Updated plan provides framework for technology needs to ensure student success
At the June 6 meeting, an update for the Educational Technology Master Plan was shared with the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees and district leaders.
The plan’s primary purpose is to serve as a framework and set of strategies to establish the classroom technology standard across the district over the next five years.
“Educational technology is an extension of the curriculum,” said Dr. Phillys Hill, chief academic officer. “We must have the toolsets in place so that all Fort Bend ISD teachers have greater access to aligned technology resources, and we must be intentional about this effort.”
The Educational Technology Master Plan also seeks to build a framework to support the delivery of instruction, while supporting revision, access, and differentiated support of the guaranteed curriculum. Also, the plan will provide classroom toolsets to facilitate personalized learning for FBISD’s diverse student population by setting standards, as well as expectations.
Technology innovations support personalized learning, pre-assessments, adaptive programs and online resources used to expand direct instruction.
Representatives from the community, school personnel at all levels, and various departments (curriculum, operations, business and finance, special education, digital learning, English as a second language, etc.), worked collaboratively to discuss challenges and develop the plan. The team recommends the following actions as part of the overall Educational Technology Plan:
• Update the FBISD learning model to increase student engagement, support and enrichment;
• Deploy a comprehensive Learning Management System (LMS), which is used to individualize instruction and provide a foundation for digital learning, and;
• Upgrade the FBISD technology infrastructure to support innovative student and teacher devices
Measure and adjust technology as a learning tool, based on results.
The key components of the plan include completing the network infrastructure upgrade, purchasing a Learning Management System, providing standard classroom technology configurations, implementing teacher training on classroom strategies, create a “lending library” for devices, and using IT analytics to monitor progress.
Long Pham, FBISD’s chief information officer, shared that parents would benefit significantly from the systems that will be implemented.
“Our parents want to know what’s being taught and what’s coming next in their child’s classroom,” said Pham. “We will be putting systems in place so that they have access to curriculum outside of the classroom.”
In the past year, 80 percent of the wireless infrastructure upgrades have been completed at FBISD high schools, and upgrades at all middle schools will be completed by the end of the 2016-17 school year. For standard classroom technology efforts, all teachers received new laptops, 2,000 projectors were replaced and 10 devices were identified as standard classroom technology tools.
The project life cycle plan will be critical to ensuring that systems and equipment are refreshed or replaced in a systematic process across the district.