For many years in Worthington our school district motto was “Where Excellence is a Tradition.” If you’ve spent any time in Worthington you realize that the schools and the community take both the excellence and the tradition seriously. The consistent red brick throughout Worthington proper, the allegiance of attendance areas to local elementary schools, and the “Worthington way” are all things even outsiders pick-up on immediately. Even though our students have seen success in the past we believe it’s important to continuously change and grow. Technology is an area that we feel strongly must be improved in order for this to occur.
In Worthington we believe:
- Student access to technology is essential to meet the educational development needs of the twenty-first century.
- The creation of local area networks, wide area networks, and access to the information superhighway are vital for schools to provide efficient, effective technology based curricula for their students.
It’s with these beliefs in mind that we set-out to create a robust technology plan that would provide our students and teachers with access to the tools they need to personalize education. The first area that we set-out to focus on was the infrastructure.
In Worthington we methodically upgraded all of our buildings so that we could create a robust technology and electrical infrastructure (servers, file storage, routers, switches, bandwidth, high density access points, etc…) that will meet the demands of today and the yet unknown demands of the future. This was akin to renovating an old home. Our schools were all built sometime between 1930 and 1991. Even our newest schools were built before the internet was yet a thought of most educators.
While my understanding of technology infrastructure is at best limited it is akin to a road. For many years in Worthington our technology road was a two lane country road. It was fairly narrow and bumpy but it sufficed for a long time. In the 90’s as technology became more prevalent the road was expanded to a four lane road with a few stoplights and turning lanes to control the traffic flow. Over time as the internet expanded, smartphones and tablets entered the school, and the demand for video over the internet grew, our four lane road was jammed. The lights were backed up, frustration increased, and some staff and students created workarounds because our roads weren’t cutting it.
Using bond money from both the 2006 and 2012 bond levy’s our latest expansion of our road moves from a four-lane road to a twelve lane super highway that is built with even more expansion in mind. (The highway represents our bandwidth and fiber capacity. Last fall we were responsible for orange barrels all over Worthington as we laid our own fiber optic network.) To keep traffic moving on our new superhighway we invested in HOV lanes (new high density wireless access points) and roundabouts at every exit (new switches, routers and electrical.) Currently our new road is only being accessed at about 40% capacity. Traffic flows quickly and easily and delays are non existent.
Infrastructure is the foundation of our technology plan. In Worthington, we created a solid foundation that should allow us to meet the ever-changing needs of technology for the foreseeable future.
For more detailed information on our technology plan please visit our technology plan website which can be accessed at: https://sites.google.com/a/wscloud.org/2012-bond-implementation/
-Trent Bowers, Assistant Sperintendent