WSESU > Technology Plan
Below is the text of the Executive Summary of the WSESU
Technology Plan. The full plan - written in 1999 and revised
in 2000 - is available in PDF format: Technology
Plan PDF. A new plan is slated for completion in 2002.
This document - the WSESU Information Technology Plan - is
intended to be a roadmap detailing how the Supervisory Union
will provide students with the information technology skills
that they will need in the future. The plan was written by
members of the WSESU Technology Committee. It arises from
WSESU's overall planning document - The WSESU Strategic Plan.
It is intended that this plan be revised on a yearly basis
and that representatives from the broader Brattleboro community
be included in the revision process.
The communities served
by WSESU are demographically and economically diverse. The
standard measure of poverty in school populations - percentage
of students eligible for free or reduced cost school lunches
- shows wide variability with a high of 78% at Canal Street
School to a low of 12% at Dummerston School. Despite this
diversity, there are organizations in the Brattleboro community
- businesses, educational institutions, local governments,
etc. - that have a stake in the local K-12 education process
across all schools in the Supervisory Union (SU).
The diversity of the schools
in the SU is to some degree reflected in the differing levels
of development of information technology infrastructure,
hardware, software and training at each school. However,
some generalizations can be made.
Infrastructure: All but
one of the schools has classrooms networked. All but two
schools has or will shortly have 56kbps connections providing
internet service to all computers connected to the network.
There is an electronic bulletin board (the Brattleboro Educational
Bulletin Board - BrEDboard) that provides free email and
limited Usenet service to all schools and to the community.
Equipment: With a few exceptions,
equipment in the schools is Apple Macintosh computers of
very mixed vintage. The ratio of students to new (that is,
network-able and internet-capable) computers ranges from
about 8:1 at Brattleboro Area Middle School to 20:1 at Green
Street School. It is fair to say that most students and
most teachers in WSESU do not have ready access to computers
for significant parts of the school day.
Software: Software available
in schools is primarily office combination software (word
processor/ spreadsheet/ database) or web browsers. Many
schools provide simple multimedia authoring tools such as
HyperCard to some students. Graphic applications such as
Photoshop are provided on an even more limited basis.
Training: The WSESU Technology
Committee has promulgated a variety of teacher training
opportunities - ranging from for-credit, week-long summer
courses to afternoon workshops. However, opportunities for
in-service training for teachers are at a premium.
Curriculum: The WSESU Technology
Committee has written a developmentally based information
technology curriculum for grades K-12. Several instructional
strands, including telecommunications, word processing,
database, spreadsheet, graphics and ethical use of technology
are identified. However, implementation of the curriculum
is nowhere near complete in the SU, with word processing
the farthest along and telecommunications, database and
spreadsheet instruction lagging behind.
Working from this current
state, goals can be identified that must be reached in order
to achieve the vision for WSESU laid out in the Strategic
Plan. Goals are identified in four areas. For administrative
functions, all record keeping, purchasing and administrative
data exchange functions need to be electronically mediated.
There needs to be equitable access for students, teachers
and administrators, to the tools of technology throughout
the school day and for there to be adequate resources to
maintain this infrastructure. Next, there must be full implementation
of the information technology curriculum. Finally, staff
must be fully trained in the appropriate use of technology,
basic operation of equipment, the integration of technology
into curriculum, and in specific computer applications.
Next, a desired state can
be identified - what will our system look like when we achieve
our goals? In the desired state, purchases of servers and
workstations and for cabling for local area networks will
meet minimum standards established in the plan. Also, site
licenses for software sufficient to meet all goals laid
out in the information technology curriculum will be available.
Most importantly, workstations sufficient to reach a target
of 5:1 students to new computers will be available. Scanners,
CD-ROM drives, digital cameras and other peripheral devices
will also be available. All classrooms will be networked
and will have access to the internet. Technical support
staff and resources will be available to maintain the established
In order to reach this
desired state, action needs to be taken on a variety of
fronts including the following. Individual schools will
need to purchase the software and equipment needed to implement
the technology curriculum and to provide equitable access
throughout the day. WSESU will give compensation to teachers
in each school to provide technical support. The WSESU Technology
Committee will more carefully analyze training needs and
continue to provide a spectrum of professional development
activities. Funding for these activities will have to come
from individual school boards' regular budgets. Beyond that,
WSESU is seeking funds and support from a variety of other
sources, including local businesses and grants.
Monitoring and evaluation
of this plan will remain the responsibility of the WSESU
Technology Committee. Additionally, efforts will be made
to obtain feedback and support from community stakeholders
identified in the plan. Revisions to the plan and reports
to stakeholders will be made on a yearly basis.