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2. Planning Process

a. Involvement and responsibility for Technology Planning

Guidelines / Requirements for compliance in this section (from the Peer-Response Rubric):

There is a clear description of how representatives from all of the following groups were involved in constructing the technology-related components of the System-level plan:

  • teachers
  • ESOL teachers
  • special education teachers
  • media specialists
  • administrators
  • ETTC staff
  • parents
  • business representatives
  • adult literacy providers


Narrative:

Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) endeavors to include as many members as possible in the development and completion of the system-wide technology plan. Just as local school councils integrate the input from teachers, parents, community members, and administrators, the development team for this plan also included a cross-section of involved contributors:

  • Teachers:
    Input was gathered from teachers via perception surveys, meetings of the Superintendent's Committee, Local School Administrator Association meetings, and the local school improvement process. Data is collected both anecdotally and through survey mechanisms, and is reviewed several times throughout the year when making instructional planning decisions regarding technology.
  • ESOL Teachers:
    The ESOL Department is a component of the Organizational Advancement Division, which is also responsible for developing the GCPS curriculum. The collaboration between the Information Management Division (IMD), the Organizational Advancement Division, and the ESOL Department has resulted in a number of specific enhancements to the ESOL program, such as the implementation of several ESOL-focused applications within the GCPS rollout of NCS Learn's SuccessMaker software program to help increase academic performance at every elementary school. Another key component in ESOL involvement is the tracking of ESOL students after they have left the ESOL program.
  • Special Education Teachers:
    Input from the Special Education Department, a member of the Organizational Advancement Division, is also a key component of the instructional technology planning process. Input received from Special Education teachers has resulted in the district-wide implementation of a laptop rollout for every GCPS Special Education teacher, as well as an online Individualized Education Plan tool, IEP.online, for Special Education teachers. Members of the Special Education Department work in IMD to support IEP.online and provide input to the planning process through their interactions with teachers and administrators. Another component of working with Special Education teachers is the involvement of Special Education "centers," which are alternative education facilities in addition to our regular schools' Special Education Departments. These centers serve medically fragile students, so a number of adaptive technology tools and resources are provided to these students. There is also a group responsible for Special Education software purchases, who work with IMD to review instructional titles appropriate for Special Education teachers and students.
  • Media Specialists:
    Media Center leadership is part of IMD, so their input is included directly within the instructional technology planning process. Media Specialists meet several times each year in addition to the ongoing feedback received by the Media and Information Services Department within IMD. The feedback from Media Specialists has resulted in the system-wide implementation of a new cataloguing software, Destiny, and technology upgrades, such as updated hardware and increased memory, where required in the school media centers. In addition, there are hundreds of research databases available to students, teachers, and parents through the GCPS Website, which is available in every GCPS classroom. These research databases are reviewed annually to ensure the best resources are being purchased for our schools. To see listings of what's available, click here.
  • Administrators:
    Administrators provide feedback throughout the school year regarding instructional technology using a number of feedback mechanisms. Each school is evaluated annually through the Results-Based Evaluation System, Gwinnett's comprehensive review process. Instructional technology, which is a component of this review, is also part of principals' annual evaluations. Administrator feedback is also gathered through monthly leadership meetings, along with monthly cluster meetings. Gwinnett County's chapter of the Local School Administrator Association also provides input to the planning process through their regular meetings and recommendations to the entire leadership community in Gwinnett.
  • ETTC Staff:
    ETTC staff members are part of the planning process through their involvement in professional development activities and the overall planning process for our district. The Information Management Division (IMD) works with the ETTC to support Local School Technology Coordinators (LSTCs), Technology Support Technicians (TSTs), and Media Specialists and Clerks. For this plan development process, the ETTC has worked with GCPS to ensure compliance and to share best practices.
  • Parents:
    Parents of students served by GCPS provide feedback through surveys of randomly selected families of GCPS students (see details of results below), and through information gleaned from local school councils, Parent-Teacher Association meetings, and School Board meetings. Additionally, the superintendent gathers planning ideas and feedback from parents and other community members via special committees and meetings. An example is the Gwinnett Educational Management System, or GEMS, Oversight Committee, a group of community and school system representatives charged with the annual review of the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. Community members serve four-year terms, and GCPS educators serve two-year terms. The committee recommends changes to CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks for adoption by the Board of Education. Through involvement in PTA, business partnerships, and local school and school system committees, parents truly have a voice when communicating with GCPS leadership.
  • Business Representatives:
    GCPS supports business input through a number of partnerships with local businesses. GCPS works with the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce to coordinate the Gwinnett Partners in Education Program. Businesses, civic and social organizations, college and university groups, and government agencies may become a Partner in Education. Partners may choose to work with a class, a school, a number of schools, or a system-wide program, such as fine arts or mathematics. The valuable input of these business representatives is provided through local school discussions, meetings with the superintendent, or feedback provided through the GCPS Community and Media Relations Department. Furthermore, the GCPS Apprenticeship Program offers students an opportunity to gain skills in a workplace setting to enhance the student’s academic and future career goals. This program is a closely monitored program, and feedback for planning use is gathered and reported to instructional and technology groups who use this information for budgeting and strategic goal-planning.
  • Adult Literacy Providers:
    Feedback and input from Adult Literacy Providers is gathered through the GCPS Community School and from Gwinnett Technical College, Gwinnett County's local two-year community college and a GCPS partner. The goal of the GCPS Community School program is to extend education and recreation to the community, and feedback is provided through instructors, students, and administrators of the program. Input from Gwinnett Technical College is gathered through partnerships with the college, and is incorporated in the district technology plan.

