Minnetonka Public Schools Technology Plan

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1 Minnetonka Public Schools Technology Plan

2 Table of Contents State Technology Planning Requirements... 1 Summary of Audit Results... 3 Current Technology Reflections... 5 Instructional Overview... 6 Infrastructure Overview... 8 Management Systems Conclusions Minnetonka Public Schools 0

3 State Technology Planning Requirements Minnetonka Public Schools has undertaken the following process to meet the requirements for the state of Minnesota technology planning process. Needs Assessment The following activities were undertaken before creating the technology plan: Minnetonka Public Schools engaged the services of the BLEgroup, a nationally known education technology consulting firm, to conduct a district wide set of interviews on technology and instructional integration. Minnetonka Public Schools also asked the BLEgroup to conduct an audit to assess the effectiveness of current technology use and to create a plan that includes goals for improvements in infrastructure, instruction, and management systems (The BLEgroup will serve as a liaison for support during the implementation of these goals over the next four years). The District technology and teaching and learning departments along with the School Board incorporated the BLEgroup audit findings and recommendations into the Minnetonka School District s technology plan. Vision, Goals and Strategies for Technology The goals and objectives of the technology plan are: To create a network and technology infrastructure that will grow sufficient to support all of the needs of instructional delivery and accountability. It will include a network operations center and a comprehensive disaster recovery plan. To provide students with 21 st century skills for the work place and higher education. To integrate technology into all facets of instruction. To digitize and customize curriculum. To provide staff with all necessary technology support and professional development. To develop a technology support organization that provides technical and instructional support and oversight to all staff and students. To move to a 1:1 computing model for students at the secondary level. Evidence of an Evaluation Plan Minnetonka Public Schools will undertake the following evaluation activity: Annual reporting to the Board on achievements of the technology plan in the categories of instruction, infrastructure and management systems. An external evaluator (such as the BLEgroup) will conduct an assessment of technology in years 2 and 3; based on the plan s objectives and the activities in the implementation. Minnetonka Public Schools 1

4 Ongoing plans for providing staff development Increasing instructional technology support for teachers. Continued implementation of teacher proficiencies/competencies for technology as part of the teacher improvement process. Continued summer workshops and technology training for new and returning staff. Expanding staff development to encompass on demand video trainings. Evidence of compliance with CIPA District internet filtering for all staff and students (8e6). Filtering release form process and procedure in place. Student and staff acceptable use policy for electronic technologies, web site and intranet policy. District Strategic Plan Documents on_plans.pdf Current Technology Plan Plan.pdf Minnetonka Public Schools 2

5 Summary of Audit Results: Progress on Plan The following is a synopsis of the work completed during the technology audit process by the BLEgroup: evaluated the work of the District s technology plan interviewed staff from each building and District office area to identify key needs and feedback on the use of technology in these groups identified infrastructure and system needs within the IT department established goals for the technology plan assured compliance with Minnesota state technology planning requirements Minnetonka Public Schools has used the audit process through three rounds of technology planning cycles. First in 2002, then in designing and auditing the plan, and again in auditing and preparing for the plan. Minnetonka Public Schools has made exceptional progress in embracing the use of technology and meeting the goals of the plan during the years. Major accomplishments in the technology plan include the following: Instructional Highlights 1. Implementation of a curriculum mapping system including resources, lessons and common assessments 2. Greater integration between the teaching and learning and technology departments 3. Creation of an online portal (single-sign-on) giving students and staff access to files, resources and software 24/7 4. Improved student access to technology with a substantial increase in technology devices (student responders, laptops, desktops) 5. Implementation of technology competencies for teachers 6. Restructuring of the media specialist role to include a greater focus on media literacy 7. Expanded use of the District s e-learning tool to include greater collaboration and more web 2.0 components 8. Expanded professional development opportunities for staff Infrastructure Highlights 1. Creation of a full-scale disaster recovery/business continuity plan 2. Reduction in total number of physical servers, running 75% of environment virtually Minnetonka Public Schools 3

6 3. Implementation of a single-sign-on portal, tying key District systems together (over 50 applications added into system between student, staff and parent applications) 4. Increase in computer to student ratio from 1:5 in 2007 to 1:3 in Completion of a network traffic audit to provide baseline data for projecting future capacity needs 6. Implementation of a media vault system for housing District videos 7. Completion of wireless access across all District buildings and classrooms, including a guest wireless network at MHS for student personal device use Management Systems Highlights 1. Expanded use of Skyward in student, finance and HR systems; greater use of this system and increased satisfaction with product offerings 2. Integration between transportation system and student information system 3. Implementation of a curriculum mapping system 4. Piloting of a new e-learning tool (Schoology) with greater collaboration features to replace outdated system 5. Beginning implementation of Intranet through SharePoint portal system for communication and collaboration between departments 6. Replacement of data warehouse tool to provide drill down data with advanced reporting capabilities (Pinnacle Analytics) The audit of the plan shows exceptional progress in meeting all goals identified by the District for completion by the close of the 2011 plan. Some goals will continue into the new plan as a natural outcome of rapidly changing technology. The new areas for growth and/or improvement to be included in the technology plan are identified in the next section. Minnetonka Public Schools 4

