Technology, in any sector, is always a fast-changing and evolving industry, and it is not any different at Tahlequah Public Schools. With a new Technology plan that lines out our goals for the next five years, we are attempting projects that have not been done in the past. The ultimate goal and our mission statement is:
“To create an environment for all members of the school community which ensures
the continual acquisition of, and access to technological exposure, knowledge and literacy,
which is both appropriate and essential for intellectual, social and character development
of productive members of today’s society.”
In the simplest of terms, we want our students to have technology, be able to use that technology, and use that technology to bring value & learning to themselves & their communities.
The Tahlequah Public Schools Technology Plan proposes to replace computers district-wide in a six-year cycle. This ensures that the computers we use are never outdated, and are able to function appropriately. We also plan to initiate a 1:1 program for 3rd-12th grades. This is a five-year plan that will supply two grades per year with Chromebooks (one cart of thirty Chromebooks per class). Another component is a five-year plan for PK, K, 1st,2nd, and SPED classrooms that will supply one grade per year with iPads Minis (five per classroom).
Summer 2016 was the first year in the cycle. We supplied Chromebooks for 3rd & 6th grade, five iPad Minis per classroom for Kindergarten, and replaced staff & student devices at Cherokee Elementary (Teacher machines will be coming this summer). We also finished up a large project to install an upgraded wireless system at all the sites, along with upgrading our internet bandwidth to 500 MB (with plans to move it up to 1 GB this fall).
With the 1:1 plan under way, we felt that we needed a dedicated position to help train teachers and students on how to use this new technology effectively. Thankfully, we were able to add Kym Tinsley as our new Technology Instructional Coach. We feel that having this position will be crucial in the implementation of our 1:1 program.
We intend to move forward with the second phase of our plan in summer 2017. This includes replacing computers at Cherokee, Central, Sequoyah, and the Administration offices. We will also supply Chromebooks for the 4th and 7 grades, and iPad Minis for 1st grade. Additionally, we plan to begin migrating our machines to Windows 10!
TPS has made technology a priority. Technology is extremely costly and in this financially insecure climate, priorities narrow. We hope, however to continue in our efforts to supply our staff and students with the best and most current technology available. Our students deserve the exposure to current technology and our staff deserves the tools and instruction technology provides.