School Environment Evaluation

Demographics:

The Maplegrove Local School District is a rural district in north central Ohio.  Maplegrove is a fairly small district consisting of just under 1,000 kindergarten through twelfth grade students. With two buildings at a centralized campus.  One building houses kindergarten through fifth grade students and the other sixth through twelfth graders.  The ethnic population consists of 98% white/non-hispanic students with 38.6% of the student population being classified as economically disadvantaged.

The Maplegrove Local School district’s technology environment was evaluated by myself to assess their current state of technology use and planning.  The categories of administration, curriculum, support, connectivity, and innovation were assessed with the Maturity Model Benchmarks from the Technology Use Plan Primer by Peter H.R. Sibley and Chip Kimball (1998).

Administrative

Curricular

Support

Connectivity

Innovation

Final Evaluation:

Concluding my evaluation of Maplegrove Local Schools their current state of technology would place them in the Islands of Technology Stage of the Technology Maturity Model.  Maplegrove is a connected school system with many newer forms of technology available to staff, but the staff lacks the training and support necessary to achieve more effective integration into the curriculum and more sophisticated use of the staff and students.  

The administration at Maplegrove is supportive in its budgeting of monies for new technologies as they purchased new computers for elementary staff last school year, new computers for middle and high school staff this school year, added a new lab at the high school/middle school, and updated the elementary lab with new computers this year. Administration at the elementary building has also committed to providing each classroom with a document camera and projector.  However, purchasing and supplying classrooms with technology does not lead to proper use and integration into the classroom.  If the administration is going to provide the technology they must also provide training and support for the technology to be used effectively in the curriculum/classroom.

Maplegrove’s current connectivity is excellent.  The district and local networks are well maintained and efficient and the connection to the high-speed fiber optic line provides the necessary bandwidth for most educational applications.  In the evaluation though, I noticed how little computer labs are used aside from study halls and computer classes.  For the most part the limited number of computers within classrooms and limited lab space and alternative devices hinders students access to electronic resources and access to the internet.

The lack of a technology plan could perhaps be Maplegrove’s biggest hindrance in its technology maturity.  There exists little, if any guidance, on implementation and planning.  Decisions are often made by those with the most authority and with little consultation with those it affects, in most cases - Teachers.  Maplegrove’s lack of a plan does not give staff the guidance they need and does not give the boar the necessary direction for future technology implementation.