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TECHNOLOGY PLAN EVALUATION

Technology Plan Evaluation


Aaron T. Cleveland, Kelly DeWeese, Katherine Edwards, Richard Arenal-Mullen
FRIT 7232
Georgia Southern University

TECHNOLOGY PLAN EVALUATION

Annotated Bibliography of Resources

1. Pryor, S. (2011, November 1). CSDE Educational Technology Plan Template. Retrieved
February 3, 2015, from
http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/rfp/ed616_technology_plan_template_2012_15.pdf

This resource is a thorough template developed by the Connecticut State Department of


Education to help every school district use technology effectively through developing a
comprehensive technology plan. This resource includes a template to follow, a check list page to
ensure the plan includes all the required components such as: the planning committee, vision statement,
needs assessment, seven goals, funding sources and costs, and CIPA Certification. At the end of this
template is a planning toolkit with additional resources to consult and use when developing the local
district technology plans.

2. Technology Plans and the E-Rate Program: A Primer for Schools and Libraries. (n.d.). Retrieved
February 3, 2015, from http://e-ratecentral.com/applicationTips/techPlan/default.asp

The entire website serves as guidance for schools and libraries in preparation of technology
plans. This resource outlines the basic components all technology plans should have, which is what this
site calls the core requirements. These include: clear goals and realistic strategies for using
telecommunications and information technology to improve education; professional development
strategies; assessments of services, hardware, and software needed to improve education; and an
evaluation process to monitor progress towards goals and allow course corrections. The website also

TECHNOLOGY PLAN EVALUATION

provides external links to additional resources and includes appendices with examples and samples to
support the development of a technology plan.

3. Vanderlinde, R., & Braak, J. (2013). Technology planning in schools: An integrated researchbased model. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(1), E14-E17.

This article contains the results for several studies conducted on technology planning in schools
in order to assist teachers and leaders in creating an effective technology plan. The article first clearly
distinguishes between technology planning (a verb and a process) and a technology plan (a noun and a
result). The researchers concluded that technology planning involves specific content, goes in a cyclic
process, needs collaboration among stakeholders (technology coordinator, teachers as leaders, school
team, school leaders, and community), strategies to support schools, and products that support the plan.
The article also lists several excellent references to continue researching technology plans.

4. Quillen, I. (2011). New Technology May Offer Fresh Vistas For Savings and for
Educational Benefits. Education Week, 30(16), 20-22. Retrieved February 6, 2015, from
http://library.georgiasouthern.edu/

The article discussed the different economic benefits of developing a technology plan that
implements many new developing technologies. Author Ian Quillen argued in light of the recent
economic recession, schools have sought ways of incorporating new technological trends
because of budgetary restraints. Schools have shifted away from bans on student devices and
have recently embraced them for more desired 1-to-1 computing ratio. Similar districts have
adopted cloud-based applications and services such as Google Apps and Gmail. States began to

TECHNOLOGY PLAN EVALUATION

explore open-source textbooks and online courses, which have saved significant amounts of
money, especially in resource intensive courses such as Advanced Placement. Courses in creditrecovery have also been high in demand and the biggest rise in technology services. Digital tools
to replace aging software programs were also considered, notably Web 2.0 tools like Youtube and
Skype. The article also provided suggestions for incorporating technology for budgetary reasons
such as mobile devices, cloud computing, and distance learning.

5. Cavanagh, S. (2014). New Standards Sway Purchasing Plans; Technology, curriculum,


testing tools in the mix. Education Week, (29). Retrieved February 6, 2015 from
http://library.georgiasouthern.edu/

This article described the way school budgets, in the short-term, have significantly
changed to comply with, in particular, Common Core. Author Sean Cavanagh wrote that
potentially billions of dollars will go into improvements for curriculum, summative and
formative assessments, and teacher development. Among the those improvements, the article
cited that Common Core was instrumental in making schools, districts, and states change
budgetary focus on technological improvements. According to the article, millions of dollars
have been used to update Internet connectivity, in school districts like Toledo, Ohio. Many
districts have had to make significant budget changes to internet connectivity to give the
Common-Core tests online. Wi-fi and other technological tools have been upgraded to support
the new standards and requirements. Many different businesses have been contracted for teacher
development, much of which was to give teachers online training for the new Common Core
Standards. Some schools have elievated the financial burden by using open-source resources

TECHNOLOGY PLAN EVALUATION

such as Khan Academy. Also, new teacher-evaluation have required some states to update their
systems in order to manage the new load of usage.

