Technology at CBSD…
September 3, 2016
The purpose of Technology at the Columbia Borough School District is to provide our students and faculty with the right tools necessary to support the 21st century learning environment, provide for rapid communication/collaboration, increase operational productivity, and to provide an infrastructure that will support current and future trends in K-12 education.
Technology in Teaching, Learning, and Assessment:
Students have the opportunity to explore and to apply multiple uses of technology with student-centered digital curriculum. The primary goals of student technology use are to increase the potential for higher student achievement and for the learning of 21st century skills.
All students in grades 1-12 have to computers and access to digital curriculum. Students have access to computers using mobile carts and hardwired stationary labs. Grades 5-8 students participate in the district’s Rotational Model – Hybrid Learning Program. Other students are provided with online access to Math & Reading Computer Aided Instruction. Schoology and Google Classrooms Learning Management Systems have been designed to provide various students with a digital dashboard of curriculum and tools needed for their education and are available from any internet capable device. Students in grades 9-12 and faculty members are encouraged to participate in the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program as they desire.
The shared commitment to academic excellence from the community, School Board, administration, and faculty has enabled the implementation of the following technology resources:
- Computer to Student ratio is approximately: 1 computer for every 4 students.
Every teacher throughout the district has a Dell Laptop computers running Windows 10 and MS Office 2016 Suite. All classrooms, offices, and media centers are wired and wireless for network and internet access. Students have network accounts including storage space on the network. Students in grades 3-12 have access to student email through Microsoft Office 365. Our student and staff Internet usage is filtered by our internet service provider, IU13 using a Palo Alto appliance. Websites that are blocked are categorized in the following categories: adult content, violence, games, chat, gambling, auction, and hacking. Every computer in the district is protected against viruses and other malicious logic by Microsoft endpoint protection software. Virus definitions are downloaded daily to a server and then automatically distributed throughout the district.
Technology to increase Productivity and Infrastructure:
The goal of using technology to increase productivity is to develop operational innovations and redesign business processes to improve outcomes while lowering operational costs. The district has employed the following innovations:
- Data Inter-operability Framework – Framework established to connect all mission critical information systems for the purpose of providing business intelligence, digital workflows, and the improvement of data accuracy in all CBSD Information Systems. Systems that communicate are: student information, library automation, food services, network account management, Office 365, Google Apps, and various online content providers through Clever integration.
- Digium Voice Over IP (VOIP) telephone services – Each district classroom and office area is equipped with a VOIP telephone allowing administrators/teachers access to have voice communications from practically anywhere in the district.
- School Safety & Rapid Communication – Throughout the district there are 60+ IP security cameras deployed to help increase school safety. 1st responders have access to these cameras in the case of an emergency. The district also uses Blackboard Connect 5 for rapid notifications in the event of an emergency to notify parents/guardians.
- Copier management and virtualization – The district utilizes HyperV to maintain 30+ virtual servers across 3 physical hosts and 1 SAN. PageScope is used to manage all copying across the district.
The CBSD Technology Team includes 1 full time on-site Technology Support Specialist, a Director of Technology, and a team of 3rd level remote support personnel. The district’s technology team responsibilities include:
Director of Technology – Supervises all aspects of technology services.
Technology Support Specialist – Provides on-site day to day technical support to all buildings (4) in Columbia Borough School District.
Remote Network Manager – Provides 3rd level support advice of the management of the network backbone & server virtualization.
Remote Systems Administrator – Provides 3rd level support advice of the management of computer imaging and management of active directory.
Remote Applications Support Specialist – Provides 3rd level support advice of the management of district databases, information systems, and Data Inter-operability Framework.
Remote Audio/Visual and Communications Specialist – Provides 3rd level support advice of management of IP security cameras, classroom and district-wide A/V, Voice Over IP phones, and print/copier management.