The technology mission of the Rockdale County Public Schools is to provide direction, support and leadership for constructive use of technology in the educational process at school, home and throughout the community; to provide professional development for school personnel; and to secure technological capabilities to accomplish these tasks.
- Learners interact successfully with technology to achieve personal, system, and community goals.
- Learners become a part of our global community through enhanced communication ability and greater access to information resources.
- Teachers deliver instruction by coaching, monitoring, and verifying student achievement of learning goals.
- All school and central office staff work collaboratively to plan technology-enhanced and integrated learning experiences.
- Teachers and administrators have ready and seamless access to all necessary data.
Vision for Technology Use
It is the vision of Rockdale County Public Schools (RCPS) to provide learners with all resources within our reach to enable them to interact successfully with technology to achieve personal, system, and community goals. In order to achieve this vision, it will be necessary for school and central office staff to work collaboratively to plan technology-enhanced and integrated learning experiences. Selected central office and school-based leadership personnel will meet throughout the year to discuss technology needs and search for the best solutions to those needs.Business and community representatives will be consulted for assistance in this search as appropriate. These leadership personnel will review, evaluate, and determine hardware and content area software in the areas of productivity, communication, research, and problem solving to be purchased in order to meet state and system instructional objectives. The Technology Director and Instructional Technology Coordinator will meet regularly with the school-based Instructional Technology Coaches to further discuss instructional technology needs and establish ways in which these needs may be met.
Learners will become a part of our global community through enhanced communication ability and greater access to information resources. The system will continue to upgrade and improve the infrastructure and hardware needed to support this enhanced communication, including Internet access. Learners will utilize technology to communicate with resources beyond the school walls, and they will use Internet connectivity to conduct research and discover information necessary to solve problems related to academic endeavors.
Teachers’ roles will change from traditional instructional delivery to coaching, monitoring, and verifying student achievement of learning goals. Teachers will facilitate students in the use of technology tools to enhance learning by raising learner productivity and improving problem-solving skills. Specialized curriculum management software and other software specially designed to improve student achievement will be piloted and purchased by the system, and teachers will receive professional development in the appropriate use of this software. Learners will access this software and other technology-based resources via computers in the classroom or labs, and some resources will provide 24/7 access to teachers, students and parents. There will also be an increase in the number of online courses available to high school students. This ubiquitous access will help engage students and encourage them to become life-long learners.
Teachers will also use technology to improve communication with parents and the community. Web pages will provide current and continuous access to information from system and schools. Communication via electronic mail, Twitter, Facebook, and/or other social media outlets will continue to be used to provide information to parents and other interested parties in the community. Specialized software will be utilized to provide parents with continuous and up-to-date access to student performance and achievement information.
We strive to keep our administrative team up to date with the latest technological tools allowing them easy and proficient access to necessary information and contacts. We also provide Internet-based access to student information to all administrators and teachers from home and school. We have provided a web-based portal solution that provides data and information from a variety of sources in one central location. This enables all administrators system-wide access to needed teacher and student information efficiently and in a timely manner. Such a platform can assist in improving student achievement for all subgroups. We are incorporating a data warehouse to provide a more robust reporting mechanism of state and local test scores. Administrators will use an alert phone messaging system to provide effective communication with parents and the community about school events and emergencies.
We currently provide parents 24/7 Internet access to their student’s grades, attendance, and class schedule. Some of the schools open their computer labs to the parents before and after school hours to provide those who do not have home access some availability to computers and Internet. Some schools also have a system in which county usable but out-of-date computers are donated to needy families who not own computers. The public library also works with students to provide computer access after school hours in order to complete assignments when needed. We continue to work in setting up community labs using surplus equipment at locations throughout the county.
Teachers and administrators will have ready and seamless access to all necessary data and communication tools to improve the learning environment throughout the district. With the implementation of a data warehouse (TetraData) and an assesssment management suite (SchoolNet), teachers, administrators and district personnel will access real time data via dashboard views with KPI indicators. These tools directly impact our Cycle for Results process.
We provide access to communication and conferencing tools within the district currently using Microsoft Office 365 which includes Microsoft Skype for business. We plan to implement more robust conferencing capabilities permitting video/voice conferencing with other districts, vendors and classrooms outside of our district.
RCPS is a leader in the K12 arena for preparing our students for the 21st Century. Rockdale Virtual Campus (RVC) offers high quality, Internet-delivered high school courses that equip RCPS students to thrive in the complex life and work environment of the 21st Century.
By participating in the Rockdale Virtual Campus program, students are part of a growing national trend in K-16 education. Enrollment in online schools and courses has grown from roughly 50,000 students in 2000 to about 1 million students last year, according to the North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL), a cyber school advocacy group. And the numbers are expected to grow each year. RVC is not a traditional school that grants credits and graduates students. RVC courses are treated like courses offered at each local school; therefore, students must be enrolled in Rockdale County School District in order to participate. The roadmap for the future growth of the Rockdale Virtual Campus program includes both leveraging our current technological tools to add an electronic support system for current district wide face to face classes as well as offering online tutorial sessions in nontraditional formats. By utilizing the anytime and anyplace nature of web based communication and collaboration, students may be able to access and interact with instructors in ways and times that traditional brick and mortar schools cannot. Additional plans for Rockdale Virtual Campus include a community learning initiative.