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HCS Technology Plan

Infrastructure:
Data--Data connectivity is provided in 100% of classrooms in the district. All classrooms have six data access ports, one voice/data port and a cable TV port. All media centers have multiple data ports. All data ports are CAT5, CAT5E or CAT6. All schools have wireless access points strategically placed throughout the buildings. Data connectivity is achieved through LAN rooms connected with a fiber optic backbone. All schools have managed switches at the center of its infrastructure. Homewood's network is hosted by LINUX, MS SQL and Windows servers. All infrastructure is supported by auto loading backups, UPS's, RAIDs and a firewall. Additional services will be provided as required and as funds are available.

Video--Video connectivity is provided through cable connections in each classroom and most offices. Most classrooms have been provided with AV packages that consist of mounted data projectors, Crestron units to control volume and input sources, sound systems, dvd/vcr players, digital cameras/presenters and slates used to remotely control computers. Four schools have TV production studios with closed-circuit TV capability. The high school's studio also has a TV channel exclusively for use by the district. Additional services will be provided as required and as funds are available.

Voice--Voice connectivity is provided through a robust, feature-rich digital key system. With this service, voice connectivity is provided to all offices and could be provided to classrooms if authorized. Telephone service is provided through CENTREX service from AT&T. Additional services will be provided as required and as funds are available.

Connectivity:
Homewood City Schools is using a 1 Gigabit dark fiber network for its WAN connecting all sites. Internet services to the district are distributed from a central point to all sites. Additional WAN bandwidth, devices and/or services will be added as needed or required.

Internet Access:
Internet services are provided to a central point in the district by the Alabama Supercomputer Authority Consortium. A managed fiber-based 50 Megabit network (Metro Ethernet) is used to connect the district to UAB. Consideration of other Internet services will depend on funds.

Information Security:
Authentication to the network is required of all users with rights granted through network security. Internet is filtered using software provided by Alabama Supercomputer Authority Consortium and anti-virus software. All email incoming and outgoing is filtered. The system uses a firewall for security. Remote access for all staff and students to .school desktops. (including data/services) is achieved by users through Citrix software. All students and non-email account users are required to sign a Technology Resource Agreement. All staff with email accounts must sign an AUP. Public Wireless Access is available at all sites and filtered at the student level. Consideration of other security measures, devices and services will depend on funds and needs.

Student Technology Available:
Homewood students have access to wireless mobile labs in all schools and classrooms. These mobile wireless labs consist of 24 laptops in a mobile cart distributed among grade levels and/or disciplines. Some of these carts contain laptops that function in the .thin client. environment providing functionality of laptops but at a lower cost with less maintenance and more security. The ratio of computers to students is approximately 1:2. Media Centers have at least 8 stations for student use. In elementaries, many classrooms have 3 . 5 computers. Productivity tools such as MS Office and many web-based software programs are provided for both teacher and students. Resources for student use include: application and productivity software, computers, digital cameras, scanners, printers, and AV equipment in each classroom which includes digital projectors/presenters.

Technology and Curriculum Integration:
Homewood City Schools continues a concerted effort to integrate technology into the curriculum. Through a great deal of staff development, time and money, teachers are provided with multiple instructional and assessment strategies and the enhancement that technology can lend to these strategies. Each school has specialists in curriculum, media, and technology that work with teachers to assist in developing and planning curriculum. All teachers are provided embedded staff development time for weekly instructional and technology meetings. Several web-based programs are provided for both teacher and student use. Many teachers use courseware (Blackboard Learning System) to assist in delivering curriculum to students. Learning.com is used to assist in providing technology curriculum to students K-8. Riverdeep.s Destination and Plato are used to assist in delivering various types of assessments/curriculum to students. Science labs are using data loggers and probes to gather data for analysis. Cognos. Data Warehouse provides teachers with the opportunity to gain assessment as well as management data.


2007-2012 System Technology Plan



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