Monroe Public Schools’ Technology Department supports over 2,500 personal computers/Laptops, 127 network printers, 47 servers (both physical and virtual), 82 switches, and numerous multimedia devices such as LCD projectors, SMARTBoards, SMART Slates, camcorders, document cameras, and digital cameras. The department also supports numerous software applications and operating systems. “Microsoft Windows XP” is currently running on the client machines. The district servers are running “Microsoft Windows 2003 Server”. Basic software installed on client computers includes: “Microsoft Office 2010”, “Adobe CS3”, Notebook 10, “FASTTMath”, “Kidspiration 2”, “Read 180”, and many others. Along with supporting hardware and software, the Technology Department supports over 7000 users with individual logins; providing local network and internet access as well as email. Most staff members have email access, making a total of 750 email addresses within the district.
The Technology Department is staffed by one Department Director, one Network Specialist, one Application Specialist, one Application Specialist/Trainer, one Help Desk, and three Computer Technicians. Their daily responsibilities include: network connectivity, keeping computers in top working condition, student and staff logon ability, quick response time to problems that may occur related to hardware, internet filtering, software support, tape backup of staff/student documents and server shares (for users to have the ability to collaborate their work), and creating “How-To” manuals for the technology Knowledge Base. The department also provides training for teachers, secretaries, teaching assistants, and other miscellaneous staff. This is sometimes provided for students in the form of co-teaching as well. Training does not only cover how to operate district technologies, but also includes suggestions on how to implement with current curriculum.
In 2009, MPS standardized all of the projectors mounted in the district to the same model. This allows for ease of repair, and to keep fewer spare parts on hand. An additional 40 projectors were also installed in the district, and all mounted projectors received a document camera for use in the classroom. Along with the projector installs the network switches in the district were also upgraded. The new switches provide every classroom with Power over Ethernet ports, and a solid infrastructure for years to come. The district also purchased 1000 Acer netbooks. These netbooks were deployed in carts of 32 for use in every school, utilizing the districts wireless access. a few of these laptop carts were utilized as lab substitutes, while others were used for special projects in the classroom.
In 2008, MPS rolled out a new student management system called “PowerSchool”. This system manages all student personal and academic information. PowerSchool provides parents access to their children’s academic information and has been customized to meet district needs.
In 2007, MPS implemented a district wide wireless network. Numerous wireless access points were installed in each of the schools. These access points provide wireless access to both staff and students within each building. This service was expanded to the MHS football and baseball fields in 2009.
In 2004, MPS upgraded the entire telephone system throughout the district. This new system provides in-room phone capability for every classroom as well as voice mail for all staff.
The Technology Department is constantly exploring new ways to improve the overall technological experience of all users. Great efforts are taken to provide the best hardware/software, training, and technological support possible; which in turn creates a positive learning environment for both staff and students. Technology greatly enhances curriculum at Monroe Public Schools. It helps teachers to better maintain records, reach a variety of learning styles, and engage learners. The department strives to use technology to its maximum educational value; while still protecting the safety of students.