ANESU Technology Planning Update
Setting the Context
It is no longer enough to focus on technology skills, as it is clear every day that most students have or are quick to acquire these basic skills. What still holds many Vermont schools back is the continuing separation of technology from the rest of the school curriculum. Technology must become the transparent component that is integrated seamlessly in all areas of the curriculum. As The Transformation of Education describes the vision: “Digital learning tools will largely replace textbooks and teacher lectures as the way students access new information. Technology links students to the world, with teachers as their guides and coaches as they explore and experience.” Excerpt from the Introduction Technology for Personalizing Learning The 2012-2015 Vermont Educational Technology Plan, March 2012
After a period of study by members of the technology team and three site visits to Vermont school districts an ANESU Tech Support Plan was written with the following conclusions and recommendations: An improved network infrastructure (speed and reliability of internet access) is needed A more flexible technical support system with better communication is needed Technology support staff should become district employees A leader needs to be identified to coordinate technology support meetings and purchasing decisions
Technology for Personalizing Learning The 2012-2015 Vermont Educational Technology Plan was adopted by the Vermont State Board of Education
A new ANESU Technology Plan was adopted by the ANESU Executive Board and submitted to the Vermont Department of Education. This third generation plan aligns with the Vermont Department of Education Technology Plan as it brings greater clarity regarding the need for reliable infrastructure and access to the internet, as well as, the role technology plays in all curricular areas for students.
The conversation has changed from technology being about gadgets; it is now about learning. Our local plan focuses on the International Society for Technology in Education NETS Standards for Students and the goal articulated below has been carried over from 2009 ANESU Technology Plan and is as follows:
In order to prepare our students to become responsible citizens of the 21st Century, ANESU staff will provide students with the knowledge and skill they will need to access and utilize the information necessary to thrive in today's society. The ANESU vision is to promote and encourage: creativity and innovation; communication and collaboration; research and information fluency; critical thinking; problem-solving and decision making; citizenship; and advanced application of knowledge.
In addition, four local goals have been articulated in a detailed action plan specifying activities, timelines, budget, staffing and evaluation for each goal. For convenience, the goals are listed below and the complete Technology Plan can be found on our district website.
¨ Goal 1: ANESU will utilize technology to develop more comprehensive personalized learning structures for all learners.
¨ Goal 2: ANESU leaders use NETS-A standards to foster student centered learning through technology
¨ Goal 3: ANESU will create flexible learning environments to support personalized learning.
¨ Goal 4: ANESU will use technology tools to develop partnerships within the local, regional, state and global communities.
This overarching goal and the four additional goals are in accord with the District's ENDS Policy. Although there is tight alignment with ENDS Policy C1.1 Core Subjects in a Digital and Global Environment, because of the use of digital technology in the workplace and our need to foster collaboration, creativity and innovation the plan also aligns with C1.2 Life and Career Skills, and C1.3 Learning and Innovation Skills.
Additional information concerning grade expectations and NETS Standards can be found by clicking on or inserting this link in your web browser. http://www.anesu.org/curriculum/technology-grade-expectations
The restructuring of technology delivery also brings needed cost efficiency to our districts as current spending for technology staffing across the supervisory union exceeds $500,000 annually. Combined savings of over $100,000 across multiple districts contributes to individual school boards meeting their fiduciary responsibility as they develop budgets to meet the needs of our students at an acceptable cost to taxpayers.
FY 13 Total personnel and benefits $508,413
FY 14 Total personnel and benefits $525,406 (Anticipated during budget development process due to salary, benefit and inflationary changes)
FY 14 Total personnel and benefits $399,441
Services delivered at the Supervisory Union level provides a common delivery model and includes personnel for technology integration, technology support and data base consultation
Student Data Management System deployed (PowerSchool)
Review and analysis of the current technology delivery model and, in particular, the challenges of slow and intermittent internet access and obstacles in the implementation of PowerSchool provided additional evidence of the need for restructuring the technology service delivery.
From the introduction of computers in education in the 1980's until today, there have been ongoing conversations about the role technology should have in classrooms. That conversation continues today and will into the future. Humans learn through our physical senses. How much screen time is too much screen time for children at different developmental levels? Does use of computer devices remove students from getting outdoors and engaging in active healthy physical activities? What are the most optimum uses of school resources (people, time, money) in technology? Other questions exist and new ones will emerge as learner outcomes change. What has not changed in the conversation is the importance of the critical role that each teacher plays in the learning process. It is the well trained and knowledgeable teacher whose teaching/learning relationship with the student is most important in the learning process.
