The technology plan for theTupelo, Miss., public school district is designed to support a learner-driven curriculum that uses technology as a tool; to create a continuous process for analyzing needs and for assessing technology’s impact; to apply technology to teacher training; and to pursue all these goals systematically and equitably for all Tupelo students.
Much of the three-year technology budget of $855,920, which includes $383,000 in state funds, is devoted to the implementation and use of local area networks for individual schools and a wide area network for the district. The new communication system will give staff members and students global access to information resources and improve the exchange of data for administrative functions in support of learning.
Here are some highlights from Tupelo’s technology plan. Each year’s goals also include a review of staffing needs related to technology, an evaluation of progress and plans for subsequent years, and a written progress report for submission to the superintendent and school board.
phase 1: 1996-97
- Install wide area networks at the high school and the district administrative office. Install or upgrade local area networks for classroom and administrative use at the central office and five schools.
- Connect Rankin Elementary’s local area network with the district’s wide area network.
- Initiate the training model for novice, practitioner, integrator, and extender teachers.
- Convert administrative office equipment to the DOS/Windows platform and adopt districtwide software for all administrative offices.
- Purchase student database software to install at district offices and most intermediate and secondary schools.
- Install distance-learning, multimedia, and telecommunications classroom equipment at Tupelo High School and begin using it in instruction.
- Start embedding technology skills in the academic curriculum to support learning in the various content areas.
- Begin development of a high-tech foreign-language laboratory at Tupelo High School.
phase 2: 1997-98
- Install local area networks at all remaining schools. Connect administrative-office network with school sites for food service, transportation, maintenance, and special-education functions.
- Begin developing an elective course in networking for Tupelo High School students.
- Continue to implement and refine projects begun in Phase 1, including the staff-training model, purchases of instructional technology and software, and the embedding of technology processes in the academic curriculum.
phase 3: 1998-99
- Design plan to buy laptop computers for students and teachers to use at home and at remote learning sites.
- Continue to implement and refine projects from Phase 2.