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									              eTechPlanner Technology Plan Process Overview


Part I:
        A. Purpose and Benefits
        B. Planning Model
           •Planning Overview Flow Chart (pdf)
           •Planning Model
        C. Planning Tasks
        D. Planning Tools
        E. Plan Output and Review Process
Part II:
         A. Critical Success Factors for Technology Planning
         B. eTechPlanner Table of Contents
         C. Planning Support Resources

Part III:

        A. State Approval Criteria
        B. Criteria-Based Questions Linked to eTechPlanner
        C. Using the Approval Criteria Checklist (pdf)
        D. Approval Criteria Checklist Template (pdf)
             Technology Planning and eTechPlanner Overview
                                    Purpose and Benefits

A. Purpose and Benefits
The purpose of the eTechPlanner Overview is to provide leaders of district technology
planning with background information to share with their planning teams. This information
will enable the planning leaders to explain the structure, content, and process of the web-
based eTechPlanner. There are several compelling reasons why all school districts need to
develop or update their technology plans.

Comprehensive planning for technology enables districts:

       to create and communicate to constituencies a system-wide vision of technology
        integration to guide and inspire change, and maximize the impact of scarce
        resources over time
       to build strong linkages between educational goals and essential technology support
       to take necessary support systems into account, such as technology-related staffing
        and equipment maintenance
       to link staff development to long-term education reform and technology integration
       to enable a monitoring, evaluation and revision process to enhance fiscal
        responsibility and long-term public support
       to enhance the understanding of staff to their roles in the transformation of learning
        environments in the Information Age
       to place the district in position for accessing funding opportunities in the local, state,
        national, and/or private arenas

It is clear from national research that districts that have been able to introduce and integrate
technologies into their instructional and administrative practices in meaningful and effective
ways, have done so through comprehensive strategic planning efforts.
             Technology Planning and eTechPlanner Overview
                                        Planning Model

B. Planning Model
The foundation upon which the eTechPlanner is built is a technology planning model
developed and adapted after months of research and input from school districts across
Pennsylvania. The model is composed of nine phases that lead a district through a strategic
planning process to create a three-year technology plan.

In Phase 1 the technology planning team is formed. The planning team is provided with an
overview of the planning process and the tasks involved in each phase. The initial work to
begin the process includes identifying district demographics and reform considerations.

Phase 2 results in the development or refinement of the district’s technology mission
statement and vision. This phase also explores ongoing communications with the
community, and developing potential partnerships and community collaborations.

In Phase 3 you perform a comprehensive assessment of your district’s current status. As
your team works through this phase, they may identify significant areas for improvement
and/or potential goals for your technology plan, based on the data analysis. Keep this
information handy for consideration in Phase 4, where the team will be defining strategic
goals of the technology plan.

Phase 4 will focus on identifying your district’s strategic goals for technology. These goals
may consist of unattained goals from your previous plan, or new goals that have emerged
with growing technology. After identifying your goals, you will also identify associated

In Phase 5, the initial action plan structure is set in place, by creating action steps that are
tied to the objectives previously defined in phase 4.

Phase 6 produces the fully developed action plans, with estimated budget amounts,
designated account codes, and identified potential funding sources. With this information,
you'll check for redundancies and ensure consolidated purchasing decisions.

A preliminary budget will be ready for you in Phase 7 based on the objectives and estimated
costs you identify in the action plans. You will be able to revise this budget and identify
required account codes. A final line item budget, and a compilation of identified funding
sources for the anticipated expenses, will assist you in addressing the financial functions for
implementing your plan. Additionally, a Total Cost of Ownership by objective report will
assist in your assessment of estimated costs for completion of each of your stated

Phase 8 completes the planning process by asking you to design an ongoing evaluation
system to determine if your plan is achieving its goals and objectives. Upon completion of
your technology plan and fulfillment of approval processes, the eTechPlanner Technology
Plan will archive a read-only version of the eTechPlan for future reference. (To see the
process flow, go to the The Technology Planning Overview Flow Chart)

The Planning Model outlines a step-by-step process for developing a three-year district
technology plan. The model describes the tasks involved in each planning phase. The
Planning Model is designed to assist districts with organizing their planning efforts, and to
ensure that the critical success factors and the State Approval Criteria are addressed.

