Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fenty Administration Unveils Plan to Provide Computers to Every DCPS Classroom

Today, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, Chancellor Michelle Rhee and the District’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Vivek Kundra announced plans to provide 6356 computers to District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) by the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO).

According to Mayor Fenty, “These computers will empower our educators and administrators with the technological tools they need to focus efforts on the District’s greatest resource—our children. After decades of mismanaged program funds and little to no technological progress, this effort is the first step toward upgrading the school system’s technology to fit the demands of modern day users.”

This $4 million initiative includes a price of $628 per computer and will also consist of infrastructure improvements such as network cables, power strips and access points. The objective of the initiative is to provide every classroom teacher and administrator with a secure and reliable desktop computer throughout the school system.

These additional Dell desktop PCs will help facilitate the creation of a digital infrastructure for the future of DCPS. The computers will serve as both a teaching tool in the classroom and a resource for teachers. Teachers will be able to access a central database of student records, access educational tools and share best practices and enter grades and attendance records.

This initiative will provide our teachers with instructional tools beyond textbooks and give administrators the infrastructure they need to be effective leaders, engaging our students with new ideas and new opportunities for learning,” said Rhee.

The program is part of OCTO’s overall mission for technology adoption in the District’s public schools. The office’s goal is to use technology as an enabler, allowing teachers to tap into the power of technology to improve the quality of our children’s education.

Today, we are laying the foundation for our teachers to use technology to improve public education. We must use the Internet and other computer applications to help our students compete in the global economy and to enable our teachers to do what they do best, teach and mentor the future leaders of our country,” said Kundra.

The official computer deployment will begin November 26. Anacostia and other schools East of the River will be among the first schools to receive new computers. By February 1, 2008, every classroom will be equipped with a PC and a student computer lab.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

McKinley Tech Internship Program

The DC Office of the Chief technology Officer (OCTO) has established an internship program with McKinley Tech and identified four additional schools (Amidon and Whittier Elementary Schools, Jefferson Middle School, and Coolidge High School) to become High-Tech campuses to create a pipeline of homegrown technology talent in the District.

Elements of this program will include inviting technology practitioners to visit the campus, providing internships at OCTO for DCPS students and helping students acquire IT certifications. The expected outcome is a program model that demonstrates success in encouraging student involvement in technology-related activities and studies.

Also, OCTO GIS will also relocate to Jefferson Middle School. In association with that move, ciriculum will be developed over the 2008-2009 school year.