Secure and Robust Infrastructure
Promote and support a secure and robust technology infrastructure to support access, adequacy, and equity.
Results (What do we want to accomplish?)
- Students, educators, and leaders have equitable access to secure and robust networks that provide high quality, reliable access to the Internet and other networks.
- Schools and school divisions use best practices that comply with federal, state, and industry guidelines and recommendations to minimize network threats and vulnerabilities and protect educational data.
- Students, educators, and leaders have equitable access to computing devices and other digital resources, including assistive technologies.
- School divisions have access to technical and human resources that enable the effective evaluation of infrastructure costs and other considerations necessary for high quality and reliable access to the Internet and other networks used by students, educators, and leaders in innovative way.
Indicators (What evidence will exist of completion?)
- Increased reporting of equitable and continuous access to secure and reliable networks by students, educators, and leaders as indicated by the Technology Usage Survey.
Action (What action will be taken?)
- Promote equitable access to high quality, effective learning environments for all students by supporting efforts to reduce barriers to technology access.
- Provide technical assistance such as network standards, recommendations, and other information available from various stakeholder organizations that provide guidance on interoperability, broadband, and network capabilities.
- Promote the continual expansion of broadband capability to support digital learning and innovative education using guidance provided by relevant stakeholder organizations.
- Promote local participation in federal (such as e-Rate) and state (such as the Virginia Public School Authority) programs to maximize resources available to students, educators, and school leaders.
- Provide assistance to school divisions on the evaluation of infrastructure costs related to broadband to ensure equity; encourage cooperative purchase agreements when appropriate.
- Provide assistance to school boards and leaders on the development of plans and programs that balance safety and security issues while allowing for instructional innovation.
- Provide evaluation criteria and standards that allow school divisions to make informed purchases of computing devices and other digital resources, including assistive technologies.
- Provide assistance to divisions on the development of regional contracts for planning, acquiring, managing, and maintaining technology, including assistive technology.
- Provide information about evaluation criteria and standards for hardware and software adoption to include a focus on interactivity, personalization and universal design features.
- Ensure that assistive technology services and devices are implemented in accordance with the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
- Provide guidance on the efficient use of the technical support personnel required in the Standards of Quality (§ 22.1-253.13:2. Standard 2. Instructional, administrative, and support personnel – see J).
- Institutions of higher education
- educational stakeholder groups
- professional organizations
- business and industry groups
- local school divisions
Related Resources from VDOE
- Building Broadband
Individual school divisions in Virginia are approaching the problem of student access to the Internet outside of the school in differing ways. One approach taken by Albemarle County Public Schools is described in the article A School District Is Building A DIY Broadband Network.
- Virginia’s KLIP
The K-12 Learning Infrastructure Program (KLIP) is a partnership with the Virginia Department of Education, the governor’s office, the EducationSuperHighway (ESH), and the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation. The KLIP supports increased access to affordable, high-speed Internet in every classroom in Virginia. The goals of the KLIP are to: get fiber to schools that need it, ensure classrooms have updated and reliable Wi-Fi, help divisions get more broadband for their budgets, and assist schools with the e-Rate process to get the discounts they need for Internet access and internal connections.
- E-Learning Backpack
The purpose of the Virginia e-Learning Backpack Initiative is to provide every ninth grade student attending a public school that is not fully accredited with a tablet or laptop computer, digital content and applications, and access to content creation tools. While much of the focus of the initiative is currently on the supplemental grants provided through the Virginia Public School Authority (VPSA) for eligible schools, the Virginia e-Learning Backpack Initiative is actually a broader initiative intended to assist all schools in the transition to digital content and tablet or laptop computers.
- Accessibility and the Division Web Site
The VDOE has listed some resources that will be helpful to school divisions as they seek to update their web pages and digital content to comply with ADA regulations. Find links to information, tools and instructions on the Website Accessibility Resources and Tools for School Divisions page.
- Training and Technical Assistance Centers
The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) supports eight Training and Technical Assistance Centers (TTACs), located at Universities across the Commonwealth of Virginia, to improve educational opportunities and contribute to the success of children and youth with disabilities (birth - 22 years).
- Virginia Longitudinal Data System
The Virginia Longitudinal Data System (VLDS) provides state policy makers, authorized researchers and citizens with access to educational and workforce training data from multiple sources while protecting the privacy of Virginia students. VLDS supports critical reporting on the quality of public education – such as accurate graduation and dropout rates for high schools and school divisions – while providing information that can help policy makers improve programs that prepare and connect Virginians with employment opportunities.
- Continuity Planning
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management provides resources to assist local governmental entities to create Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP). If your division has not been involved with this process, contact your local government agency and discover how you can participate.
- Consortium of School Networking
As K–12 education institutions are increasingly using digital content and related e-learning technologies to meet evolving education needs and goals, division find there are gaps in the integration and interfaces among disparate applications. The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) has several resources that assist school divisions tackling this particular problem.
- Rapid-Cycle Evaluation Support
The US DOE’s Office of Educational Technology is developing a tool to assist schools in use Rapid-Cycle Evaluation (RCE). The new tool, called the Coach,” is in early pilot. “The Coach, embedded with professional development tools, walks educators through how to craft a research question, set up data, create a match comparison group and analyze the results.” Divisions can sign up to use the beta version of this tool.