Florida School Technology and Readiness (STaR) ChartThe Florida STaR chart has been an invaluable roadmap for the thinking of many of the Laptop Task Force members. Given the comprehensiveness of the STaR chart, Task Force members felt that it would be helpful to include the standards in an appendix along with additional comments relating the standards to the use of laptop computers. Please note that for the purposes of this appendix, the STaR chart has been slightly reformatted. In its published chart form, it is designed to be read from bottom to top to facilitate the interpretation of school profile data presented in graph form. For the purposes of this narrative however, it seemed best to present items in a top-to-bottom order. Also, it is important to note that the sections headed "Task Force Comments" are comments by the Task Force on the implications of each section for a laptop initiative. These comments are not a part of the published STaR chart.
Each category has indicators for entry, intermediate, advanced, and target levels. Each level builds upon the previous one, and may retain the same technology traits while expanding in depth and breadth.
Technology Administration and Support:
Entry School has a technology plan
Planned technology use mainly for administrative tasks such as word processing, budgeting, and attendance
Intermediate Educational technology planning aligns with District/State technology plans
Planned technology use for internal planning, budgeting, applying for external funding and discounts for direct instruction and some student use
Advanced Educational technology planning is integrated into the SIP process and approved by the school's SAC committee
The collaboratively developed technology plan guides policy and practice, planned technology use addresses higher order teaching and learning for ALL students (including ESOL and ESE), and is regularly updated
Target The school's administration, teachers, and staff actively support technology planning
The technology plan focuses on student success; planned technology use is based on needs, research, proven teaching, and learning principles; Revised annually
The need for careful technology planning is magnified by the introduction of laptop computers into the classroom. As indicated in the STaR chart, the focus of any technology implementation (including a laptop initiative) must remain on teaching and learning, rather than administrative tasks. It is critically important that a laptop initiative not leave any child behind either in terms of hardware or curriculum. All students must be given access to curriculum that emphasizes higher order teaching and learning. Furthermore, the need for careful research regarding the use of laptops is necessary, but beyond the means of most schools and even some districts. For this reason, the Task Force is recommending a strong research component as a part of any state-supported laptop initiative.
Entry Technical support comes from outside the school
Technical support response time greater than 24 hours
Intermediate Part-time school-based technical support
Technical support response time less than 24 hours
Advanced Full-time school-based technical support capable of troubleshooting basic network and hardware repair including assistive technologies
Technical support response time less than 8 hours
Target Full-time school-based technical support with additional staff as needed (including faculty) to support network and web production
Technical support response time less than 4 hours
A lack of technical support can undermine any laptop program. Successful initiatives have often included loaner laptops for students when an extensive repair is needed. Many schools have also trained both teachers and students to solve minor support problems, thereby freeing technical support staff to focus on more serious issues.
Instructional Technology Support<