Pasadena ISD Bond Election       Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Technology upgrades would enhance
learning, provide more resources

A proposal in the Nov. 2 bond election is calling for $10 million in technology upgrades that would enhance learning and also provide teachers with advanced instructional resources.

The technology plan is part of a $299.88 million package that will be decided by voters. If approved, the upgrades would include integrating technology into curriculum by increasing the web-based and video conferencing opportunities for students and teachers. The proposal also includes plans to replace or upgrade computers every four to five years to keep systems up to date and efficient.

In the past the district received grants from the state's Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund, which allowed the schools to replace and upgrade some of the technology at various schools. However, the state has discontinued the TIF grants and Pasadena ISD has not received the grant funding for the past two years.

"Without the grant money from Telecommunications Infrastructure Funds, our district has limited funds to buy new software or upgrade technology," said Dr. Linda Scarpa, Pasadena ISD's executive director for instructional technology. "We have computers in some schools that are 15 to 20 years old and we can't run new software on those computers."

The technology part of the bond proposal also includes installing a storage area network. The network would increase the storage capacity for all school campuses and departments.

"The idea of the storage network is to transfer all files and software programs to a central location," Scarpa said. "This will also save money on purchasing servers for individual schools, the purchase of different software programs and the maintenance on campus servers."

To protect the schools and departments from computer hacking and viruses, the proposed technology plan would provide the district with a network security system. The plan also includes a disaster recovery plan that would allow the district to fix and replace computers, should they affected by major storms or similar circumstances.

"Our goal is to make it possible for our schools to utilize new technologies and available software to improve student achievement," said Scarpa.

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