The phases and steps are not totally sequential. Several planning activities may be
undertaken at the same time. The size of the district and the district's past experiences in
strategic planning are factors to consider in the implementation and tailoring of the planning
process at the local level. Where activities are dependent on others, eTechPlanner will
instruct you with a recommended sequence.
     Technology Planning and eTechPlanner Overview
                           Planning Model

    Phase                                   Tasks

                  1.1 Document School District, Community
                  Demographics, and School Facilities

  Phase 1.0       1.2 Establish Technology Planning Team with Broad-
Prepare to Plan   Based Stakeholder Representation

                  1.3 Clarify How Technology Practices can Promote
                  Equity and Support Education Reform

                  2.1 Develop Technology Mission and Vision
                  Statements with the Planning Team
  Phase 2.0
                  2.2 Develop an Ongoing Plan for Communicating with
                  2.3 Investigate Potential Partnerships and Community

                  3.1 Document Success of Previous Technology Plan

                  3.2 Identify Curriculum Strengths and Challenges

                  3.3 Assess Staff and Students Technology Skills,
                  Knowledge, and Usage

                  3.4 Conduct Current Software & Hardware Inventory

                  3.5 Identify Status of Facilities as Related to
  Phase 3.0       Technology Access and Use
Assess Current
    Status        3.6 Assess Current Status of Technology Infrastructure
                  for Meeting Education and Administrative Goals

                  3.7 Assess Current Technology Levels of Technology
                  Support Services and Staffing

                  3.8 Assess Existing Staff Development Activities and
                  Structures in Support of Technology Integration

                  3.9 Analyze Current Technology Budget and Recent
                       4.1 Establish Curriculum and Learning Goals and
     Phase 4.0
                       4.2 Establish Administration and Management Goals
 Identify Strategic
                       and Objectives
Goals and Objectives
                       4.3 Establish Communication and Information Access
                       Goals and Objectives

                       5.1 Identify Curriculum and Learning Technology
                       Action Steps
     Phase 5.0
                       5.2 Identify Administration and Management
Create Action Steps
                       Technology Action Steps
   for Objectives
                       5.3 Identify Communication and Information Access
                       Technology Action Steps

                       6.1 Determine Hardware Requirements and Action

                       6.2 Determine Network Requirements and Action Plan

                       6.3 Determine Facilities Requirements and Action Plan

                       6.4 Determine Software Requirements and Action Plan
    Phase 6.0
    Action Plan        6.5 Determine Staff Development Requirements and
   Development         Action Plan

                       6.6 Determine Technology Staffing Requirements and
                       Action Plan

                       6.7 Determine End-User Support Requirements and
                       Action Plan

                       6.8 Determine Miscellaneous Requirements and Action

     Phase 7.0
                       7.1 Develop Estimated Line Item Technology Budget
  Forecast Budget

                       8.1 Develop Processes for Action Plan Monitoring
    Phase 8.0
   Maintain Plan       8.2 Determine Processes for Evaluating Impact of
                       Technology Objectives
            Technology Planning and eTechPlanner Overview
                                       Planning Tasks

C. Planning Tasks
Each phase of the planning model is further broken down into a series of tasks that your
planning team must complete in order to submit your district’s plan to the Pennsylvania
Department of Education for approval. These tasks have been designed with great care to
address all of the requirements for technology plans for PDE, Title II federal requirements,
and those specified in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 for E-rate eligibility. By following
the directions in the PlanBuilder for each task, your district team can be certain that it is
addressing the required criteria for approval of the technology plan.

Each task includes a Rationale explaining the purpose of the particular task and why it is
important. Each task also includes one or more Key Questions. By working through the
tasks, the planning team will be able to answer these guiding questions. Similarly,
Outcomes describe what the end result of performing the task will be. This information is
available by clicking on the appropriate link directly below the task title.