6. California Community Colleges, S. C. (2000). TECHnology// Strategic Plan, 2000-2005.

The article is composed of strategic planning for various forms of technological


implementation for community colleges in California. Among the goals for the state of California
community colleges was expansion of internet connectivity, equal access for all students in the
college system, and universal design for learning - to meet the needs of all students. Driving the
need for change at the turn of the 21st century was an increased use of the internet, employer
needs for more educated and train human capital, and a rising need for a more robust
infrastructure.
Goals for the project were based off of student needs. The two goals for technology
implementation and evaluation were Student Access and Student Success. The cost for this
strategic plan would be funded through various state monies sources, federal grants, and a
substantial infusion of funds from colleges themselves [fees], as well as public and private
opportunities.

7. Developing Effective Technology Plans. (2110). Retrieved February 5, 2015 from


http://www.nctp.com/html/john_see.cfm

In this article, The National Center for Technology Planning (NCTP), covers the basics to
developing effective technology plans. It states the basic guidelines for effective planning. It
advises that plans should be short term, focus on applications versus technology, go beyond

TECHNOLOGY PLAN EVALUATION

enhancing curriculum, be tied into staff development plans, make technology part of daily cost of
doing business, be research based, and focus on a vision.

8. Laporte Community School Corporation: Three Year Technology Plan. (2010). Retrieved
February 5, 2015 from http://www.lpcsc.k12.in.us/technology/docs/technology_plan%20.pdf

This is an example of an in depth three year technology plan for LaPorte Community
School corporation in Indiana. It proves interesting because not only does it provide an overall
plan, but it also provides an individual plan for each school in the corporation. It provides the
corporation Mission, Vision, Goals, Infrastructure, Support for Teachers and Learning, and
Telecommunications Services. Then, it continues to break down to the individual needs of each
school. It concludes with Budget and Signature pages.

9. Guidebook for Developing an Effective Instructional Technology Plan. (1996). Retrieved


February 5, 2015 from http://www2.msstate.edu/~lsa1/nctp/Guidebook.pdf

This guidebook is a constant changing document created by graduate students at


Mississippi State. The NCTP officially released this in 1996. It serves as an aide in writing a
technology plan. It provides an overview of the process to follow, as well as the criteria that
should be included in a technology plan.

10. RArenal
McLeod, S. (2015). The Challenges of Digital Leadership. Independent School, 74 (2), 50-56.

TECHNOLOGY PLAN EVALUATION

The Challenges of Digital Leadership:


While technology is great to have, it is not nearly as effective if not properly used. Many schools
use technology as a way to teach in the same, ineffective manner, just with a technological shine.
In order to get beyond the fear of new technology and teaching practices, it takes planning. In
planning, we can ensure appropriate communication and collaboration between various
stakeholders. To be truly successful when developing technology initiatives, support must be
available to teachers and students. This support can also be extended to parents who need support
at home with their childrens educational needs. A consideration for support is to look beyond
professional learning at a conference a few times a year, but rather as an on-going support system
made up of students, teachers, and administrators. By creating a support community, various
stakeholders can all help each other. While technology can be a great tool, it rarely appears to be
planned and applied appropriately. Through proper planning of communication and support, we
can help to ensure a long life for technology in the classroom.

11. RArenal
Norton, S. K. (2013). Technology Planning: Designing the direction to get there. Knowledge
Quest, 42 (1), 64-69.

Technology Planning:
When planning technology, it is not just a picture of the school, but a look at the needs of the
school as a wholeincluding the library. Again, a source of success in planning for technology
is the community aspect: involving stakeholders and communicating effectively. By
communicating the requirements and needs, we can more accurately develop technology plans.

TECHNOLOGY PLAN EVALUATION

To ensure thorough planning, certain criteria must be considered: funding, use, the future,
communication, professional development, evaluation, and goals. When all of these can be
planned in an appropriately thorough manner, the plan is likely to be more successful.

