Technology for Learners
New Technology Audit Service Offered
Author: Rick Phelan
Technology is an essential component of the modern classroom, requiring school districts to have the proper devices for students and teachers, a reliable infrastructure, maintenance and technical support, as well as training for staff. The Sonoma County Office of Education is offering a new service that can assist LEAs in this important area. Called a, “technology audit,” this service helps schools review their existing technology capabilities highlighting strengths and needs.
Audits are useful in that they bring objective and knowledgeable ‘third party professionals’ to sites for a comprehensive technology analysis. Teachers are interviewed and classrooms are visited. Network infrastructures and services are examined. This objective third party inquiry can be helpful to LEAs as they craft three to five year technology plans, allocate school bond resources, and develop metrics for Local Control Accountability Plans. A technology audit provides a comprehensive written report about sites with prioritized recommendations to ensure all teachers and students have access to relevant, functional, and meaningful technology.
SCOE recently carried out a technology audit for the Windsor Unified School District. Windsor contracted SCOE to examine five specific areas for their audit:
- Technology Infrastructure: An inventory and analysis of the equipment and resources delivering electronic content to classrooms and students.
- Student Access to Technology: Perspective on students’ ability to access technology for learning in schools and classrooms throughout the district. This includes an analysis of the ratio of students to technology devices, internet bandwidth, digital learning materials, and the frequency of learning activities using technology.
- Professional Development for Staff: An evaluation of staff learning opportunities and needs related to job assignments.
- Integration of Technology in Teaching & Learning: Observations and recommendations related to the use of classroom technology for K-12 learning specific to California standards and 21st Century Learning.
- Maintenance & Technical Support: A review of district technology support specific to hardware and software updates, service requests, and site technical assistance.
The complete technology audit for the Windsor Unifed School District can be reviewed here: https://goo.gl/dzYtGj