MyTech

Technology is a powerful tool to engage and empower our students. With the approval of the 2016 DPS Bond and Mill Levy, we will embark on an initiative to shift schools in grades 6-12 to a one-to-one computer device that students will be able to take home.

MyTech was designed based on research indicating that student outcomes improve when the one-to-one implementation is thoughtfully planned and executed. Participating schools will receive additional bond funding, as well as other district supports. 

What The Program Will Entail

  • All DPS schools will receive $100 per pupil for classroom technology.
  • Schools that opt-in and who are selected for MyTech will receive an additional $200 per pupil, for a total of $300 per pupil to invest in low-cost student devices.
  • Devices will be selected, purchased and distributed by the MyTech team, and schools will develop their own plan for rolling out these devices to students.
  • Digital Coach: Participating schools will receive a part-time digital coach who will be hired, trained and assigned to each school to help teachers integrate technology into their classrooms in order to make the most of the student devices. This half-time position can be used by the school in support of their professional development plan.

Participating schools will also receive district support in the many aspects of a one-to-one implementation, including asset tracking, parent and student communications, parent and student agreements, kick-off planning, resources for developing a culture of digital citizenship, and other resources identified during the planning process.

What Schools Need To Do

Schools that serve students in grades 6-12 are invited to apply online. This application will help the MyTech steering committee determine which schools are ready for and who can benefit from the program. Application deadline: Nov. 30, 2016.

Instructions for the Initial Application Process

  • Review the application questions and plan your answers using this document.
  • Complete and submit your application here.
    Note: Your application must be submitted using this Google form in order to be considered. You cannot submit the document.

Selection Process: Applicants will be narrowed down to a set of schools that will be asked to participate in a deeper planning process. This planning will take from January to March 2017. It will include assistance from the DPS Educational Technology team, Department of Technology and other central resources that will help schools with a successful one-to-one implementation. The process will include an intentional effort to align this implementation with the school’s vision as well as detailed planning around professional development, device deployment, digital citizenship and other culture development, community outreach, and success monitoring. The planning process will culminate in a presentation by school leadership, teachers, and students to a selection committee.

Program Start Date: Schools that are selected for implementation can begin purchasing devices and other efforts by June 2017.

FAQs

How will schools be selected to participate?

The responses to the initial application will be scored by a selection committee.  The scoring will be reviewed with the Instructional Superintendents (IS). The IS may choose to remove schools that they strongly believe are not ready for this program.

We will also look across the schools to ensure they fairly represent the ethnic and socio-economic makeup of the district. While we do not have specific percentage requirements for free and reduced lunch (FRL) students, or students of color for individual schools, we do want to make sure the entire program is a fair representation of the ethnic and socio-economic composition of the district. The steering committee and district leaders will then review the final list of schools selected to move forward and may make changes. Schools will be notified when they return from winter break as to whether they are moving into the next selection round.

How will students use these devices outside of school if they don't have internet access at home?

The bond funding does not include access outside of school.  However, we are working with community partners to identify options for providing access at home for those students who do not have internet service.  For schools that do not have to solve for this problem, we will provide options for your students by the fall of 2017 when students would first receive devices.

What reporting will participating schools have to do?

We are still in the process of determining what reporting schools will have to provide while participating in this program. Some additional reporting will definitely be needed to determine how teachers are using technology in their classroom so that we can see the impact of specific approaches on student outcomes. This additional reporting will be defined by the end of January so that the schools participating in the detailed planning and selection process can include these requirements in their program plan.

What will happen to the devices we already have in our school?

Decisions about existing devices will be made individually in partnership with each school.

  • In some instances, it may be most appropriate to transfer legacy devices to other schools who need more equipment. These transfers may happen over time, depending on how the school plans to roll out the MyTech devices.  
  • In other cases, it may be appropriate to leave some devices in place to support specific programs in that school.

The overall goal will be to use the district’s assets efficiently and cost-effectively and to ensure the students in the participating school don’t take any steps backward in terms of their learning environment.

Will the digital coach replace my school's technology representative (STR)?

No, the digital coach role is funded centrally and is not intended to replace or support the STR. Their role is to work with teachers to effectively incorporate technology into lesson plans, assessments and student assignments.

Can students provide their own devices?

Because this is a pilot program in which students will take home devices, we will establish some common processes for device tracking and management. This will not include students using their own devices in the program. We are not ruling this out as an option, however, for the future of one-to-one initiatives in the district.

Does my school have to have a full-time employee dedicated to this program to participate?

You will need to have a School Technology Representative (STR) in order to participate in this program. This individual does not necessarily have to be full time. For schools who have an STR, the MyTech steering committee will help you determine eligibility. If a school does not have an STR, or if they don’t have time to accomplish this by the deadline, the school will need to fund that additional resource.

Can a K-8 school participate in this program?

Yes, K-8 schools can participate. However, the program would only apply to grades 6-8.

How will this program be sustained after the bond funding runs out?

In addition to the $300 per student for hardware, an additional $150 per student is included in the funding to refresh and/or replace devices (as needed) during the three-year period.  In the detailed planning phase of the selection process, schools will be asked for their vision on how they might be able to fund refreshes/replacements after the three years are over.  

Do all of my students receive their MyTech device in the first year of the program?

No, not every student needs to receive their device right away. The distribution and roll out of the program is up to the school. Schools may choose to roll it out by grade, by specific programs within the school, or any other method that supports their strategy. Defining the rollout plan is part of the planning process. All students in grades 6-12 should have a device, however, by the beginning of the 2019-20 academic year.  

If you have questions about the application process or about the MyTech program in general, please email Kirk Anderson at Kirk_Anderson@dpsk12.org