12. RArenal
Levin, B. L. (2013). Using Systems Thinking to Leverage Technology for School Improvement:
Lessons Learned from Award-Winning Secondary Schools/Districts. Journal Of Research On
Technology In Education (International Society For Technology In Education), 46(1), 29-51.

Using Systems Thinking:


After studying the methods of eight high-ranking schools, the research was able to pinpoint
several areas of focus for effective integration of technology. These areas are: vision, distributed
leadership, technology planning and support, school culture, professional development,
curriculum and instructional practices, funding, and partnerships (p. 29). Communication was
central to all of these areas. For vision, stakeholders needed to be aware of the plans at the
various stages of implementation and development. By having distributed leadership,
communication between sub-groups is significantly easieras is management. Leadership
directly affected the student body as well by develop positive relationships and high
expectations. As was found in other articles, having a technology community to assist others in
the community proved to be highly effective. The same findings from previous articles also held
true for professional development: a few conferences are not as effective as on-going peer-led
professional development opportunities. These partnerships (tech communities, leadership roles,
stakeholder involvement) all contributed to a common goal with effective teaching practices
across a majority of the school (7 of the 8 most often cited as using strategies).

TECHNOLOGY PLAN EVALUATION

Abstract:
Based on data gathered from various educational and informational sources outlined in our
annotated bibliography, the team has studied and developed a rubric in order to evaluate the effectiveness,
thoroughness, and applicability of technology plans for both private and public educational entities. This
rubric includes the following categories: Goals; Professional Development; Planning Committee; Access
to Technology; Budget; Ongoing Evaluation; Current Reality; and Assessment of Telecommunication
Services, Hardware, Software, and Additional Services. These areas were determined to be a focal point
for the overall effectiveness of several technology plans assessed during the development of the rubric. It
can be shown that a deficiency in any of the areas will be detrimental to the overall implementation and
sustainability of a given technology plan.
The team previously studied and analyzed technology plans from rural and sub-urban counties
with a variety of available resources. With this prior-knowledge available, the team has selected a
technology plan far different from the previous: an urban school district, Fulton County. The technology
plan can be found at the following site: Fulton County Technology Plan 2012-2015. The team has used
the following rubric to assess and recommend changes for the given plan based on research gathered and
other plans assessed.

Technology Plans Rubric for Public/Private Schools


Score
Elements

Goals(a)
Score: 3

No goals for
technology
implementation
in the following
areas:
universal design
for instruction,

Discussed
detailed goals
for technology
implementation
in ONE of the
following:
universal design

Discussed
detailed goals
for technology
implementation
in TWO of the
following:
universal design

Discussed
detailed goals
for technology
implementation
in THREE of the
following:
universal design

Discussed
detailed goals
for technology
implementation
in FOUR of the
following:
universal design

TECHNOLOGY PLAN EVALUATION

Professional
Development
Score: 2

10

21st century
learning,
improvement to
student/staff
access of new
technologies,
and
communication
among members
of the district
and
stakeholders

for instruction,
21st century
learning,
improvement to
student/staff
access of new
technologies,
and
communication
among members
of the district
and
stakeholders

for instruction,
21st century
learning,
improvement to
student/staff
access of new
technologies,
and
communication
among members
of the district
and
stakeholders

for instruction,
21st century
learning,
improvement to
student/staff
access of new
technologies,
and
communication
among members
of the district
and
stakeholders

for instruction,
21st century
learning,
improvement to
student/staff
access of new
technologies,
and
communication
among members
of the district
and
stakeholders

A professional
development
plan is not
included

No research is
included to
justify the need
for professional
development

Little to no
research is
included to
justify the need
for professional
development

Some research is
included to
justify the need
for professional
development

Research is
included to
justify the need
for professional
development;

Professional
development is
aligned to some
of the district
and/or
buildings
standards and
goals; some
professional
development is
unrelated to the
goals and
standards

Professional
Development is
aligned to
district and/or
buildings
standards and
goals and clear
references are
made to them

