Edtech 501: School Evaluation Summary

Hogwarts High School Technology Evaluation

School Evaluation Survey

Hogwarts High School is situated on the border of Winter Valley and Triumbia, Tennessee. The school was built 20 years ago when an influx of auto workers moved to the area to work in a brand new Automotive facility. To date there are close to 30,000 people living in the Winter Valley area with only about 4% of the population below the poverty line. The ethnic diversity of the school has changed in recent years with rezoning around the Triumbia County area. To date, the school student body is 55% Caucasion, 35% African American and 10% Hispanic. There are a total of 876 students in the high school ranging from grades 9-12. It is a two story building with 6 computer labs. Three of the computer labs have 30 Dell computers. The rest have between 15-20 Dell computers. Although it has been primarily a wealthy area, the recent desizing of the Automotive Facility has brought more financial hardships to the area. Due to these financial hardships, the school’s technology priorities have changed.

Administrative

Policy has been ranked in the behavioral category as Emergent and in the Resource/Infrastructure as Islands. When it comes to Policy, the Technology use in the school has always been a concern, but nothing consistent has ever been done. There are several policies that cover appropriate use of Internet searches but beyond that, it is lacking more structure.

Planning has been ranked in the behavioral category as Emergent and in the Resource/Infrastructure as Emergent. Due to financial constraints in the district, now more than ever is Technology use hindered by a budget. There are several side projects that allow for one or two mounted projectors in a few classrooms, but overall, there is no plan for increasing Technology use outside of buying a few pieces of equipment at a time.

Budget has been ranked in the behavioral and Resource/Infrastructure categories as Emergent. In Hogwarts High School, very little is allocated towards technology. The school uses half of the library’s general fund each year to buy one or two pieces of equipment for the rest of the school. This, however, is a travesty, as that money should be used in the library and funds for the rest of the school’s technology should have its own account to pull from.

Administrative Information has been ranked in both areas as Emergent. At Hogwarts, the administrative duties for undertaking the technology in the school has been given to no more than two individuals. Only a few of the Administrators can actually access these systems, leaving the school in a hard situation should the need ever arise for someone else to access them. There is a teacher who is in charge of the IT club at the school and helps to look over any possible illicit activity on the computers. Another individual is in charge of the website and helping teachers with any IT issues in their classrooms. The downfall is that this individual also works with the special education department and is only available to teachers during the hour lunch break she receives every day.

Curricular

Electronic Information has been ranked in behavioral as Integrated and in Resources/Infrastructure as Islands. Students and teacher must use electronic information every day. Teachers in the form of email and communication of attendance, whereas students must access information online if they are in certain classes like: Engineering, Computers, and Career Explorations.
Assessment has been ranked as Islands in both categories. Many staff members, primarily in the Math and Science departments at Hogwarts use a computer application for assessment purposes. They have interactives or quizzes that are online using a specific program. The information from these assessments is generated back to the teacher in the form of percentage correct or wrong and overall statistics of the class based on specific questions missed. The issue being, that many of the other subjects do not have such tools readily available to them, and that percentages are not the only pieces of evidence one can collect from a student taking a test.

Curricular Integration has been ranked in both categories as Emergent. As I mentioned above, at Hogwarts most of the technology integration is used in specific subjects such as Math, Science, Engineering, and Computer Application classes. The other subjects have limited availability to the equipment and appropriate programs that would help in the arena of assessment.

Teacher Use has been ranked as Emergent in the area of Behavioral and Islands in the area of Resource/Infrastructure.  The biggest issue facing Hogwarts is the lack of appropriate technology available to all teachers in all areas of the building. Due to this, teachers will very scarcely use technology, resorting back to the worst form of teaching: lecture.

Student Use has been ranked as Islands in both categories. The students that are in those courses listed above, have regular access to technology but in limited ways. The students that don’t have those courses listed above, have less and more sporadic activity with technology.

Support

Stakeholder Involvement has been ranked in the behavioral and resource/infrastructure as Islands. At Hogwarts, there are groups that are aware of the planning of technology and implementation, however few are actually involved in the process. When the administration decided to use half of the library funds to purchase a few mounted projectors, they spoke only with the librarian and didn’t consult any other staff, board members or members of the community.

Administrative Support has been ranked in both categories as Islands. There are few opportunities for technology integration training. These opportunities are first and foremost given to the technology teachers. The rest of the staff at Hogwarts has to search out their own technology use trainings or not at all. For most teachers at Hogwarts, because it is not mandatory, they don’t take the time to do it.

Training has been ranked as Emergent for many of the reasons above. The teachers, first and foremost, do not all have the required technology available to them. Secondly, they would not have the necessary training upon receiving that technology unless they took it upon themselves to get training. Since the beginning of the 2011 school year, Hogwarts has provided no technology training exercises or conferences for teachers to attend.

