It has been an exciting 6 months for the Technology Department at LCSS. Between all of the infrastructure updates, providing cloud based productivity tools, and securing our backup and information privacy structure, there have been a lot of moving pieces at LCSS. It’s always nice to reflect on what has been done, it’s always best to push forward and look at what is coming. Let’s use the Strategic Plan to guide where we are heading.
Goal 8.1 To build and maintain a technology infrastructure and support system to meet all LCSS academic and operational demands, including the following considerations: a one-to-one/classroom computing strategy, use of cloud based infrastructure, security and information privacy, and wired and wireless infrastructure at all schools.
We have made some serious inroads in several of the goal areas. The one area that we are excited to announce today is ‘a one-to-one/classroom computing strategy.’ This strategy is one that will take shape over the next several years, where we will be starting at Central Catholic, and then moving down into the elementary schools. This article will be the beginning of several posts for year one. As you may have seen in the last Knightly News, we decided to move forward with putting an Apple MacBook Air in the hands of each of our Central Catholic students starting in the 2014-15 school year.
Making any decision about technology in a school system is more than just choosing the latest and greatest piece of equipment. We have to ask several questions along the way. How will students and teachers use this device to enhance their learning and teaching experience? How often do machines need to be worked on? How much down time is there in a class waiting on machines to wake up from being asleep? What device will allow us to maintain a small technology staff? While these don’t encompass the multitude of questions we had to answer, you can get an idea of our thought process.
We made sure to evaluate other schools systems (private and public) who have been utilizing technology in their classroom for some time. Relationships will never be trumped by the tools we are using. They can’t, and won’t ever be. With that being said, it is exciting we are moving into this new age of learning with a partnership with Apple. They have made a commitment to education over the life of the company (how many of you remember working on an Apple IIe?) Over the past two years, Apple has made some really exciting announcements. It all started January 19, 2012 with the announcement of iBooks Author. A piece of software Apple gives to the major textbook companies to create their textbooks for iBooks. It was announced Apple would be providing this software to anyone with a Mac for free!
Continue into this past November, when Apple made a dramatic announcement that all updates to it’s operating system would be free for the life of a device. As well, Apple began to include its office style suite (dubbed iWorks, which contains Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) as well as it’s creative suite (iMovie, GarageBand, and iPhoto) for free with every Mac and iPad. Add on top of the addition of iBooks to the Mac (previously only available on the iPad), and they successfully changed the model of what schools should expect from their devices. I’m excited our students will have the opportunity to utilize these programs and devices starting in the fall of 2014.