seven years. Staff was trained in September 2008 regarding the archiving of electronic communication and that any information distributed over the district/school network may be a public record.