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RVS Technology Road Map 2014 - 2018

I.     Executive Summary

This technology road map is a plan designed to enable our learners, both students and staff, to acquire and utilize 21st Century competencies through the technological infrastructure.   The map describes the renewal of our web of technologies that serves the growing needs of RVS as it strives to achieve its Strategic plan and Inspiring Education aspirations.  The Road Map’s strategy reflects the reality that RVS is a publicly funded schooling organization who’s learners need education technologies to assist the learning process but as an organization has limited funding to provide the needed tools.  For the road map to work it requires a shift in the allocation of resources from paper to digital resources.  It requires that students own and maintain personal electronic devices that use the RVS wireless infrastructure to access digital learning spaces facilitated by their teachers.

II.    Organizational Profile

Rocky View Schools inspires a love of learning and community, by engaging all learners through meaningful and challenging experiences, preparing them to understand, adapt and successfully contribute to the changing global community. Our goal is to offer stimulating, flexible programming that makes learning relevant and exciting to today's 21st Century learner.

Rocky View Schools serves residents to the west, north and east of the City of Calgary. The jurisdiction provides educational services to over 20,000 public students in Kindergarten to Grade 12. Rocky View Schools is the fifth-largest school board in Alberta, employing more than 1200 teaching and 700 support staff.

III.   Goals and Technology Vision

A. Goals

  • Ubiquitous access to Education Technologies (both RVS and student supplied)
  • Learners employing technologies that accelerate their learning
  • Learning innovation prevalent in Rocky View Schools
  • Greatly reduced reliance on paper based instruction
  • Lower energy footprint for Learning
  • Reliable high speed ubiquitous network
  • Service level agreements established for core applications
  • Improve reliability of critical corporate technologies
  • Technological choices are cost effective and scalable
  • Employ Industry proven technologies (remain informed)
  • Provide a secure/reliable/rapid deployment Server Environment
  • RVS Education Centre Data/Server applications easily restorable after a major disaster
  • Development of responsible and safe practices as 21st Century learners

B. Rocky View Schools 4-Year Plan

4.1  Learners use personal and emerging technologies to enhance learning.

4.2  Operational efficiencies accelerate innovation, research, and organizational development.

C. Vision of Learning in 2014

1. Learners with ubiquitous access to Online Education Technologies

2. Students with shared private/managed public online work environment(s). Students in control of learning through self developed online environments Students able to access learning from multiple organizations (K-12 Post sec private)

3.  Every teacher with an online/physical classroom - Universal Learning Environment (ULE) (online progress feedback and coursework accessed by learners and parents)
a.  Formative and Summative assessment technologies

4.  Learners and Educators Collaborating with all grades/schools/experts/interest groups, etc.
5.  Classrooms

  • LCD projectors or wall mounted large TV's (apple TV's where appropriate)
  • Sound systems
  • Wireless access
  • Every learner with access to a mobile computing device
  • Document camera
  • Assistive/Adaptive technology for learners

6.  Schools

  • Media studio facilities
  • Sound rooms for group online meetings and media recording
  • CTS technology learning environments
  • Immersive technological learning spaces (VC, Sound, interactive resources)

D. Learning Research

Maintain and refine RVS technology infrastructure to reflect current practices and Education Technology research.

Implement RVS best practice learning.

Continue to assess the impact of emerging technologies in order to maintain an appropriate scale of issue list and be able to recommend appropriate devices for all levels.

E. Alberta Education

RVS practices support Curriculum; Goals and Strategies, aligned with Alberta Education Curriculum Standards, for using information and communication technology to improve teaching and learning.  Implement appropriate Distributed Learning Technologies that meet the needs of RVS students and AE standards.

F. Integration of RVS communications

Strive to increase effective communication between stakeholders through efficient push and pull communication systems.  The goal is to get the right information to the right person at the right time with as little effort as possible.

