of Responsibility #5:
complex projects and resources in support of learning (e.g.,
project report on leadership role in a situation which resulted
in individual or organizational learning.)
5: Mill Levy/Tech Plan
Public Schools Technology Administration wanted to increase
the use of technology by teaching staff. The district needed
a vision and specific plan to guide the use of Mill Levy
the November 1998 elections, voters approved a $3 million
Mill Levy for technology development in DPS. This money
is an ongoing, yearly infusion of funds. Schools receive
approximately $41 per student. For George Washington this
amounts to approximately $80,000/yr. In order to receive
these funds each school was required to develop a five-year
technology plan outlining how these funds would be spent
to best impact student learning.
the computer industry has allowed businesses and schools
to be as technically savvy as ever, there are relatively
few teachers accustomed to and comfortable with technology.
Too little time and too much to plan further inhibit their
learning. GWHS is fortunate to have a staff that is well
above the average in technological sophistication. Over
the last few years I have been involved with the technology
committee and other technology implementation efforts.
I was asked to lead the Mill Levy proposal process and to
design the technology change plan for GWHS.
district devoted considerable resources in the development
of a process for creating school technology plans. (For
more information on the DPS Mill Levy Process, please see:
We held several technology committee meetings trying to
build consensus for the basic technology vision of the school.
Consensus was achieved by determining vital
technology skills for students and teachers,
strategizing ways to integrate technology into academic
classes in support of the learning process, and surveying
students and teachers to establish baseline information
regarding access and use of technology.
six primary technology focus areas were identified for the
- A teacher SASI computer in every room (two year
- an east wing school-wide lab (one year),
- a west wing school- wide lab (three years),
- library computers (one/two years),
TV in every room (one/three years), and
- teacher technology training (one/five).
with baseline data about our building technology use and
our team goals, two of us from the committee drafted the
actual implementation plan. (For more information on the
Tech Plan Process see: http://edtech.denver.k12.co.us/planner/write/writeplan.htm.)
systemic change by committee can be an inefficient and frustrating
experience. Despite this, it is a necessary process to
ensure genuine and sustainable change. We motivate one
another using a combination of shared vision and cheerleading.
Combining committee work to promote input and buy-in with
individual work to actually accomplish tasks we were able
to execute a very exhaustive technology plan in a short
amount of time.
end of the 1999 spring semester, DPS organized a district
based review team to assess each technology plan. Each
plan was evaluated on many factors including the use of
technology in support of academic standards over a five-year
plan, budgets, matching funds, and training. George Washington
High School was one of only two high schools to be approved
for Phase 1 implementation. We now have a technology plan
for administrators, technology coordinators, and teachers
to follow. Administrators, teachers, and students felt
included in the process and were excited when the actual
process worked quite well for the first year (99 – 00).
The purchasing and implementation process was uncomplicated.
All I had to do was consult the plan, make orders, install
computers, and organize training. The 00 - 01 year has
been a little more difficult. The core GWHS technology
team has experienced a shift in priorities and is now experiencing
some friction as some individual goals conflict with the
experienced numerous stumbling blocks and critical teacher
buy-in has suffered. Instead of focusing on teacher communication
(email) that is desperately needed and integration of technology
in every class, the focus has shifted to roaming profiles,
on-line grades, and odd technical problems. Communication
between the core technology team and the staff has deteriorated.
This situation only reinforces the importance of communication
– “techies” to each other, to teachers, and to administrators.