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I didn't get many responses, but here they are. Thanks again to those who
did offer advice!

My Post :
> I have been charged with the exciting (and overwhelming) task of
facilitating my faculty in determining what technologies they would IDEALLY
like to see in a brand new primary school, which will open in fall of 2007.
The school will have 6 classes each of grades K-3, totalling about 400
students. This is a real chance for these teachers to "think big" and I want
to help them as much as I can by giving them a broad sense of the
> Some givens:
> - There will be at least one traditional lab, but teachers want more
options than that.
> - Each classroom will be equipped with an LCD projector, Smartboard,
Desktop PC and DVD player.
> - There will be a mix of wired and wireless networking.
> - The administration is interested in infrastructure as well as
equipment -- we need to plan for growth, e.g. maybe there's no funding for a
media production studio at first, but we should create space and wiring for
its eventuality...
> - We need to consider software and support as well as hardware and
> - The true goal, of course, is to enhance teaching and learning in
meaningful ways.
> So, my questions:
> What essential and not-essential-but-potentially-transformative
technologies would you need and hope to see in a brand new school for 5-9
year olds?
> What related technological concerns must we also consider?
> Thank you...

The Responses:

Make sure there is a continuing line item for training. There a many schools
with tons of technology that just sits because teachers either don't know
how to use it or how to incorporate it into their programs.

A one-shot, this is how the SmartBoard works is not enough.

This is an area where admins often balk because it is a large expense that
they don't see as directed at the students.  There is, however, a ton of
research, if you need to make a case.


1. Use Cat 6 ethernet wiring.  That was the highest available when we wired,
so you may be able to go even higher.
2.For ceiling mounted projectors--you need an electrical outlet in the
ceiling--in the center.  Before they put up the walls, you need to have them
install at least a 1 1/2--to 1 3/4 conduit running into the ceiling and down
to a wall plate so that all the wiring for the computer/a/v equipment can be
plugged into the projector.
3. If you install classroom screens--install them high--few inches from the
ceiling, so that the projected screen will be above the student's heads.
4.  We had tvs and dvd/vcrs mounted high on the wall in the classrooms and
other areas--office, gym, etc.  We had them put data and electrical outlets
up in the same area--the data will be for future needs.
5. We hardwired everything, but also put the capabilities for wireless in
the classrooms and network closets.
6. We had co-axial cable run to each classroom, offices, library, cafeteria,
gym.  We had direct tv installed--they supply free the antenna, 2 receivers,
and recorder.  They also provide free programming every month.  We had to
purchase additional receivers, monitors for the number of channels we wanted
broadcast to the classrooms.  The teachers voted on the channels they wanted
access to.  We have one channel available for live broadcasting.  We have a
digital camera attached to the receiver and also a vcr/dvd player--so we can
do a "live" interview or play a single dvd/video and broadcast into every
8. We had numerous ethernet drops put in every classroom for future growth.
Don't let them "sell" you on just putting one drop in, and then suggest you
use hubs.  Also, don't forget to put drops in the gym, cafeteria
9. Have a wireless sound system put in your stage area or cafetorium.
10. We have a computer lab in our library, besides 2 computer labs where
they teach computer classes.  The library lab is booked with teachers
bringing their students for research, creative writing projects, or
technology projects.  It's also available for individual student drop-ins.


An ELMO would be good.  It works like an opaque projector but hooks up
to the computer.  My classroom teachers use ours a great deal.

New to us this year is a Quizdom.  It's interactive equipment that hooks
up to the computer and allows students to maneuver on whatever is on the
screen.  The teachers who have used it, love it.


I realize these are "older" technologies, but I know all of  my teachers
still want an overhead projector and a listening center  (cassette tapes and
player) with headphones as well.

I would also consider having a TV with a DVR or TiVo connection where you
can record programs from cable television, and then add on a VHS/DVD
machine where you can make VHS tapes or DVDs of the shows you record.  I
our TV and DVR box in the library office.  (Copyright lets you use  these
recordings for ONE year -- but you could see which shows were used by the
teachers and then purchase the appropriate shows for the school to have

 Shelley Paul
Atlanta, GA

Instructional Technology Specialist
Woodward Academy

Poet, Teacher & Performer

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