School Summary Evaluation: Greendale Elementary

Heidi Smith

Introduction to Educational Technology: EDTECH 501

Dr. Barbara Schroeder

 November 20, 2011

Demographics

Greendale Elementary is a public elementary school in Dallas County in the state of Texas.  This school is a regular school and is currently operational.  Greendale Elementary School contains grades from kindergarten through fifth grade.  It had a total of 642 students enrolled for the 2010-2011 school year with a 16:1 student to teacher ratio.  

Overall, Greendale Elementary’s enrollment characteristics were similar to the 2009-2010 school year. Essentially, it had 122 students enrolled in kindergarten, 138 students enrolled in first grade, 104 students enrolled in second grade, 89 students enrolled in third grade, 87 students enrolled in fourth grade, and 102 students enrolled in fifth grade.  Furthermore, enrollment characteristics are further broken down by race and gender.  In short, Greendale Elementary had 4 American Indian/Alaskan students, 28 Asian/Pacific Islander students, 43 Black students, 75 Hispanic students, and 492 White students.  Additionally, there were 324 male and 318 female students.

Maturity Model Benchmarks

Administrative Filter

Overall Score

Behavioral: Islands

        Resource/infrastructure: Integrated

        Overall, Greendale Elementary’s administrative filter is still in the developmental stage with their overall behavior ranked in the “Islands” stage and the resources and infrastructure ranked in the “Integrated” stage.  Breaking down each division further, Greendale Elementary’s policy received an “Integrated” score for their behavior and resource/infrastructure.  In short, most areas of the school have embraced current technology policies while other areas still have not.  Next, the school’s technology planning is at an “Islands” behavior level and their resource/infrastructure level is considered “Integrated.”  Essentially, Greendale has a technology plan, but it is not a formal plan and its adoption has been slow.  Third, the school seems to be on the right path by finally making a line item budget for technology, although it is small.  Basically, the budget’s behavior is classified as “Islands” while its resource/infrastructure is labeled “Integrated.”  In essence, most of the staff has access to the current data management system, but it is rarely used to its full potential.  Lastly, the administration information is labeled “Integrated” on both fronts.  In the end, the overall administrative filter is on a positive path, but a more embracing attitude and a higher budget could go a long way in improving the administrative filter at Greendale Elementary.

Policy

        Behavioral:  Integrated

        Resource/Infrastructure:  Integrated 

        Greendale Elementary has integrated technology into many areas of the school and most grade levels.  In short, Greendale has a formal technology policy in place, but it is a simple policy and does not explain guidelines in detail.  Additionally, the technology policy has not been approved by the Dallas Independent School District. Nevertheless, most areas embrace the new technology.  However, there are some grade levels who have yet to embrace the new technology policies.  For example, at the kindergarten level,  the technology policies are being used at a much slower pace than the rest of the school.  

Planning

        Behavioral:  Islands 

        Resource/Infrastructure:  Integrated 

Even though Greendale Elementary quickly put a comprehensive technology plan in place two years ago, its implementation and adoption among teachers has been slow.  In short, technology use has typically been limited to specific use and specific projects.  For example, computer use is typically regulated to study halls, computer labs, or student’s free time.  In some cases, technology is used to complete specific school wide projects or initiatives.  Although the planning process has been slow, the technology plan does receive an intensive, informal review by specific department heads and the school’s administration on a regular basis.  In contrast, the district recognizes that it needs a more formal plan and efforts have been made to put a formal technology plan into place.  

Budget

        Behavioral:  Islands 

        Resource/Infrastructure:  Integrated 

        The technology budget for Greendale Elementary is a higher priority now than it was several years ago.  Recently, Greendale Elementary finally gave a higher priority status to technology and included it as a line item on this year’s budget.  However, the technology use budget still does not have a lot of resources because of the statewide, school budget cuts in Texas.  In short, because of the smaller budget, Greendale Elementary is only able to address one or two technology needs each school year.  

Administration Information

        Behavioral:  Integrated

        Resource/Infrastructure:  Integrated

        Greendale Elementary has a data management system in place that is available and used by most of the staff members.  In short, each staff member has a unique user name and password that allows them to access the data management system.  Essentially, with the data management system, staff can access student records, curriculum guidelines, and inter-office memos.  Additionally, the staff also utilizes Microsoft Outlook to access e-mail and their own personal calendar for scheduling purposes.  All in all, most of the staff has access to this system.  However, some departments do not have access to the system yet because of budgetary restrictions.  Furthermore, although the data management system provides several paperless options for a variety of tasks; some tasks are not paperless.  For example, maintenance requests are still done using a written form.

