Suggested Action Steps and Guiding Questions (p. 37-43)
CDE Educational Technology Planning Guide


Palm Springs Technology Curriculum Plan

Infrastructure, Hardware, Technical Support, and Software


Determine the technology hardware, electronic learning resources, networking and telecommunication infrastructure, physical plant modifications, and technical support needed by teachers, students, and administrators to support the activities in the Curriculum and Professional Development components.
Hardware


· What technology is needed to implement the Curriculum and Professional Development components for students and staff? This depends on the curriculum and budget. To address this question correctly we first need to identify the curriculum goals and what type of budget we have to work with. Currently our network has a 10 meg that bursts to 20 meg connection to the internet. We are currently in the process of upgrading that to a 45 meg connection, that will give us unlimited resources for web type applications. Our current internal network is currently being upgraded to gig speeds between hub sites and a minimum of 200 megs between school sites. Video and voice over the internal network is a reality as of now. We have wireless coverage at the middle schools, and every classroom as 8 data drops that do a minimum of 100 meg. We have plenty of file storage and application space on the application server to run any curriculum program available.

· Where will the technology be placed to support most effectively the Curriculum and Professional Development components? This question seems a bit opened ended, but to answer it I would have to say it depends on the planned curriculum needs and use. Servers will reside in hub sites or site MDF’s depending on the applications and speeds needed, monies to support technology should be focused at the sites to ensure the teachers are prepared and trained to use the new technology (software, hardware and books) efficiently.

· Does the school district have minimum specifications for the technology to be purchased? Do these specifications need to be developed or amended? We do have a list that needs to be amended; the scope this list covers is limited currently to Monitors, Computers and Printers. Depending on the outcome and needs this scope should cover software, peripherals, services and training. (MW: Please attach the current list.)

· Is the total cost of ownership of the technology being considered? This needs to be looked at carefully, so many times in the past new technology is demanded and implemented and supported with out looking at what it takes to support it now and two years from now. A TCO study needs to be done on the technology that will drive the curriculum needs.
o If so, how is this addressed? A basic survey will address this, a look at other sites supporting the same type of program as well as hardware life and teacher turn-over rates. (MW: We can write such a survey during the tech planning process.)
RC: Mark, it is not just TCO - we look at ROI (return on investment) and VOI (value on investment) - that is why we have partnered with vendors and setup mutiple year agreements. We also get reimbursed for PC repairs. This is part of our bid process and evaluation of vendors.

· Is specialized technology needed to meet student needs? This question needs to be addressed by Dennis Deeds. However I would say YES!
RC - yes we need to explore distant learning.

· Can assistive technologies be beneficially used by student populations not traditionally served by this equipment? Partially, the backend network and server equipment can be used for various applications and programs as well as the desktops, only very specialized needs technologies may have limited use to the average populous.

· How will the plan ensure that technology is accessible to all students? How does the plan promote accessibility to technology during after-school hours? By checks and balances mixed in with good communication. We already have made huge strides with eRate to ensure all classrooms are correctly connected to the network, each classroom has a minimum of three computers and most sites have some type of lab. The network servers and internet are accessible 24 hours a day, rarely will we schedule down time for maintenance. (MW: Awesome. Consider what the goal might be... the superintendent is interested in the potential of 1:1.)

· How will the plan ensure that technology is accessible to teachers and administrators as they apply what they have learned through the professional development provided? We have a rock solid network that is maintained correctly, we have SNMP technologies that alert us to potential hardware failures that allow for us to act in time to ensure network stability.

Electronic Learning Resources


· Will the school district adopt software standards and make particular productivity tools and/or courses on software available to all teachers and students? Will these standards address features that promote accessibility, such as the ability to enlarge the font size or to have the text read aloud? The network and 75% to 80% of the computers can currently support this type of technology for assisted learning. (MW: Lets consider possible standards.)

