Management: Equipment and Infrastructure

Defining Equipment and Infrastructure Terms and Categories for Technology in Schools

Many of the questions about technology that schools or districts must answer concern the types and amounts of equipment and infrastructure that a school has. Schools and districts need to count and keep track of hardware in order to answer such questions. This chapter provides guidance for responding to these kinds of questions, including equipment availability to users. It also addresses the connection of computers and video equipment to networks and to the Internet-the requisite infrastructure that allows users to share information electronically.

Much information can be drawn from a school district's inventory system. If an inventory system is set up with the capacity to produce useful reports, and is maintained routinely, surveys may take minutes instead of days to complete. The information that should be included in a database system to provide this capacity follows.

Indicators are provided both for the presence of computers and other technology resources in school administrative and instructional settings and for the availability of these resources to teachers, students, and administrative staff.

Indicators do not cover all the possible kinds of equipment that one might find in schools because the intent of this handbook is to describe and suggest, not prescribe. Enough are provided to serve as examples for developing other indicators, as well as data elements. Obviously, the list of indicators will require updating over time, to allow for new technologies and types of equipment that diffuse into school settings.