Curricular Filter

Overall Score

Behavioral: Islands

        Resource/infrastructure: Integrated

        Overall, the curricular filter at Greendale Elementary could greatly benefit through more training and curriculum integration. As a result, Greendale Elementary’s scores were “Islands” for behavioral and “Integrated” for resource/infrastructure.  In probing further into this examination, Greendale Elementary’s electronic information received an “Islands” score for its behavior and an “Integrated” score for its resource/infrastructure.  In short, Greendale Elementary has great electronic information resources; unfortunately, they are not very diverse at this time.  Additionally, their assessment area also received the same scores as the electronic information area.  Essentially, although Greendale Elementary has a variety of ways to assess students, most of them are out of date and fail to utilize technology.  Next, curriculum integration keeps the curricular filter consistent by showing a behavioral score at an “Islands” level with a resource/infrastructure score at an “Integrated” level.  In essence, most of the staff has access to technology resources but simply lack the training or confidence needed to use them in their classrooms.  Finally, Greendale’s use of technology at the teacher level is also at an “Islands” stage for their behavior and at an “Integrated” stage for their resource/infrastructure area.  Basically, as I previously stated, most teacher fail to use the technology available because of lack of understanding of the technology itself.  Lastly, student use of technology is classified as “Integrated” in both areas because, although they are not required to use technology to complete assignments, most students utilize what the technology available to them.

Electronic Information

        Behavioral:  Islands

        Resource/Infrastructure:  Integrated

        Greendale students and staff use information resources often.  Nevertheless, they would like to use them on a more regular basis.  In short, the resources that Greendale students and staff do have are fairly comprehensive.  Unfortunately, although they are comprehensive and in-dept, most of the available electronic resources are not as diverse as the staff would like them to be. Nevertheless, most students and staff have access to these information resources.  However, they are not readily available to all.  Unfortunately, at this time, the majority of resources are only available to the fourth and fifth grade students because a large part of the faculty and administrators believe that only the older students have the skill set available to use the technology resources.

Assessment

        Behavioral:  Islands

        Resource/Infrastructure:  Integrated

        Greendale Elementary has quite a variety of technological tools that can be used for student assessment.  Over the last few years, the school has utilized a number of software systems to gauge the knowledge and skills of each individual student.  Unfortunately, many of the programs are out-of-date and some are difficult to customize.  Consequently, these ease-of-use obstacles have scared away a large portion of the Greendale Elementary teachers from using these assessment tools.

Curriculum Integration

        Behavioral:  Islands

        Resource/Infrastructure:  Integrated

        At Greendale Elementary, most teachers have technology resources available in their departments that they can utilize when developing their curriculum.  Moreover, many of the technologies available are cutting-edge resources.  In fact, these cutting-edge resources  would greatly enhance their classroom curriculum if they were simply utilized on a regular basis.  Unfortunately, many of Greendale Elementary’s teachers lack the training to utilize the cutting edge technologies, and, therefore, only use them sparingly.  Thus, this hesitancy makes Greendale Elementary’s curriculum only partially dependent on technology.  

Teacher Use

        Behavioral:  Islands

        Resource/Infrastructure:  Integrated

        The teachers at Greendale Elementary have access to technology on a daily basis for both administration and curriculum needs.  Unfortunately, as I previously stated, teachers use the data management system for their e-mail and administrative needs, but fail to utilize a number of technology resources in the classroom. In other words, most teachers have access to the appropriate technology in their work area, but fail to integrate them into the classroom.  Essentially, since technology is now a line item in the Greendale Elementary budget, more teachers should make an effort to utilize their departments’ available technologies.

Student Use

        Behavioral:  Integrated

        Resource/Infrastructure:  Integrated

        Students at Greendale Elementary frequently use technology, but most of this use is the student’s choice.  For example, students typically use computers to complete homework and work on projects.  Additionally, they are allowed to use the available technology to complete their assignments.  Nevertheless, this technology use is not required to complete any assignments the students are given.