IV.     Current Technology and Resources

Currently RVS has a 100 Mb school fiber optic network that connects all schools to central office through SuperNet.  Colony Schools have either dialup or high-speed through wireless.  All RVS sites are covered by the first phase deployment of a Wireless network and 9 Schools are one to one wireless infrastructure capable. An average day sees an average of 600meg/sec of network traffic with 2 terabites of daily internet traffic. This traffic is required by 12000 simultaneous wireless network devices. Every teacher has a laptop to prepare and provide learning. Devices include, desktops, laptops, tablets, netbooks, smartphones, printers, and multi-function copiers.  Staff/Students/Parents are using RVS core software Groupwise, Plone, PowerSchool,  Moodle, TSE, Google Apps, Epearl, Mahara, Video Streaming, Podcast server, Wiki’s, Blogs, and an array of Internet resources to work and learn. The technology support team includes a Director, 1 Principal, 1 Infrastructure Manager, 10.75 Analysts, 5 Learning Specialists and 29 School Technologists.  This team supports professional learning and operational technologies and infrastructure.

RVS has moved most of its core applications into a Virtual Machine Server environment.  From June 2011 to June 2014 1M investment in server infrastructure has been made to modernize our server system.  It allows for fast deployment of new servers, and the fast backup/recovery of existing servers.  It provides a Disaster Recovery Environment where all corporate data is mirrored at Bearspaw School  It helps RVS lower power consumption and increase user satisfaction for applications (easier to keep servers applications running fast and deploy new servers).

RVS provides 7:30am to 5:00pm technical support.  Support outside this time is voluntary.  Technology services manages its support requests about 20% through email, 30% paper record requests, 50% word of mouth (phone and face-to-face).  Its incident tracking system is informal.  It has informal service agreement with RVS departments with applications on servers.  Professional Learning Support is provided by Learning Specialists, Analysts, and School Technologists.  Educators continue to request a great deal of on-going support as they move toward 21st Century learning.  Shifting teaching practice involves discussion, planning/reflection and in class coaching and support.  RVS provides the following professional learning provisions:

a.  Provided Professional Learning and Training

b.   95% of professional learning is delivered face to face

c.   5% of professional learning is delivered online

V.      Technology Update Roadmap and Priorities

I. Continue to Expand the PowerSchool SIS that is now PASI enabled (Sept 2013). Connect other core applications to shift from being data rich and information poor, to becoming information rich.

As of September 2013 RVS has connected and harmonized its student data with Alberta Education's PASI core database.

In the fall of 2013 it implemented COSL which saw for the first time K-8 schools fully using a SIS to Communicate Student Learning.  Before COSL middle schools had been using a SIS to report letter and percentage grades.  With COSL they began to report outcomes and competencies.  By the end of 2016 all schools will have moved to COSL.

II. Information Security (High Priority) become compliant with Alberta Education ISO 27001 requirements.

RVS is contracted by the Superintendent to meet the following Alberta Education Security requirement before we can connect to PASI.  “An Information security policy document must be developed and approved by School Authority senior management, and published and communicated to all employees and relevant external parties. Security roles and responsibilities of employees, contractors and third party users shall be defined, documented and communicated in accordance with the School Authority's information security policy. Detection, prevention, and recovery controls to protect against malicious code and appropriate user awareness procedures shall be implemented by the School Authority.

School Authority access control policy shall be established, documented, and reviewed based on business and security requirements for access.  Management responsibilities and procedures shall be established to ensure a quick, effective, and orderly response to information security incidents involving PASI data. School Authority information systems shall be regularly checked for compliance with security implementation standards.

To become and remain compliant an existing technology analyst is assigned to audit existing processes, analyze gaps and implement new procedures/policies. Their existing position will be backfilled.  Before RVS connects to PASI it will go through an External Audit and remedy any discrepancies.

III. Network Switching Gear (High Priority)

RVS needs to upgrade network switches  as Wireless and the IP phone system expands. Currently, 40% to 50% of our current switch inventory is adequate.  The new generation switching technology provides very useful options for schools to improve data security.

IV. Service Management System (High Priority)

As of September 2015, Procedure C - Service Desk Support (Technology) was put into place. The Service Desk assistance approach is intended to establish a consistent and efficient method to support staff requiring technical assistance with any RVS technology. The Service Desk software provides metrics to enable the Technology Department to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the level of service offered to end users with the objective of increasing the value of service. The Service Desk allows Technology Services to collect and analyze a variety of metrics and statistics consisting of resolution rate, resolution times, open/closed Service Requests, Service Request by customer, and technician.

