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Information Fluency

January 28, 2011

One of the topics discussed when I talk about the Bond Extension on the February 22nd ballot is technology.  Of the $22 million extension, which does not raise our current 7 mil tax rate, the vast majority (74% or $16 million) is going to heating & cooling, roofs, lighting, etc.  Basically, the critical needs that keep our buildings safe and warm.

However, there is 10% or $2.2 million allocated for technology.  Of this amount, half is for network improvements and half is for device replacements – computers, tablets, projectors, etc.  The focus of the technology has largely been related to our network.  We are passionate about the need to provide strong, enterprise level wifi throughout all of our buildings to allow students and staff to have access to the internet.  The vision for our high school in particular is for a system that would function well while allowing all 1,800 students and 100+ staff to have a device connected to the network simultaneously.  This does not mean the district would provide the devices for students, but we would need to provide the access.

One of the reasons behind this vision is the reality that we need to be preparing our students for a world where access to and the ability to think critically about information is essential.  Attached is a video that highlights the issue…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. cpsm permalink
    January 29, 2011 3:44 pm

    While it is a noble idea to have a building (s) set for wireless for every student, it is naive to think that every student has the access or the ownership of the technology needed to use it. As much as we would like to think, not everyone is able to provide each one of their students the newest high tech tool to take to and from school which puts all students in an even more competitive and unbalanced environment. Once again an example of the haves and have nots- which we would expect with private education. Last time I checked we were still a public education system.

  2. February 2, 2011 12:28 pm

    I agree that the have and have not scenario is a major issue. It is also one we are looking to address with partnerships and community support. For example, the local Wireless Zone has committed to providing over 60 mobile devices for a class next year (a $30,000 donation!). We are also talking with the Foundation for Saline Area Schools about opportunities to help provide devices for students that would not otherwise be able to afford them. Our push has been to work to improve access for all, as opposed to restrict it. Our fear is that many of students have access to these resources already, by getting involved we hope to make the situation better for all.

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