Because of rapid technological advances in our social and economic world we must be able to rapidly adapt to this environment for the benefit of our learners. With limited resources we cannot afford a system that is fragmented, redundant or inefficient. As noted in the technology report from May 2011, first and foremost to improving our technology infrastructure is to ensure reliable access to all students K-12 which is fundamental to creating a sustainable system that is flexible and affordable.
Our goal is for technology to be seamlessly integrated throughout classes and all content areas. That means technology available anytime both in school and in all curricular areas at all grade levels. Our goal to create a wide area network to serve all of our schools and coordinate all operational information systems (report cards, portfolios, human resources, financials) will remain a focus for technical staff. Recognizing that budget constraints in the near term will continue to limit financial resources for extensive hardware and software purchases, we will make these investments as funding allows.
The goal of providing a digital backpack for students and digital devices for each student (commonly referred to as 1:1), as well as the expanded use of handheld digital devices will require a necessary shift of resources and a shift in our use of digital tools in the teaching profession. Our instructional vision calls for more student-centered learning and the development of the teacher as mentor/facilitator. Students and teachers will continue to use technology to communicate and collaborate inside and outside the classroom. The use of gaming and social media is a vast and important area that will have to be explored as these tools are integrated into daily lives of students. Students will be expected to increase their personal responsibility for learning as they move through developmental grade spans (primary, intermediate, middle and secondary).
As detailed in the action steps of the ANESU Technology Plan, we rely on staff at all levels of the school district to accomplish those goals. Teachers will integrate evolving technologies that transform the teaching process by allowing for greater levels of student interest, inquiry, analysis, collaboration, creativity and access to content.
We will continue to employ individuals with technical expertise and for the present time, technology integration expertise. Across our nation, there have been significant shifts in the role that public and school libraries play in providing access and social learning collaboration and this may be an avenue developed in some of our schools. Professional development using digital tools for student report cards and portfolios will also continue, as will embedded coaching in project based learning using a variety of software applications and digital devices. And, as we have been doing, we will continue to rely on the skills of our teaching staff to use digital media in teaching and learning activities.
The Technology Plan goals and timelines will guide our work for the next several years and is dependent on actions of staff in each school in the ANESU. In the recent past we have depended upon specialized employees to carry out technology support and integration. During the budget process each central office administrator and each Principal examined the opportunity to retain locally funded technology staffing in FY 14 budgets, but found that pressures from increased health care costs, salary obligations and other budget factors prevent that at this time.
Review, analysis and assessment of current technology delivery system
Resource planning and budget development
Building by building roll out of the ANESU District Technology Plan
Conversion from ADS to Budget Sense (financial accounting software)
Development of WAN (wide area network)
INFORM (student data mining system)
Installing more robust wireless systems
Embedded professional development
NETS S Standards
NETS A Standards
Transitioning from reliance on current computer lab systems to seamless access in all learning environments.
Curriculum design and delivery
e. g. Front loading opportunities for using digital devices in Common Core subjects, Atlas Rubicon Curriculum Mapping Software
Addison Northeast Supervisory Union and Member School Districts
(Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton, Mt. Abraham Union High, New Haven,Starksboro)
Policy Area: Board Procedures: C1
Our school system exists to educate the children of Addison Northeast Supervisory Union and its member school districts of Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton, Mt. Abraham Union Middle/High School, New Haven and Starksboro, so that they can meet the challenges of lifelong learners and responsible citizens at a cost deemed acceptable by the community.
1. Core Subjects in a Digital and Global Environment
To become one’s personal best and a contributing member of a community, each student will demonstrate knowledge and skills within and across disciplines.
a. Students demonstrate competence in the core subjects (English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, arts, health, fitness and nutrition).
b. Students interact critically and productively in a dynamic information and media rich environment.
c. Students demonstrate competence as responsible and informed citizens of the world.
2. Life and Career Skills
To become one’s personal best and a contributing member of a community, each student will develop effective social and emotional skills.
a. Students engage actively in their own learning and pursue personal interests with self-direction, independence and responsibility.
b. Students view themselves as valuable, contributing citizens, participating actively in the community.
c. Students demonstrate adaptability, respect, and collaboration in solving problems collectively.
d. Students relate to each other, value diversity in others and demonstrate understanding and empathy for all.
e. Students foster health and wellness for self and others.
3. Learning and Innovation Skills
To become one’s personal best and a contributing member of a community, each student will develop skills that lead to using one’s mind well.
a. Students exercise perseverance and intellectual curiosity.
b. Students practice and hone skills for accuracy and effectiveness.
c. Students make connections, transferring knowledge to new and meaningful situations.
d. Students show creativity, imagination, and innovation in solving problems.
e. Students communicate publicly what they understand.
f. Students seek feedback and collaboration to extend knowledge and skills for continuous learning.