Technology growth requires more space

COLUMBIA CITY — Technology Director Anne Plunkett presented the school district’s new technology plan to the Whitley County Consolidated Schools’ Board of School Trustees Monday night.During her presentation, Plunkett told the board that information technology grows in importance with each passing year, making a technology plan in the school system vital.“It’s important for the staff and students that the technology is there,” said Plunkett.“Technology is integrated into the curriculum to not only meet a requirement of our stakeholders, but to prepare our students for the world where it’s a major component,” she said.The 16-page plan is dated July 1 and will be effective until the end of June, 2013.Plunkett told the board that computers are becoming increasingly more integrated with the learning process. She said strategies on how to use technology to teach students are part of the plan.“We going to use student data to evaluate those strategies,” she said.Strategies in the plan also include how to keep up with continually evolving hardware and software, along with increased usage, all of which contribute to bottlenecks in the computer system.“We’re peaking out several times a day,” she said. “We need more band width there.”A board member asked Plunkett what types of potential pitfalls she anticipated in the future and the response was similar to the issue over band width.“Our biggest concern right now is space, both physical space and virtual space,” she said. Plunkett told the board that physical space is running out in the corporation’s server rooms, making a plan to expand those areas vital.With growing technology comes more and more students spending time on computers where their predecessors may have been at a conventional desk with pen and paper.“We’re also working to increase the use of computer labs,” Plunkett said.Plunkett’s performance and her presentation were lauded by Superintendant Dr. Patricia O’Connor.“I want to thank Anne,” said O’Connor.“We have a tremendous amount of technology in our district. We are technology rich, we are very fortunate.”