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Strategic plan calls for long-term technology

March 19, 2014 - Part3 on Clarkston Community Schools' five year Strategic Plan addresses the second of six Focus Areas, Technology.

Clarkston Community Schools Strategic Plan, which was approved unanimously without discussion on March 10, calls for the school board to integrate technology to engage students and staff, and includes developing short- and long-term network and wireless infrastructure plans for hardware, software, and support.

"I think curriculum drives our technical needs – technology is just a tool," said board Vice President Sue Boatman.

Board Treasurer Joan Patterson agreed.

"If a tool will allow the student to have clearer and deeper understanding of the topic or concept, it's worth consideration," Patterson said. "But the mix of tools can't be a random selection from what's available. We have to make sure we are training the student's brain and not their fingers. It must also be affordable and sustainable."

The plan provides a structure to evaluate priorities when deciding on spending proposals, she said.

"The strategic plan is just a framework," she said. "The board must be consistent in its application of those priorities going forward."

Technology in itself doesn't help students learn critical thinking or increase test scores, Boatman said.

"It's a skill set students can learn through every day use," she said. "Administration will perform analysis of technology purchase proposals, and we'll see if it fits financially and in the strategic plan."

"Properly used, technology provides the opportunity to expand the bandwidth of our instructional staff and provide effective help for segments of the student population requiring additional attention," Patterson said.

Next week, Focus Area III, Operations.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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