Who are the people at your school in charge of the technologies available to advance the learning of students? Identify as many of these people as possible:
Director of educational technology – John Duplay
Curriculum technology integration specialist – Anthony Satullo
Assistant Technology Directory for Instruction – Rob Gongola
Technology maintenance? – Sean Conroy, Andrew Drozd, Jean Mazzaro, Ruth Miozzi and Chris Thomas
Technology security personnel – John Duplay
Library media specialist – One per building, Gates Mills is Christy Christensen
Details of what technology is available, where it’s located, quantities of technologies (i.e. is there a classroom set of iPads for the students to work with)?
At Gates Mills Elementary, kindergarten and first grade have full classroom carts of iPads. These devices to not go home, but students have an assigned number of iPad that they use each school day. For students 2nd grade-12th grade, every student is given a Chromebook to keep. These Chromebooks travel between home and school, as the students use their individual Chromebook for assignments in school as well as at home with out-of-class assignments. Each school building has at least one cart of “extra” Chromebooks in case a student forget theirs at home or there are technology issues. These Chromebooks are updated every 3-5 years, so students will return their school issued Chromebook and receive a new one when updates and necessary.
Are the technologies readily available and are they in working order? How do students and teachers gain access? Is there a means for reserving them? Are there required purchases by families?
Yes technology is readily available through carts in all school buildings as well as extra iPads and Chromebooks available along with charging cords. There is an IT Help desk for staff and parents/students that can always offer support and further assistance when necessary. Mayfield has a great IT department who is wonderful about answering questions and offering relatively quick to solve issues but for teachers and students. There is a Mayfield staff portal and a Mayfield Website for families to gain access to school websites and information. Students and teachers do not have to reserve anything because there are entire class sets of devices that are either housed in classrooms or every student has one of their own. The only purchase by a family for a device is the cost of repairs. There is one “fix” of a broken Chromebook covered by the district, but after the the family is charged. It should be noted that the district rarely collects this money, unless the damage is purposeful and repeated by the student and/or family.
What is the nature of the firewall blocking access to applications? Is there a process to transcend or move around the firewall? Who is in control? What is available and what is blocked and why?
The firewalls purpose is for the safety of students to keep them from accessing inappropriate websites or questionable material. Students can only email staff members, there is no access to public email through their Mayfield account. Student emails and access begin in 2nd grade. Only the IT department has the ability work around the firewall. Every teacher with the help of a IT staff member and coordinator can add or delete applications, allowing access to certain sites but there may be a wait time and planning required to do so. K-1 iPads are locked and specific apps are pushed out while Chromebooks are managed and can be accessed remotely. Teachers can reach out to IT to block or unblock sites as needed.
Significantly, pay close attention to and document who you are speaking with. What is their role or do they have a title? Who is able to direct you to the people with the most information? Who has the most and/or best information?
My cooperating teacher got me in touch with the following individuals that allowed me to learn so much about technology in Mayfield City School District. Laurel Ravida is Gates Mills Principal who offered great insights on how Gates Mills and the IT Department work together and Jennifer Hancock, who is former Technology Instructional Coach, offered behind the scenes information and background through her experiences working in the IT department across the district.