The Ann Arbor Public Schools has a partner as it develops its technology plans: the Tech Advisory Group.
The ten-member group is made up of local business professionals and technology experts. The group analyzes district technology plans and offers cost-cutting measures, insider tips on evolving technologies and organizational strategies for a district that serves more than 16,000 students. The members are offering their services as AAPS prepares for the upcoming Tech Bond vote on May 8, and the group will continue to evaluate the district on a yearly basis.
After analyzing the Tech Bond plans, the group offered this letter of endorsement:
We are writing this letter as a symbol of our endorsement of the current technology plan. The initial plan calls on changes to enhance and strengthen the infrastructure of technology through the district and seems very reasonable. We found that the AAPS plan was very practical in its formulation with no undue extravagance. The challenges associated with technology in education and the constant changes in technology present difficult problems. However, AAPS staff were very open to suggestions and created a wonderful yearly evaluation that enables the plan to be adjusted as technology continues to evolve. The initial stage is well conceived, while phases 2 and 3 are not pre-determined, which allows for flexibility and adaptability as times change.
The staff of AAPS has demonstrated admirable leadership qualities during the advisory sessions and taken the comments to adjust the executive summary. These adjustments, such as exploring electronic textbooks, the addition of a yearly evaluation, and exploring mobile devices, demonstrated the district’s willingness to adjust the plan as needed.
For all these reasons, we highly recommend the plan in its current state. We believe that as a group we can continue to grow and assist with ideas and advice. Allowing the community to be involved in providing free advice on the plan demonstrates wonderful leadership in our community by the AAPS technology staff.
The members of the group represent ProQuest, Thomson Reuters, Thomson Shore, Terumo Cardiovascular Systems Corp., Menlo Innovations, LLC, Bank of Ann Arbor, United Way of Washtenaw County, Accuri Cytometers, Boundary Systems.
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