Technology @ GCPS

Philosophy

We believe technology, an essential component of today’s changing world, to be an educational vehicle to promote academic achievement and to enhance lifelong learning.

Vision

Our vision is to provide all students, staff, and teachers with current and evolving implementations of technology necessary to achieve in school and beyond.


Mission
Our mission is to provide and to integrate the appropriate technological tools and skills into the educational environment in order to meet the intellectual, personal, social, and career preparation needs of all students.

Goals for Technology

The following goals establish the framework for our comprehensive technology plan. Learn more about technology in Goochland through our website.
  1. Provide a safe, flexible, and effective learning environment for students and other education stakeholders in each of our schools.
  2. Meet the needs of the twenty-first century learner by providing instructional support through both innovative and proven means with technology.
  3. Provide students with opportunities to apply technology effectively to gain knowledge, develop skills, and create and disseminate artifacts that reflect their understandings.
  4. Provide students and staff with access to authentic and appropriate tools to gain knowledge, develop purposeful skills, extend capabilities, and create and share artifacts that demonstrate student achievement.
  5. Use technology to support a culture of innovation throughout the division, with a focus on encouraging data-driven decision making for improving teaching and learning practices.

Instruction with Twenty-First Century Skills

Core to this integration is an individualized technology plan for each teacher. Each teacher is required to complete a G21 plan with John Hendron, focused on the integration of a project-based learning approach, 21st century skills development, and technology support. Completion of at least one G21 project each year is part of the formal continuous professional development program.
G21 Orbs

Learn more about G21 on our website, including access to G21 forms.

Since the 2006-07 school year, Goochland has used the Levels of Teaching Innovation Scale and HEAT (LoTi) for both teachers and administrators to assess what level of technology integration is being used in individual classrooms. The G21 plan is designed to help teachers move along this scale to a higher-level of integration with regards to the use and effectiveness of technology.

G21 Framework

Technology Professional Development

To support increased familiarity with computer technology, and to foster better understanding of how technology can be coupled with higher-order thinking skills, Goochland offers after-school opportunities in the form of 2 to 2.5 hour staff development classes. These classes are offered throughout the year and classes are advertised in the Technology Times e-mail newsletter, and online through our calendar and wiki.

Teachers new to Goochland County are required to participate in our cyberethics and copyright course, as required by the Virginia Department of Education. Included in this is information about Internet safety. In addition, every teacher must participate annually in delivering instruction with regards to Internet safety. We are planning for SY 2011-12 to have an Digital Citizenship Awareness Day, when all teachers can choose from among a collection of Internet Safety lesson plans to use.

All teachers must complete one technology integration course during the school year, or if they choose, they may take this required course over the summer preceding the school year.

Taking classes or coursework outside of the division for “credit” for the technology course must be done in advance and be approved by John Hendron. 

Technology Standards for Instructional Personnel

Established on March 4, 1998, the Technology Standards for Instructional Personnel are authorized by § 22.1-16 of the Code of Virginia. They require demonstrated proficiency in the use of technology, which is “demonstrated competence of the technology standards as determined by school administrators.” These standards must be maintained by all instructional personnel, which includes all school personnel required to hold a license issued by the Virginia Board of Education for instructional purposes.

Goochland interprets the TSIP for our technology equipment: our Mac computers and software. You can find a copy of this document on our website.

If you need to pass the TSIP for certification, you will be tested on each of the standards face to face with John Hendron. E-mail John to make an appointment for a TSIP examination. The test takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and is based on the form linked above.

Electronic Student Records

All teachers are required to use the PowerSchool system to maintain accurate student records. Training for using PowerSchool and PowerGrade will be provided at the start of the school year. PowerSchool issues and support are handled by Jennifer Bocrie. Follow her blog for updates, tips, and help with using PowerSchool. 


All teachers are reminded to use discretion when using PowerSchool and pay special attention to security and your passwords. Students or non-school personnel should never have access to your PowerSchool account.

