Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009 Summary / 2010 Goals

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Halfway through the school year and I find myself reflecting on the successes and failures of the year. I also find myself preparing for upcoming projects in the spring and summer. Here is a brief recap of what we accomplished this semester and also what is on our horizon for 2010.

  • Offsite Backup Solution. We completed the install of our offsite backup solution in September. This was made possible by products from Vizioncore and Dell. You can read a post about the project here.
  • Implementation of 100 document cameras, 50 audio solutions, 30 SMART Boards and 25 Promethean Boards. A majority of these were made possible through ARRA funds.
  • Tech Grub - our district staff started this in 2009 and it has been a great way for us to share information, stay on top of current and upcoming projects and also get away from the office and share a good lunch once a month.
  • CIO Newsletter - I have produced two CIO Newsletters (click here to see the current version) and this has been a great way for our department to share information with the district.
  • Active Directory Upgrade - as a part of a state project we upgraded our Active Directory servers to Server 2008.
  • Replaced / Upgraded 100 teacher stations - this has been an area of weakness in our district and we are working to address it with upcoming projects for 2010. Until then, we will continue to upgrade/replace a certain percentage of teacher stations to ensure all meet minimum specifications.
  • Replaced / Upgraded 120 student stations - as a part of refresh cycle we typically replace 4-5 labs at various schools throughout the school year. Labs that are replaced are used to cycle down to teacher and other student stations.
  • Middle College Laptops - as a part of the Middle College program, we rolled out 20 Macbook laptops to our Marshall County students, so they can be mobile learners, both on the college campus and at home. This was our first effort at providing students with laptops that are used outside of schoool
  • Update of AUP, Technology Timeline, AUP Forms and creation of Social Networking Contract. Our District Technology committee worked hard this past semester to update forms and documents pertaining to our Acceptable Use Policy and District Technology Plan. (those documents can be found here). We also created a Social Networking policy designed to provide students the opportunity to use social networking sites in class assignments / projects that might otherwise be blocked during normal school hours. All forms and documents were approved by the school board.
  • Implemented Wordpress Server - towards the end of the fall semester we implemented a wordpress server, designed to give our faculty/staff an alternative to static websites. Our assistant webmaster, systems admin and a middle school teacher worked very hard to get this project off the ground. We have had a handful of middle school teachers adopt the wordpress blog format as their new website and hope to provide additional classes this spring and move over 20-30% of our faculty/staff. Here is our site.
Items on the horizon for 2010:
  • Laptops for Teachers - we have been working on the data collection and RFQ for this project during the 2009 school year. Click here to read more about this project. My goal is to have the RFQ out in early 2010 and begin looking at proposals in the spring.
  • Live@edu - The state email project hit a bit of a snag in late 2009, but I look for it to pick up momentum in the winter. Pilots will begin in early 2010 and the hope is districts will begin migrating in the spring. I see this project as a positive for our district and state by providing a hosted email solution with larger storage, hardware offsite and improved features/functionality.
  • Improved Professional Development Offerings - along with teacher stations, this was also one of the weaknesses identified by our District Technology Committee. Thanks to ARRA funds, we (along with many school districts) will be able to send more users to conferences/workshops, bring in some professionals to conduct school specific classes and look at other alternative methods for enhancing our technology integration and implementation.
  • Replace / Upgrade 125 teacher stations - just like 2009, we will plan to replace these stations regardless of how the laptop program plays out.
  • Replace / Upgrade 120 student stations - replacements as a part of the refresh cycle.
  • Student Expectations - the District Technology Committee will review the Student Expectations portion of the District Technology plan. Our current standards were adopted in 2005 and are in need of fresh eyes and up to date information.
  • Learning Management System - our district implemented a Moodle server about three years ago and had a moderate adoption rate. Over the past three years our number of users have dropped and we had some technical issues with the server itself. I am currently looking at some hosted solutions that can provide the necessary tools our teachers needs, while meeting the communication and collaboration needs of our students. Stay tuned for this as I see us moving sooner, rather than later on this project.
  • Upgrade Wireless Infrastructure - should our Laptop for Teacher program play out, this will move up the list quickly. We will plan to identify locations in buildings where there will be a dense population of users and thus the need to move to wireless N. With all of our buildings having complete wireless coverage, we are just concerned with making sure the necessary areas are saturated to meet the connectivity needs of our users.

Here is to a great 2009 and looking forward to an exciting 2010!

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