Support Filter

Overall Score

Behavioral: Integrated

        Resource/infrastructure: Integrated

        Overall, the support filter at Greendale Elementary is on track to being categorized in the “Intelligent” stage.  With a few improvements needed in training, Greendale Elementary is on the right path.  In diving further into this examination, any individual can see that  Greendale Elementary’s support system is solid.  In short, most of the stakeholder groups are involved in both the technology planning and implementation process.  Additionally, the school’s administrative support also shows an “Integrated” level score for both behavioral and resource/infrastructure areas.  In fact, Greendale Elementary supports technology use and sets aside specific times during meetings to address the topic.  Next, training within the support filter scored “Intelligent” on behavioral area and “Integrated” on resource/infrastructure area.  Essentially, at Greendale Elementary, all of the staff participates in regular training programs; however, these regular training programs are limited due to budgetary constraints.   Finally, the technical and infrastructure support existent at Greendale Elementary is considered to be in the “Integrated” stage for behavioral and resource/infrastructure areas.  In the end, the district has an IT specialist, but the school does not have its own.  Therefore, teachers rely on each other for the majority of support related issues.

Stakeholder Involvement

        Behavioral:  Integrated

        Resource/Infrastructure:  Integrated

Most of the stakeholder groups at Greendale Elementary are involved in the technology planning and implementation process.  This includes teachers, staff, and some district administrators.  In short, the reason the district administrators have limited involvement in the process is because, at the current time, Greendale Elementary is one of the only district schools with a technology use budget.  Specifically, the stakeholder involvement is generally seen at twice a month meetings between the relevant groups.

Administrative Support

        Behavioral:  Integrated

        Resource/Infrastructure:  Integrated

        At Greendale Elementary, the administration has continually given support to the teachers and educators about the use and implementation of different technologies.  Furthermore, the administration has set aside specific times during meetings to talk about the technology needs of each department.  In short, the administration listens and gives priority consideration to the teachers that are specifically dealing with new technologies in their department.  In essence, the administration takes the time to make sure each request for support has been examined and solved to the educator’s satisfaction.

Training

        Behavioral:  Intelligent

        Resource/Infrastructure:  Integrated

        All of the staff members at Greendale Elementary participate in the technology training programs that are offered by the school.  All Greendale teachers are interested in learning about new and different teaching techniques using new technologies.  However, the resources for teacher training are limited.  In short, the district has only one IT specialist to fix the current technology problems and to train current staff members.  Unfortunately, until more budget resources are available, all of the schools in the district must share the IT specialist’s services.  

Technical and Infrastructure Support

        Behavioral:  Integrated

        Resource/Infrastructure:  Integrated

        Most staff members at Greendale Elementary ask a fellow staff member for technological help whenever it is needed.  This approach stems from the lack of professional IT help available at the school.  As I previously stated,  the district has only one IT specialist available for support.  Unfortunately, the IT specialist is not always available to the staff when they need help.  In short, the IT specialist is most commonly reached by using a telephone hot line that schedule’s a time for direct technology assistance.  

Connectivity Filter

Overall Score

Behavioral: Islands

        Resource/infrastructure: Integrated

        Overall, the connectivity filter is evolving at Greendale Elementary, but it still has a lot of obstacles to overcome.  In short, Greendale’s Local Area Network (LAN) received an “Integrated” score for their behavior and resource/infrastructure.  In fact, the school has a great broadband network in place that supports a variety of data-intensive services in all areas of the school.  On the other hand, Greendale’s District Area Network (WAN) is categorized at an “Islands” stage for behavior and “Integrated” level for resource/infrastructure.  Essentially, Greendale Elementary is one of the more advanced schools in their district, but, unfortunately, more complex uses of the network are still lacking.  Next, the school’s Internet access is at an “Emergent” behavior level and “Intelligent” resource/infrastructure level.  In essence, Greendale Elementary has a high speed access available, but, like many other technologies, is rarely used in the curriculum.  Lastly, the school communication systems at Greendale Elementary are labeled “Integrated” for behavior and “Islands” for resource/infrastructure.  Basically, most of the staff use the school’s e-mail system to communicate with each other, but the e-mail itself is only available to a select few students involved in clubs..

Local Area Networking

        Behavioral:  Integrated

        Resource/Infrastructure:  Integrated

        Greendale Elementary’s network is available to the entire staff and includes a sophisticated data management system and intranet.  Furthermore, Greendale has great system in place for teachers to share and access each other’s files over the local area network.  Additionally, its high speed data lines are efficient and provide access to all areas of the school.  Obviously, this makes communication easier.  Nevertheless, although communication is easier; features such as video and voice chatting is not yet available.

