Last February, ADM district patrons overwhelmingly approved a Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) designed to drastically improve technology access for students and staff. We are now experiencing the benefits of the support of our taxpayers, and we again want to say “thank you!”. Students and staff are using the new technologies. Our staff is continuing to learn more about the capabilities and how they can improve instruction through using technology – improving student learning is at the heart of our plan! In the following update, Adam Kurth, Director of Technology, provides a summary of the improvements.
“The summer and fall of 2012 have brought a technology renaissance, so to speak, to the ADM Schools. Improvements and new technologies abound in each building, as new technologies have been made available to students and teachers, and the infrastructure to support those technologies has been implemented as well.
In all, the district deployed just under 650 computers and 400 iPads throughout the district, including the distribution of 15 mobile labs, effectively tripling the number of full-class computer labs available to students. Most of the computers deployed were iMac desktop and MacBook laptop computers, but the district is also using targeted implementations of Windows laptops/desktops and Chromebooks to ensure that specific needs are met. Further, deployment of iPads offers a user interface that is simpler and allows for easier use of the technology as a learning tool. In order to ensure that each classroom can make use of these technologies and more, a classroom standard set of technology including a projector, speakers, interactive whiteboard, and document camera was deployed throughout the district.
In order to support all these new devices, the district replaced its wireless network with an enterprise-grade, secure 802.11n network, and replaced its aging wired network switches with up-to-date equipment that can support many times more traffic than the previous system. The district’s server infrastructure was also significantly upgraded with implementation of a virtual server framework that allows for much better service delivery at a significantly lower long-term cost to the district. In order to ensure that all buildings have access to these services, the district is also making use of a leased gigabit fiber connection from the elementary and intermediate buildings back to the high school.”