In each required task, you will see 4 status buttons and the date the task was last updated.
This status mechanism is for Technology Coordinators to use in monitoring the progress of
the plan development. The following status indicators should be selected appropriately to
show the progress toward completion of the tasks. The following definitions apply to the
status of the task:

                  DRAFT =     Still in Progress
                   FINAL =    Finished and No Revisions Recommended
                   BOARD      Revisions Made, based on the local School Board
                REVISION =    Review/Recommendations
                   E-PEER     Revisions Made, based on the ePeer
                REVISION =    Review/Recommendations

Similarly, each phase level page will display the following status indicators:

                              In Progress
                              Not Started

The phase status will reflect your progress based on the radio button status indicators you
select at the task level.
            Technology Planning and eTechPlanner Overview
                                       Planning Tools

D. Planning Tools
The eTechPlanner provides a series of Tools to lead you through the creation of your 3-year
technology plan. There are three types of tools available to you.

The first type are the Required Tools. These are the tools that appear immediately after you
select a Task to work on. You MUST complete all of the Required Tools in a particular task
to submit your technology plan. You should complete these tools in the order listed. Some of
the Required Tools are narrative input boxes, which allow you to write narratives for different
sections of your plan. You will be able to copy and paste narratives from a Word Processor
into eTechPlanner. However, if you want the paragraphs to be formatted correctly, you will
need to use the formatting guidelines provided in the eTechPlanner accessible next to the
narrative input boxes. These tools often have a series of guiding questions to give you
direction in writing the narrative. Other Required Tools are a series of questions that lead
you through the creation of important matrices, charts and diagrams that will be included in
the final plan. As you work through the Required Tools, keep in mind that these tools are
creating and saving your district’s technology plan as your team progresses in the planning
process. In order to automate many functions of writing your district’s technology plan, the
eTechPlanner Required Tools often carry information forward into other Phases and Tasks.
For example, when you identify certain costs in your action plans in Phases 6 and 7, those
costs will automatically be carried forward to Phase 8 in the budget section. Please keep this
in mind as your work through the Required Tools. Generally speaking, if you need to modify
data in these automated areas, you will be returned to the initial data entry area in the phase
where it was initiated.

The second type of tools are the Assistant Tools. The Assistant Tools have been designed
to provide you with useful worksheets and other documents to “assist” your planning team in
completing the Required Tools. The Assistant Tools are OPTIONAL. You are not required to
use them if you feel you can complete the Required Tools without them.

For example, to assist your team in creating a narrative for your technology plan that
addresses the strengths and weaknesses in your curriculum, the eTechPlanner provides a
curriculum assessment tool that your planning team can print out and use off-line to gather
important data about your curriculum. The information is not entered into the eTechPlanner;
however it will be useful in helping your team answer the guiding questions in the Required
narrative tool, which is required. You may choose to use assessment tools of your own to
evaluate curriculum rather than the Assistant Tool provided with the eTechPlanner for this

Most of the Assistant Tools are provided in three formats:

     a print and use format (you’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader). The Adobe
     Acrobat files contain the extension: ".pdf"
     a Microsoft Word download format, in case your team would like to complete
2.   the tool in electronic form, the MS Word documents contain the extension:
3.   a Microsoft Excel download format. MS Excel files have an extension: ".xls"

Neither of these file formats will be included in the eTechPlanner, but may provide you with
files formatted for your own use locally. Viewers for these types of files can be downloaded
and are found on the eTechPlanner home page.

The third type of tools are Reference Tools. The Reference Tools are designed to further
assist you in completing a section of your plan but are not tied in any way to the creation or
output of your plan. The Reference Tools may be links to the following:

       other internet resources on a particular topic addressed in the task you are working
        on (denoted by an extension of "www")
       links to eTechPlanner tasks that were already performed (also denoted by "www")
       samples that are provided for your information only in case your team would like a
        model to use
       or other tools or resources we’ve created for the eTechPlanner Resources Toolbox
        to provide you with further information or assistance
            Technology Planning and eTechPlanner Overview
                              Plan Output and Review Process

E. Plan Output and Process Review
At various stages during the planning process, you will be given an opportunity to view the
Plan Output. After you have worked through each phase of the plan and their associated
tasks, you will be able to print a copy of your completed plan in "html" format for local use.

