Global District Technology Objectives
Enhancing student learning is by far the most important goal for us to pursue at RSU 50. Enhancing it through technology presents challenges, however, teachers today are becoming increasingly wiser about using technology and motivating students to work harder to achieve their goals. MLTI has made it possible for students to acquire the hardware and software applications needed to support these objectives. In addition to this, we also feel that it is important for students to become digitally responsible for their learning and to that end, we have pursued a California based company known as Common Sense Media to help us convey the message to all members of the learning community, not just students. Ultimately, we would like students to become more responsible about their learning and take a more active role in the process.
Improving instructional strategies has been a focus for teachers during the past two years. Teachers themselves have visited each other to observe classroom teaching strategies to determine what works best and if any patterns emerge from the observations, which are recorded using the iwalkthrough system. Teachers are still learning how to incorporate technology in their classroom curriculum and all are required to pursue professional learning activities to improve their effectiveness.
The Web2School system and now Infinite Campus play an important role for teachers as well as administrators when it comes to keeping records of their students’ health, attendance, grades, discipline, etc. All professional staff is required to use the system on a day to day basis.
The RSU 50 Technology Department provides technology support for maintaining network systems, workstation hardware as well as software support, printing resources, e-mail, E-Rate, Alertnow and any type of technology question that arises from the use of technology. Instructional support is a priority whenever technology support tasks become necessary.
Because of increased technology use and the arrival of MLTI III, steps will be taken to upgrade our network infrastructure (hardware) and additional support for MLTI laptops for grades 6-12. The one to one student ratio will require an additional IT trained professional to assist in the one to one ratio of computers.
Equipment must be upgraded to meet the demands of online traffic and teachers will need to assume responsibilities about their management.
Technology Inventories will be kept of software as well as hardware being used across the grade levels. Network hardware which includes printers, switches, routers, operating systems, access devices need to be maintained and replaced as needed.
Hardware replacement is not always possible but consideration will be given directly to technology that affects student learning. An existing policy will be used to rotate aging equipment to areas of less importance or eliminated if it has become useless.
Printing resources for student and staff will be provided district wide by online Canon Copiers. For areas like special education, laser printers will be used to protect confidentiality of students.
Computer Curriculum in computer labs will be discontinued as a major form of instruction. The mobile laptop cart will be signed out by teachers at the elementary level for classroom instructional tasks. The middle & high school computer labs will still exist and support student learning, however, laptops in the form of macbooks (6-12) will be used since 1 to 1 computing exists and hardware for these macbooks are much more capable of performing tasks than the current PC’s.
A Firewall will be added to the network to help protect the system against computer viruses and inappropriate websites for students and staff. The MecGuard Filter provided by MSLN will continue to monitor Internet activity for all members of the RSU 50-Katahdin Network.
Computer policies will be revised and rewritten annually to keep up with the activity that computers create in the learning process. Policies will reflect staff as well as students and will be used to make decisions and enforce technology usage. Students will be allowed to take home laptops if parents attend meetings and agree to monitor student macbook usage at home. Take Home policies will control laptop usage at home. Periodic inspection of student laptops will take place to monitor student’s device and to record laptop violations. Laptops are to be used for educational purposes, consequences will reflect student violations.
In addition to the firewall and the web filter, antivirus software will still be used on individual machines to help protect data loss or corruption from a virus that makes it through using an external device such as a flash drive or disk. In some cases, Antispyware software will also be used in libraries, labs and offices to help protect data integrity.
Communicating with the community will be continued using a variety of methods: Alertnow system for general as well as emergency messages, periodic newsletters from both schools, open houses, Science Fair presentations and special invitations that may involve Internet safety from Common Sense Media or Bullying.
All staff is required to keep and check e-mail accounts and to monitor student e-mails if they are flagged for any reason. All e-mails are the property of RSU 50 and be used in any legal situation that may arise.
Staff is also encouraged to create their own classroom blogs for their subject areas and to invite students to contribute to its content.
Staff with special skills and/or expertise will be used to train district staff to use technology in support of student learning . Teacher to teacher training works very well and is far less expensive to deliver valuable needed skills.
The Tandberg system will replace the existing ATM room for distance learning. A device has been placed in each school and teachers will actively participate in online training activities.
An Information Technology Assistant will be contracted to help support the 1 to 1 MLTI laptop initiative. This individual will work out of the technology office, assist in professional development activities and support technology in whatever form.
Because of the wide distribution of macbooks, (6-12) students are being given more responsibility regarding their device.
How to care for the device, storing, charging, security
How to use the device properly, (for educational purpose)
Passing this technology to their families when they take them home.
How to make use of this technology effectively and safely.
Apple Remote Desktop will be used extensively during the day to monitor network activity and to interact with students directly online whenever they are using the macbook inappropriately. Accessing MySpace, Facebook, YouTube or listening to music or downloading videos does not fall into the definition of Educational Purpose. We strive to teach students to use their device appropriately, not for entertainment.
Internet Safety Policy
It is the policy of RSU 50 to:
Prevent user access over its computer network to, or transmission of, inappropriate material via Internet, electronic mail, or other forms of direct electronic communications;
Prevent unauthorized access and other unlawful online activity;
Prevent unauthorized online disclosure, use, or dissemination of personal identification information of minors, and
Comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)
ACCESS TO INAPPROPRIATE MATERIAL
Specifically, as required by CIPA, blocking shall be applied to visual dictions of material deemed obscene or child pornography, or any material deemed harmful to minors.
Subject to staff and/or administrative supervision, technology protection may be disabled or in the case of minors, minimized only for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.
To the extent practical, technology protection measures or Internet filters (Smart filter-MSLN) shall be used to block or filter the Internet, or other forms of electronic communications, access to inappropriate information.
INAPPROPRIATE NETWORK USAGE
Appropriate steps shall be taken to promote the safety and security of users of the RSU 50 online computer network when using electronic mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, and other forms of direct electronic communications
AS required by CIPA, prevention of inappropriate network usage includes:
Unauthorized access, including hacking, and other unlawful activities;
Unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal identification information regarding minors.
EDUCATION, SUPERVISION and MONITORING
It shall be the responsibility of all members of the RSU 50 staff to educate, supervise, and monitor appropriate usage of the online computer network and access to the Internet in accordance with this District policy, the Children’s Internet protection Act, the Neighborhood Children’s protection Act, and Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act... Procedures for the disabling or otherwise modifying any technology protection measures shall be the responsibility of Technology Director.
Common Sense Media
RSU 50 and Common Sense Media have partnered together to bring useful and practical information to kids, parents and faculty about the digital age of technology.
In an effort to promote student/adult responsibility in the use of all technologies, RSU 50 have taken steps to promote a media education program with the help of Common Sense Media.
Principal and Technology Coordinator have attended an introductory training session directed by CSM to learn about the program and its success around the country.
MSAD25 has organized a leadership team that is currently building an action plan and timeline for the program.
The school (KMHS) has provided online surveys to students and teachers and hardcopy surveys to parents.
Katahdin Middle & High School have held open house meetings with parents about the use of technology and Internet safety.
Periodic Publications produced by Common Sense Media are sent home to parents to inform and educate them in all areas of technology such as :
Common Sense Media website HYPERLINK "http://www.commonsensemedia.org" www.commonsensemedia.org Site contains all the up-to-date information for parents, students and teachers. It reviews movies and provides warnings and information about the digital world.