Technology Support Team Plan
Technology Coordination Q367, Fall 2001
Technology Staffing Plan
Granite City High School Statistics
Granite City High School enrolls approximately 2,500 students, and has a teaching and support staff of 200. The school has grades nine through twelve, and also services some home-enrolled students. There are approximately 160 classrooms in the school each having at least a single computer for the teacher. There are three computer labs which are shared by departments, and 2 science labs which also have 6 computer stations each. The media center (formerly called the library) has 35 computers all with internet connectivity. All the computers are networked onto a central server, and most have internet access. The main office has approximately 20 computers to serve the administrators and secreteries and several other small offices throughout the building also have computers for teachers with special duties (athletic director, department head, special education, etc..)
Current Technology Positions and Responsibilities.
General maintenance of the school computers is performed by an employee who works on site, which is a big improvement from previous years, where one technician served 15 schools in the district. The larger schools now have their own technician, whos job is basically the technology janitor. He spends his time fixing computers that are malfunctioning, installing software, and adding functionality to the network (passwords, email, etc...). The number of requests that come usually keep his day schedule very busy. Repair requests are submitted by form and dropped in his school mailbox. It can take several days or weeks for the repairs to be completed.
The Technology Director works as an administrator off site, his office is at the board office, and job responsibilities include maintaining the school server, and budgeting for technology.
The Media Center Specialist works in the schools media center (formerly the library). She helps students with research and computer use.
Several other positions are filled by classroom teachers who volunteer to help. The math lab, for instance, is maintained by a math teacher who has enough knowledge to troubleshoot basic problems and help other teachers who want to use the lab. The schools website is published by another teacher who has knowledge of html.
Curriculum development is done by departments as part of the school improvement program, teachers are required to submit lesson plans that integrate technology, and are usually given in-service days to accomplish this task. The lessons are then compiled into three-ring binders for other teachers to use. At present, no effort has been made to determine how many teachers are actually using these resources, though I can say in my own department, the binders are collecting dust.
Delegating of duties seems to be lacking, at any one time, a teacher can receive mixed answers regarding who is responsible for upgrading or buying software, and often does not know who to go to if their computer breaks down.
In order to improve the efficiency of the technology in the school, clear guidelines need to be set regarding what departments and personnel are responsible for what duties. Additional staff needs to be hired in some areas, and a specific chain of command needs to be established so that teachers (and staff) know what to do and who to contact in order to have their technology needs met.
Proposed Staffing Plan
In order to determine the needs of the school, it is important to distinguish two separate areas of technology implementation. On one hand, a school needs personnel whos duties lie in the janitorial category: they are responsible for keeping the computers running. installing software. daily maintenance, and troubleshooting computers. Most schools focus on this aspect of technology planning, and will boast of the number of labs and computers it has in the district. It is assumed that if the computers and network all function correctly, the actual integration of technology into established curriculum will naturally fall into place. In my experience, this is not the case. Working computers do not equal technology integration.
On the other hand, you need personnel who is responsible for the educational aspect of technology. People who are knowledgeable of the subject, the curriculums, and current education theory. They are the ones who focus on how to make the technology meaningful in education. They are the ones who will aid teachers in the development of a curriculum that meets state guidelines regarding technology. The staff of this team are the true leaders for implementing and assessing the technology plan.
Both teams will be overseen by the Technology Director, who will ensure that all aspects of the schools technology plan are being implented, and will be assessed.
Team Duties and Job Titles
Technology Maintenance Team
--orders parts for maintenance
--assigns passwords, handles AUPs
--organizes tech training
--maintains school website
Technology Technician - Ideally the school will have two of these to troubleshoot and maintain classroom computers, lab computers, and media center computers. They will also be responsible for installing and updating software.
Technology Acquisitions Specialist and Grant Writer - This person is responsible for reviewing technology request forms, allocating funds in a fair manner, and if possible applying for technology grants that can bolster the schools equipment
Webmaster - This person keeps the schools website updated, and adds pages for teachers and announcements by request. Teachers can host their own classroom websites if they want, but are responsible for their upkeep. This person can be a classroom teacher or technology technician, but extra pay should be allotted for the time spent on managing the website.
Education Technology Team
--Assesses classroom needs
--Forms lesson plans
--Aligns lessons to State Goals
-- Aids teachers with programs
Department Technology Leader - One person per department, may not be a full time position, and in fact is preferable that this person be a classroom teacher, as they will be more cognizant of student needs. (Possible release time from class duty or a salary stipend for this position). Duties include communication with department members on tech needs and relaying those needs to appropriate party. This person will also act as a consultant to help other teachers in their department develop lesson plans that integrate technology.
Technology Director - Oversees both groups, maintains cohesion and encourages the implementation of the Technology Plan. This is the leader, who is responsible for making sure each individual below her is movitated and on board with the Technology Vision. This person is qualified as an adminstrator.
Example of the Chain of Command
Mrs. Prazma is an earth science teacher and she has heard about these great programs on the web that study and track weather. She has a single computer in her classroom, but doesnt know where to start to plan this lesson. Her first step is to contact her Department Technology Leader and request resources. The Department technology leader will then conduct searches and compile resources . This information is then returned to Mrs. Prazma, at this point she will probably have several websites, maybe a rough draft of a lesson plan that she can tailor to her classroom needs. For the lesson she wants to do, she determines that a certain free software needs to be installed on all the science computer labs, she again approaches the Department Technology Leader, who submits the request to the Technology Technician. The technology technician downloads and installs the software (if its free). After Mrs. Prazma runs the lesson, she then determines that an expensive piece of software would really be ideal for her class, once again the Department Technology Technician is approached with the software request. That software request if forwarded to the Technology Acquisitions Specialist who determines if funds are available for the software and submits the order (or may apply for grants that fall within the specifications of the request) The Technology Director then oversees the process, assessing that in at least one class technology is being utilized in curriculum, and files that information as well as software order information. It is important to document that the technology plan is being implemented. The technology director is responsible for the assessing and implementing the technology plan.
Once the software and equipment has arrived, the technology technician is then responsible for installing the software onto the labs and computers. The technology technician is also responsible for minor computer problems and repairs, so that if Mrs. Prazma later has difficulty with the program or computer operations she can contact the technician to have repairs done. A basic form is available for her to submit to the tecnician to troubleshoot the computers or install software. The form contains a field that describes how quickly the service needs to be done (emergencies treated first, software installs need to be complete by..etc). This form can either be dropped in the technicians mailbox or submitted via email.