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School demographic summary:

Park Ridge school district. This school district is located in a suburb of Minneapolis. The suburb
has a population of around 48,000. The suburb is 94% white, with asian being the largest
minority group of 3%. Ìt is considered an affluent area, 98% of students graduate from high
school, and 85% go to and graduate from college. Ìt is considered a top school district, and was
ranked in the top 100 schools in the country a few years ago. There are around 7500 students
in this district, 6 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, and 1 high school.

Maturity Model Benchmarks:

Administrative Filter: Ìntelligent

» Policy-- Ìntelligent
» Planning-- Ìntelligent
» Budget-- Ìntelligent
» Administrative Ìnformation-- Ìntelligent

Summary:
This school district has a comprehensive technology policy. Ìt starts with the foundational
educational goals for the whole district, and then goes into how technology can support this.
Their policy used to be a huge binder full of documents, but they have recently made it into a
short and easy visual, which makes it easier for all stakeholders to understand and focus in on
goals. Their policy has the philosophy that the "why¨ of whether and how to use technology
is more important than the how, or the actual devices to buy. Teaching is the foundation, so
empowering teachers is a priority. Keeping parents engaged and informed so that they can
make good informed decisions is also a top priority. How to get the most "bang for your buck¨
when investing in technology resources is discussed and strategized. They hold annual meeting
around the action plan to revise and update.

70 stakeholders (teachers, students, admin, parents, community) were brought together
to discuss the larger district and school goals, and what they envisioned for the district's
technology advancement. There is a technology advisory group that gets together once a month
to discuss the plan and any revisions that should be considered. The plan is considered a living
breathing document that changes as the educational goals of the district change.

Less than 10% of the overall budget goes to technology. Ìn all schools a majority of the budget
goes to staffing. The reserve budget here is larger than the technology budget. 47% of the
tech budget goes towards staffing. Ì found this interesting and a positive that they are investing
in people not just computers or devices. The question the administration asks is how do we
divide the pie to get the most of the resources we have? There is always a new tool that people
want (when they passed the levy, teachers asked for ipads) but how do we use what we have
strategically to empower and engage the most people? (teachers, students, parents).

The educational community collaborates with email, and other up to date technology. Data
is stored and accessed through data bases. When a group such as the gifted and talented
program wants to set up a system to track data, sign people up for an event and pay for it,
a website is designed for them to make that possible. Again, what drives is the needs of the
educational groups, and then technology is used to support that.


Curricular Filter: Ìntegrated

» Electronic Ìnformation--Ìntegrated
» Assessment-- Ìntegrated
» Curriculum Ìntegration--behavioral: Ìslands resource: Ìntegrated
» Teacher Use--Ìntegrated
» Student Use--Ìntegrated

Summary:
This district has two full time integration specialists, one for elementary and one for secondary.
Their philosophy is going in and always promoting technology, but wanting good teaching
to drive, not just adding technology without a good reason. They partner with different
departments. When there is a new textbook adoption, they work with the new core curriculum
to embed technology resources into it from the start so that it becomes a part of it, not just an
add on later. The district uses moodle google, shares resources. The job of the integration
specialists is to bring people together, share what others are doing, use and share resources.
The districts philosophy is that technology doesn't need to be used everywhere, there are
teaching techniques that are just as effective, but where it is a benefit, it should be added.
There was a technology levy passed in the district last year, and of course the teachers and
many people wanted the new ipads. They don't have the money to provide mobile devices to
everyone, but have had a lot of success with "bring your own¨ mobile device such as tablets and
smartphones.


Support Filter: Ìntelligent

» Stakeholder Ìnvolvement--behavioral: Ìntegrated resource: Ìntelligent
» Administrative Support--Ìntelligent
» Training--Ìntegrated
» Technical & Ìnfrastructure Support--behavioral: Ìntegrated resource: Ìntelligent

Summary:
Seventy stakeholders came together to develop the technology plan, so people in all parts
of the district (teachers, admin, parents, students) are aware of the plan and policies and are
involved in its structure, adoption, and updates.

