Mobile county public school system district technology plan
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Mobile County Public School System District Technology Plan. James Willcox Joanne Kline Yoko Nagashima. The District. 95 schools and 4000 students 80 miles north to south 120 building sites 62% of students on free and reduced lunch $18 million a year in Title I funds

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Mobile County Public School System District Technology Plan

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Mobile county public school system district technology plan

Mobile County Public School System District Technology Plan

James Willcox

Joanne Kline

Yoko Nagashima


The district

The District

  • 95 schools and 4000 students

  • 80 miles north to south

  • 120 building sites

  • 62% of students on free and reduced lunch

  • $18 million a year in Title I funds

  • High central office efficiency: 2.5 % admin rate

  • Largest district in the state

  • Wide statewide variance in size


Mcps technology timeline

MCPS Technology Timeline

  • 1991: Initial district-wide plan focus on teaching and learning

  • 1993: Revived and expanded of Technology Committee: included central office

  • 1996-1997: State planning requirements

  • 1997: Comprehensive District Technology Plan

  • 1998: WAN to all schools complete

  • 2001: Wireless network in progress


Impetus for acceptance

Impetus for Acceptance

  • Start Point: Business needs/efficiency

    • Failing mainframes

    • Windfall $ from the state “with no strings attached”

    • New leadership

  • Lifetime total cost not a main concern

    • Political support

    • Need + Funds + Politics = execution

  • Combined need was key

  • Net Day

    • Big support from Bell South

    • Early participant


Technology plan today finances

Technology Plan Today: Finances

  • Major support from the federal government

    • “E-rate is a godsend”

      • High poverty district gets more e-rate $$ (wiring)

      • Allowed shortened installation timeline (7 years to1)

    • Title 1 funds: $18 million

  • Local foundation grants and corporate donations

    • Some grant support (10-30K/school)

    • Mainly Title I schools


Professional development

Professional Development

  • 30% of tech budget reserved for tech training

  • Tech training/staff supports skills and integration

  • Voluntary, focused teacher training: computer incentives

  • Teacher tech literacy standards enforced

    • Coordination with credentialing programs/schools of ed

  • Established standards for classroom tech integration

    • Measuring tech use in classroom (survey, observation, eval.)

    • 1st results pending

  • Selection process of site IT team / tech teachers

    • Criteria: knowledge = job


Technology research partners

Technology & Research Partners

  • Partnership with USA

    • In-service teacher technology training

    • Insufficient research support

  • UNC – software research

    • Publish info to teachers and schools


District technology 2001

District Technology: 2001

  • District installation of wireless network (upgrade from T1)

    • Network overloaded by extensive use

    • Lower maintenance cost (included in package)

    • Lower installation/upgrade expense

    • Voice over network (savings over 150K / year)

  • Classroom hardware standards

    • Minimum: 2 PCs

    • Goal: 4 PCs

  • Super Computer Authority

    • Provides ISP services through the State of Alabama


Future concerns

Future Concerns

  • Personnel Struggling with long term/ongoing costs of IT

  • End equipment for distance learning

  • Will E-rate continue?

  • Tough tradeoffs in budget

  • Site-based management issues


Mcps decision making

MCPS Decision Making

  • Committee based decisions

    • school/teacher participation

  • Lifetime costs de-emphasized

  • Business and T&L needs combined

  • Dependence on

    • Outside research/review

    • Federal funds

  • Dedication to training/integration/standards


Policy implications

Policy Implications

  • Long term support plans critical

  • Flexible policy with accountability are key

  • Alternative / worst case should be identified

  • Reserve funds for training, integration, measurement

  • Plan, execute, evaluate, update

  • Coalitions / combined needs critical

    • Approval

    • Efficient use of tech / funds / sustaining support


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