Lotsie Wooten, Director of Technology
The purpose of Technology at the Columbia Borough School District is to provide our learners 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 anytime-anywhere in K-12 education.
TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION IN TEACHING, LEARNING, AND ASSESSMENT:
Learners have the opportunity to explore and to apply multiple uses of technology with learner-centered digital curriculum. The primary goals of learner technology use are to provide a well-rounded learning experience, increase in academic achievement and for learning of 21st century skills.
All learners in grades 1-12 each have their own laptops and all learners have access to digital curriculum. All students take home their laptop as part of their personalized learning experience. Kindergarten learners utilize iPads to access curriculum resources. All leaners are provided with online access to digital curriculum and resources. 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.
The shared commitment to academic excellence from the community, School Board, administration, and faculty has enabled the implementation of the following technology resources:
Mobile device to learner ratio is: 1 computer for 1 learner.
Every teacher throughout the district has a Dell Laptop computers running Windows 10 and MS Office 365 Suite. All classrooms, offices, and media centers are wired and wireless for network and internet access. Learners/Faculty have Office 365 and Google Cloud applications/storage accounts. All learners have access to student email through Microsoft Office 365. Our 5Gbps internet service is provided through Cogent and is filtered through our SmoothWall filter appliance for faculty/learners onsite and learners offsite. Websites that are blocked are categorized in the following categories: adult content, violence, games, chat, gambling, auction, and hacking. Every mobile device 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 125+ 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 Thrillshare and Remind for rapid notifications in the event of an emergency to notify parents/guardians.
Printer and Copier management – PaperCut is the district’s centralized print management system. Learners and staff utilize follow-me printing which allows anyone to print to virtual queue and walk up to any printer/copier in the district to receive the print job by swiping their ID card or entering their pin/student number.
Virtualization – The district utilized VMWare virtualization servers hosted through the Eastern Lancaster County School 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 response 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.
Desktop Support Specialist - Provides on-site day to day technical support for the CHS/CMS Hill student helpdesk and building faculty.
Park and Taylor - Computer Interns - Provides on-site day to day 1st level technical support for each schools staff and for their respective student help desks.
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 Database Admin/Systems Analyst – 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.