Professional
development is
not aligned to
district or
buildings
standards or
goals
A plan to
implement
professional
development is
outlined, but it
does NOT
clearly state the
following:
-people
responsible
-specific
educators who
need the PD
-assessment to
measure and
document
growth
-specific dates
for professional
development
Professional
Development
plan is broad
and not specific
to goals,
schools, or

Professional
development is
mostly unrelated
to the goals and
standards of the
district; no clear
connection is
made between
PD and
goals/standards
A plan to
implement
professional
development is
outlined, but is
is missing most
of the following:
- people
responsible
-technology
being trained
-specific
educators who
are supported by
the plan
-dates for each
portion of
development
-assessment
measures to
document
professional
growth

A plan to
implement
professional
development is
outlined,
including some
of the following:
- people
responsible
-technology
being trained
-specific
educators who
are supported by
the plan
-dates for each
portion of
development
-assessment
measures to
document

A specific plan
to implement
professional
development is
outlined,
including ALL
of the following:
- people
responsible
-technology
being trained
-specific
educators who
are supported by
the plan
-dates for each
portion of
development
-assessment
measures to
document
professional
growth
-funding needs

TECHNOLOGY PLAN EVALUATION

Planning
Committee
Score: 3

There was no
planning
committee to
develop the
technology plan.

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technology

-funding needs

professional
growth
-funding needs

Committee is
missing
representation
from several
stakeholder
groups

Committee has
unequal
representation
from each group
of stakeholders

Committee has
unequal
representation
from each group
of stakeholders

Plan only has


TWO of the
following:
-description of
each members
role
-A timeline of
when committee
met
-Minutes from
each meeting

Plan only has


THREE of the
following:
-description of
each members
role
-A timeline of
when committee
met
-Minutes from
each meeting

Plan only has


ONE of the
following:
-description of
each members
role
-A timeline of
when committee
met
-Minutes from
each meeting

Committee
represents all
stakeholders
equally,
included, but not
limited to:
parents,
educators,
students,
community
members, and
school leaders.
A clear
description of
each committee
members job is
included
Includes a
timeline of when
committee met
Detailed minutes
from each
planning
meeting is
included

Access to
Technology
Score: 4

No component
of the plan
discussed
strategies for
providing
technology
access for
students and/or
teachers.

The
technology
plan indicates
unrealistic
strategies for
providing
access for ALL
students and/or
teachers.

The
technology
plan somewhat
indicates
academic
achievement,
including
technology
literacy, of
some students
will be
improved, OR
teacher
capacity to
integrate
technology
effectively into
curriculum and
instruction will
be improved.

The
technology
plan clearly
indicates ONE
of the
following:
academic
achievement,
including
technology
literacy, of
ALL students
will be
improved, OR
teacher
capacity to
integrate
technology
effectively into
curriculum and

The
technology
plan indicates
ALL of the
following:
academic
achievement,
including
technology
literacy, of
ALL students
will be
improved, and
teacher
capacity to
integrate
technology
effectively into
curriculum and
instruction will

TECHNOLOGY PLAN EVALUATION

Budget
Score: 4

Ongoing
Evaluation
Score: 4

Current
Reality
Score: 4

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instruction will
be improved.

be improved.

No component
of the
technology
plan discussed
monetary
strategies,
funds, or
savings used to
implement 1:1

Technology
plan detailed
monetary
strategies,
funds, or
savings used to
implement
One of the
following: 1:1

Technology
plan detailed
monetary
strategies,
funds, or
savings used to
implement
TWO of the
following: 1:1

Technology
plan detailed
monetary
strategies,
funds, or
savings used to
implement
THREE of the
following: 1:1

Technology
plan detailed
monetary
strategies,
funds, or
savings used to
implement
FOUR of the
following: 1:1

computer to
student ratio,
Web 2.0
services,
hardware &
technological
improvements,
student
improvement
services(b).

computer to
student ratio,
Web 2.0
services,
hardware &
technological
improvements,
student
improvement
services(b).

computer to
student ratio,
Web 2.0
services,
hardware &
technological
improvements,
student
improvement
services(b).

computer to
student ratio,
Web 2.0
services,
hardware &
technological
improvements,
student
improvement
services(b).

computer to
student ratio,
Web 2.0
services,
hardware &
technological
improvements,
student
improvement
services(b).

