A district wide Technology Planning Task Force met throughout the 2015-2016 school year to develop a comprehensive Technology Plan. The Task Force examined teacher feedback, reviewed articles and related research, monitored workshop and conference attendance for faculty and staff, collected information about practices and policies in other school districts, conducted a survey of students in grades 8-12, and reviewed prior parent survey data. Results suggested that an increasing number of students in grades 9-12 are utilizing technology during the school day to work on assignments and class projects. The middle school’s 1:1 technology program has placed a Chromebook in the hands of all middle school students and our elementary and high school Chromebook carts are available daily for teachers to borrow to support classroom learning. Technology remains in high demand as our educators work to leverage online resources for researching, curating content, collaboration, and production of materials. As we look to the future, we will be working to actualize our K-12 Technology Goals for the next three years which aim to:
At Hingham High School (Gr. 9-12)…
- Foster greater school use of student-owned devices (a BYOD environment), with a plan to ensure equitable access to technology for all students;
- Acquire Additional Chromebook carts for department classroom use over the next three years (2016-2019);
- Provide laptops for teachers who travel to multiple classrooms each day;
- Add iPad/tablet carts for mathematics classes;
- Increase iPads and Chromebooks for science labs and classroom use;
- Provide loaner Chromebooks for students who lack their own devices to ensure equitable access.
At Hingham Middle School (Gr. 6-8)…
- Continue the district-provided 1:1 Chromebook program – add one grade level set per year;
- Increase loaner Chromebooks available for students whose devices are under repair;
- Develop a plan for retiring used grade level sets.
At Elementary Schools (K-5)…
- Provide 10 iPads per Kindergarten class;
- Provide iPad carts for students in grades 1 and 2 (one per grade, per school) – add one cart per school, as needed;
- Provide Chromebook carts for students in grades 3-5 (one per grade, per school) – add one cart per school, as needed to meet or exceed goal;
- Upgrade computer lab devices, as needed to meet or exceed goal;
- Fund hourly technician support for each elementary school;
In complement to our goals relative to devices and access, as outlined above, the district is also working to add necessary IT personnel to meet our end goal: “promoting learning anywhere, anytime.” This would include technical support for device set-up, maintenance, and lab assistance at the elementary level. At the middle school, additional support hours are needed to staff the foreign language lab and to support Chromebook distribution and maintenance, and the high school would benefit from additional technical support hours for teachers and expanded opportunities for student technology helpers. At all levels, professional development remains a priority as does the support of integration specialists.
Some changes are already underway as we work to meet our devices and access goals. Hingham Middle School has undertaken a new Chromebook disposal and reuse plan that allows families to purchase the student Chromebook at the end of grade 8. Expanded high school offerings include Virtual High School online courses, computer-based math instruction, and computer science. Educator professional development is aimed at supporting the seamless integration of technology into day-to-day teaching and learning. Further, work is underway to increase the number of access points throughout the district to improve network speed and availability and to meet coverage and capacity needs that will support online testing. Elementary technology specialists have incorporated lessons to ready grade 3-5 students for MCAS 2.0 testing expectations and plans for implementing the recently release of Digital Standards at all levels.