For Technology Directors

Talking Points for Technology Directors as of January 16, 2014


State Education Network

icon  Participation in the mapping effort is critical.  Registration is open for ISD tech directors to participate in training sessions for the mapping tools on January 20, 22 and 24.  
icon  Create more reliable networks – as our individual networks connect we can create more reliable networks (alternate paths when one goes down).
icon  Techs can share plant management resources and reduce stress by collaborating more.
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 will help save money.


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  Invitations to participate on the Bid Specifications Committee and the Bid Evaluation Committee will be sent out in January 2014. Bid Specifications Committee will consider adding items such as wired iPad keyboards, laptop carts, etc. to the bid.
icon  The Apple PD sessions conducted in November and December were well-received. Additional Apple PD sessions are being planned for the Spring. Professional development for districts purchasing devices from Dell and Sehi in Summer 2013 is in the planning stages and will most likely take place this Spring.


icon  In many schools and districts the E-Rate process is handled by the Technology Director, sometimes with the assistance of the Business Office.  The E-Rate Activity will provide resources to simplify the E-Rate processes, make sure all legal requirements are satisfied to use those resources and allow the E-Rate program to be exploited to the most benefit of the school/district.

Data Systems Integration

icon  The Data Integration project addresses a number of needs for districts.  One of our goals is to make the process of integrating with ancillary systems (Special Education, Library, Food Service, and Transportation) much more consistent across the state by building it from the data hub rather than the SIS.  It is possible that this integration could facilitate state reporting and automating the request for UIC process.  Working from a common data platform will allow for good ideas and processes developed in one district/ISD to be shared across the state.
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.
icon  Updates on the Low Effort Data Collection toolset for gathering network data into MTRAx will be available in early February.

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. The pre-assessment data from teachers who took the pre-assessment survey in September-November will be distributed at the end of January/beginning of February. The Regional Coordinator will schedule meetings with Building Coaches and Administrators to share the data.

Assessment & Curriculum

icon  Tech Directors should be aware that as teachers indicate a need for making an immediate impact on their classroom instruction as a direct result of assessment that a series of webinars will be made available to educators around the state throughout the year. These webinars are being housed on and the links are also available on There is also a document on the MDE website Interim Assessment Page titled “K-2 Resources to Support Tech Literacy in Young Students” that may be very helpful for elementary teachers to use with their students as they begin to prepare them for online assessments.