The plan does


not evaluate
the following:
data collection
(quantitative
and
qualitative),
goals and
indicators of
achievement,
integration
into
curriculum,
process as
ongoing

The plan
evaluates ONE
of the
following:
data collection
(quantitative
and
qualitative),
goals and
indicators of
achievement,
integration
into
curriculum,
process as
ongoing

The plan
evaluates
TWO of the
following:
data collection
(quantitative
and
qualitative),
goals and
indicators of
achievement,
integration
into
curriculum,
process as
ongoing

The plan
evaluates
THREE of the
following:
data collection
(quantitative
and
qualitative),
goals and
indicators of
achievement,
integration
into
curriculum,
process as
ongoing

The plan
evaluates ALL
of the
following:
data collection
(quantitative
and
qualitative),
goals and
indicators of
achievement,
integration
into
curriculum,
process as
ongoing

No portion of
the technology
plan discusses
the current
reality of the
learning
environment.

Technology
Plan addresses
one (1) of the
following in
detail: the
systems
technology
access/readines
s,
instructional/a
dministrative

Technology
Plan addresses
two (2) of the
following in
detail: the
systems
technology
access/readines
s,
instructional/a
dministrative

Technology
Plan addresses
three (3) of the
following in
detail: the
systems
technology
access/readines
s,
instructional/a
dministrative/c

Technology
Plan addresses
all (4) of the
following in
detail: the
systems
technology
access/readines
s,
instructional/a
dministrative/c

TECHNOLOGY PLAN EVALUATION

Assessment of
Telecommunication
services,
Hardware,
Software, and
Other
Services
Score: 4

No portion of
the technology
plan discusses
the
infrastructure
of the system,
including:
telecommunica
tion, hardware,
software, and
networking.

13

uses, or gap
analysis of
needs.

uses, or gap
analysis of
needs.

ommunity
uses, or gap
analysis of
needs based on
past plans.

ommunity uses
of technology,
and gap
analysis of
needs based on
previous plans
and current
tech.

Technology
plan references
telecommunica
tion, hardware,
software, or
networking:
details
provided are
lacking depth
or plan only
covers one (1)
of the four (4)
areas.

Technology
plan references
telecommunica
tion, hardware,
software, or
networking:
details are
provided, but
lack clarity in
inventory or
plan only
covers two (2)
of the four (4)
areas.

Technology
plan references
telecommunica
tion, hardware,
software, or
networking:
details
provided are
appropriate
and
inventoried,
but leave out
areas of
learning
community or
plan only
covers three
(3) of the four
(4) areas.

Technology
plan references
telecommunica
tion, hardware,
software, and
networking:
details
provided are
thorough,
inventoried,
and apply to all
aspects of
learning
community for
all four (4)
areas.

(a) - discretion of evaluator. If goals are not detailed in a practical way or detailed way, do not award points for goals element.
(b) - Student improvement services include reinforcements for instructional purposes, subscription-web-based services for students/teachers, and
other technology related improvements for students not mentioned.

Goals: This portion of the rubric was determined by research on the technology plans and goals for community colleges in California from 20002005. Components of the major goals and initiatives are parallel to the goals that many school districts have had in the past, present, and future.
Ultimately, the components derived from that study were used for scoring purposes in this rubric.

Budget: This element was created and determined through research on articles written for savings and purchasing plans for schools, districts and
states. The major components of these articles dealt with the need for 1:1 computing, Web 2.0 tools, hardware and technological improvements,
and student improvement services.

TECHNOLOGY PLAN EVALUATION

14

Planning Committee: Planning for a technology plan is essential to the success of the implementation. It starts early, involves input from all
stakeholders (parents, school personnel, district personnel, administrators, teachers, students, and community members) , and uses forums and
meetings to collect and analyze data. Effective technology plans document the timeline, agendas, committees, participants, and outcomes of all
meetings.