As an example of some of the data gathered, the following extract from the 2005 Results-Based Evaluation System is provided, including input from students, that was used in the instructional technology planning process. As annotated below, a significant number of people contributed to the data collection for these responses. Participants are randomly selected from throughout the school district:

Question

Data Source

Count

No Response

Don’t Know

Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Agree

Strongly Agree

Mean

During this school year, I increased technology use in the classroom or continued to make extensive use of it as in prior years.

ES Teachers

MS Teachers

HS Teachers

6315

2198

2262

3.0%

3.0%

2.3%

5.2%

4.0%

4.3%

1.8%

1.3%

1.3%

10.0%

11.7%

8.6%

46.0%

45.6%

43.5%

34.0%

34.4%

40.0%

3.22

3.22

3.31

I am satisfied with the technology available for use at my student’s school.

ES Parents

MS Parents

HS Parents

4936

1495

1466

1.5%

1.4%

1.3%

3.9%

4.2%

3.5%

0.8%

1.3%

1.6%

3.4%

7.4%

6.3%

52.0%

53.7%

57.4%

38.5%

32.0%

29.9%

3.35

3.23

3.21

I am satisfied with my student’s computer skills

ES Parents

MS Parents

HS Parents

4936

1495

1466

2.2%

1.5%

1.2%

6.5%

2.8%

1.4%

0.9%

1.7%

1.8%

6.8%

9.8%

8.0%

50.7%

53.3%

53.2%

32.9%

30.9%

34.4%

3.27

3.19

3.24

My computer skills have increased at this school.

ES Students

MS Students

HS Students

9233

8453

6005

1.9%

2.2%

2.7%

10.1%

9.2%

7.3%

5.6%

11.7%

11.4%

13.5%

24.4%

27.5%

34.8%

33.7%

33.8%

34.1%

18.9%

17.2%

3.11

2.68

2.63

My teachers help me learn more about how to use a computer to find information I need for reports and research.

ES Students

MS Students

HS Students

9233

8453

6005

0.9%

0.9%

0.9%

5.5%

6.3%

5.9%

4.2%

9.8%

12.3%

11.3%

25.1%

31.6%

40.0%

44.9%

39.4%

38.1%

13.1%

9.9%

3.20

2.66

2.50

Supporting Documents:


Copyright 2006 Gwinnett County Public Schools. All Rights Reserved.
Click here for a glossary of terms used in this document.