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School Environment Evaluation: Dolphin School District

Sandra Pagliughi EDTECH 501 Professor Gardner April 22, 2012

The Dolphin School District consists of a student population that is 44.20% White, 29.90% Black, 1.90% Asian, .60% American Indian, 4.80% Multiracial, and 18.60% Hispanic, with 56% of the Dolphin School Districts Schools considered eligible for Title I funding, which means that 40% of the attending students qualify for free or reduced lunch. The proportion of low-income families is most frequently measured by the percent of students receiving free and reduced-price lunch. In the attached Technology Maturity Benchmark Survey of the Dolphin School District the district was rated as follows: Administrative: Policy Behavioral: Emergent Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent The districts policy was rated as emergent because of outdated computers and slow connection rates. The district had a ten year Technology Policy which expired in the 2011-12 school year. It was voted on and approved, however the boldest move it states in its current plan is that each classroom be fitted with a CAVs unit. The CAVs unit includes a voice enhancer, VHS, DVD, and CD players. The units were originally purchased for the High Schools but are being refurbished and sent to the elementary schools so not every classroom will receive a new unit. There are no current plans for computer upgrades, infrastructure improvements, student tables, student email, or student presentation software. Administrative: Planning Behavioral: Emergent Resource/Infrastructure: Emergent The Dolphin District plan is informal and budget driven with relatively simple resources that were provided by the textbook providers, Houghton Mifflin. The plan hopes to expand opportunities for educators and students to have access to technology-based content,

resources, and tools where and when they need them. The plan is vague at best and really is not a plan at all past the purchase of the CAVs units. Administrative: Budget Behavioral: Islands Resource/Infrastructure: Emergent The classrooms have relatively simple resources. There are no laptops or plans for laptops or tablets. Most computer resources have been provided as part of the textbook purchase. Administrative: Administrative Information Behavioral: Integrated Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent The daily use of administrative systems include attendance, grades, assessment, behavior incident reports, and staff absences. Most paper systems have been eliminated. The administrative systems are available to most staff. One drawback is much of the data that teachers and administrative staff are privy to are in color and the schools have only or or two color printers each. Curricular: Electronic Information Behavioral: Islands Resource/Infrastructure: Islands The staff and students have become accustomed to electronic devices such as document viewers. Although, not all schools or classrooms have them. So a teacher must also have the use of a transparency just in case. Also one could always write what you needed to expand on on the whiteboard in front of the room when all technology fails. The in-class resources available to the students to not allow for creative thinking by the students. They primarily play games designed to enhance the text.

Curricular: Assessment Behavioral: Integrated Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent Students are assessed each quarter on reading only the program is called Fair Testing and it is only accessible in the technology classroom. So the district was rated as intelligent because they have fully integrated reporting tools available to the students and staff, however they only test reading and math and are only accessed in the technology classroom. Curricular: Curriculum Integration Behavioral: Emergent Resource/Infrastructure: Emergent The student's reading, math, and science textbooks are available online but they are not interactive. The computers in the classroom do not allow students to create reports or design presentations so there is no creative thinking involved only games and reading assignments. Teachers can also assign homework using the online text however not all students can access the internet at home. Curricular: Teacher Use Behavioral: Emergent Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent Teachers will occasionally use the online text instead of a document camera or transparency. However, not all teachers have that technology. Each teacher in the district has their own laptop in which they can view and analyze data, report grades, report attendance, check district email, design lesson plans, and access district teacher evaluations. Curricular: Student Use Behavioral: Emergent