Professional Learning: Technology is used to support instruction and enhance student learning. In order for technology to do its job, educators
must be effectively trained on how to use the districts technology in the classroom. Connecticuts state school district outlines effective
professional development plans within a technology plan as needing to have a lot of specificity: people assigned to developing and implementing
the professional learning, assessments to document growth and show how it is impacting student learning, and a timeline for rolling out
professional development.

Current Reality: The basis of the current reality is to provide an overview of the systems technology standings. This should include the
instructional uses of technology, administrative uses of technology, and the parent/community uses and exposure. The system should also include
a general view of the access to and readiness for technology in the educational environment. Lastly, and most importantly, a gap analysis must be
provided. The gap analysis provides an evaluation of the previous plans successes and failures--which can then be applied to the current plan in
order to prevent further failures.

Assessment of Telecommunication: An adequate view of the systems telecommunication systems is based on more than just communication
through phone lines or VoIP systems. The plan should include detailed information regarding communications, hardware supplies, software
licenses, and networking status/capabilities. The networking status/capabilities is especially important because it is the basis for the transfer of
information between stakeholders (educators, administration, students, parents, and community members) and the schools

Rubric Assessment of Fulton County Schools 3 Year Technology Plan:


Goals: 3

The Fulton County School Districts technology plans shares goals in the areas of 21st
century learning, improvement of access to technologies, and increased communication to
members of the district as well as stakeholders. The district failed to mention implementation of
strategies or goals for universal design for learning.

TECHNOLOGY PLAN EVALUATION

15

Significant information was provided to improve 21st century learning in regards to


different technologies and programs to be used by teachers, staff, and administrators with the
ultimate goal of improving student learning. Among the programs and technologies were digital
repositories for teacher/students/administrators, the use of online Web 2.0 tools, and mobile
device access (p.54). According to the technology plan, the purpose of the 21st Century learning
tools was to give access to learners for responsible problem solving and creation of knowledge
(p.24).
Improvement to access of technologies were directed at replacing outdated computers,
increasing and improving capabilities of the network infrastructure, and school improvements for
access to collaborative tool as well as supports. The increased production levels of the network
were vital to the implementation of the technology plan.
Lastly, the increased communication with with students, parents, direct members of the
district, and stakeholders were also discussed in detail. Among the changes were improved
methods of assessment and feedback, increased opportunities for parents to learn how to use
technology in the district, increased accessibility for all stakeholders, and signing parents up to
instant information on student absences, grades, and assignments (p.47). Other goals of
implementation of communication included blogs, wikis, and other Web 2.0 tools (p.65).
When the school district creates a new technology plan, an area of focus needs to be
specific ways the plan will enable multiple levels, methods, and types of learning. In order for
equal accessibility to completely take place, the district must be give students of all abilities
levels equal access to learn with new and emerging technologies.

Professional Development: 2

TECHNOLOGY PLAN EVALUATION

16

Fulton County states that their Information Technology works closely with their
Professional Learning Department to ensure all professional development initiatives for
technology are designed, developed, and delivered using scientific and/or evidence based bestpractices (90). The plan shares that they consult research from National Staff Development
Council, American Society for Curriculum and Development, and the International Society for
Technology in Education to create their best practices guidelines, but the guidelines are nowhere
to be found in the plan. In their summary, it is also stated that all professional learning for
technology must have a direct relationship to improving teaching and learning (91), and that
training should be offered in multiple modalities (91). Research is clearly involved in
professional development, but it is not justifying the need for professional development; it is
used to develop it properly.
People who are responsible for professional development is clearly identified, and those
people are a part of the IT Advisory Council, chaired by the districts technology director.. The
names and district roles of the people involved are listed in Appendix F, and those people include
a variety of school and district level personnel: administrators, counselors, fine arts teachers,
assistant principals, STEM district leader, and teachers. Other than that, though, the plan is
lacking in specificity. The professional development outlined in the technology plan is broad and
describes goals of professional development in technology, but it is lacking in outlining specific
technology to train educators on, specific educators who need the professional development,
beginning and ending dates of professional development initiatives, assessment measures to
document the professional growth of educators, and the funding needs of professional
development.

