The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Education

March 22, 2006

EPS technology department works on variety of projects

With the pace ever quickening in the advancement of technologies, Mike King and his staff have their work cut out for them.

King, the director of Information Technology for the Enid Public Schools, has been working to bring Enid schools’ technology to the forefront, matching the sophistication of other schools in the state, or passing them.

King uses a meeting agenda to show the eight items the 7-month-old IT department has been working on.

“One of the biggest projects introduced this year was the increase of bandwidth,” he said. “New state Department of Education mandates have been passed for online testing.”

Formerly running at about 128 kilobytes per second, the EPS’ old system was “... not able to accomplish what the state wanted.”

With help from Southwestern Bell, now AT&T;, King said the district’s bandwidth is about 100 megabytes, or 1,000 kbps.

Along with all the new technologies, teachers will be the ones learning how to integrate the use of the technologies into their classrooms and curriculums and operate the equipment.

The Information Technology Training Center helps teachers train to use some of the district’s newest classroom tools, including the district’s 16 teleconferencing units.

The units consist of a Web cam and a TV, but with a high-speed Internet connection and a desktop-computer setup, the units make distance learning a lot less tasking than it used to be.

“This technology allows students to take virtual field trips easily,” King said. “Groups of students are going on virtual field trips four or five times a month.”

Teachers can experience distance learning as well.

King said all professional development in-service programs for technology training can be accessed by teachers and district staff and can be streamed to computer desktops for viewing.

A pilot-project has also begun for implementing an electronic grade book into classrooms, which would allow teachers to centralize and easily distribute information.

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Education