Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Tech Plan

As a first time tech director I have spent more time planning and dreading this process more than anything I have done in my professional career. I could have played this safe and just done what had been done before - instead I sent this email (I have changed the survey links to a copy of the same survey) - this is the start - I am open to it changing and developing as we move forward, but this is where we are now...

We are beginning the phase of the technology planning stage where we are gathering the organization’s trends and needs for the next few years. Each staff member has the opportunity to submit resources that should be considered in the technology planning process. You can choose to submit items we already have and need to refresh or maintain, or resources that we should add to the district in the future. The plan will be in place for 3-years, so forecast appropriately.

I have attached a pdf and word document that show what the online survey looks like. The survey is somewhat lengthy and detailed. It may make sense to work on the word document first then cut and paste your responses into the form. Please fill in as much of the information as possible. It is best to fill in every field in the survey so that the tech planning committee understands the nature and need of your request. You are strongly encouraged, but not required, to work on submitting a resource in a group, department, or MCC – if this is the case choose one representative to be the contact person. Submissions can be made at this link:

Copy of the actual survey - for demonstration purposes

Do not assume that anything (outside of SIS classroom computers, lab computers, projectors, existing printers, Microsoft office, adobe products, and administrative/support staff equipment - all of which is replaced on a pre-determined cycle) will be included in the technology plan unless it is submitted in this survey.

Items may be, but are not limited to, hardware, software, network equipment, on-line subscriptions, or any other technology resource.

Please limit your responses to 1 resource per submission. You may submit as many items as you like. You must enter an entire submission when you start the survey - you cannot start one and go back to it later. Once you submit it there is no way to go back and edit it.

The window for submissions closes on December 21st 2007.

Submitting an item ensures that it will be considered by the planning committees. It does not guarantee that it will be part of the technology plan - not submitting it ensures that it won't be considered.

Every staff member also has the ability to see the submissions - they can be accessed at:


Once there you can filter the responses by any field (ie. by department, school, use, etc…), download all of the responses, or browse them one by one. This gives you the opportunity to determine if you need to submit a request or if someone has already done it. If you feel that one has not been submitted correctly, you can submit your own, by copying and pasting from another and editing on the fly. No resource will be considered more, or less, based on the number of submissions. One detailed submission is better than ten without specifics.

After winter break the technology committees and administrative councils from each school will come together to prioritize the submissions from their school’s perspective.

Every member of the technology staff is available to help you through this process. We will answer your questions, point you in the direction of research, helpers, ideas, and provide opinions (when asked). However, you must submit your own requests through the on-line form. I am available to meet with individuals, departments, or MCCs as well.

I recognize that this is different from the past, but this is the only way I have found that will allow everyone to submit their ideas on an equal footing.

Thanks for your time and efforts in maintaining and improving technology in our schools. Let me know if you have any questions.

So, that is the start. We are also working on a district technology vision that will be used when we prioritize requests.

I am hoping really hard that this crazy idea actually works...