Goal: Operational technology practices will enable digital learning and educational transformation through operational excellence, innovation, and proactive just-in-time support. When employed as part of a comprehensive educational strategy, the effective use of technology provides tools, resources, data, and supportive systems that increase teaching opportunities and promote efficiency. Evidence of success can be defined by the following elements, with examples listed in the accordion below.

Adequacy of devices; Quality and availability

Consideration of a host of creative options to ensure that diverse and appropriate technology devices are available to all students and staff to support powerful digital learning at any time, from any location.

Robust Network Infrastructure

Adequate bandwidth and a supportive infrastructure are in place to ensure ready and consistent access to online resources for teaching and learning. Teams monitor usage and identify possible bottlenecks prior to them affecting teaching and learning. Privacy, safety and security are primary concerns as well. The school community collaboratively designs responsible use policies, and confirm that the network design is supportive of these policies.

Adequate and responsive support

Sufficient technical and instructional support, characterized by a positive service orientation, is available in every school. This support is proactive, providing resources, coaching, and just-in-time instruction to prepare teachers and students to use new technologies, thereby reducing the need for interventions during the learning process.

Formal cycle for review and replacement

Teams continuously monitor technologies—software, hardware, and infrastructure—to ensure upgrades, additions, and, when called for, sunsetting/eliminations in a timely, environmentally responsible, and proactive manner.

 

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Student Device Availability
Content: 

The current inventory of devices in service for students across our schools is 11,123. This includes a mix of iPads, Chromebooks, MacBooks, iMacs, and a few Windows desktops. The following table details the inventory by school level.

Elementary4,970 devices5,514 students
Middle2,529 devices3,013 students
High3,624 devices3,961 students

Without a formal 1:1 initiative, our schools have come close to achieving student to computer ratios of 1:1. This has been achieved by leveraging various outside funding sources in addition to the baseline Measure A bond allocation of $71 per student, per year.

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Robust Network Infrastructure
Content: 
  • The wired network backbone components were updated in 2012 as a Measure A funded project. All sites have Juniper switches and a 10Gbps core. The expected life of this equipment is 10-12 years.
  • The Meraki wireless system was installed in 2012. It provides consistent wireless coverage across all district sites. The expected useful life of this equipment is 5 years, which means the system is due for a refresh during Summer 2017.
  • All sites are connected to the district office via fiber optic connections owned and maintained by the City of Palo Alto. This dark fiber service provides 10Gbps connectivity between school sites and the district office. 
  • All sites share a 1Gbps fiber connection to the internet provided by ISC. This connection is scalable to 10Gbps when the bandwidth demands reach capacity on the existing link.
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Adequate and Responsive Support
Content: 
  • The technology support staff includes 28 employees, half are site-based computer support specialists.
  • Each site also funds a Tech Lead position, which is a certificated teacher that supports and guides teachers with resources and coaching to assist with the integration of technology into instruction.
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Formal Cycle for Review and Replacement
Content: 
  • The current funding for student devices is set at $71 per student, per year. There is annual process in which sites review and prioritize requests for additional equipment, as well as align the usage of the devices to specific instructional goals.
  • Staff members are issued a device on a 4 year refresh cycle.
  • Additional funding sources for devices have included donations, PTA, and other local school based funds.