· How will electronic learning resources be selected for each grade level to support the academic content standards? How will the services of the California Learning Resource Network (CLRN) be utilized in this effort? The network does currently support this type of program. (MW: There are probably many ELRs in use... and CLRN, a website of ELRs is certainly available.)

· Will the electronic learning resources that reside in one location, such as the school library, be made available throughout the school and/or community through a wide area network (WAN) and/or the Internet? Currently we do this and the network infrastructure can easily support these types of centralized high availability network programs and web based applications.

· Which of the needed resources are available online? Zangle Parent Connect, Zangle Student Connect, Renaissance Place can all be accessed from home or school. Other network applications internal are Mavis Beacon, Orchard, Scholastic Programs and Filtered Internet.
· What resources are needed for management, student recordkeeping, and planning? We have Zangle in place for student recordkeeping of grades, for management we use active directory for user accounts and for planning we have MS Project available.
· Will the management and student recordkeeping software be compatible with other local and state (CSIS) data collection systems? Yes, it currently is.

Networking and Telecommunications Infrastructure


· Will the plan include school wide electronic networks? What is the best configuration for these networks? What will it take to implement these designs? We already have school wide electronic networks that connect to the lan/wan in a star topology with redundant links for failover. The current design is the best design for our environment and is at the top of the industry standards for reliability and speed.

· What is the target bandwidth for networks at school sites and how will this be achieved? The current bandwidth is 100 meg school wide, and we hope to start introducing gig speeds into labs and multimedia rooms in the next two years.

· What is the target bandwidth for networks to classrooms and library/media centers? The current bandwidth is 100 meg school wide, and we hope to start introducing gig speeds into labs and multimedia rooms in the next two years.

· Are these bandwidths sufficient to utilize video streaming and make optimal use of the Digital California Project and other emerging technologies? Yes!

· Will there be a district WAN? What is the best configuration for the network? What will it take to implement? We have a WAN in-place that is fully scalable and high speed. Segments range from 50 meg to 1 gig in speed.

· Could a community WAN be created that would connect community centers, libraries, museums, schools, institutions of higher education, and private homes? Possibly, I would say that would be in the next 4 years. (MW: This is a potential goal.)

· What security is necessary to protect confidential data and maintain the integrity of the system? Have firewalls and encryption been considered? We currently use firewalls, Intrusion Detection, Anti-Virus, Audit systems and encryption for sensitive items. We also incorporate Vlans with Access lists to segment the networks confidential data.

· Will filtering software be used to prevent staff or student access to inappropriate Internet sites? Yes we use St. Bernards iPrism and ePrism.

· Will students and teachers be able to access their work from any location in the school or from home? From any location on the network teachers and students can access their data, administrative staff however are some-what limited to admin only areas for security reasons. Currently PSUSD network files are not accessible from home, in the next 4 years I see that as a reality. (MW: Again, a potential goal.)

· Will parents and community members be able to access school information from home computers? That depends on what “School Information” is. Each school has a web site that has School Information posted. (MW: I imagine Zangle connect falls into this category. Also, perhaps teacher blogs or school podcasts would fall here.)

· Will parents be able to access information about their children through home computers? Yes through Zangle Parent connect which we are using now.
RC - parent connect for Library using Destiny

Physical Plant


· Is there sufficient electrical capacity to the necessary parts of the schools and outlets in the classrooms and libraries to support the hardware and infrastructure planned for each site? Yes we have sufficient power and electrical outlets. And the electrical panels are easily upgraded if needed.

· Has the electrical system been evaluated and any necessary upgrades planned? Yes we have sufficient power and electrical outlets. And the electrical panels are easily upgraded if needed. The only issue would be if a new lab was to be designed.

· Are the storage rooms and classrooms in which infrastructure, hardware, and electronic resources reside secure or do they require modification to become secure? Secure, but some type of camera system is needed especially in labs.