TECHNOLOGY PLAN EVALUATION

17

As Fulton County develops their next technology plan, they need to consider shifting
their professional development portion from a broad overview of research, methods, and
programs to a specific plan justified by research that maps out the professional development.
The next plan should include specific time periods for different professional development
initiatives, assessment and documentation to show how the professional development impacted
teacher performance or student performance, members of the IT Committee who develop and
deliver each professional learning initiative, and specific teachers who will receive the
professional development.

Planning Committee: 3

Careful planning was implemented to develop the systems technology plan, though it is
not thoroughly documented. It is clearly evidence that planning was an extensive process that
involved a wide variety of stakeholders, stating that a careful analysis of local demographics
(18) was implemented to include participation from all groups (18). The planning process for
the 2012-2015 plan began in the fall of 2010 and lasted 18 months, coinciding with the districts
charter initiative. The groups involved in the planning portion are listed in Appendix E of the
plan, and they include: Student, parent, community, cluster, teacher, and principal advisory
councils, administrative staff and administrators meetings, community forums, student focus
groups, and town halls. At the conclusion of all these meetings, a Technology Think Tank and
Technology Strategic Planning Team organized all the input into specific initiatives outlined in
the technology plan. Appendix C shares the members of the Technology Think Tank (including
their roles in the district) who carefully analyzed the data from the meetings.

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In assessing the plan, the rubric indicates that the planning portion of the technology plan
is lacking some important parts. First, even though it states that the planning began in 2010 and
lasted for 18 months, there is no timeline that shows when each meeting was. Minutes of the
meetings are also not included in the technology plans, so we do not know what was discussed
and accomplished at each meeting held throughout those 18 months. Several groups are listed in
assisting with planning, and it is noted that participation from all groups was considered, but
there is no list of committee members or those in attendance at the community forums to prove
that all demographics of the system were equally represented. As Fulton County develops their
next technology plan, they should consider including a timeline of specific meeting dates and
times, and they should also include a list of all involved in the planning process through sign-in
sheets at community forums and all council and group meetings. Minutes from those meetings
should also be provided to show policies and ideas discussed and how work was divided among
members.

Access To Technology: 4

There is a clear description of the student technology literacy skills needs that should be
targeted The current level of students school-based experience with essential technology
literacy skills are defined by the QCC Technology Integration Standards is estimated.
Definitions of technology literacy skills are well aligned to the QCC Technology Integration
Standards. Student needs are based on actual assessments of the implementation of technology
integration standards into local curriculum or actual student technology literacy performances at
school

TECHNOLOGY PLAN EVALUATION

19

The Schools scoring in the lower quadrants are targeted for professional learning in 20122013 school year to improve performance. The Instructional Technology department maintains a
website with supportive materials and links to resources that can be used at the local level to
support technology literacy.
The Fulton County Instructional Technology department in collaboration with
Curriculum and Instruction is working to enhance the technology literacy of Fulton County
students by developing curriculum based lessons that align vertically with ISTE NETS-S. The
NETS- S serve as their guide for improved teaching and learning, and will help them measure
proficiency while setting desired goals for the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to succeed
in a digital world
The following initiatives, implemented over the next three years, will ensure that all
students are engaged in learning that enables them to reach their full potential for college and
career readiness. 1. Continuous Achievement and customized learning 2. Effective Assessment
of Learning and Feedback 3. Tailored Instruction and Supports 4. Challenging and Innovative
Instruction 5. Application of Learning

Budget: 4

Each in the Fulton County School District Technology Plan is detailed with funding
sources and the expenses distribution. Most notably, the largest source of funding for the
technology plan comes from an approved Special Option Local Sales Tax (SPLOST) to
technology in order to sustain and build upon technology for equitable distribution of technology
throughout the System, (p.92). All goals in the Technology Plan are evaluated with funding

