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Irving Independent School District, Irving TX.

High School Laptop Initiative

Irving Independent School District uses student laptops supplied by Dell, and some teachers also have Macs.

Director of Instructional Technology: Sam Farsaii 972-215-5255

Irving's laptop handbook in .PDF format

Filtering Software: Websense

Number of students: 31,000

Per pupil expenditure: $5,883

Technology budget total: $32,801,272

Technology expenditure per pupil: $1062.91

Computer/Student ratio: 2 students per computer


The technology leadership team, already in place, agreed about the necessity of a long-term upgrade plan. "A five-year plan ... would result in reaching a vision for the district shared by school board members, parents and teachers," explains Anderson. "The consensus was that everyone wanted laptops for every student and [for] teachers to all have their own computers."

At the same time, the district was planning its fourth high school, the Academy of Irving. School leaders decided to bundle the two projects. A $47 million bond issue garnered 85 percent community support in 1999. The technology plan revolved around an ATM network platform for the new school, equipping it to handle video, audio and computer data transmission over the same network. The money would also be used to create a new technology platform--with student laptops as the centerpiece--for the rest of the district.

Through a recent survey completed by 1,080 students, 755 reported using their laptops daily for learning. And 885 students said the laptop is "extremely useful" or "useful." When asked about how the laptop changed their attitudes, 704 students said the tool has given them "much greater" or "slightly better" appreciation for school. Students also reported greater skills mastery in areas such as computer basics, PowerPoint and e-mail when they compared their current skills to their pre-laptop skills.

Staff development in Irving ISD is moving beyond how to work computer applications towards how to use them in effective teaching. High school teachers are required to undergo 24 hours of training on integrating computers into teaching. The district is the leading user of Voyager instructional technology training in Texas. And every campus in the district has at least two full-time staff members dedicated to making technology work in the classroom. Campus technicians (CTs) keep things running—repairing and installing equipment. Instructional technology specialists (ITSs) help with specifics of technology-integrated teaching, providing just-in-time training for teachers specific to their students’ needs.

• Technology is vital to teaching and learning for the 21st century.
• Technology will be transparent in every classroom and integrated throughout the curriculum.
• All students in grades 3rd – 12th will be supported with a personal computing device.
• Teachers and students will be equipped with current technologies that make learning interesting, motivating and relevant to the real world.
• Professional staff will use tools for teaching and managing information.
• Students will be responsible for their own learning.
• Technology will be accessible and in working order at all times for teaching and learning.

The Long Range Planning Committee identified the following needs to be addressed by the long range plan:
• The written curriculum must include the integration of technology.
• Instruction must develop students’ higher order thinking skills through the use of technology.
• The district must develop more ways to assess students using technology.
• The district must provide more professional development to teachers and administrators to keep them up to date on best practices and technology skills.
• All district systems must be upgraded on a regular basis to support departmental functions.
• The district will continue to move toward its goal of a one-to-one environment for all students 3rd -12th grade.
• The district must provide a robust, reliable infrastructure to support the instructional needs of teachers and students.
• The district needs to continue to use technology as a means to provide information to parents and the community so they are part of the learning process.

2. Unacceptable conduct includes, but is not limited to the following:
a. Using the network for illegal activities, including copyright, license, or contract violations or downloading inappropriate materials, viruses, and/or software, such as but not limited to hacking and host file sharing software.
b. Using the network for financial or commercial gain, advertising, or political lobbying.
c. Accessing or exploring on-line locations or materials that do not support the curriculum and/or are inappropriate for school assignments, such as but not limited to pornographic sites.
d. Vandalizing and/or tampering with equipment, programs, files, software, system performance, or other components of the network. Use or possession of hacking software is strictly prohibited.
e. Causing congestion on the network or interfering with the work of others, e.g., chain letters or broadcast messages to lists or individuals.
f. Intentionally wasting finite resources, i.e., on-line time, real-time music.
g. Gaining unauthorized access anywhere on the network.
h. Revealing the home address or phone number of one's self or another person.
i. Invading the privacy of other individuals.
j. Using another user's account, password, or ID card or allowing another user to access your account, password, or ID.
k. Coaching, helping, observing, or joining any unauthorized activity on the network.
l. Forwarding/distributing e-mail messages without permission from the author.
m. Posting anonymous messages or unlawful information on the system.
n. Engaging in sexual harassment or using objectionable language in public or private messages, e.g., racist, terroristic, abusive, sexually explicit, threatening, demeaning, stalking, or slanderous.
o. Falsifying permission, authorization, or identification documents.
p. Obtain copies of or modify files, data, or passwords belonging to other users on the network.
q. Knowingly placing a computer virus on a computer or network.

The district is currently conducting a district-wide program evaluation of the Irving ISD laptop program at all the high schools. We are surveying students and teachers with online questionnaires, conducting focus group interviews, and conducting
classroom observations in order to see how well the program is being implemented. We have contracted with the University of North Texas to analyze the data we collect. We will continue to use a similar approach each year as we gather data about
our technology program.

Copyrighted software or data may not be placed on any system connected to the District's system without permission from the holder of the copyright. Only the copyright owner, or individual the owner specifically authorizes, may upload copyrighted material to the system.
Original work created by District student shall require written permission from the student (and the student's parent if the student is a minor) to be posted on a District Web site or to be transmitted via any District television or radio transmission. Classroom assignments are exempted from this requirement, but teachers shall approve classroom assignments for appropriateness and acceptability before posting or transmitting.

If the property is not timely returned, is damaged, lost or stolen, you are responsible for the reasonable cost of repair or the replacement value on the date of the loss. In the case of theft, a police report must be filed. If the laptop is lost because of a negligent or deliberate action not covered by insurance, you are responsible for the entire replacement costs. The maximum amount for which you will be liable is $1,700.

For a $40 premium payment, insurance is available through the District
for student laptop computers.
• With insurance, parents are responsible for the $100.00 deductible per incident or claim.
• Insurance only protects in certain events that occur at home, school, or on the road. Examples of coverage and exclusions are show on the next page.
• In case of theft, vandalism, and other criminal acts, a police report MUST be filed by the student or parent.
• The deductible must be paid BEFORE the laptop can be repaired.
• In case of theft, the deductible must be paid and the police report filed BEFORE the laptop can be replaced.
• Student and parents are responsible for full payment of damages or losses NOT covered by insurance.

The district has desktop computers in the classroom. These computers can be used by students if they do not have their laptop. They will be able to access their saved work on their network drive.

• Inappropriate media may not be used as a screensaver.
• Presence of weapons, pornographic materials, inappropriate language, alcohol, drug, gang related symbols or pictures will result in disciplinary actions.
• Passwords on screensavers and power-on screen are not to be used.
• There is a $15 reimaging charge to get rid of any of the above.
• Sound will be muted at all times unless permission is obtained from the teacher for instructional purposes.
• No headphones except for instructional purposes.
Deleting Files
• Do not delete any folders or files that you did not create or that you do not recognize. Deletion of certain files will result in a computer failure and will interfere with your ability to complete class work and may affect your grades.
• There is a $15 reimaging charge to correct system files.
Music, Games, or Programs
• Music and games may not be downloaded. This may be a violation of copyright laws.
• All software loaded on the system must be District approved.
• There is a $15 reimaging charge to get rid of any unapproved software or files.
No Loaning or Borrowing Laptops
• Do not loan laptops to other students.
• Do not borrow a laptop from another student.
• Do NOT share passwords or usernames