7 Current Technology Reflections Current State of Technology in the Minnetonka Public Schools The strategic technology audit plan of 2007 assessed Minnetonka as ready to initiate technology as a major part of its instructional program and made recommendations that suggested technology should become central to the processes of teaching and learning. At the time, Minnetonka Public Schools was a very high quality, mostly print-oriented school system whose graduates were well prepared for admission to high-quality colleges. However, Minnetonka Public Schools was not maximizing the use of technology to support teaching and engage students in learning and was still recognizing that education was moving from a print-based to a digital-based world. The recommendations in the 2007 audit plan were targeted at making Minnetonka a national leader in the use of integrating technology into the teaching and learning process. Although many of these recommendations involved establishing a first-rate infrastructure to support technology use, the main thrust of the recommendations was to change the culture of Minnetonka Public Schools to adopt technology as the main means of delivering teaching and learning. The implementation of the 2007 plan has been a great success. The recognition of the effectiveness of the Minnetonka plan can be seen in its selection by the National School Boards Association (NSBA) as one of only three districts recognized as a National Technology Salute District. Additionally, the superintendent was recognized by both The American Association of School Administrators and E-school news as one of the country s leading technology superintendents. In conducting the technology audit plan in 2007, the main difference that can be seen is that the entire culture of the schools is impacted by technology. Although there is more work to be done, given the rapid movement from print to Webbased education, Minnetonka Public Schools has made greater improvement in the use of technology than other comparable school systems in the country. The progress that Minnetonka Public Schools has made in technology since the first audit in 2002 is truly impressive. The district is now a leading national player in the integration of technology into teaching and learning. The goals for the plan are sectioned into the following chapters: instruction, infrastructure, and systems management. Each section includes an introduction and overview, as well as recommendations for the target environment in Minnetonka Public Schools 5

8 Instruction Introduction and Overview The work done in the last five years has given Minnetonka national recognition and positioned it to be one of the first school systems in the country to fully integrate technology into instruction to improve achievement and provide students with 21 st century skills. Minnetonka Public Schools has positioned itself to be a true leader in technology integration, moving beyond the teacher centric technology prevalent in Today technology in Minnetonka Public Schools is both student-centric and teacher-centric. Students and teachers use technology on a daily basis throughout the school system, creating an engaging learning environment as students strive to reach their full potential. Target Environment 2015 The changing landscape of the world s information to digital form will require today s student to have a different set of skills than what was required just a decade ago. Students must be equipped with not just the three R s, but also with 21st century skills of problem solving, critical thinking, communication and technological literacy. Future graduates will need to be able to quickly find, synthesize and communicate information and collaborate with colleagues not just in their own office, but within a global community of colleagues and customers. By 2015 curriculum in Minnetonka Schools will be fully digitized and geared toward individualized learning. Teachers will use curriculum materials that can help individualize and enrich student skills in key areas. Use of technology will be seamless for teachers as well as students. Professional development will be ubiquitous and based on providing teachers with the skills and standards needed by students. Teachers will use technology to differentiate instruction and engage all learners. Specific elements that will be included in the target environment to support and enhance teaching and learning are the following: 1. Increase teacher understanding of the data analytics system to support use of student data in the classroom. Training is needed for teaching staff on how to access, manipulate and use data from the analytics system. This may include TICS to support teacher use of data in the classroom. 2. Create a 1:1 model for students at the secondary level where each student has an assigned personal device for use in the classroom. These Minnetonka Public Schools 6

9 devices will be used for enhancing and accelerating student learning, promoting collaboration, and increasing student engagement. 3. Investigate web-based software applications and individualized instructional software for remediation and acceleration. 4. Expand the use of Schoology by all staff and students towards online instruction in all grades and curricular areas, including increasing the amount of video instruction available outside of the classroom and tailored to the individual learner. 5. Use cloud based tools for communication and collaboration by all students and staff. 6. Teach all students to be responsible digital citizens, keeping staff and students informed of the latest legal and ethical behavior issues related to technology. 7. Embed K-12 information literacy standards in all curricular areas. 8. Increased on line course offerings for students and teachers both in and out of District. Minnetonka Public Schools 7