All RVS staff should use one or more of the 3 options for accessing technical support.

  1. The end user contacts the local technician directly, if on-site. A Service Request will then be initiated by that technician who will email servicerequest@rockyview.ab.ca. The end user will then receive a return email indicating the Service Request has been opened. The Service Request will then be assigned to the technician responsible, and the request will be sent via email to the technician for resolution. If the technician is not in the school at that time, the ServiceRequest will be added to the task list for resolution at the time the technician is on-site. Priority will be given to the Service Requests that are in the technician’s task list.
  2. The end user calls 403-945-4145 to reach the Service Desk. A Service Request will then be initiated by the Service Desk technician. The end user will receive a return email indicating the Service Request has been opened. The Service Request will be assigned to the technician responsible and the request will be sent via email to the technician for resolution. If the technician is not in the school at that time, the Service Request will be added to the task list for resolution at the time the technician is on-site. Priority will be given to the Service Requests that are in the technician’s task list.
  3. The end user emails servicerequest@rockyview.ab.ca. The end user will then receive a return email indicating the Service Request has been opened. The Service Request will then be assigned to the technician responsible and the request will be sent via email to the technician for resolution. If the technician is not in the school at that time the Service Request will be added to the task list for resolution at the time the technician is on-site. Priority will be given to the Service Requests that are in the technician’s task list.

All division technology and software will be supported by this system.

V. Technology Renewal (Medium Priority)

Educator laptops 
Five year replacement cycle, was complete September 2013  1000K  
The replacement year will target evergreen funds to replace educator laptops instead of student use computers - schools carts and labs will be replaced on a 4 year cycle not 3.  To extend the life of the existing teacher laptop fleet RVS will continue to renew the OS and batteries in 2012 – 2013 school year.

School Technology renewal
1/3 of RVS schools will be up for technology renewal each year.

250K put into reserves per year starting 2014.

VI. Wireless Network (High Priority)

Continue to expand the Aruba wireless network in our schools.  Wireless infrastructure currently in place needs to be expanded as students bring devices into our schools.  Schools implementing personally owned devices (PODs) need access points in every classroom.  RVS should paying for additional APs in schools that are going to one to one Personally Owned Devices (PODs). Deploy a separate network for Chromebook laptops.  Increase unique password authenticated access and decrease generic authenticated network access.

VII. Network Bandwidth (High Priority)

Currently all schools but 3 have 100 meg SuperNet feed.   Given continued increased in access to Network and Internet resources all schools will have to be at 100 meg feed minimum within 3 years.

RVS needs to increase internet bandwidth to accommodate exponential growth in traffic. CYBERA is now deployed in RVS to cost effectively reduce traffic through our main Telus 400 meg Internet service.

VIII Library Management System Upgrade  (High Priority)

Complete the move from Follett to Koha by June 2013.

All schools including new schools set up with a Koha Library to complete the project.

IX Professional Learning for technology Staff (high priority)

Provide training for school and district technology staff to ensure each has a basic skill set for RVS supported technologies.  Also provide training to ensure technology staff understand and implement RVS technology policies and procedures.

VI RVS Corporate applications

This plan anticipates that in 5 years, at least 50% of resources will be accessed in a digital format. Currently we have developed an Online Content management system in the division Plone Website.  The teachers and students can access the resource collection to find and acquire 21 Century learning resources.

