Belmont Secondary SD#62 Sooke

School Name: Belmont Secondary

School District: SD#62 Sooke

Inquiry Team Members:
Cameron Smith
Alexis Mckean
Rachael Sandberg
Lesley Conway
Claire Wilkie
Ryan Dube
Melissa Horner

Inquiry Team Contact Email:

Type of Inquiry: NOIIE

Grade Levels: Secondary (8-12)

Curricular Area(s): Applied Design, skills & Technology, Career Education, Language Arts – Oral Language, Language Arts – Writing

Focus Addressed: Core competencies (for example, critical thinking, communication, problem solving), Differentiated instruction, Flexible learning, Inclusion and inclusive instructional strategies, Inquiry-based learning, STEM / STEAM, Universal design for learning

In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? What types of technology (hardware and software) for education best supports our learners? Knowing this, how do we make informed choices about usage and allocation of our technology for education?

Scanning: To complete our scan, we used district IT inventory data, school level data around inventory and usage, and student survey data to collect students’ thoughts about their access to and use of technology.

How is Belmont Using Technology?
– Google machines: Search, Docs, Slides, Classroom
– Inequity in access/usage
– Avoidance due to unreliability
– Labs well-used for specific courses
– No digital literacy programming
– Little to no alternative to Chromebooks (Ipads, VR, PC)

Immediate Concerns:
– Student-to-unit ratio
– Inventory statistics differ between school and district
– Malfunctioning units rising
– CloudReady system defunct June 2021
– No coherent ownership/custodianship plan
– Inequity of access between classrooms
– Student access outside of class time

Focus: What comes first?
Without first establishing reliable and equitable access to the most common classroom technology needs (word processing, research, demonstrating knowledge), concerns over variety of options and digital literacy become moot.

– Technology was purchased by the school and distributed to departments. Some departments supplemented these units.
– Initial distribution was inequitable and had no plan for replacement for age/damage.
– Departmental distribution led to dead time on units and difficulty for departments that have grown in time.
– All units from initial purchase disabled by end of 2020/2021 due to compatibility issues with CloudReady OS.
– The challenge presented by this provides an opportunity to innovate and improve our practices!

New Professional Learning:
– Explore effective practices identified in research and/or in other schools.
– Take stock of tech and align with district numbers.
– Survey students about their experiences with technology at Belmont. Student survey results had three main themes: reliability, choice, and skills.
– Look to other schools for distribution models, ratios, and variety of technology.
– Determine potential purchasing power between Belmont and IT department.

Taking Action: A new replacement plan and distribution model was developed in which the school would centrally purchase classroom technology for distribution through the Learning Commons. Departments wishing for increased access to technology will be supported in these purchases. This plan was developed with the following goals in mind:
– Increasing equity in access for all departments regardless of trends in course selections and curricular needs.
– Centralizing responsibility for care and maintenance.
– Allowing for data collection on usage.
– Limit dead time on units.
– Increasing flexibility for student use outside of classroom.
– Centralize future purchases of a variety of technology.

Checking: Belmont purchased 100 new Chromebooks for use throughout the school.
IT Department supported the purchase of another 70+ units to help maintain current device ratios as CloudReady units fail.
Tech switched from distributed to centralized model.

Technology sign out is at an all-time high with particular increases in departments that had rarely accessed before.

Students and teachers are encouraged by the reliability of the technology in the building, becoming more willing to access by choice rather than necessity.

Crisis Averted
Despite the fact that our student/device ratio will drop from September levels, the reliability of tech and improved distribution model appear to suffice in bridging the gap left behind.

2021-2022 Semester 1:
Accumulate technology usage data.
Determine needs going forward – Diversify hardware? Increase student/device ratio? Maintain status quo?
Develop digital literacy curriculum for incoming Grade 9’s, adding grade levels each year.
Develop support mechanisms for student owned technology in a BYOD model. (Can we have Bluetooth keyboards for phones, encourage personal tablet/laptop/Chromebook use?)

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