The technology mission of Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools is to expand educational opportunities and improve operational efficiencies. Guided by the district's approved strategic technology plan, developed by representatives of all school buildings and Central Office administrators, we will provide students and staff with the technological environment, tools and skills necessary to effectively communicate, problem solve, research and present information.
Recognizing that education is also a "business," which must operate effectively to reach its student-oriented goals, technology will also be employed effectively to address operational needs.
The use of technology within the Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools is centered on individual learners. Outside the school environment, students are required to use technology to create and improve products, research and evaluate information and produce reports and analyses, and create value for an employer in a wide range of other ways. Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools has used that realistic use of technology model to develop an environment in which learners apply technology in realistic ways rather than simply to demonstrate mastery of the tool itself.
To model "real world" use of technology, these tools must be fully integrated into the student's daily educational environment so that students can turn to these resources to gather, analyze, synthesize, and communicate information and ideas. Our learning environment has already expanded well beyond 20th Century technologies such as computers and Internet access which, while once considered an exemplar of the modern, "cutting edge" school district," are now simply an expectation. 21st Century technology use is exploding in all employment environments, and the District is seeking to prepare our students for success beyond school by expanding technology availability and use in multimedia and other educationally sound applications as well.
Current Status of Educational Technology
District-wide technology standards for students have been developed for grades K-8. Standards for high school level students are currently being developed. In order to meet those standards we utilize a combination of strategies. The primary strategy is the integration of technology at the classroom and individual level. This is accomplished primarily through the work of Educational Technologists, or ET's. Educational Technologists work directly with classroom teachers during the school day to help integrate technology into daily lessons. They also deliver professional development to district staff.
Each grade K-8 regular classroom is equipped with a minimum of five desktop multimedia computers connected to a Local Area Network or LAN. Content filtering is provided on all district network connections. In addition, each elementary and middle school is equipped with a minimum of three carts of wireless laptops to allow for large group instruction. All computer workstations are configured with appropriate curriculum software tools, as well as high speed Internet connections. Classroom and laptop workstations are complimented by numerous peripheral devices such as laser printers, digital still and video cameras, scanners and LCD projectors.
Students at Lincoln High School have access to technologies in both lab and classroom settings. There are currently seven active computer labs used for research and to deliver curriculum. In addition, each major department is equipped with or has access to carts of wireless laptops or portable "presentation stations." All high school classrooms have computer access with high speed Internet access.
Lincoln High School also houses the Gahanna TechCenter, a facility designed to deliver training to staff and to serve as a resource for special student projects.
The Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools network architecture at the WAN level consists of eight 10 GB and 2 1 GB fiber connections from each of the individual schools to a core router housed at Lincoln High School. The core router is connected through a firewall to a 500 MB fiber connection to MEC, Metropolitan Education Council, our Internet Service Provider. At the LAN, or Local Area Network level, each building has at least two wiring closets that house switches that manage network connectivity (10/100/1000 MB Switches are active to each desktop connection). | Updated June 3, 2013 |
Curriculum/Technology Integration - Existing Technology Initiatives
The Gahanna-Jefferson School District is implementing technology programs that support student achievement. District technology standards were recently developed for grades K-8. These standards outline what students should know, understand and be able to do with the use of technology at each grade level band (K-2, 3-5, 6-8) in the following areas: Publishing Productivity Tools, Multimedia Productivity Tools, Communication Tools, Spreadsheets, Graphics and Databases Productivity Tools, and Research Tools. Students may incorporate several of these areas in the development of presentations/projects. The central concept is that the use of technology be integrated into all the district's courses of study, thus enhancing student classroom performance and achievement. The district's Educational Technologists created supporting documents and forms to assist classroom teachers in implementing the standards.
The middle school technology education program emphasizes the district technology standards, which are delivered through hands-on, project-oriented, collaborative and individual work. Higher-order thinking skills and differentiated instructional strategies are utilized in the program. The goal of this program is to equip students with the technology tools they will need to become productive citizens. The vision for the program is that technology should be incorporated within the curriculum at the point of instruction, hence improving student achievement across the domains.
Technology Initiatives to Enhance Student Achievement
The district has implemented Pentamation’s eSchoolPLUS® Data Management System in an effort to enhanced and improve student achievement. This program is a secure web-based system that provides data-gathering and processing applications allowing district administrators and teachers to continually track student progress using classroom performance data, standardized tests and district assessments. Teachers will use the information they obtain to address learning gaps and deficiencies, and to meet the individual needs of their students. In other words, this system will allow us to use data to drive instruction. Through its powerful data integration capability, eSchoolPLUS will be used to align standards and performance data giving us the information needed to plan effective instruction and manage student performance, which should lead to improved student learning and academic achievement. The use of eSchoolPLUS will improve learning opportunities for every student by understanding the students' unique needs and assisting teachers, parents and administrators in providing access to resources that optimize learning.
Role of Technology in Staff Development
The Gahanna-Jefferson Schools has implemented a program of staff development with the intent of training staff members in the utilization of technology to more effectively teach our students. The Educational Technologists provide training of technology standards that were developed to outline technology skills and activities used in the classroom. This training is completed during the school day. Other workshops are offered throughout the year and in the summer based on survey results of teacher and student needs. Classes and workshops are often offered with the option of receiving graduate credit for successful completion.
Technology Support - Components of an End User Support System
Gahanna-Jefferson's End-User Support System is made up of representatives from administrative, curricular and technical areas. At the administrative level, the Superintendent oversees the entire initiative. The Superintendent works closely with the Director of Technology for the development and implementation of all technology related endeavors. At the technical level, the Director of Technology oversees three full-time technicians and is responsible for technology infrastructure and the coordination of network engineering services. Administratively, the Director of Technology also helps to coordinate the efforts of a full-time Network Engineer, Network Administrator, Data Processing/Network Specialist, Data Specialist, Data & Technical Specialist, and EMIS Coordinator. At the curricular level, the Coordinator of Curriculum and Professional Development is responsible for the supervision of the district's Educational Technologists and Instructional Coaches who work directly with teachers and students. The Coordinator of Curriculum and Professional Development works closely with the Superintendent and the Director of Technology in terms of developing technology standards and coordinating technology-related professional development activities.