This district has a solid staff in their technology training department. There are two integration
specialists, one at elementary, one at secondary site level. The district has a tech integration
cohort made up of teachers and administrators, where they get college credit and take classes
together in technology integration. The are members of a network of 36 school districts, which
has a yearly tech conference, does teacher training, etc. The district has a tech summer camp,
which is a week or two long training offered to teachers. These trainings are also offered online,
or in "flipped¨ format. The district is all about choice, since people have different learning needs/
preferences they try to offer the trainings in as many formats as possible.

This district has strong tech support. There is a full time tech para at each of the elementary
schools, one and a half at the middle school, and two at the high school. Their network staff
includes two full time people on internet and telephones, five manage computers, switches,
ÌOS, ipads, printers. one person for AV needs. Five people in charge of infrastructure support
(student data, website, database, etc.)


Connectivity Filter: Ìntelligent

» Local Area Networking--Ìntelligent
» District Area Networking (WAN)--Ìntelligent
» Ìnternet Access--Ìntelligent
» Communication Systems--Ìntelligent

Summary:
This district has a high level of connectivity. There are multiple full time staff available to
problem solve and fix any problems that occur in the network or with individual computers. All
staff have internet access, and communicate by email. They have a wireless network that has
filters so that students can use it safely when they "bring their own device¨ to school.

Ìnnovation Filter: Ìntegrated

» New Technologies-- Ìslands
» Comprehensive Technologies--Ìntegrated

Summary:
This district is interested in bringing in new technologies, but they don't feel that technology has
to be integrated into every aspect of the curriculum or classroom. They have a belief in teacher
choice and empowering teachers, so they want to support teachers in great teaching, whether
that includes technology or not.

This district was featured in a technology magazine as having a successful "bring your own
device¨ program. They tracked 500 middle schoolers who had a mobile device, and they don't
track the High schoolers, but the understanding is that almost all have and use one. They are
working with families, and encourage them to invest in mobile devices for their children. As
learning doesn't end when you leave school, they are doing outreach for families to encourage
them to get involved by looking at classroom websites, giving them updated data about tests
and student progress, and making sure they understand what their students learning goals are.

New Technologies such as Flipped learning, especially in math classes is being implemented,
although it isn't being required. Many teachers use google and moodle as a way to organize and
communicate in their classrooms.

This district has a .25 assistive technology person, and are thinking about how ipads can
replace the more expensive and outdated assistive technology devices.

Overall School Summary: Ìntegrated/Ìntelligent.

This school has a very high level of technology integration at every level of the district. There is
adequate funding, and a staff that is dedicated to making sure that the technology needs of all
stakeholders are met. The planning and support and connectivity are all at the intelligent level.
The innovation and curriculum integration is more at the integrated or island level. Ì think that as
more teachers take advantage of the training provided, the levy funds provide more access to
new technology like ipads, and students continue to bring mobile devices, this district will move
into Ìntelligent in all areas. Ì would guess this will happen within the next five years.
The area that Ì would focus on would be working systematically with teachers to create more
of a technology integrated school than "islands.¨ Teachers are encouraged to use technology
in a variety of ways, and there are trainings available, but with one integration specialist for
six schools, there isn't the hands on small group, or one on one help in place. Throughout our
semester Ì've realized that it takes quite a bit of time and energy to learn a new technology, so
unless teachers are given regular release time and specific training on which tools to become
experts in, there will be a large variation in how much technology is being integrated. The
teachers who are very interested will put in the time and energy, probably a lot of their own time,
in order to integrate technology. Teachers who aren't interested may not integrate at all. Which
may actually be okay with this school district, as many believe that good teaching doesn't
have to include technology. Since there will be some teachers who are using technology a lot,
throughout the K-12 experience, students will become fluent in a lot of technology, even if every
teacher isn't using it extensively. This school is in an afluent area also, so Ì wouldn't worry about
the digital divide for these students. This was actually a good experience in seeing a pretty
model environment for what the "ideal¨ environment might look like.