The district will also submit the completed technology plan electronically to the Pennsylvania
Department of Education. An ePeer Review Process has been established to pre-approve
plans. Utilizing the State Approval Criteria, ePeer Reviewers from around the state have
been recruited and trained to review plans through electronic communications. Reviewers
read and provide feedback with recommendations on each district's plan. These review
results are then forwarded to staff in the Office of Educational Technology, which then give
final approval to the plan or return it in whole, or in part, for any necessary revisions.

Once the plan has final approval, it's contents will be "Archived" and available in a “Read
Only” format for future reference
                      Technology Plan Table of Contents
                   Critical Success Factors for Technology Planning

A. Critical Success Factors for Technology Planning
Experience and research on technology planning efforts reveal six critical factors that
directly impact effective technology planning and successful implementation of technology
goals. These factors are:

       Support of District Leadership
        The school board, superintendent, key administrators, school councils, and leaders
        of the parent and teacher associations need to be proactive in their commitment and
        support for technology infusion. With many competing priorities for limited resources
        in schools, this top-level support is important for the successful implementation of
        technology goals.
       Involvement of Community Stakeholders
        Planning must reflect the experience, thinking, input, and perspectives of teachers,
        students, administrators, parents, town officials, and local business and agency
        representatives. Everyone affected in the short and long term by the decisions made
        regarding technology in the schools must be involved or informed. Most importantly,
        the vision of how technology can be most effectively utilized to impact education
        reform must be a consensus vision which is fully endorsed by the implementors and
        fully supported by those who will make decisions for funding of the plan.
       Curriculum-Based Technology Objectives
        The focus of the planning effort must be the improvement of teaching and learning
        as well as the enhancement of effective district, school, and classroom
        management. Furthermore, student outcomes are the major reason to plan for and
        integrate technologies into the educational process. Improved learning is a primary
        way to engage community support. Therefore, decisions regarding technology goals
        and objectives must have strong curriculum and academic standards linkages. It is
        difficult to engage and sustain funding support for hardware lists with few or no
        clearly articulated connections to improved student learning.
       Staff Development
        A major obstacle to effective technology planning and implementation can be the
        failure to consider the staff development required to successfully integrate acquired
        equipment and resources into the learning process. Without sufficient staff
        development, technology is too often underutilized or used simply to automate older
        instructional methods and to deliver outmoded curriculum. Teachers and
        administrators must develop new competencies for applying technologies in support
        of education reform as reflected in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards.
        Technology competencies are also necessary to enable support staff to integrate
        technology into their major daily functions. Staff development planning needs to take
        into account the needs of all staff if technology resources are to be effectively used
        to improve efficiency.
       Technology Maintenance and Support Services
        Staff use of technology needs to be supported by a wide array of support services.
        Equipment and systems need to be maintained. Technology specialists at the
        school- and district-level are essential to keep systems up and running and to help
        staff to integrate appropriate technology into their daily activities. This support is
        ongoing and grows with increased access to technology resources.
       The Identification of Funding Resources
        District technology plans need to take into account different potential sources for
        funding that may be combined for successful implementation. The regular budget
        process is generally inadequate to support a major infusion of technology within a
short timeframe. Business partnerships, grant opportunities, special municipal
warrant articles, local foundations, and other sources need to be explored. Thorough
strategic planning results in establishing clear direction over a timeline that can be
expanded or shortened based upon the actual funding generated. School district
leadership must consider incorporating, as an annual budgetary expenditure, funds
to maintain existing technology, to provide technology-related staff development, to
update or replace obsolete equipment on a regularly scheduled basis, and to
provide necessary technology support staffing.
                         Technology Plan Table of Contents
                               eTechPlan Table of Contents