        

District Area Networking (WAN)

        Behavioral:  Islands

        Resource/Infrastructure:  Integrated

        In terms of network infrastructure, Greendale Elementary is part of one of the more advanced school districts in the state.  In short, the Dallas Independent School District has a state-of-art broadband infrastructure.  Nevertheless, although the district has a solid network infrastructure, most of the schools like Greendale Elementary do not use it to their full potential.In fact, most data intensive services are not utilized, and most teachers only rely on it for e-mail purposes.

Internet Access

        Behavioral:  Emergent

        Resource/Infrastructure:  Intelligent

         Although, high speed Internet access is available for students and staff to use from anywhere in the school, it is rarely used in the curriculum.  This is mainly because, the staff is not sure how to integrate Internet use into their elementary level curriculum.  Currently, students can use the Internet for research on school projects.  However, it is not used on a daily basis in the classroom.  

Communication Systems

        Behavioral:  Integrated

        Resource/Infrastructure:  Islands

        Most of the staff at Greendale Elementary use their e-mail accounts to communicate with teacher and parents about students and their curriculum.  Moreover, teachers also use their e-mail accounts to communicate with the administrators for a variety of other issues.  Students, for the most part, do not have access to e-mail.  In short, Greendale believes that the majority of their students are too young to manage their own e-mail account.

Innovation Filter

Overall Score

Behavioral: Islands

        Resource/infrastructure: Islands

        Overall, the innovation filter at Greendale Elementary has drastic room for improvement.  Essentially, Greendale Elementary’s new technologies area received an “Integrated” score for their behavioral and resource/infrastructure areas.  In short, most of the staff at Greendale Elementary embrace learning about new technologies, but, unfortunately, fail to consistently implement them because of lack of training.  Additionally, the school’s use of comprehensive technologies is categorized at an “Islands” stage for both the behavioral and  resource/infrastructure areas.  Essentially, even though there are a number of technologies available to the school for integration and use, the staff usually only takes advantage of one or two simpler forms of technology.  Thus, as anyone can see, the innovation filter at Greendale Elementary needs a lot of work.

New Technologies

        Behavioral:  Integrated

        Resource/Infrastructure:  Integrated

        Most of the staff members at Greendale Elementary are open to learning about new technologies.  For example, they were welcoming when they were given their Microsoft Outlook e-mail accounts and now use them on a daily basis.  Nevertheless, the staff needs more training on new technologies, how to use them, and how to implement them into their daily curriculum.  Additionally, many of the teachers would like to use more of the technological tools recently purchased by school, but have a fear of the new technology because of the lack of training available.  Thus, before Greendale Elementary can grow to an “Intelligent” stage in technology, they need more training to provide confidence for the implementation of each new technology.

Comprehensive Technologies

        Behavioral:  Islands

        Resource/Infrastructure:  Islands

        In short, the staff at Greendale Elementary generally only uses a few forms of technology.  In fact, they typically only use projectors, overheads, and PowerPoint in the classroom.  Additionally, they generally only use the local area network for its printing, scanning, and copying services.  Obviously, there is much room for improvement in technology integration at Greendale Elementary.

Conclusion

Final Score

        Behavior: Islands

        Resource/Infrastructure: Integrated

Lastly,, Greendale Elementary’s overall behavior should be classified in the “Islands” stage of technology maturity.  Although their fourth and fifth grade levels have use of computers whenever they need them and they utilize an informal technology plan on a regular basis, Greendale Elementary is falling behind in technology use.  In short, the district needs to recognizes that it needs a more formal technology plan in place.  Furthermore, they need to outline the policies, efforts, and support needed to implement a future technology plan.  Additionally, the staff should be required to implement the training they receive on current and future technologies.  In essence, it is the lack of confidence and understanding by the administration and faculty that is hurting technology integration within the curriculum.  Moreover, more resources need to be allocated towards technology use.  In the end, technology literacy can only grow as far as the allocated resources.  

        Finally, Greendale Elementary’s overall resource/infrastructure should be classified as being in the “Integrated” stage.  In short, under all the lackluster behavior at Greendale Elementary, there are a lot of highly technological and valuable resources.  In essence,  Greendale Elementary has a technology plan that includes using different forms of technology in the classroom at all grade levels.  Furthermore, the network the staff uses to access their e-mail accounts is actually capable of performing more in-depth tasks and activities than it is currently used for on a daily basis. Additionally, technology is now a line item in the school’s budget.  Thus, technological tools should be easier to come by in terms of access and implementation than previous years.  In the end, by executing a little more time and effort, Greendale Elementary could easily be one of the leading schools in the utilization of technology.