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Technology Program Administrator Amy Womack Georgia Southern University Practicum Dr.

Elizabeth Downs

Amy Womack FRIT 7738 Technology Program Administrator Part A: Program Evaluation

Executive Summary The Technology Program Administrator analysis identifies the functionalities of the Burke County High Life Center as a technology resource center for high school students in the Burke County School District. The mission of the Burke County High Life Center is to challenge students academically, promote opportunities for effective communication, provide a safe learning environment, and instill self- worth through curricular achievement. The BCHLC is in its first year of operation as an extension to the Burke County High School. The center serves 86 students. The BCHLC is made up a resource media center and three class rooms. The organizational chart recognizes the positions of staff that are responsible for the running the technology department at the BCHLC and also ones responsible for Technology Resource Centers for the entire district. The bottom organizational chart focuses on the faculty and staff directly related to the Burke County High Life Center as a technology resource center. The methods portion of this report explains how all the information was accumulated to evaluate the BCHLC. Interviews and observations were just two of the ways data was collected to complete this portion of the analysis. The Centers Context and Goals section give an overview of the BCHLC and how the center came into existence. The BCHLC is one of a kind because 2012-2013 is the first year that the center has been in existence. The Center Context and Goal portion go into more detail on the newly established center and how it operates. The next section of the analysis is the Center Activities portion. In this section of the document I discuss all of the activities that involve teachers and students that attend/work at the center. Some of the programs that teachers implement at the center are iPass (online remediation math software), USA Test Prep, GA Virtual Online, and Study Island. Software and Internet sources that are available to students are Plato Credit Recovery, GA Virtual School, iPass, Reading Plus, United Streaming and many others. Teachers are involved in collaborative planning activities that allow them the time each day to review data of each individual student at the life center. Teachers have access to Data Director and SLDS which are both data driven software that allow them to keep up with each of their individual students. The evaluation portion of the analysis discusses the mission of the BCHLC and how this mission is being met by the activities that are made available to teachers and students. With it being the first year the life center has existed in the Burke County School

District there are some improvements that could be made to the technology center. One of the most important things that could be done to improve the center is to hire an onsite Technology Support Specialist or Media

Specialist. Right now the center does not have a media specialist that is located directly in the center nor do they have a technology technician. Hiring just one person to oversee the technology at the center would be a great way to expand the capabilities of the BCHLC. Another recommendation would be to provide more staff development opportunities to teachers in the area of instructional technology. Although the center focuses a lot on the use of technology the staff does not know all the possibilities of instructional technology tools that can be accessed with no cost. The final portion of this analysis is Part B which discusses the monthly

accomplishments and projects at the BCHLC.

Organizational Chart

Methods I used several methods to collect my data during the evaluation process. The first method I used was an interview with the Burke County High Life Center Instructional Coach, Rashann Parker, to get an insight on what the mission and goals were for the center. This is the first year of operation for the Burke County High Life Center so I had a lot to learn about the center before I could evaluate the media services they provide for their students. Mrs. Parker was very helpful to me as I collected information regarding the center. She explained the responsibilities of each of the personnel at the center and walked me through each department to learn more about the services they provide their students. After meeting with Mrs. Parker I met with the Technology Support Technician, Katherine Lloyd. She oversees all the inventory of the technology department and is the first point of contact for problem solving. Since it is the first year of operation the BCHLC does not have a technician that works on location. Mrs. Lloyd makes visits to the center upon request to the District office. Another way that I collected data was through observations. I wrote down notes as I walked the halls of the BCHLC. If I had it to do over I would have had a checklist on hand to make more legible notes but the notes I took were very helpful when looking back over my data. As of now the Burke County High Life Center doesnt have a media specialist on site. When in need of media services or support the life center contacts Katherine Lloyd. Although the center does not have a media specialist the center still has several uses of technology. As I stated earlier this is the first year that the Burke County Life Center has been part of the Burke County School District. This made it difficult to find any documentation on the school web page. All the schools in the county are required to have a web page that is current. When I went to the web site to look at the other services that may be available the web page was not over flowing with extra details. So, I decided to email Mrs. Parker some questions to find out more about how the center came into being. She answered the questions and I gained much of the needed knowledge to complete my report. The information that she gave me led me to other resources that are available at the center. The Burke County website also has information about the history of the district technology department and the three-year technology plan as a district and information on instructional software programs are found in the Burke County Technology Plan. Appendix) The final method used to evaluate the technology at the center was an observation of the activities available and I also reviewed the BCHLCs equipment of items such as computers and software. (See

Center Context and Goals The BCHLC was established in 2012 at the current location in the Burke County School District. The stakeholders are the students, teachers, administrative staff, and parents. The BCHLC was established as part of a School Improvement Grant (SIG). The center focuses on helping high school students reach the goal of graduating from high school by using GaVirtual School, Plato Credit Recovery, and Distance Learning opportunities. The center uses a variety of online software to meet the individual needs of the 86 students that attend the center. The center strives to give students a second chance in academics and expose them to different avenues for post-graduation. The BCHLCs faculty and staff focus on staff development that will increase their knowledge on how to use technology in the classroom to reach their students. Burke County School District has a technology resource center at each school in the county and although it is BCHLCs first year of operation it also has a technology center in place for its students and faculty. The mission of the BCHLC is as follows is, to challenge students academically, promote opportunities for effective communication, provide a safe learning environment, and instill self-worth through curricular achievement. In the spring of 2012 the Burke County Life Center began establishing their home at the Burke County Alternative School. The Burke County Life Center has its own separate wing and entrance at the Burke County Alternative School. The BCHLC is not a branch or related to the functions of the Burke County Alternative School. It is an extension of the Burke County High School. The BCHLC focuses its attention on students who are struggling with specific areas of high school course work. Students that are in need of credit recovery, meeting the score of any portion of the Georgia Graduation Test, or both may have the opportunity to enroll at the life center to meet these requirements before their tentative graduation date. The goals of the center are as follows: Increase the utilization of differentiated instruction utilizing technology Offer GA Virtual School, Plato Credit Recovery, Distance Learning opportunities for students Promote academics by exposing students to the different types of technology Allow students the opportunity to take part in credit recovery initiatives to place them on track for graduation Provide teachers and staff with staff development opportunities to become better educators in hopes to increase students success