B. eTechPlanner Table of Contents

1. PREPARE TO PLAN (*see NOTE at end of table)

       1.1 School District, Community Demographics, and School Facilities
                1.1.1 School District and Community: Demographics and Facilities
                1.1.2 School District, Community Demographics, and School Facilities
       1.2 Establish Technology Planning Team and Stakeholders
                1.2.1 Create and Maintain Planning Team Committees
                1.2.2 Planning Process Overview
       1.3 Technology and Education Reform
                1.3.1 Technology Practices and Education Reform
       2.1 Mission and Vision Statements
                2.1.1 Technology Mission Statement
                2.1.2 Technology Vision Statement
       2.2 Ongoing Community Communications
                2.2.1 Ongoing Community Communications
       2.3 Partnerships and Community Linkages
                2.3.1Current & Potential Partnerships and Community Linkages
       3.1 Success of Previous Plan
                3.1.1 Technology Goal Attainment
       3.2 Curriculum Strengths and Challenges
                3.2.1 Assessment Strengths and Weaknesses
       3.3 Student and Staff Technology Skills, Knowledge, and Usage
                3.3.1 Student Technology Access, Attitudes, Skills and Usage
                3.3.2 Staff Technology Access, Attitudes, Skills and Usage
       3.4 Software & Hardware Inventory
                3.4.1 Quality, Quantity, and Distribution of Technology Resources
                3.4.2 Understanding Security Measures
                3.4.3 Technology Policies
                3.4.4 Procurement Procedures
                3.4.5 Technology Acquisition Model
       3.5 Facilities
                3.5.1 Facilities
                3.5.2 Facility Problem Areas
       3.6 District Infrastructure Plan and Design
                3.6.1 Building/District Level Networking
                3.6.2 Telecommunications Services Distribution
                3.6.3 Video Distribution & Distance Learning Capabilities
       3.7 Technology Support Services
                3.7.1 District Technology Support Service Functions
       3.8 Staff Development
                3.8.1 Importance of Staff Development
       3.9 Current Technology Budget Analysis
                3.9.1 Analysis of Past, Current and Future Sources of Technology Funding
       4.1 Curriculum and Learning
                4.1.1 Curriculum and Learning Goals and Objectives
       4.2 Administration and Management
                4.2.1 Administration and Management Goals and Objectives
       4.3 Communications and Information Access
                4.3.1 Communications and Information Access Goals and Objectives
       5.1 Curriculum and Learning Technology Action Steps
                5.1.1 Action Steps for Curriculum and Learning Technology Objectives
       5.2 Administration and Management Technology Action Steps
                5.2.1 Action Steps for Administration and Management Technology
       5.3 Communication and Information Access Technology Action Steps
                5.3.1 Action Steps for Communication and Information Access Technology
       6.1 Hardware
                6.1.1 Action Plan for Hardware Requirements
       6.2 Network
                6.2.1 Action Plan for Network Requirements
       6.3 Facilities
                6.3.1 Action Plan for Facilities Requirements
       6.4 Software
                6.4.1 Action Plan for Software Requirements
       6.5 Staff Development
                6.5.1 Action Plan for Staff Development Requirements
       6.6 Technology Staffing
                6.6.1 Action Plan for Technology Staffing Requirements
       6.7 End-User Support
                6.7.1 Action Plan for End-User Support Requirements
       6.8 Miscellaneous
                6.8.1 Action Plan for Miscellaneous Requirements
       7.1 Estimated Line Item Technology Budget
                7.1.1 Three-Year Budget
       8.1 Plan Monitoring Strategies
                8.1.1 Plan Monitoring Process
       8.2 Evaluation Strategies
                8.2.1 Impact Assessment
NOTE: Number Scheme [e.g. 1.1 - represents Phase ( 1 ) and Task ( .1 ) ] in eTechPlanner] When referring to the
eTechPlanner generated plan submission components, the additional digit (e.g. 1.1.1) reflects the sub-section of the
eTechPlan output. This will be identified in eTechPlanner as Plan Output: 1.1.1
                       Technology Plan Table of Contents
                                Planning Support Resources

C. Planning Support Resources
Training activities will be offered each fall on use of the eTechPlanner website. In addition to
the planning preparation information available in this "Process Overview" section, we
suggest that you visit the "General Information" section to gather additional relevant
information and to explore the Frequently Asked Questions lists. Announcements regarding
changes, updates, or workshop dates are sent out via Penn*Link and through the
eTechPlanner itself. As you embark upon the technology planning process and have
questions regarding the process or the eTechPlanner site, you may use the Contact Us form
on this site for support.
            State Approval Criteria: eTechPlanner Plan Output
                                   State Approval Criteria

A. State Approval Criteria
To receive state approval, a district technology plan must include the following:

1. Description of how plan development involved community stakeholders and linkages to
community resources, such as public libraries and adult literacy providers.

