For Business Office

Talking Points for Business Office as of January 16, 2014


State Education Network

icon  K12’S opportunity to play a part in Michigan’s economic development
By connecting our K12 networks we can provide connection alternatives (lower cost connections?) for a variety of municipal and state agency users.  Low cost connections is good for Michigan’s competitiveness
icon  A common, connected backbone between all k12 facilities makes resource sharing (hardware, staff skills, leveraging vendors) easier and helps insure that each district is not duplicating a service or skill that can be centralized and provided at a lower cost.  This is the trend generally in networking (not just k12 but all businesses).
icon  Help keep talent on board:
•  Competing for tech skills with other districts and for profit businesses is difficult when we can’t provide growth paths for our techs and provide them with opportunities to specialize.  When we centralize functions we provide opportunities to specialize (eg. Server administration) and career development.
icon  All of the above save money.
icon  Superintendents should be aware that techs will be asked to assist with mapping our K12 network infrastructure over the next couple of months.  Training sessions are scheduled for January. ISD Technology Directors have been given the registration information.
icon  We are also be asking them to participate in surveys that collect information data center resources in their buildings.
icon  There may be increased opportunities to sell excess capacity with the SEN Operating Office handling the customer interface issues.
icon  We are analyzing the role that the new SEN will play in e-rate but not final decisions have been made.


Device Purchasing

icon  Next purchase window will be incentivized and is anticipated to open in April 2014 and run through at least the middle of July 2014. The devices that will be eligible for incentives will be finalized in January 2014. $7,000,000 has been set aside for incentives for the Spring 2014 bid.


icon  A disparity exists in the cost of Internet connectivity for Michigan schools. Some regions pay in excess of 30 times what some urban and suburban schools pay for this critical component of technology readiness.  Ensuring that all schools can afford to purchase the needed connectivity is a critical foundation for high-stakes assessments. The E-Rate Activity will ensure that every Michigan school receives the most competitive price possible for Internet Access and data connectivity. In addition, it seeks to simplify the E-Rate process and seeks to exploit the available funding discounts to the most benefit of the school/district.

Data Systems Integration

icon  The Data Integration Project has a number of ways in which it will help to reduce costs for districts and ISDs.  The areas that will help to reduce costs include:
•  Integration of systems that were not previously integrated
•  Eliminating duplication of entry
•  Increasing data accuracy
•  Sharing work across the state based on a common platform
•  Efficiencies gained from narrowing down to a reduced number of systems
icon  Current project status:
•  Developing connectors for the six identified Student Information Systems
•  Designing a web-based administrative application which will allow districts to monitor and manage their integrations
•  Planning to begin developing connectors for Special Education and Data Warehouse systems in the next two months


Michigan Technology Readiness Tool (MTRAx)

icon  The statewide rollout of the MTRAx application which was completed in December saw excellent participation from the K12 community with nearly 98% of local districts representing almost 96% of the student population participating.
icon  If your district has a tech plan that is expired or will expire this year, you will complete your updated tech plan in MTRAx.  Further details will follow, expect that the application will be ready to start building tech plans in April 2014.  An updated technology planning process is scheduled to be developed, starting in June of 2014.

Classroom Readiness

icon  Classroom Readiness is gearing up for year two. We are currently working on the Application Process for participation for districts/buildings. The hope is for this to go out the end of January.