10 Infrastructure Introduction and Overview Infrastructure is the platform on which all instruction and management is delivered. It includes networks, workstations, local and wide area networks, and all computing devices such as interactive boards, laptops and carts. To ensure sound management and effective delivery of instruction, infrastructure has to be maintained and regularly updated every five years. The technology achievements of the plan have enabled Minnetonka to support the increased use of digitized materials in place of print materials. Additionally, the creation of a robust infrastructure has provided a significant increase in the number of devices on Minnetonka s network for both student and staff use. Current network capabilities provide for District wide use of all current technologies. Most impressive in progress from the 2007 audit is the implementation of the single-sign-on portal, integrating more than 50 systems into one dashboard for access by students, staff and parents. Target Environment for 2015 With the increase in wireless technologies and demand for web based collaboration and assessments, it will be critical to maintain a high quality network with 24/7 access. Bandwidth will need to be increased to accommodate the growth of web related activities and the wireless infrastructure will be critical to a successful roll-out of 1:1 computing. Additionally, labs will decrease in presence as mobile technology continues to push technology into the classroom instead of pulling students out of the classroom to use technology in a set space. Specific elements that will be included in the target environment to support and enhance the infrastructure of Minnetonka Public Schools are the following: Infrastructure Recommendations: 1. Upgrade current wireless infrastructure to support a 1:1 initiative at the secondary level. This should include a transition to n wireless supporting both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Wireless site surveys should be completed at all levels to ensure existing coverage is sufficient in all buildings. 2. Continue virtualization efforts in the central office reducing the overall number of servers making support and management easier (as well as reducing costs). Current environment is 75% virtual and a move towards mostly all virtual is encouraged; determine which services and/or applications need to remain physical. Minnetonka Public Schools 8

11 3. Update current disaster recovery/business continuity plan to be reflective of new technologies. This includes more use of virtual technologies and should include SAN replication between sites. This also includes annual testing and updated documentation. 4. Complete a network traffic audit to plan for further network modifications and expansion. Continued monitoring of bandwidth will be needed to accommodate the dramatic growth in both web based and digital content. 5. Create a 1:1 model for students at the secondary level where each student has an assigned personal device for use in the classroom. These devices will be used for enhancing and accelerating student learning, promoting collaboration, and increasing student engagement. 6. Explore options and conduct a Cost Benefit Analysis for increased fiber redundancy by adding a Fiber Mesh network or Fiber Optic Ring in addition to the existing star topology. 7. Replace current Thin Client environment to meet demands of video/audio needs. Desktop prices are now competitive enough to replace the Thin Client. 8. Upgrade current SharePoint environment to take advantage of expanded collaboration capabilities and increased use of mobile technology. Minnetonka Public Schools 9

12 Management Systems Introduction and Overview The smooth day-to-day operations of a school district rely on an effective suite of management systems. The suite of systems includes applications for accounting, payroll, HR, purchasing, student data, transportation, maintenance, special education, child nutrition, library, student information, and instruction/curriculum management. These systems are key to organizational efficiency and should be integrated whenever possible. Streamlining users access to these systems is critical to achieving widespread adoption and use of any systems. Training and communication are also key components to assuring satisfaction by the end user to avoid confusion over system updates. Minnetonka Public Schools has fully integrated their current business operation systems ranging from student accounting, finance, human resources, food service, transportation, school libraries and payroll. Most noted in improvement since 2007 is the degree to which these systems are using their full features. Systems geared towards teaching and learning in the classroom have recently been implemented to include a District wide curriculum mapping software and data analytics tool. Target Environment 2015 Although significant improvements have been made in increased integration between business operation systems, improvements need to be made in regards to the access and use of student data. There is a growing demand for data to support administrative and classroom decision-making and the current mix of management systems may not adequately support a data-driven culture. Additionally, there is a mix between elearning systems and a single platform should be adopted and supported at the District level. The District s pilot of a new elearning platform (Schoology) should result in a single upgraded system for use by students, staff and parents. Cloud based application(s) for collaboration should be integrated and accessible to all staff and students for seamless access to documents and forms; including further expansion of the District s Intranet environment. Specific elements that will be included in the target environment to support and enhance the management systems in use by Minnetonka Public Schools are the following: 1. Expand the use of the current data analytics systems (Pinnacle Analytics) by training teachers on how to access, manipulate, drill down and use student data in the classroom and in PLCs. Minnetonka Public Schools 10

13 2. Replace current e-learning system with an alternate system that is more user friendly, updated to reflect current technologies and includes social networking and file collaboration. Current Schoology pilot may be the system of choice for making this transition. 3. Identify redundancies between current systems in order to consolidate processes or functions that exist between multiple systems. This may result in the ability to discontinue or retire systems that are no longer needed. 4. Continued integration of new applications into the District s single-sign-on portal. 5. Explore alternatives for IEP system that would provide better data reporting for the state and an easier-to-use system for staff to complete the IEP process. 6. Further develop a cloud environment for hosting student , files and document collaboration. This should be integrated with the current single-sign-on solution and should be accessible to students outside of the school day. Minnetonka Public Schools 11

14 Conclusions Minnetonka Public Schools continues to be a national leader in technology and the progress made on the plan is impressive. The use of technology for both teacher-centric and student-centric use is apparent in the everyday classroom with how students are learning and performing in the District. Minnetonka students truly define how technology accelerates learning. The goals outlined for the plan will position Minnetonka as a model district for 1:1 computing and will ensure the support needed for a growing web based, digital environment. Digitized curriculum delivery will be supported and management systems will be well utilized, efficient and integrated across platforms. Minnetonka Public Schools 12

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