2. Technology mission and vision statements developed with the input from community
stakeholders and expressing a commitment to:

       equity of technology access for all students
       the PA State Academic Standards
       providing access for teachers, parents, and students to the best teaching practices
        and curriculum resources
       professional development in support of technology integration
       improved administrative efficiency and accountability

3. An analysis of current status that includes:

       success of previous planning efforts
       curriculum strengths and weaknesses
       staff and student skills and knowledge in regard to technology
       an inventory of hardware, software, and network resources
       status of facilities in regard to readiness for technology infusion
       available staffing and support services for technology
       technology-related staff development activities and structures
       review of recent expenditures for technology

4. Goals and objectives for a three-year plan addressing technology integration in the
following areas:

       curriculum and learning
       administration and management
       communication and information access

5. Action steps that support the district’s stated technology goals and objectives, to include
requirements for:

       hardware
       networks
       facilities
       software
       staff development
       technology staffing
       end-user support
       miscellaneous

6. Three-year action plans for achieving the Technology Solution Design, and Human
Resource and Support Needs that include timelines, assigned responsibilities, and
estimated budget for each objective for:

       hardware
       networks
       facilities upgrades
       software
       staff development
       technology staffing and support services
       end-user support
       miscellaneous

7. A three-year annual budget to fund the district’s technology plan, which includes specific
budget estimates for:

       networking (LAN and WAN)
       hardware
       software
       professional development
       additional human resources

and a list of potential funding sources with coordinated funding from grants, partnerships,
state and local funding sources.

8. A description of how implementation of the technology plan will be monitored, its impact
evaluated, and the plan periodically upgraded and revised.
                State Approval Criteria: eTechPlanner Plan Output
               Criteria-Based Questions Linked to eTechPlan Table of Contents

B. Criteria-Based Questions Linked to eTechPlanner Table of Contents
Note: (1.2) refers to the Draft eTechPlanner Table of Contents section

1. Plan Preparation (Stakeholders and Reform Considerations)

         Does the plan describe how its development involved a planning team consisting of
          school staff and community stakeholders? (1.2)

2. Build Communications (Technology Mission and Vision, Stakeholder
Communications and Community Involvement)

         Does the plan include vision and mission statements that were developed with input
          of stakeholders? (2.1)
         Do the mission and vision express a commitment to:
                providing equity of technology access across the district, across grade
                   levels, within subject areas, within classrooms, for all student populations?
                the PA State Academic Standards? (2.1)
                providing access for teachers, parents, and students to exemplary teaching
                   practices and learning resources? (2.1)
                professional development in support of technology integration? (2.1)
                improved administrative efficiency and accountability? (2.1)
         Does the plan provide evidence that the district has investigated linkages to
          business partnerships and community resources such as public libraries and adult
          literacy providers? (2.3)

3. Current Technology Status Analysis

         Does the plan include a report on current status based upon assessment of:
              previous planning efforts? (3.1)
              identified curriculum strengths and weaknesses? (3.2)
              staff and student technology skills and knowledge? (3.3)
              inventoried hardware, software, and network resources? (3.4, 3.6)
              facilities in regard to readiness for technology infusion? (3.5)
              staffing and support for technology? (3.7)
              technology-related staff development activities/structures? (3.8)

4. Strategic Goals and Objectives

         Are there three-year goals and objectives provided to promote the district’s effort to
          use technology to support learning outcomes as expressed in local curricula and the
          PA Academic Standards? (4.1)
         Are there three-year goals and objectives provided to promote the district’s effort to
          use technology to improve administrative effectiveness and management efficiency?
         Are there three-year goals and objectives provided to promote the district’s effort to
          use technology to improve communication and information access for students,
          teachers, administrators, and community stakeholders? (4.3)
5. Action Steps for Objectives