Technical/ Infrastructure Support has been ranked in behavioral as Emergent and in Technical/Infrastructure as Islands. There are very few resources when it comes to technical support. There are two individuals within Hogwarts that can be utilized but only during short periods of time. There are off-site technical supports but they can only be at the school on Tuesdays. Most of the teachers at Hogwarts work on a very basic level of technology in their classroom because there too limited a time to be taught or they would have to spend time learning it on their own.

Connectivity

Local Area Networking ranked as Integrated in both categories. Hogwarts does have a wireless connectivity and strong signal throughout the building. The issue is that the school has put a password on the network and has put vigorous restrictions on who may use it. The staff has access to a lot of data, but more sophisticated options like streaming media, video, and voice programs are not available.

District Area Networking ranked as Integrated in both categories. The network is high speed and has several data services available. It generates a strong signal and allows for a vast amount of data to be found and used. Some other more sophisticated devices and programs aren’t accessible though, but not due to a lack of network quality.

Internet Access ranked as Integrated in both categories. Direct Internet Access could be available in all areas, if there weren’t restrictions placed on it. Internet use is used in almost every classroom, not necessarily in daily work, but for projects and research, students need to access the Internet. In some specific classes, that contain computer labs, students use the Internet and programs every day to enhance their understanding of the material presented.

Communication Systems ranked as Intelligent in behavioral and Integrated in resource/Infrastructure. Email among the employees in a important part of everyday communication. It is essential and every teacher uses their email multiple times a day. Administrators use it to communicate important details about schedule, meetings and upcoming workshops. It is also used to send articles about important classroom issues like: classroom management tips, and better ways to assess learning.

Innovation

New Technologies ranked in both categories as Islands. New technology is accepted by many staff members but they rarely have the opportunity to test them out. Many teachers would love to use Smartboards in their classrooms, but none have the time to experiment with the system outside of the school day, and training courses are not offered through the school of Hogwarts or the Triumbria County Schools.

Comprehensive Technologies ranked Emergent in behavioral and Islands in resource/infrastructure. In the school, most of the technology for teachers is limited to computers, VCRs/DVD players or overheads. Only a few teachers actually have Smartboards or tablets or Ipad or other devices that are interactive. The teachers that do have these technologies are in the Science and Math department.

Conclusion

After much evaluation, it is my strong belief that Hogwarts High School is in the Emergent phase of Technological Maturity. There are hardly any support personal that are consistently available on a daily basis to help teachers and other staff members with technical issues. On a planning level, there is little to no effort put into making policies to ensure that technology is being put into use or teachers acquiring new knowledge of technology assessment techniques. The overall atmosphere of Hogwarts suggests that the teachers need to be self-reliant in their application and learning of technologies because there is little to no help otherwise. Computers are being used but not in a consistent and effective manner in each classroom.

The school is lacking in computers as well as other devices that would assist in the learning and assessment processes. When decisions need to be made about new technology or about how to spend allotted money or where to retrieve funds for new technology devices, very few have to do with the collaboration effort. Hogwarts does have many of the tools needed to incorporate technology effectively into the curriculum: hi-speed network, teachers that are willing to be trained on technology, teachers willing to use the technology, and wireless access in the building. There are a few areas of refinement: use of budget, communication among many committees of people discussing priorities of technology use, less restrictions on wireless, and mandatory training and increased support of faculty training. If these needs can be met, then there is no reason why Hogwarts couldn’t be moved to the Integrated category.

Standards:

4.1 Project Management: This assignment applies to this standard because during the assignment we had to plan and monitor the technology use that was happening in our schools. Through this process we are learning how we can influence and guide the management and undertaking of such extensive projects like Technology Use Reports.

5.1 Problem Analysis: This assignment allows us to analyze the problems that our schools face when dealing with Technology Integration. It is imperative that as technology professionals, we seek out the solutions to these in-depth problems in a variety of ways that will ultimately benefit our schools in the biggest way possible.

5.3 Formative and Summative Evaluation: This assignment applies to this standard because when we analyze the technology use in the schools, it is important to note how the technology is and can be used for assessment purposes. Students need to be able to self-reflect, as well as having summative evaluations. However, I do believe that the evaluations need to also be happening with the teachers and faculty that are accessing and using the technology to teach as well. How can faculty be allowed to assess students if they are not using the programs and technology to their full potential? And in that way, assessment needs to put in place for the educators as well as the students.

5.4 Long-Range Planning: This assignment reflects long-range planning in every way. It is essential that technology use be put into place immediately but only if there are some long-term goals and continuous training and assessment in place for the educators and faculty using the technology to instruct. There needs to be reasonable expectations and also accountability when it comes to implementation.

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