NYCDOE K-12 educational needs describe an environment designed and organized around individual student learning needs and preferred learning styles. Technology is seen as a vehicle to greatly enhance and augment this differentiation through ubiquitous access to network applications and services that are available anywhere, anytime, from any device for students and staff. As well, students are now viewed as producers and consumers of rich digital media and online content.
The shift in instructional focus to individual needs and differentiated learning styles means that teachers must meet the educational needs of students in a much more customizable way. Technology again is seen as the means to achieve instructional goals in a more efficient and transformative way moving from an industrialized method of teaching many by focusing only on what the majority need at the expense of the few, to a more dynamic and highly individualized manner fostering mastery of 21c Skills. According to the Partnership for 21st Century Skills http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/,
“…21st century teaching and learning…combines a discrete focus on 21st century student outcomes (a blending of specific skills, content knowledge, expertise and literacies) with innovative support systems to help students master the multi-dimensional abilities required of them in the 21st century.”
In addition to anytime, anywhere access to network applications and services, teachers need easy access to data, resources, shared knowledge base and professional development opportunities. Teachers need to personalize the instruction while providing for authentic learning experiences using the latest tools for collaboration and communication with students and peers.
In order to support these educational goals and objectives for 21st Century learning environments, the NYCDOE needs to provide a technological infrastructure that will allow for productivity, innovation and individuality for all schools. The plan for school infrastructure is designed to meet present-day requirements with an eye toward scalability over 5 years. This section focuses on the specific modifications and enhancements to school infrastructure that are necessary to allow for optimal educational success for all students in all schools.
Implement and refresh school network infrastructure to support new enabling technologies: 5 year plan to refresh technology, including upgrading the network infrastructure to increase school WAN bandwidth, employ WAN backup redundancy and WAN optimization services with quality of services to support enabling technologies.
Implement enabling technologies, including Unified Communication and Collaboration (UCC), Learning Content Management System (LCMS), Alternative Desktop Computing, and a 100% wireless coverage footprint in schools.
Implement enabling technologies to support digital and data content management.
Provide support for eLearning programs in instruction and professional development.
Currently, approximately ninety-eight percent of the classrooms within the NYCDOE school buildings have Internet access and Wireless LAN connectivity. Each building has a cabling infrastructure consisting of a fiber optic backbone providing connectivity between the Main Distribution Frame (MDF) and Intermediate Distribution Frames (IDFs). Each classroom has multiple data ports and one voice drop, connected to an IDF or MDF. The MDF is the main voice and data telecommunications room where local and wide area networking equipment is installed (note, IDFs also have local networking equipment installed).
Schools are connected to a high bandwidth fiber optic ring to access critical NYCDOE resources, such as HSST, Galaxy, FAMIS, ATS and HR systems. This Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) Ring was built over the last five years and was designed with seven geographically distributed nodes to balance the number of connected schools across NY. Currently, schools are connected to the closest node within their associated borough by one of three WAN technologies: Frame Relay, ATM and EVPL. The SONET Ring build-out was part of an earlier strategic plan, and provides bandwidth capacity and redundancy required to support the needs for new instructional applications, and the growing number of PCs and laptops in schools into the future.
Currently, there are approximately 570 schools connected to the SONET Ring over Frame Relay, 220 schools over ATM and 470 schools over EVPL technology. All schools have a single WAN link connected to the NYCDOE core SONET Ring. In the event of a WAN failure, affected schools will immediately lose access to Internet resources. Schools currently do not have redundant WAN connectivity.
Our plan is to expand the current infrastructure to create a more robust and flexible school infrastructure to support new technologies. An adaptable, scalable, secure, and manageable infrastructure architecture is imperative for schools to meet demanding technology enhanced goals and objectives. High-speed transport services to support students, teachers and administrators across both Instructional and Administrative locations are required. The NYCDOE is committed to providing a robust and scalable school network infrastructure for all 1500+ schools.
High-speed WAN connectivity from schools to the NYCDOE core network for Internet and business application access. Common backup WAN connectivity from schools to the NYCDOE core network by providing sustained WAN connectivity to schools implementing redundant Cable/DSL using the VPN technologies to access online learning resources to enhance the learning experience without interruption
Common intelligent network components, such as WAN optimization services to reduce bandwidth utilization for enhanced user experiences.
Common enhanced network services components, such as IP telephony, Enterprise Content Delivery Network (ECDN), and Streaming Media Services to support rich media traffic, digitized video and video broadcasting services. By preventing network congestion, and providing LAN- like performance, the robust and scalable ECDN provides principals, teachers and students better access to on-demand training materials and other graphics-intensive presentations.
Increase wireless coverage to include common areas in schools.
Access to network resources anywhere, anytime, from any device.