When reading the Model Maturity Benchmarks in order to evaluate my school system, I was surprised by how many of the categories my school was able to score in the ‘Intelligent’ area. I do not feel as though my school is trying to incorporate technology into the classroom, so I did not expect them to score so high. Most of those high scores are in the areas of physical network structure. Currently, the network is used regularly by teachers and administrators; student only access the network to store files. If the school moves to a 1:1 initiative or a Bring Your Own Device set-up, I do not know if the network would be able to handle increased use. Also, I think that teachers spend a majority of their online time working with documents or webpages. Will the network be able to keep up if teachers stream more educational video clips or allow students to collaborate via Skype?
I was pleased to see that the evaluation rubric includes not only the availability of the technology but also the use of technology by the teachers and students. It is one thing to have the technology available, but the school system would also want to make sure that the purchases are not collecting dust and being used effectively in the classroom. I found it odd that the survey did not include any mention of communication with parents or guardians. My school largely encourages communication with a student’s home support system. Our school’s attendance and gradebook software allows for parents to access a student’s account for 24/7 access to grades, schedules, and attendance records. We are trying to encourage parents to use their account log-in more frequently so that they do not have to contact the teacher for questions about a score in order to give teachers more time to plan and work one-on-one with students instead of spending so much time replying to emails and returning voicemail messages.
My school has the most room for improvement when it comes to students use of technology. Each classroom in the school has a SMARTBoard installed. However, the teacher is the primary user of the technology as a glorified chalkboard or rarely as an enhancement to the traditional lecture. We need to find ways to allow the students to interact with the SMARTBoard as well during instruction and practice.
In order to protect the stakeholders, a pseudonym has been used for the school.