State audit classifies EACS as tech leader

September 6th, 2018

By Ashley Sloboda | The Journal Gazette

East Allen County Schools' efforts to pair every student with a computing device makes the district a statewide leader, a recent technology audit found.

The review, which was conducted by consultants last spring, also offered suggestions for improvement.

Technology director Keith Madsen and Teresa Knoblauch, assistant superintendent of elementary education, shared the results with the school board Tuesday.

The results weren't surprising, Knoblauch said, but they appreciated having outsiders review East Allen's situation with an objective lens.

The consultants – two retired superintendents – called East Allen a leader in the 1:1 technology initiative because it is one of 156 Indiana districts providing devices for students at all grade levels, according to the audit's executive summary. That represents about 41 percent of districts that completed an annual technology survey.

East Allen has had 1:1 technology for six years, Madsen said.

The district's use of digital textbooks also put it ahead of others. On average, fully 1:1 schools report 62 percent of their content is digital. East Allen is at 95 percent, with physical textbooks accounting for the remainder, according to the audit.

The consultants offered eight items to consider. Suggestions include develop a professional learning plan for technology; establish a plan measuring the effect of technology use on student learning; and strengthen communication within the technology department and between it and the district.

To start, East Allen will focus on four, including one about restructuring and cross training staff. This process should help the district determine whether more personnel are needed, Knoblauch said.