TECHNOLOGY PLAN EVALUATION

20

sources in Section VIII. Through the SPLOST, many technology initiatives are incorporated,
which included the criteria in the Public/Private School technology plan rubric.
The district explored 1:1 computing improvements through student in the plan through
mobile devices. Students would be encouraged to bring devices with the capabilities needed to
learn and create knowledge. The 1:1 initiative would also be supported by network and school
network infrastructure improvements. Each of the infrastructure improvements would be funded
in large part with SPLOST monies and would have oversight from the Director of IT Program
Management. As part of the technological initiative, E-Readers would be provided to students in
middle/high school core academic areas through 2016. The funds provided this aspect of the plan
would come from SPLOST IV and E-Rate dollars.
Web 2.0 features were defined in the Technology Plan as blogs, wikis, and discussion
boards. The funding for the implementation of this criteria would be sources from E-Rate dollars
(based on student population estimates) as well as the SPLOST IV monies. Although there
werent specifics on the amount of SPLOST dollars, the E-rate funding estimates ranged from
$189,000 to $194,000 (p.66-67).
Computer hardware and infrastructure upgrades were to be carried on throughout the
entirety of the technology plans and subsequent years (2016 & 2017) with the bulk of the
funding for these improvements to come from SPLOST IV monies with oversight from the
Director of IT Program Management.
The Technology Plan covered funding for improved student services through a
benchmark project called Student Computer Virtualization. This project called for increased
student engagement and learning through the extension of classroom using technological
resources. Furthermore, this plan was meant to increase student individualization through

TECHNOLOGY PLAN EVALUATION

21

project-based-learning (p.83). The funding of this student improvement initiative would be


through the SPLOST IV with oversight from the Director of IT Program Management.
Although the budget for this Technology Plan was detailed and easily discernible, a
recommendation for future technology plans should include specifics about the projects.
Specifics as to how the mobile devices, what Web 2.0 tools, plans for bidding contracts for
hardware/infrastructure improvements, as well as specifics on the software used for student
virtualization were missing from the plan. These components are necessary for an understanding
of the impact these budgetary items would have. Simply stating the technological improvement
without including specifics as to the programs, software, and tools that could potentially be used
could leave stakeholders as well as members of the district left outside the possibility of
evaluating and analyzing these budgetary projects for worth, value, and efficiency.

Ongoing Evaluation: 4

Each goal is accompanied by benchmarks that serve as tangible indicators of successful


progress toward the goal completion. Benchmarks are established to show intermediate progress
as well as goal completion. Data collection strategies to monitor progress for each technology
GOAL/BENCHMARK are provided and goes beyond those areas required, such as quality of the
learning experience or other educational variable. Data collection includes a broad base of
stakeholders. Many representatives from these groups are responsible for actual data collection
and analysis. Multiple methods of data collection are used. Data collection is Systematic and
produces highly credible results. Data collection is manageable and reasonable. Responsibility
for collecting and analyzing data on each technology GOAL/BENCHMARK is assigned and
documented. Evaluation Plan includes specific methods to determine how technology program

TECHNOLOGY PLAN EVALUATION

22

successes affect (1) Student achievement, (2) student technology literacy; and (3) the quality of
students learning experiences

Current Reality: 4

In this area, Fulton County excelled in providing detailed information and uses of
technology in the school systems. The section begins with an explanation of data collection
sources and methods; the district also provided diagrams and charts in the appendix for these
points. Detailed information is provided about the number of computers (type and use), the
network statistics (funding, providers, speeds, and networking), resources available (video
conferencing, software, virtual school, and others), and the ways in which the technology
available can be accessed by various stakeholders (p. 42-45). The Gaps Analysis provided is very
detailed and thorough with documentation provided based on studies and surveys conducted.
However, the final points that apply the findings of the analysis remained lacking. Projects are
provided with funding estimates, but the means (how and when) are not provided--only the
what is explicitly given, while the why is inherent in the gaps themselves (p. 52-54).

Assessment of Telecommunication services, Hardware, Software, and Other Services: 4

The information required to excel in this area is far-reaching, but Fulton County was able
to provide the information in a detailed and elaborate way. The information is found in several
separate sections, but it is present within the file itself. The inventory of hardware, details of
software available, and networking information can all be found within the section detailing the
current reality of the school (p. 42-44). Telecommunication is mentioned in several places, but is

TECHNOLOGY PLAN EVALUATION

23

focused on in the current reality as well as the marketing section (p. 12).. Not only did Fulton
County provide adequate information for this section, they were also able to go above-andbeyond by addressing the marketing strategies that will be used to ensure that the school is
properly handled in the public sector (p. 96-97).

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24

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