The Curriculum Department for your school district has decided that to achieve Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), it needs to implement a costly, technology-based intervention. Your team of directors/coordinators realizes that the technology-based intervention is being ordered without a real grasp of the technology infrastructure challenges at the school. Simply put, the equipment in classrooms is not capable of running the software or too obsolete to run the client software. While everyone on the team is aware of the issues, how do you present this information to your supervisors who proposed the purchase and now have a pending purchase worth half a million to a million dollars in the pipe for School Board Approval? You’re the only one who sees the issues clearly enough to articulate them. Everyone is looking to you. What are you going to do?
Well, one of your possibilities is to write an email or memo to the supervisors who may end up like the Emperor with no clothes. One possible response appears below:
Please note that VendorName REQUIRES—requirements from VendorName attached to this email–X, Y, and Z. Targeted campuses for VendorName lack the equipment to meet these basic requirements. However, there are other factors to take into consideration that have not all been addressed in anticipation of this implementation. The SchoolDistrictName, as you know, seriously needs to upgrade its infrastructure in K-12 to ensure successful use of ANY technology-based intervention system.Additional Attention needs to be given to the following areas:Area #1 – Hardware Requirements
- SchoolDistrictName’s Curriculum Department needs to complete a Request for Technical Support for affected campuses to ensure that computers at those campuses meet minimum requirementsArea #2 – Network
- VendorName needs to be contacted and asked if their web-based program will work with/without a persistent wireless Internet connection.
- VendorName needs to be contacted regarding the use of a caching system, if one would work or not or even whether it’s appropriate.
- Bandwidth requirements (for example, VendorName single user requires at least XX kbps of bandwidth).Area #3 – Account Management
- VendorName needs to support automated account management and maintenance including 24-hour secure FTP uploads
- The Student Information Archiving needs to be notified of requirements
- VendorName needs to identify how authentication of student and teacher logins will occur.
- VendorName needs to respond as to whether student ID # can be used as the student login with password generation
- VendorName needs to clarify whether data transfers are encrypted or open.
- VendorName, since it’s storing confidential student performance data, has to sign the agreement form to keep data confidential and to return that data to SchoolDistrictName if/when VendorName’s services are no longer needed.Area #4 – Software Requirements
- Identify Minimum Browser
- Identify critical browser plug-ins/add-ons
- Identify minimum operating system for Windows (e.g. Windows XP has been identified) and for Mac OS X (e.g., Mac OS X.4 Tiger has been identified).
- Identify client software that needs to be installed on the computerAgain, I strongly recommend against moving forward issuing payment to—or implementing–VendorName until concerns in these critical areas have been dealt with.
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