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Technology Assessment Prepares Lindbergh for Future

Aug. 15, 2019

Lindbergh Schools will begin developing a technology strategic plan this year to direct improvements in student learning and create an efficient, effective structure to provide students with individual devices for learning.

The plan’s creation will be informed by a thorough assessment of technology services that was completed by BerryDunn McNeil & Parker during the 2018-19 school year. BerryDunn shared findings of the assessment with the Technology Board Advisory Committee and the Board of Education on Aug. 14. BerryDunn Project Manager Jon Grace provided recommendations for the district to focus on continuous improvement of technology services.

"Technology integration in instructional practices and throughout our systems highly impacts how we support our students now and into the future," said Dr. Tara Sparks, chief academic officer for Lindbergh Schools. "Having an outside expert evaluate our technology processes and structures allows us to identify priorities and set a direction for ongoing improvement. As part of this process, we’ve put ourselves out there and been vulnerable about areas of improvement so that we can strive for universal excellence in our technology practices."

In regard to management and operations, the assessment found that the district’s current model where students bring their own devices to school is not meeting the needs of students, and recommends transitioning to a one-to-one model where the district provides devices for individual students. In fact, work has already begun to address this recommendation. This fall, the district will conduct two separate technology impact studies involving 36 teachers districtwide, and 16 high school students, respectively.

These studies will evaluate how providing individual students with iPads and Chromebooks can impact instruction. As part of the teacher impact study, select teachers in each Lindbergh school are integrating Apple iPads and Google Chromebooks into their lessons. These teachers will provide feedback for future planning, and implement strong instructional practices that use technology to enhance student collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and communication. Students in the high school impact study will receive individual district-provided devices, provide feedback and help the district plan for future implementation on a larger scale. The district already has filters in place to keep students safe while browsing the internet at school. These studies will also explore the most effective way to implement web filters to keep students safe at home while they are using district-issued devices.

Additional key recommendations from the report include:

  • Developing a strategic plan and communication plan for district technology
  • Conducting an annual security assessment of district networks
  • Establishing an information technology steering committee
  • Creating an internal employee intranet
  • Formalizing technology training for staff
  • Studying Wi-Fi connectivity to ensure the network’s capacity to support a one-to-one technology model

This comprehensive assessment of district technology studied management and operations, applications the district uses, and core technology infrastructure. The final report recommended improvements and identified savings and efficiencies, while taking into account the increase in technology services that will be required to support students in a rapidly changing learning environment. Staff, student and family input was collected to assess areas of concern and recommendations for improvements, and patrons on the Technology Board Advisory Committee will continue to provide feedback as the process moves forward.