The technology department is presently buzzing with activity. The long-awaited event of equipping Liverpool School classrooms with new technology has finally arrived. Because of a tight budget in 2006, the District decided that it should take a hiatus from the $2 to $2.5 million it annually invested in technology. Each year since, the Liverpool Board of Education reviewed its financial position and decided to, once again, delay any technology update until the next year. As time went by, the old equipment aged and more and more of it became obsolete as software packages demanded more capacity.
Last year it was determined that we must make a sizeable investment in the 2010-11 school year in technological infrastructure (e.g. servers, switches, wireless nodes, cabling, etc.). We have become so dependent on our technological systems that we could no longer risk "melt-downs" that potentially could shut down major portions of district operations (both instructional and administrative services). The rejuvenation of our technology infrastructure is by no means the end of the need for technical upgrades. The classrooms all need new equipment. What was there was a hodge-podge of ancient equipment (some well over ten years old).
As the Board and I began eyeing the 2011-12 budget and the huge price tag associated with the next piece of the technology acquisition plan (i.e. equipping each district classroom with new technology), a new idea emerged. With the state budget in place and the guarantee of a BOCES CoSer rebate (of 75 cents on the dollar), we could buy the technology this year and get over $2.7 million of our investment back in the 2011-12 school years (when revenue was sorely needed).
After months of deliberation, the board accepted my recommendation to make the technology purchase this spring. As a result, each K-12 Liverpool School classroom is being equipped with a short-throw projector and each K-9 building is being provided a wireless laptop computer for every 2.5 students. In those places where the new technology is in place, it has already changed the nature of our instructional delivery. I have visited many of the classrooms where the short-throw projector and laptops are in use and the students' enthusiastic involvement is exciting to watch.