Resource/Infrastructure: Emergent Students use technology in their math and reading centers for enrichment. Very few students have access on a daily basis. Computers must be shared and they are used for enrichment in the areas of math and reading exclusively. Social studies jigsaw activities cannot be performed if the students wished to write a report or design a presentation since no software is available to them. Support: Stakeholder Involvement Behavioral: Emergent Resource/Infrastructure: Emergent Some of the groups are aware of the planning and implementation procedure, most in the trenches, such as teachers and administrators however are not involved. For instance the county is currently planning to implement a new state test 2.0. They cant they keep changing the cut scores used as a benchmark. Teachers and administrators will be testing and using prep tests to prepare students. Their needs are not being taken into consideration as online practice is being designed. Support: Administrative Support Behavioral: Emergent Resource/Infrastructure: Emergent At this current time only the Dolphin School District is involved in planning and implementation, they currently have no plans to include any others groups in their planning. Support: Training Behavioral: Emergent Resource/Infrastructure: Emergent There is limited training from the textbook companies and only when a new text is introduced. Three new textbooks were purchased for the county this year and teachers were trained in

online resources but the subjects that are not tested such as Social Studies received no training because the county would be responsible for the cost. Also a new teacher evaluation system was implemented and no training was involved, you had to ask around. Finally the schools that received CAVs units in their classrooms had no training or set up in their classrooms. Support: Technical/Infrastructure Support Behavioral: Emergent Resource/Infrastructure: Emergent The county has a slow IT department. It takes weeks to get a help desk ticket resolved in most cases. Most the staff will solve what problems they can and access tech support as a last resort. Connectivity: Local Area Networking Behavioral: Emergent Resource/Infrastructure: Emergent The staff and the student use the network sparingly mainly for print sharing. The network is very slow when sharing so it is not accessed for that reason. You could literally walk away as a page loads, the students are used to much faster technology so they become disengaged very quickly. Connectivity: District Area Networking Behavioral: Integrated Resource/Infrastructure: Integrated The staff use is primarily for data. They are accessing data compiled from online testing and gradebooks. Plus, each classroom is its own island. Teachers do not usually get to talk to each other until planning time or lunch so email needs to be up constantly for communication. Connectivity: Internet Access Behavioral: Emergent Resource/Infrastructure: Island

Although the staff and students use the internet frequently it is not built into the curriculum because you cannot depend on it so you get used to not using it, in other words, planning an entire lesson around a piece of technology that fails to work and an administrator walks in, your students are not engaged in learning and you are frazzled. Also the outdated computers and programs bore the students who are used to much more advanced graphics and technology. Connectivity: Communication Systems Behavioral: Integrated Resource/Infrastructure: Integrated Email is an integral part of communication to teachers all day because they are in a closed classroom cut off from any type of collaboration until planning or lunch. The students in the district however do not have email access. Innovation: New Technologies Behavioral: Island Resource/Infrastructure: Island Many technologies are accepted by the staff of the district, however without proper training, support, or time to experiment the new technology gets forgotten. Innovation: Comprehensive Technologies Behavioral: Emergent Resource/Infrastructure: Island Technology is limited to overheads, VHRs, DVDs, Computers, some CAV units, and document cameras. Most staff cannot collaborate because the technology is different from classroom to classroom. Also the technology is not supported so most teachers and students do not use it and do not trust it will work when the time comes to function.

In conclusion, the Dolphin School District is considered to be in the Emergent Systems

State based on the Technology Maturity Model and the States of Technology definitions. The district has put into place an administrative system that allows the staff to work virtually paper free, but that is where the districts technology usage ends. The plan lacks future goals and objectives to bring its educators and students into the 21st century. There are no plans for notebooks, laptops, or even interactive programs. In the districts future plans all students should have engaging and empowering learning experiences both in and out of school that prepare them to be active, creative, and knowledgeable participants in a global society. This means educators should be able to embed learning objectives using technology for all content areas that reflect 21st century expertise and the power of technology to improve learning. All students and educators should have access to a comprehensive infrastructure for learning when they need it, anytime, anywhere. The professional educators of this county are not supported individually or in teams by technology that connects them to content, resources, expertise, or learning experiences that enable and inspire more effective teaching for learners. For these reasons they must be recognized as in the emergent stage. In order to move forward the district should focus on improving curricular integration, updating equipment, and connectability, and when writing the next ten year plan, write it for one year increments within the ten years.