Each year as we analyze the district’s use of the technology dollars allocated in the budget, we ask ourselves the question, “What types of technology can be utilized to support the district’s needs in the most cost effective manner?” Maintaining and updating equipment and programs is a continual process and can be very cost prohibitive. Therefore, much research, data collection and discussion goes into the decision-making process before any purchase regarding technology is made.
New technology that has been implemented in the district in last three years includes the switch from T-1 connections to a fiber connection between the buildings. This will allow the district to utilize service like Meals Plus, Online Grade Viewer, and our One Call Now calling system. This coming year we are bringing 21st century technology to the core classes at the Middle School and Junior High School with Interactive Smartboards and Smart Response Systems.
Meals Plus is a reliable and accurate system for tracking, reporting and storing data that relates to the cafeteria district wide. The goal of this system will be to increase the speed of lunch lines, track the foods our students are eating, increase student participation in the free and reduced lunch program by eliminating the stigma that goes along with it, and increase the sale of type “A” lunches. Parents can also add money to child’s accounts via the Greenville Schools District web page.
Parents are able to take advantage of our on-line parent grade viewer. This technology allows parents and students to view their grades 24 hours a day. Parents can now be informed on a regular basis of how their child is doing in the classroom.
The One Call Now calling system allows us to send phone calls, e-mails, text to our parents in a matter of minutes to announce delays, school closings, emergencies, or upcoming events.
The addition of Smartboards into the classrooms at Greenville Middle School and the Greenville Junior High School will allow students and staff to utilize the internet through hands-on demonstrations and presentations. The Smart Response Systems will provide real time data to staff to help them monitor and gauge student learning.
With limited funds we have made great strides in the area of technology in the Greenville City Schools. We utilized grants, Permanent Improvement funds, and Title I dollars to help improve the technology for the district. We will continue to do research, collect data, and have discussions before making any technology purchases with the goal of effectively spending tax dollars.
Jon McGreevey is the Director of Administrative Services for Greenville City Schools and can be reached at548-3185 EXT 723 or email@example.com. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.