Technology Improvement Plan

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pdfTechnology Proposal

An educator’s likelihood to incorporate technology into their curriculum is directly affected by their access and interaction with that technology.  The more a teacher can experiment and interact with a given technology, the more they will learn about that technology - whether it is a computer itself, a wiki, a particular software suite, etc.  As a whole, the faculty members at my school are behind when it comes to educational technology.  While some faculty members are brilliant at leveraging technology, others maintain a total absence of technology in their classrooms.  Faculty members also lack the necessary vocabulary have discussions about shifting paradigms toward a 21st Century education.  It is my goal to improve the faculty’s awareness and involvement with educational technology.  Few faculty members are able to provide a simple definition of educational technology.  Most are trapped by the pitfall of placing an overemphasis on the word “technology” while omitting the “educational” half of the phrase.  For instance, some of our faculty members consider anything having to do with technology “educational technology” - whether it is printer malfunction, projector light bulb replacement, or how to format a table in Microsoft Word.  To remain competitive as an independent school in the Los Angeles area, our faculty needs to be more knowledgeable in the domain of educational technology, specifically in its definition and the limitless possibilities of implementation in the classroom.  They need help navigating through lists of tools and options and determining what will help their curriculum progress.
All faculty members need to have laptops so as to maximize their time spent engaging with technology.  My first step towards increasing faculty awareness of educational technology will be to convey a concise, clear message about educational technology during our first faculty meeting at the beginning of the school year.  I plan to present to the faculty in a way that is personable and in a language that is comfortable.  Establishing a comfort factor is essential for the portion of faculty that is “technophobic.”   Next, I plan to meet with each academic department chair to explain and educate them on exactly how educational technology impacts their field and provide them and their department resources for further exploration.  By expanding their awareness, it is my hope that they use their new laptops to experiment with different tools.  Most importantly, teachers will not be constrained from experimentation – they will now have their own laptops to work on at home, not just during school hours.  They will have a large budget to work from when it comes to purchasing software so that faculty members are free to explore different software prudently, but without fear of price. 
The next step in my plan is to implement a 1 to 1 laptop program for all students in grades 7-12.  The faculty should not have to worry about student access to technology – they can implement any technology suitable for their curriculum without worry of platform or compatibility issues because all students will have the same hardware.    
Once a foundation of technical knowledge has been established, and the proper hardware has been put in place, I plan to publicize as many successful teacher projects as possible using both the school newspaper and magazine.  I want to develop a popularity and excitement about technology on campus and entice more teachers to implement and experiment with projects.  Keeping administration and parents aware of the progress on campus is crucial to maintaining momentum for this project. 
The last stage in my project is to compile a team of educators who have successfully implemented educational technology in their classroom and encourage them to help other teachers, thus moving myself out of the center of the community.  It is vital that a community be established where educators do not all look to me for answers. 
Gauging students progress is one of the most difficult and well-debated topics in education.  In order to determine if this project has been successful, we will need to see if the students have learned more than previous years.  While tests may provide hard, comparable data, they are not a solid barometer of student learning.  The best way to determine this project’s effectiveness is to speak to the teachers and students themselves.  Have conversations with them.  Ask the students if they have noticed a difference in their own learning.  Ask the teachers if they have noticed a difference in their students.  Dewey said it best – “If you want to see if students are learning, watch them.”  
BUDGET


ITEM

QUANTITY

PRICE

TOTAL

Dell Latitude D830, Intel Core 2duo T9300, 2.50 GHz, 800Mhz, 6M L2 Cache, Dual Core. 15.4 inch Wide Screen, 2 GB DDR2-667 SDRAM, 1 DIMM, 256 MB NVIDIA Quadro NVS, Windows Vista SP1, reverted to Windows Professional, 8X DVD+/-RW, 3 year Limited Warranty, 3 year Accidental Damage Warrenty

100 Faculty
370 Students

$1604.37

$850,316.10

Technical Support/Desktop Support Specialist (staff member)

1

$60,000.00

$60,000.00

Educational Technology Software Allocation for Faculty

 

 

$90,000.00

Laptops ($850,000):  The laptops I chose have a 4 year shelf life due to the processor and RAM.  I chose Windows machines because they are far easier to network and integrate with a file server, create and maintain generic user profiles, and maintain security under our current network structure.  I also chose a 3 year warranty and accidental damage coverage to maintain the school’s investment. 
Desktop Support Specialist ($60,000):  With almost 500 new laptops on campus, the volume of technical problems is sure to rise.  As a result, I have budgeted for one more desktop support specialist to be added to our team.  It is essential that both student’s and faculty’s hardware run smoothly. When students or faculty do encounter a problem, there will be four technicians on staff ready to help.  While his/her salary will be around $45,000.00, I budgeted the employment cost for the school to be around $60,000.00 because of retirement and benefit packages.
Educational Technology Software for Faculty ($90,000):   It is essential that faculty pursue both free and for purchase software to incorporate into their curriculum.  For this reason, I have allocated a large amount of the budget toward software purchases.  I would like to build in ample room for freedom in the first year of this project.  Restricting faculty purchases of software has the potential to crush enthusiasm.  Therefore, this budget allows for choice and anticipates some failure as well.