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School Evaluation Assignment

July 27, 2011

This is my assignment for 501 module 6.  We were to use the Maturity Model Benchmarks to evaluate the maturity level of our schools or businesses.  Names and locations have been changed.

School Evaluation Summary

Jennifer Carpenter

This is a school evaluation providing information about McCormick High School located within Custer, Nebraska. We will evaluate the schools technological maturity using the Maturity Model Benchmarks Survey. Maturity is evaluated on the following filters: administrative, curricular, support, connectivity, and innovation. Each filter will have various sections and subsections used to rank maturity. The maturity levels can be ranked as any of the following stages: emergent, islands, integrated, or intelligent.

Demographics

The population of Custer, Nebraska is close to 9,000 residents with 470 being students attending McCormick High School. Custer is very transient with many students flowing in and out over the course of the year. The population is made up largely of Caucasians along with close to 30% being Hispanic. The town has many energy jobs available leading to a large portion of the population being male. Within the high school, female students outnumber male students 245 to 225.

Administrative Filter

  • Policy
    • Behavioral: emergent
    • Resource/Infrastructure: emergent
    • There is technology available for use but there is very little support to be sure technology is being used appropriately or at all. Policies are stated loosely and with no follow through. There is little help available for acquisition and use.
    • Planning
      • Behavioral: islands
      • Resource/ Infrastructure: islands
      • Formal plans are made but they involve few people that will actually be using the technology. Administration and technology experts make the decisions on what to purchase—more often than not it revolves around hardware rather than software. Planning is also limited to one project at a time. Few technology use plans created involve more than one project.
      • Budget
        • Behavioral: Integrated
        • Resource/Infrastructure: integrated
        • Behaviorally the budget does allow for technology purchases as a high priority. The administration and school board recognize the importance of technology but have not made it one of the top three priorities as of yet.
        • Administrative Information
          • Behavioral: integrated
          • Resource/Infrastructure: intelligent
          • Administrative systems are available to everyone within the school, although there are some that still do not use them to their full potential. Many tasks are still done with paper systems such as sub requests, sick leave, itineraries, and goal statements. It would benefit everyone and allow things to run smoother if they would replace all paper systems

Curricular Filter

  • Electronic Information
    • Behavioral: islands
    • Resource/ Infrastructure: islands
    • Electronic resources are not considered an important part of everyday use. There is a large gap between those who use technology consistently and those who very rarely use it for instruction. Applications and resources for educators are not found school wide. It is up to the teacher to locate online resources to utilize within the classroom. Students have limited access to electronic resources as computer accessibility is limited.
    • Assessment
      • Behavioral: emergent
      • Resource/Infrastructure: islands
      • Very few staff use electronic tools for student assessment or allow students to assess themselves using technology. Some teachers have utilized online communication systems and word processors such as Google docs. However, this is on an individual basis as there has been no formal training about these online tools. Some tools are available to staff if they have come with a textbook or other resource. Very few resources are provided by the district.
      • Curricular Integration
        • Behavioral: emergent
        • Resource/ Infrastructure: islands
        • Very little of the curriculum requires the use of technology. Most work can be done without technology. Curriculum is currently being revised and does include minor technology use. Some resources are available but none readily used.
        • Teacher Use
          • Behavioral: islands
          • Resource/Infrastructure: intelligent
          • Technology is used mostly for administrative work. Email and grade books are the most common uses of the technology for teachers. Some use them for curricular activities but the use is varied and is seen more often with younger teachers. All teachers have access to technology in their work area, but again it is used more for administrative work rather than curricular.
          • Student Use
            • Behavioral: islands
            • Resource/Infrastructure: islands
            • Student use is limited to various classrooms. Some classrooms have technology while others do not. If the student does not have a computer class their use may be very sporadic and depend on teachers signing up for time within a computer lab. Students can access computers within the library often, but it may not be used for educational activities.

Support Filter

  • Stakeholder Involvement
    • Behavioral: islands
    • Resource/Infrastructure: islands
    • Planning allows for many groups to be represented in the process. However, few of them will be using the technology daily. Teachers and students are not represented very well within the planning process. Most planning is done by administration, the superintendent, and the school board.
    • Administrative Support
      • Behavioral: islands
      • Resource/Infrastructure: islands
      • Administration doe no focus on planning or implementation as a priority. They often leave that to the technology department, whom is not in the classroom and does not keep track of what the technology is being used for.
      • Training
        • Behavioral: islands
        • Resource/Infrastructure: islands
        • Some training is available but is very limited in what is actually taught. Many staff are required to attend training, however, a lot of time is wasted in repeating the same novice technology training that does not provide in depth help to those who want to go further.  For example, Smartboard training was offered multiple times as professional development this year. Those who understood the first training got no further assistance or training in anything more relevant to them.
        • Technical/Infrastructure Support
          • Behavioral: islands
          • Resource/Infrastructure: islands
          • Many staff utilize formal and informal support; however, not all feel comfortable discussing technology yet. Help is provided but is not efficient and is usually done through a computer—therefore without internet access it can be difficult to get immediate help.

Connectivity Filter

  • Local Area Networking (LAN)
    • Behavioral: intelligent
    • Resource/Infrastructure: integrated
    • LAN is available but often has problems when there are many users online at one time. Video capabilities are limited, but high speed internet is provided in all locations.
    • District Area Networking (WAN)
      • Behavioral: intelligent
      • Resource/Infrastructure: integrated
      • The district area networking is the same as the LAN. High speed internet is available but often has connectivity issues. There is limited data capacity and video capabilities. Streaming often takes much longer than is reasonable to use with teaching.
      • Internet Access
        • Behavioral: integrated
        • Resource/Infrastructure: intelligent
        • Internet is used frequently. It is used daily by staff and often by students, although students do not always use it for educational purposes. There is direct LAN available in all locations.
        • Communication Systems
          • Behavioral: integrated
          • Resource/Infrastructure: integrated
          • Email is used daily for administrative work and many learning activities. Email is available to all staff and limited to students—it is available but training for students is infrequent. Often times they don’t even know there email login or passwords.

Innovation Filter

  • New Technologies
    • Behavioral: islands
    • Resource/Infrastructure: islands
    • There is a portion of the staff that is still resistant to using technology and relies on the older methods of teaching. Technology is accepted by most but is not always implemented. This could be due to a lack of follow through in training or help given.
    • Comprehensive Technologies
      • Behavioral: integrated
      • Resource/Infrastructure: integrated
      • Some advanced technologies are available, but no training has been done beyond the basics. A WEN room has been created but very few staff have actually been trained or received support for how to use the technology or where to begin. At this point it is a wasted technology because training and support has failed to occur.

Conclusion

Overall McCormick High School is at the islands of technology stage. There are various sections that need improvement but overall there is a good foundation for improvement. The LAN and WAN access is pretty good, it just needs to be a little more stable with heavy use. Advanced technologies are becoming more available. Staff needs to do a better job embracing technology and really advocating for it with the administration, superintendent, and school board. Training is an area that needs improvement. The training really needs to have a focus and a dedicated, competent instructor.  Again staff needs to be vocal about their needs. Curriculum should begin to incorporate technology in various ways. I feel curricular changes should come with more staff training and knowledge. The administration does allow for technology use planning, but there needs to be a stronger focus on the applications not just the hardware. Computer and internet access are an integral part of everyday success within McCormick High School. There needs to be a connection between the technology plan, use, and implementation. With staff input, administration follow through, and better policy planning McCormick High School can soon reach the intelligent systems stage.

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