Center Activities The programs that are available at the BCHLC are Plato Online Learning, USA Test Prep, Study Island, Georgia Virtual Learning, and iPass. The center is made up of three classrooms with laptop and desktop computers with Internet access. The teacher resource room contains a Promethean Board with Active Inspire software downloaded. This room can be used by teachers for staff development workshops, collaborative meetings, and student-centered activities as well. The most used program at the center is Plato Online. The purpose of Plato Online is to help students catch up with course work by allowing them to learn online at any time. The Plato program is self-paced and targets the learning of each individual student. The Plato program allows students to close their achievement gaps by focusing on their specific needs. This program is available to students on or off campus. The main purpose for the Plato Online Learning is to help students in high school reach their goal of receiving a high school diploma. Active Inspire Software is available to teachers in hopes they make use of the Promethean Boards in the classrooms. The main purpose of the ActivBoard is for student centered learning. Ipass is available to students who need remediation in the area of mathematics. Ipass is used as a remedial tool for those students who have exhibited difficulties in learning mathematics in the past and students who are not working on their grade level. It is available for all students but quite often the students working on iPass are the ones who scored below proficient on state tests. DataDirector and Student Longitudinal Data System are programs that are used by the entire district to monitor student growth. Georgia Online Virtual is also available for use by the students at the center. Evaluation When evaluating the BCHLC I first took into consideration that this is the first year that the center has been in operation. With that being said one of the main things I saw a need for was someone on sight at the center to oversee all of the technology issues that may come up at the center. Mrs. Katherine Lloyd makes visits to the center upon request from the administrative staff at the center. When problems occur at the center there is no one to assist with those issues. Based on the responses to the interview questions with staff this seemed to one of the main struggles for the center. The interviews I conducted with the Instructional Specialist and other faculty gave insight to how they are meeting the goals that the center set in place at the beginning of the year. The center has 86 students enrolled in the program and the goal by December 2012 was to graduate 2 of the students and they actually had 5 to complete the requirements for high school graduation. The teachers work with the students as they complete online learning with Plato and GA Virtual Online. When observing in some of the classrooms at the center I noticed that each student had their own laptop or desktop. The teacher resource lab has other computers along with a Promethean Board that is used for teacher staff development

workshops and also used for small group instruction with students that are enrolled at the center. One of the recommendations that I would make to the center is for more use of the teacher resource room and for the usage to be more technology driven. Observations at the BCHLC illustrated to me that students could benefit from other types of software programs that are available besides the ones they use on a daily basis. I noticed that sometimes the students were not fully engaged in the online course work as they should have been and that is normal when students use the same thing on a daily basis. Based on interviews and observations of the BCHLC I would recommend that the center employ a media specialist or technology specialist at the center other than relying on the technology specialist from the district to oversee the center. As of now this is the best recommendation I see to increase the capabilities of the center.

Resources Burke County Technology Plan. Retrieved April 2, 2013 from Burke County District Web site: http://www.burke.k12.ga.us/education/dept/dept.php?sectionid=2029& Plato Online Learning. (2011). Retrieved April 2,2013 from E-Learning Companion: Supporting the Implementation of Learning Web site: http://www.elearning-companion.com/plato.html School Improvement Grants. (March 21, 2013). Retrieved April 2nd, 2013 from U.S. Department of Education Web site: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/index.html

Part B: Monthly Report The Burke County High Life Center was very productive this month. At the center we serve 86 students with only eight staff members and that includes paraprofessionals, teachers, and administrators. 62 of the 86 students logged on to PLATO Credit Recovery each day at the center. This is an increase from last month. We welcome any of our stakeholders to come by and visit us at the center to get an idea of how we are meeting our mission and goals for this special population of our high school students.

Monthly Accomplishments Staff Development workshop on implementing Web 2.0 tools into instruction Review weekly reports on student progress in PLATO Staff Development workshop on how to collaborate by using Google Drive The following software and Internet resources were used at the center this month 1. Plato Credit Recovery 2. GA Virtual School 3. iPass 4. USA Test Prep Workshop Opportunities Windows 7 iPass Online Math Remediation Software Promethean Board training Web 2.0 tools for instructional uses

We are located at the Burke County Alternative School but have our own entrance on the right side wing of the school. Please stop by to see how our center works and how we are meeting the needs of our students.

Appendix A Interview Questions for Instructional Coach How long have you been in your position? What do you love most about your role? What do you believe is the important aspect of your position? In reference to the mission statement of the BCHLC, do you believe the center is providing activities that will fulfill the needs of the students who attend?

What would you change or changes would you make to the center if you had the opportunity?

What types of workshops are the teachers and staff involved in at the center? What workshops would you like to see offered at the center for stakeholders?

Appendix B Interview Questions for Technology Support Specialist How long have you been in your position? What do you love most about your role? What do you believe is the important aspect of your position? How closely do you work with the staff at BCHLC? What would you say is the number one need for the newly opened life center? What workshops would like you to see offered at the center for stakeholders?