The past year has changed the way technology works in our district significantly. It has changed our strategy in using student devices, how we ensure connectivity for those devices, and it has helped us develop a 1: 1 program for all K-12 students.
Last year we were also able to add 2 new technology coach positions. Both Sam Allen and Eric Jones have been instrumental in helping teachers use technology software and student equipment in the classroom. The district is committed to maintaining these important roles.
For the coming year we are adding another technology position. This position will be primarily responsible for the help desk and technical support for students, teachers and faculties. You will also work with our other technology team to make sure projects keep moving forward even if other technology needs arise. We are confident that this will make our team more responsive and able to handle the demands of growing technology.
This summer will be the last of our current technology plan, which started our first iteration of the technology swap cycle. In those five years we were able to replace all student devices, teacher PCs, and office staff PCs. We plan to continue this approach, which replaces technology at one location every summer.
This summer we plan to complete the technology exchange at Heritage Elementary. All Chromebooks and bags will be replaced, along with any PCs that were not replaced last year. This summer is going to be a challenge as we checked out equipment to the students for the first time last year. TPS was able to purchase additional parts, chargers, cases, etc. to ensure that we can repair or replace any equipment that comes back from damaged students. We have developed a process that includes gassing, cleaning, repairing, erasing, and taking inventory of all student equipment and cases. We want to make sure that all equipment is in the best possible condition for the next year.
We would like to continue to replace older interactive whiteboards with ViewSonic Interactive Panels. 106 more will be installed this summer. Other projects to be implemented this year include new servers, a backup solution and a new telephone system. There’s a lot going on in the technology department.
Technology is fast moving and changing, but we know we do what we do for the kids. Technology tools in the hands of students and their teachers prepare them for technology in the workplace and in everyday life. Come on, tiger!
Leon Ashlock is Superintendent of the Tahlequah School District I-35.