Major changes are coming to the technology infrastructure at Southern Door Schools—changes to the tune of $750,000. At the end of June the school board approved the upgrade through a five year zero interest leasing arrangement that won’t cost the district any more than they had already budgeted for tech upgrades.
Southern Door First Grade Teacher and Co-chair of the technology committee Jessica Meacham says after an infrastructure assessment by Heartland Communications, it was decided that something needed to be done to improve the systems in the district.
In addition to the infrastructure assessment, a June education summit, and a staff and student needs assessment survey were contributing factors in deciding what Southern Door’s technology plan should include.
Desktop computers will be replaced with portable notebook machines, laptop carts will be available for checkout, computer lab machines are set to be upgraded, and all machines at the schools should have consistent software powering them. A faster Internet connection will be behind the new hardware, and will also include Wi-Fi access points. Additionally, many classrooms will be outfitted with LCD-projectors.
The project’s nine goals focus on Student Achievement, Effective Teaching and Learning Practices, Access to Information Resources and Learning Tools, and Support Systems and Leadership.
Meacham says community input and technology expertise have greatly helped move the project forward.
With the new systems, Meacham says the technology committee hopes to utilize staff and students as technology leaders in a response team to handle any immediate day-to-day tech issues that arise. Heartland communications would service any more serious issues with the system, and provide on site management services for the first year after the new technology is installed.
The technology committee will present their plan to the school board at tomorrow’s board meeting. The committee hopes to have all of the planned improvements in place by October of this year.