· Is the planned layout of hardware and ancillary wiring configured in a way that is safe for students to move about without creating a fire hazard? Yes. All cabling is place in accordance to fire and safty codes and previewed by the Planning department as well as Maintenance and Operations.

· Have building inspectors and the fire marshal been consulted to ensure code compliance and safety? Yes, and random inspections are held to ensure continuing compliance.

· Is there safe and secure access to labs that will be used during non-school hours by students and/or the community? Are school buildings, property, and users safe and protected? Yes and Yes.

· Is there a process in place to screen contractors, such as checking their references, prior to hiring them to do the work? Yes. Background checks and fingerprinting checks.

Technical Support


· How will technical support needs be addressed to ensure that the hardware, local area networks (LANs), WANs, and peripherals such as printers function adequately and that problems are addressed within an acceptable response time? We use various network monitoring tools and a helpdesk system that tracks and escalates calls.

· What is the target ratio of hardware to technical support personnel? 500 to 1, we are currently at 1100 to 1. (MW: A great goal... perhaps even lower.)
Is it a realistic attainable goal? What numbers are you thinking Mark? Typically school districts use this ratio: 1 FTE for a HS, 1/2 FTE for middle school and 1/4 FTE for k-5.


· How will questions regarding software be handled to provide support to teachers within an acceptable response time? Software support is a new topic. We currently do not provide much curriculum software support, that support comes mostly form Ed Services. If PSUSD can standardize on software for the classrooms we can create training manuals, online FAQS and train our technical staff to support those needs.

· If the plan includes involving students in technical support, how will the plan be implemented to encourage all students to participate and be trained? This question needs to be discussed more. (MW: Good. We should do that during the infrastrucutre goals meeting.)
We need to explore School to Work programs for students as well - just a thought.
For example, MCSE, A+, MCP, N+, etc.....

Determine the existing hardware, Internet access, electronic learning resources, infrastructure, and technical support already in place in the school district that could be used to support the Curriculum and Professional Development components.

Hardware (For each site)

· Does the district have an inventory system or does one need to be developed to track the type and age of hardware? (See Section IV, “Technology Planning Toolkit,” for a sample schoolsite technology inventory form or visit the California Department of Education Web site <www.cde.ca.gov/edtech> to complete a technology survey online.) We use various snmp software to track systems on the network, currently the classroom computers do not have a recycle or upgrade plan in place, just the teachers and administration and it averages about every 4 years for a replacement.

· Can existing equipment be modified to meet certain needs identified in the plan? Yes, simple memory or hard drive upgrades can make a huge difference.

· Can equipment that does not meet school site needs in the plan be modified to support home access to the school network and/or Internet? Yes, but this should be discussed further.

Electronic Learning Resources (For each site)


· For each grade level, what electronic learning resources are currently being used for instruction and/or student assessment? Data Director by Acheive Data is at all sites, various other sites have Orchard Learning, Renasaince Place, Accelerated Reader, Math, Star Reading, Star Math, Scholastic Reading Counts and Orchard Math.

· How frequently is each type of technology resource used? At Various sites daily.

· Is each resource used in the classroom, in the library, or in a computer lab? Some sites all three and other just the class, lab or library.

· Do the licenses for the software currently owned by the school district allow the use of the software by multiple users or through a network? Yes, but site specific except Rensaince Place that can be licensed at the District level.

Networking and Telecommunications Infrastructure (For each site)


· What is the capacity and configuration of networks in the district? Are any areas not connected to the network? The district is completely connected, each classroom has a minimum of 8 data connections to the network. Each school site has a fiber backbone between the MDF and IDF's. The schools are all interconnected to the Networks central office via dual 200 meg microwave links from a hub site. The hub sites connect to each school via a 50, 100 or 200 meg link. In the next two years all schools will be connected via 200 to 1 gig links to the hub sites and from the hub to the CO via dul 1 gig links.

