Planning and Implementation of a 21st Century Classroom Project

Planning and Implementation of a 21st Century Classroom Project

Margaret L. Rice (University of Alabama, USA) and Connie Bain (Vestavia Hills City Schools, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4237-9.ch005

Abstract

A southeastern school district technology committee was tasked with designing and implementing a project to develop 21st century classrooms throughout the school district. After research, it was determined classrooms would include interactive whiteboards, slates that interact with whiteboards from anywhere in the room, mounted projectors, teacher laptops, document cameras, classroom sets of student response systems (clickers), podiums for the laptops and storage, and sound systems with voice enhancers. Project challenges included updating the school district’s infrastructure, training teachers, designing and remodeling classrooms in terms of electrical outlets and data drops, and ensuring equity for all the district’s schools. The district used a project-planning model that included research, collaboration, prioritizing, implementation (divided into four phases – infrastructure, teacher laptops, interactive classroom, equipment replacement), and evaluation. All phases were completed in two years and one cycle of Phase 4 (equipment replacement) was completed prior to a severe budget crisis in the state.
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Setting The Stage

The school district technology personnel include a technology director; technology staff consisting of two technology system administrators, one information technology project manager, one technology support specialist, and four system technicians; and a secretary. There are also eight instructional technology specialists, one at each school. See the school district’s organizational chart in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

School district organizational chart

The two system technology administrators are tasked with managing the network on a daily basis, while the information technology project manager administers projects involving technology within the district. He is involved in school construction in terms of technology placement, ordering equipment for replacement, setting up the implementation plans for equipment replacement, arranging for disposal of equipment, and managing the district technology help desk and system technicians. The technology support specialist is assigned to the largest school in the district where he maintains the technology and deals with any technology issues that arise in that school. He has other network responsibilities assigned by the technology director on an as needed basis. Each system technician is assigned to specific schools to repair and maintain technology equipment.

The duties of the instructional technology specialists are varied and include:

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