Acceptable Use Policies

Goochland maintains two policies or AUPs: one for staff, and another for students and guests. This document provides guidelines for the ethical use of technology provided by GCPS. The full policy, approved in July, 2010, is available on our website. It is policy IIBEA-R

Below, we list a few important aspects of the policy for your easy reference. We’ve formatted them as a frequently asked questions (FAQ) list.

Can I use my own personal device on the school network (cell phone, computer)?
Yes. Under our new policy, you may use a wifi-enabled device on our network. Your access to the network is still filtered 

Who retains the copyright for content I produce on my division-issued computer?
Technically work you create on your laptop from GCPS becomes property of GCPS. If you produce content you wish to publish on your own, please present a written request to the school board.

Can I share my passwords with other staff or students?
No!

Can I use the laptop to perform work on the side?
No. The laptop is to be used for official school business only.

Are any kinds of content banned on the network at school?
Yes. High-bandwidth content is discouraged if not for a legitimate educational use. This includes video streaming services such as YouTube. Pornographic content is banned, any content deemed hurtful, criminal, and illegal is prohibited. 

Can I bypass the filter?
Yes, your credential for e-mail will allow you to bypass the content filter for legitimate school business during contract hours. We ask you to limit personal e-mail checking, browsing, or other surfing until after contract hours.

Device Care and Responsibilities

CLEANING

It is the responsibility of the teacher to keep the laptop in good working order, including keeping it clean. Touching of the display should be avoided—especially pressing the LCD. Do not place stickers on GCPS devices. Removable cling-style covers or removable keyboard covers are fine. Finger prints, etc. may be removed with the following procedure:

• Shut the computer down and unplug it.
• Moisten a soft, cotton cloth with water and lightly wipe the cloth across the screen. It should be not dripping wet… Specialty cleaners made for LCD screens may also be used and help remove greasy finger prints.
• The keyboard, and outside of the laptop may also be cleaned with a dry, or alcohol-damp cloth.
• Wiping off the keys weekly helps keep your computer clean. A cloth or high-quality paper towel moistened with water or isopropyl alcohol can be used on the keys.
• Do NOT use any product containing ammonia on your laptop (i.e., Windex).
• iPads and iPods should be cleaned in the same manner. Screens with the oleophobic coating are easy to clean with a dry cloth.

CASE

Each laptop will be provided with a case. We highly recommend transporting the laptop between classrooms, and outside of school, in the supplied case. While it can seem bulky at times, it prevents significant accidents. iPads and iPods will be provided with a protective cover.

EXCLUSIVITY

Laptops issued to teachers shall only be used by teachers. Do not let a student use your laptop for any reason! Access to PowerGrade, PowerSchool, e-mail, and documents could be compromised.

BACKUP OF DOCUMENTS

It is the responsibility of each user to regularly backup documents, including grades, onto another storage device. Every teacher is issued an external backup drive. We recommend keeping the backup drive in a location other than your laptop case.

We recommend backing documents up on a daily or weekly basis. Another good idea is to take important documents (say instructional materials you’ve produced) and burn them to a CD from time to time. While backing up with one strategy is smart, backing up with two is even smarter. PowerSchool grades and data are automatically backed up on our PowerSchool server.

The Technology Team

The following indivduals at Central Office are your team dedicated to technology:

Tom DeWeerd, Director of Technology & School Administration (budget, oversight)
Peter Martin, Technical Services Coordinator (infrastructure, networking, e-mail, hardware)
John Hendron, Supervisor of Instructional Technology (training, web and Moodle servers)
Jennifer Bocrie, Information Technology Specialist & DDOT (PowerSchool, state reporting)
Sean Campbell, Technical Services Specialist & Accountability Analyst (hardware and software support)

We have in-school support:

Bea Cantor, Instructional Technology Resource Teacher (instruction GMS/GHS)
Zoe Parrish, Instructional Technology Resource Teacher (instruction BES/GES/RES)
Ginni Nichols, Technical Support Technician (GMS/GHS)