The Levelland ISD Bond Proposal includes $3.2 million for upgrades in district technology. The district is committed to instructing students in the most up-to-date manner, but the cost of continually changing technology is often prohibitive. Providing advanced instructional materials requires funding outside the scope of the District’s annual budget.
“One of our goals as an advancing school district is to provide instruction for students in a timely manner,” said Levelland ISD Director of Curriculum Heidi Blair. “Technology creates the ability to be more efficient in accessing content and more effective in communicating high-level curriculum, as modern technology lends itself very well to current learning styles.”
The district is considering several options for providing modern technology to teachers and students. There are still many decisions that must be finalized before creating a plan of action for purchasing, training and distributing materials.
“There are many details to be considered,” said Levelland ISD IT Director Mike Sapia. “There are numerous options. That’s really the most challenging matter we are facing right now. We must determine the best fit for Levelland ISD,” Sapia said.
A large piece of the $3.2 million technology need is updating and replacing network infrastructure and upgrading network and wireless connections at several campuses. The capacity for data storage for the district has increased significantly through the years increasing from just 96 GB on 15 servers to 1,250 GB on 23 servers since 2006.
“There’s a lot more involved in increasing technology than simply handing students a laptop or an ipad,” said Sapia. “The network infrastructure, including the wireless and server capacity, must be robust enough to support not only the immediate needs of these devices, but also be scalable as the technology needs of the district change.”
Additionally, bond funds will be used to increase the number of devices in classrooms and the software available to teachers and students.
Sandy Bridges, Instructional Technologist for the District, explains, “We want to place more technology in every classroom so that teachers can incorporate new and exciting lessons. Technology allows teachers and students to engage in learning in ways that simply are not possible using traditional resources. Once we have the devices and software in place, I can get busy training staff and supporting them so that they can be completely comfortable using the equipment with their students.”
Katy Baker, Teacher and Technology Coordinator at Levelland High School is excited about the prospect of students and teachers having access to more modern equipment. “Technology allows for higher level learning through increased student engagement,” said Baker. “It helps students to increase their learning in content areas, but also to learn and strengthen critical real world skills like research and collaboration.”
The $3.2 million dollars of the bond proposal allotted for technology will fund the immediate infrastructure and hardware needs as well as a sustainable technology update and replacement plan for items such as projectors and document cameras.
(Courtesy: Levelland ISD)