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Technology Accreditation

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Most independent schools periodically undergo an accreditation process through a state or regional association. As part of this process, each school department prepares a "self-study" document and the school is visited and reviewed by a team of state or regional educators/administrators. With regard to technology review, this process could be improved with the use of guidelines for areas that should be considered. This page is intended as an area to collaboratively produce a set of guidelines for this process. Obviously there is a wide spectrum of technology implementations across independent schools, but there are generally agreed upon practices which can be identified here. Please edit this page!

Also See: Essential Questions for PGP and Technology Planning for links to analysis tools.

Educational IssuesEdit

  • Leadership
    • Who leads the implementation and integration of technology?
    • Does leadership for technology also involve all major school decision-makers?
    • Does the IT leader contribute to the admin team?
  • What are the goals for technology use?
    • Vision
    • mission statement
    • clear concrete goals
    • assessment measures
    • "day-in-the-life" scenario
  • Does the school evaluate whether technology contributes to academic gains?
    • assessment instruments
    • anecdotal evidence
    • survey evidence
  • Is technology contributing to 21st century skills?
    • Collaboration and team-work
    • media literacy
    • problem-solving
    • HOTS
    • research skills
    • self-direction
    • global awareness
    • creativity
  • Safety, ethical, legal, and societal issues related to technology use:
    • Has there been intentional decision-making for/against Internet filtering?
    • Do teachers understand and abide by good copyright practices?
  • Technology Department Staffing
    • Number of staff, positions/responsibilities, FT/PT, qualifications,
    • Ongoing training

Faculty/Employee UseEdit

  • How do faculty and employees use technology?
    • Productivity
    • preparing instructional materials
    • delivering instruction,
    • communication
    • research
    • professional development
  • How is faculty/employee acquisition of technology skills accomplished and assessed?
    • How do faculty learn to use productivity software?
    • Are there published competencies?
    • Do faculty have to take any assessments?
  • How is professional development for technology integration accomplished?
    • How do faculty learn to use educational software?
    • Learn to integrate it into teaching, etc?
    • Is there alignment with ISTE NETS?

Student UseEdit

  • How do students use technology?
    • Ratio of students to computers
    • are the computers in labs, classrooms, mobile carts, library or other public places?
    • What types of peripheral devices do students use?
  • How is student acquisition of technology skills assessed?
    • Formal or informal assessment
    • surveys
    • integrated with content assessment
  • Things to consider
    • Look at the differences in gender access, use and applications.
    • using just Google or other relevant search engines
    • Time on task for effective learning.
    • Is the room (or network) designed for the teacher to be able see what the students are doing?
    • Are students interacting with each other?
    • What is the quality of the conversations between students? Is there parallel dialogue?
    • Is authentic engagement happening?
    • Are students evaluating sites by being able to find out who put it on the Internet?
    • Can students articulate what it is they are doing? What is it they are working on? Where do they hope it leads? Have they found an opposing point of view?



Infrastructure & Department IssuesEdit

  • Network configuration
    • number of workstations, notebooks, printers, switches, other nodes
    • number & location of network closets, bandwidth to closets
    • number of servers and server's function and age
  • Network documentation?
    • Server configurations, IP addresses, admin accounts, network topology
    • If the network administrator were incapacitated, does the IT staff have necessary documentation?
    • Compliance intelligence (all software licenses documented)
    • Are protocols in place for recovering from a network disaster?
  • Data security and privacy
    • Firewalls
    • Intrusion detection
    • Logging
    • Network segmentation, VLANs
    • Permissions structure
    • Password policies
    • Virus protection
    • Spam protection
    • Spyware protection
    • Back-up protection
      • type, media, rotation (incremental/full, brick level)
      • storage policy
      • off-site copy
      • documented process for recovery of files, mailboxes, servers
  • Data Center/Network Closet Protection
    • Secure
    • Surge protection
    • Back-up Power
    • Environmental controls (AC, ventilation, sprinkler protection)
    • Automated alerts by email when environmental variations are detected
  • Patches & Updates
    • Windows Update, SUS
    • Centralized automated deployment
  • Internet Access
    • Type
    • Vendor
    • Bandwidth
    • Cost
    • Back-up/secondary access
  • Imaging/Cloning
    • Altiris, Ghost, Pixie, KBox
    • Automation of processes, scripting
    • Application deployment
  • Wireless Networking
    • Protocols
    • Site survey
    • Access points (type, speed, channels)
  • Bandwidth Optimization
    • QOS bandwidth shaping/packet priority
    • Implementation of network drive and mailbox quotas
  • Client Configuration
    • Users' level of rights on the machines
    • Local or roaming profiles
    • Offline files
  • Document Retention Policy
    • Files, Email, IM, VOIP
    • Compliance with FRCP
  • Remote Access
    • Access to network files
    • Access to applications, databases, etc.
  • Privacy Policy
    • Website
    • Publishing of student/family information/photos
    • Protocols for management of personal data including SS#s, financial info, etc.
  • Databases
    • Type, number, version, vendor, integration
    • Centralized data entry
    • Data entry style guide
  • Help Desk
    • Type, version, description
  • Asset Management Solution
    • Barcode scanner
  • Software Inventory
    • Name of product, license quantity, serial numbers, media location
  • Computer Inventory
    • Type/Description
    • Quantity
    • Date of Purchase
    • Serial numbers
  • Peripheral Inventory
    • Projectors, still and video cameras, scanners, CD/DVD burners, document cameras, SMART Boards, flash drives
  • Audio-Visual Inventory
    • TVs, VCRs, DVDs, sound systems, light systems
  • Phone System
    • Type
    • Vendor
    • Ports
    • Back-up
  • Budgeting
    • Total Budget
    • Capital
    • Operating
    • Maintenance & Service Contracts
    • Software Licenses

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