The technology plan for 2014-15 (and on):
So that we all start from the same place, a review:
- Over the last five years, we have had a technology plan pushed forward mainly by Macbooks in two mobile carts, moved from classroom to classroom as needed, and checked out for use at home. This has worked well most of the time, but is in need of adaptation to create a sustainable path in support of the growth of the school.
- To this end, we are changing our technology network infrastructure to facilitate students bringing and using their own devices on campus. Given the continued improvements in the functionality, portability, speed, and cost of technology, and given that many families already have these devices for kids to use, we are shifting to this kind of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program.
- We have these actions within a two-year plan, to first see what works best, and what does not, and then, move in the direction that our experience dictates. That might be a more uniform approach, or just a continuation of the BYOD program as we see it this year.
THE CORE OF THE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM AT SJPII
The main components of our technology plan remain the same:
• A wireless network that covers the whole school
• Macbook access for all students inside and outside of school
• iMac desktop units in the media center for work and printing
• A firewall-based internet filter for on campus access
• LCD projectors in all classrooms
• Interactive whiteboards in science classrooms
• School web portal (Renweb) for updated progress reports, assignments, and course materials
We believe, within technology, that our resources are best used in one important way: consistent and wide access to all students, and at the point of instruction (in the classroom, not a separate lab room).
We believe that this is simply done: laptops or tablets in the classroom environment.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF TECHNOLOGY PLAN ADAPTATION FOR 2014-15
Link to a full summary of the Bring Your Own Device Program
- We are asking families to consider using an existing device from home or purchasing a family-owned device for dedicated use at school, each day. The device would be stored in the student’s backpack and available for use every day.
- We are asking that families research which devices (if any) would be best for their situation and students and then act accordingly.
- This is a two-year plan, beginning in 2013-14, we are going to learn more about what works well and then move toward a sustainable plan based on that experience.
- Students will still have access to computers here on campus, including desktop units in the library, Macbooks in the media center and in the classroom. If a family decides not to purchase or have a student bring a device, students will still have equal and adequate access to technology during the school day.
As stated earlier, as technology becomes more affordable, functional, and portable, it is possible to unite home and school devices. We also feel that a solid purchase today should be able to support students into their college years, where these kinds of purchases will be necessary and required.