      Does the plan include action steps that support the district's stated goals and
       objectives for technology integration in the following areas:
            curriculum and learning?(5.1)
            administration and management? (5.2)
            communication and information access? (5.3)
      Do the objectives' action steps include requirements for:
            hardware
            networks
            facilities upgrades
            software
            staff development
            technology staffing and support services
            end-user support
            miscellaneous

6. Action Plan Development

      Is there a three-year action plan for achieving the technology objectives that include
       timelines and assigned responsibilities for each initiative? (6.1 - 6.4)
      Is there a three-year action plan for achieving the technology objectives that include
       timelines and assigned responsibilities for each initiative? (6.5 - 6.8)

7. Fiscal Analysis and Budget

      Is there a three-year budget, with an annual breakdown, for funding the district’s
       technology plan, with specific budget estimates in the categories below? (7.1)
             networking (LAN and WAN)
             hardware
             software professional development
             proposed human resources
             Have potential funding sources for the plan been identified, including the
                coordination of funding from grants, partnerships, donations, and state and
                local funding? (7.1)

8. Plan Review and Evaluation

      Is a process defined for how implementation of the technology plan objectives will be
       monitored? (8.1)
      Does the plan include strategies for measuring the achievement and impact of
       technology plan objectives? (8.2)
                      The Ten Commandments of Technology Planning

                        1. Consult teachers.

                              Establish a technology committee

                              Determine educational objectives.

                              Conduct an inventory of existing hardware,
                             software, and human resources.

                              Develop professional development strategies.

                              Establish a timetable.

                              Create budgets.

                              Review the draft of the plan

                              Identify new software, curricula, and
                             instructional techniques.

                              Establish linkages of technology-based
                             assessment and administrative tasks, including
                             scheduling and record keeping.
Next eRate filing window opens Nov. 5
September 26, 2003
On Nov. 5, schools and libraries can begin applying for 2004 eRate discounts to help pay for their internet
and telephone service, according to the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Universal Service
Administrative Co., which administers the $2.25 billion-a-year program.

Five Easy Ways to Guarantee Funding Denial

Want to make sure that funding request gets denied? Want to make sure there’s practically no
chance for a successful appeal? It’s easy! Just do one of these things:

        Sign a contract less than 28 days after you filed the Form 470 listing that service.
        List a service provider as a contact on Form 470
        Submit a funding request for a service that was not listed on a Form 470
        Miss the Form 471 filing window
        Fail to certify a Form 470 by the close of the Form 471 filing window

You get no extra credit from the SLD for doing more than one of these things. After all, you
can’t kill something that’s already dead.
Who Needs an E-rate Consultant? Maybe you do!

Think an E-rate consultant can triple your funding dollars? Probably not, unless you haven't
been participating in the program or didn't realize that phone service was eligible.

Think an E-rate consultant can find a way to get 30 laptop computers through review in the
telecommunications category? Don't hold your breath.

Why, then, hire a consultant?

It's as easy as 1-2-3.
         1. You want to make sure you file for all eligible services

        2. You can't afford to have funding denied because of an inadvertent error, non-
        compliant behavior or a missed deadline.

        3. You've got enough work on your plate without worrying about filing forms and
        memorizing eligibility criteria and studying program guidelines.
A consultant can help you in these areas. Most administrators handle E-rate filing as a part-
time job for the technical director. A technical director already has a full-time job, and so E-
rate activities have to be squeezed in among other duties. The end result is a last-minute
approach to filing and only a hazy knowledge of SLD guidelines. Why else would so many
schools be filing on deadline day or getting service provider help in filing, not realizing that
such activity can result in funding denial?

Consultants bring knowledge and continuity to the process. They know SLD guidelines and
practices that can lead to funding denial. They are familiar with eligible services and with the
underlying philosophies that shape the eligibility list. They also understand the precision
demanded in form content and in deadlines. And they apply this knowledge 365 days a year
amidst vacations, maternity leaves and transfers. Working with a consultant, schools go into a
funding year with a realistic view of what will be funded and what must be budgeted.

If there's a lot of funding at stake or you are being stretched in your job due to budget cuts,
consider consulting help. It's a cheap form of insurance and a sure-fire stress reliever.

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