  1. Content Management System. Plone CMS Development and maintenance of Corporate and School Plone sites. b. Library Management system LMS Decomissission Folet in all school sites.
  2. Maintain Koha in all school sites.
  3. Blogging Software http://blogs.rockyview.ab.ca/ RVS corporate blogging software for our educators to share ideas with the world d. Learning Management System (Moodle) Pilot to learn how to deploy and configure for DL
Load Alberta Education Courses and Content for Select teachers to use in HS
Use findings to develop Processes and policies for Educators and learners to use Moodle Develop PL
  4. Support the development of division Moodle courses so that staff experience high quality pedagogically sound learning in and LMS.
  5. courses for RVS Staff to take to design and deliver DL through Moodle
  6. eSynchronous online Learning Environment (ELive) Ensure it is available for Online classrooms and Distributed Learning classrooms that require it.
  7. Review ELive software Spring 2012 to determine its future use as compared to other synchronous applications.
  8. Video Conferencing Polycom and Sony systems All RVS sites with High Definition unit available for use
  9. Video Streaming RVS Tube Learners able to render and host video and podcasts
  10. Desktop Video Collections AccessLearning
  11. Desktop Video Delivery System AccessLearning formerly(MonD) Centralize system so that learners can access from home
  12. Registration System E-register Design and Implement a registration System for both School and Corporate Use; Parent teacher interviews, Equipment, PL registration, Room Booking - System to be replaced in 2013 - 2014
  13. New web based system for connecting the PL matrix
  14. IPPS Integrated with the Global Authentication Directory to be replaced by Clvr (forms system)
  15. Assistive Technologies Premiere AT decommissioned on all RVS devices.
  16. School Websites Website standardization complete and migration to Plone 4 complete
  17. Student Information System Continue the Roll out of PowerSchool. Integrate with PASI June of 2013
  18. Communications Applications Synervoice hosted online with some schools hosting it locally
  19. E-Commerce (Online Payment) (1) Phase One Transportation
(2) RVLC
(3) Schools
  20. Forms management Software.  RVS Forms management software piloted in the fall of 2013.  This system is to be integrated with PowerSchool so that the right parents get the right forms.  RVS staff will also complete forms with this system.

VII. Monitoring and Evaluation

All systems implemented will be evaluated on a number of levels:
System performance and utilization
Formal and Informal user feedback
Satisfaction surveys completed by students, educators and parents.

VIII. Implementation Timeline

2013/2014

1. limited technology renewal in schools

2. Implement digital resource publisher partnerships (Pearson/Nelson content trail and feedback)

3. Replace RVS Firewall

4. Teacher and Student content published to CORE

5. Renew RVS Wireless

6. Implement Student Learning Profile dashboard in PowerSchool

7. Implement COSL report card for K-8 first phase

8. All high schools and 40% K-8 working toward 1:1 student owned devices,

9. Pilot Data collection and interpretation Dossier implemented with PowerSchool

10. First phase of the Electronic forms system project

11. Testing Cashing devices

12. Teacher Laptop Renewal

2014/2015

1. Technology Renewal for one third of RVS

2. Replace VM Storage

3. Renew RVS Wireless

4. Implement an email archiving system

5. Grade 9 and 10 courses, modules and units available to all teachers for Moodle courses

6. Deployment of a forms management system first phase

7. All high schools and 60% K-8 working toward 1:1 student owned devices,

8. Implement Second phase of Service Management Model (ITIL)

9. Implement COSL report card for K-8 Second phase

10. Implement data collection and interpretation Dossier implemented with PowerSchool

11. Pilot IPP system in Clvr Forms system

12. Implement Internet caching devices

13. Replace RVS course booking system Eregister

14. Implement PowerSchool career software integration

15. Replace Packet shaping "Exinda"

2015/2016

1. Technology Renewal for one third of RVS

2. Deployment of a forms management system Second phase

3. Expand RVS storage

4. Expand RVS Wireless

5. Implement IPP system in Clvr Forms system

6.  All high schools and 80% 5-8 with 1:1 student owned devices,

7. Implement Final Phase of Service Management Model (ITIL)

8. All students with POD grade 5 to 12

9. Second phase of Implement data collection and interpretation Dossier implemented with PowerSchool

10. Grade 9 to 12 courses, modules and units available to all teachers for Moodle courses

2016/2017

1. Technology Renewal for one third of RVS

2. Expand RVS Storage system

3. Renew RVS Wireless

4. Expand RVS Storage

5. Revision of Grade 9 to 12 courses, modules and units available to all teachers for Moodle courses

6. Third phase of Implement data collection and interpretation Dossier implemented with PowerSchool

7. All high schools and 80% K-8 working toward 1:1 student owned devices.

2017/2018

1. Technology Renewal for one third of RVS

2.Expand RVS Storage

3. Renew RVS Wireless

4. Replace RVS Firewall

5. Final data collection and interpretation Dossier implemented with PowerSchool

6. All students with personally owned devices,

7. Revision of Grade 9 to 12 courses, modules and units available to all teachers for Moodle courses

8.Replace Packet shaping system

9.Teacher Laptop renewal

 

 

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