· Is the current Internet service provider able to meet needs? Yes, we use Verizon to connect to RCOE and we will be able to go to 45 megs.

· How many telephone lines are there to the site and what is the capability of the telephone system (e.g., is there voice mail)? This will need to be answered by Gerry Grence.

· Do all staff members have e-mail accounts? Do students have access to e-mail? All staff has an email account unless told other wise by their department Heads, Principals or Directors. Students do not, we do however encourge teachers to use gaggle to set up and monitor emails in the classroom.

Technical Support (For each site)


· Who provides technical support and what is the response time? Currently the Technology departs provides technical support for hardware issues as well as software installs, the network division supports the servers, network and internet. Response time varies from the severity of the issue, usually ranging from seconds to 48 hours. We incorporate a remote support software that allows us to fix 70% of all call tickets instantly.

· Is this level of technical support meeting the needs of teachers and administrators? I would say yes, but if we had two additional technicians we could do a whole lot more faster!

Seek advice and support from experts.


· Has the CTAP regional representative been contacted for guidance?

NEED ADDTIONAL DATA.

· Have other districts been contacted regarding their hardware, software, or networking standards that could be utilized to develop the plan?

NEED ADDTIONAL DATA.

· Are there industry members and/or nonprofit organizations nearby that may be able to contribute the latest technical information and/or equipment?

NEED ADDTIONAL DATA.

· How can the expertise of parents and community groups be solicited and included in the development of this component?

NEED ADDTIONAL DATA.

Technology Infrastructure Subcommittee:
Rick Corl, Will Carr, Janeth McDaniel, Guillermo Chavez, Jerry Grence, Virginia Eberhard




Goals


Develop benchmarks and a timeline for obtaining the needed hardware, infrastructure, learning resources, and technical support required to support the other components. (A sample management chart and implementation timeline are provided in Section IV, “Technology Planning Toolkit.”)


• What is the order and timing of purchases over the three- to five-year period necessary to support the timelines in the Curriculum
and Professional Development components? Can this acquisition timeline be accomplished with the estimated available resources
in the Funding and Budget component? Are there ways that theCurriculum and Professional Development components can be
phased in to match the resources available as identified in theFunding and Budget component?

• Do district policies regarding technology purchases need to be updated? For example, are procedures going to change to promote
using only electronic learning resources with features that allow universal access? If so, what is the timeline for these changes?

(MW: This question can be answered even without Curriculum goals.)

• Will the new technology be delivered (i.e., installed and tested) near the time of teacher professional development?

The technology will be installed and tested before the training occurs. This is normal practice for TIS.

• Can the summer months be used to install equipment or software as well as provide training?

Yes, the problem with summer month training: extra duty pay for teachers.
We currently use the summer to roll out major projects after summer cleaning occurs.

• Does the timeline take into consideration other overlapping efforts, such as building modernization or instructional material
purchases, that could affect the cost and timing of the efforts?

In the past no. With the new Facilities Director and Purchasing Director TIS is included in modernization.
Instructional material purchases TIS no involvement.

(MW: This plan can be used to formalize this process.)

NOTE: Until curriculum and PD goals are established, please work with those groups on establishing their goals.
Also, be sure to revisit the committee's intial visions and the district mission statement.


Monitoring and Evaluation

(Note: Each section has a monitoring and evaluation component, in addition to the overall monitoring and evaluation section.)

(MW: Please answer the following questions with the help of someone in the monitoring and evaluation group.)

Develop a process to monitor whether the benchmarks are being
reached within the specified time frame.

• How often will progress be monitored and who will monitor the
timeline and progress toward the benchmarks in the component?

• How often will the inventory of technology resources be updated
and who will be responsible for updating it?

• How often will the status of implementation of the Infrastructure,
Hardware, Technical Support, and Software component be re-
ported to the district superintendent? To the local governing
board?

• What steps will be taken if parts of this component are not being
implemented on schedule?