Initially I couldn't understand the question of how systems such as child nutrtition can support an online environment. Shouldn't it be the other way arround? By creating a fully integrated infrastructure technology can help make the daily functions of various systems more efficient and able to service students better. For example, districts can significantly reduce their costs, and make bus routes quicker, and more efficient by utilizing computer programs that will create an ideal pick up schedule and route. (Townley & Schmeider-Ramirez 2915, 134). Also through the use of GPS locator devises, the rout audit can be done in a fraction of the time it would take without technology, and with less long term costs. Transportation is one arena in which school systems need to improve their efficiency. I know that I tend to draw on my former school district in North Carolina for a lot of data, but I got to know many officials at the district office. In one conversation when they were preparing for a legal brief, I asked what bussing costs. The CFO told me that it was approximately $350,000 per week for a district of 58,000 students (D. Karpinski, Personal Communication, August 2013). Knowing that really made me ponder the purpose ofbussing, and to see if there was a way technology could help alleviate some of the bussing costs, perhaps with more virtual field trips,skypeing into workshops for students, etc.
This past school year I taught in a Title 1 school. I have never taught in a Title 1 before. I was honestly shocked at the level of poverty, some of my students took food home with them over the weekend because that's all they could get. Growing up this way seemed to give many students a drive to succeed. For example one of my students received a full ride scholarship to USC, another a full ride to the University of Wisconsin. As a Title 1 school students get free breakfast as well as free lunches. The breakfast is served in the classrooms, with an extra 10 minutes of homeroom built into each morning (Bell Schedule, 2015). Again, I believe that technology can help serve students nutrition programs in two overt ways, 1 it can make the National School Lunch Program and the California's School Lunch Program run more effieiently and make sure that no students fall through the cracks (Townley & Schmeider-Ramirez 2015, 152-153.). Another way technology can support the program is by helping students track their daily caloric intake. According to the text we have an obesity problem with our students, anecdotally I belive it is due to poor nutritional choices among the youth (Townley & Schmeider-Ramirez 2015, 150-151.) Child nutrition is where we begin to see how a system can support the technology program. Healthy students who have a nutritious diet perform better in all areas of school, including in their use of technology for academic purposes (Townley & Schmeider-Ramirez 2015, 151.)
As a former Instructional Technology Facilitator, I loved my maintenance staff. In fact, the technology department was under the same umbrella as the Maintenance department. Maintenance made sure that our Wifi network functioned properly, and that our servers wern't destroyed by lightening, as we were struck twice in my last year there. Out of the support services we read this week, I believe that theMainenance and Operations services, while separate services have a relationship which causes them to be confused with each other (Townley & Schmeider-Ramirez, 2015).
Just today I had a meeting with a principal in my new school district (I am moving to a district that is closer to my home) and we discussed a bond they are putting together to help support some improvements in the district including technology. The district is 40% out of district transfer students. One problem they are encountering is residents wondering why they should pay for a bond that will support a large portion of students that won't be paying for it. If it were me, I would remind those parents of the symbiotic relationship between schools and home values. While, yes, students will be benefitting from the bond measure, so would the community as a whole (Townley & Schmeider-Ramirez, 2015).
Like the home values and bond measures for the schools form a symbiotic relationship; so do support departments, including technology. Education Technology can't exist without the operations keeping the district functioning, or maintenance making sure the buildings are clean and have adequate power. I think it is safe to say that all systems (including online learning environments) are merely individual legs supporting a well rounded district.
Bell Schedule. (n.d.). Retrieved June 20, 2015, from https://32ndstreet-uscmagnet.schoolloop.com/
D. Karpinski, Personal Communication, August 2013
Townley, A.J. & Schmeider-Ramirez J.H. (2015). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing Company