Edinburg CISD has unveiled a comprehensive plan that within a year could create a new standard for technology in the classroom, officials say.
The ECISD Technology Plan for 2009 to 2010 is slated to implement “state of the art technological advances for educational enhancement,” according to the new report available on the district’s Web site.
The goal is to have a long term plan for technology in the district, and is only one of six steps in a district-wide improvement plan for educational enhancement, according to school officials.
This means standard equipment for all students across the district may include laptop technology, media projectors and distance learning technology, according to experts in the district.
The one year technology plan also outlines ECISD objectives to qualify for E-rate funding, which provides discounts to assist schools and libraries in obtaining affordable telecommunications services and Internet access.
ECISD currently has a technology budget of about $13.9 million. The district accounts $450 per student in technology-related expenditures, and estimates a ratio of about five students for every one computer.
“Technology is intertwined in everything we do,” said Eddie Moreno, ECISD director of technology.
“Instructionally, we use it to broaden our maintenance of operations, instructional programs, administrative programs,” Moreno said. “It touches every single aspect of our district so it’s not attributed to one factor we just have to develop a plan to target all of our initiatives in the district and instruction is a huge component of that.”
All campuses and departments currently utilize wireless access points to provide network and Internet connectivity in all areas of the campus.
With E-rate 10 funding, the district will be updating network equipment and cabling at all the secondary campuses and eight elementary campuses, according to the report.
This means that these schools will be receiving distance learning equipment and will be utilizing the equipment through Region One Distance Learning. One of these sites will be receiving the video distribution equipment to implement at the district level.
“We want to be sure we are being fair to all students in schools across our district. We are trying to create those standards for everybody,” Moreno said. “I think we are going to have standards across the board for all of our teachers and classrooms. There is going to be standard equipment that all students in all schools in all classrooms will have access to.”
The district’s technology plan is modeled after the State Technology Plan divided into the four key areas of Teaching and Learning, Educator Preparation, Administration and Support.
“We do a needs assessment every year where we identify which areas we want to grow in and what initiatives we want to continue, what’s working and what’s not working. We identify our short term goals every year.