January 2013 New Ulm Tech: Our TAR Score

Doug Johnson, Mankato Public School's Technology Director, recently wrote a post on teacher's access to both use and fit technology to their needs.
Checkout Doug's post here.
In his post, he spells out an assessment to grade what he calls a TAR Score is, or, your district's Technologically Anal Retentive score.

While I can fully agree with every demerit a school technology department can receive, I wanted to see where New Ulm's TAR score was at, at the present moment. While I am constantly trying to support classroom teachers willing to take steps toward the future and utilize

My district does not allow staff to use their own devices on the network.
  1. My district does not allow students to use their own devices on the network.
My district only supports one operating system.

  1. My district does not give teachers the choice of a laptop computer they can use outside of school.
    • In planning stages for 2013-14
  2. My district does not give teachers administrative rights to their computers (the ability to add software, access control panels. etc.)
    • In motion to redo computer setup, Summer 2013
My district assigns passwords.

My district blocks (1 point each):

  1. Facebook/LinkedIn/Google+
  2. Youtube
    • We still get a point for this because it is being opened only for High School students this spring



Non-school email sites
Blogs and wikis (including Wikipedia)
Anything Google (apps, sites, search, images)
  • My district must approve all software I use.
    • Can't completely stop this thought until teachers have administrative rights on computer
My district does not allow student work to be published to a public website.
My district does not allow access to the student information system outside the district.
My district does not allow students and parents access their grades and other information online.
My district only offers technology training by technology department members, not staff.
  1. I need more than one password to get into my gradebook. You only need one, but it's 16+ characters long and set by IT.
  2. I feel my district actively monitors my e-mail and computer use without cause.
    • Apple Remote Desktop is used to install software, so I imagine teachers feel this way
Bonus 5 points: If your technology director cites CIPA, FERPA, or another mysterious acronym as a reason for blocking anything.

Total Score: 8 Result (Based off Doug Johnson’s writing) for a score of 5-15: “Your school needs to figure out a better collaborative process for determining what should and should not be blocked.”

I feel that we need to take a few more drastic actions, both in the realm of staff development and IT infrastructure, to qualify for this nicely-worded description of what we as a district need to move toward. I am impressed with the willingness of many staff members to step out from the dark and ask for help and support to try using new tools for projects in their classrooms, which for me says something about where we can go into the future... which includes lowering our TAR Score.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Eric,

    You've got New Ulm moving! Congrats.

    Oh, and don't take anything I write too seriously!