Date of Award
Thesis (Restricted access)
Master of Science in Information Technology Leadership (MS ITL)
For our capstone research experience, we chose to study the local area network of an inner-city school for physically- and mentally-impaired students. We conducted an audit of the problems that the school has faced with regards to their IT infrastructure; an infrastructure that needs to provide an environment that can reach all students and provide them with a meaningful learning experience despite any disability they may have. Through our study of the school’s current local network, we discovered that there was a lack of an accurate hardware and software licensing inventory, a lack of proper authentication for client systems, a lack of role-based permissions for the users of these machines, inadequate data storage and backup capabilities, and completely uncontrolled patch and system update maintenance.
With respect to regulations outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), it is the school’s duty to ensure that the best effort is made to cater to the needs of children with disabilities. From our investigation of the school’s current IT situation, we feel that they could be doing more to attain the vision laid out by IDEA. With that said, the school has invested in technologies to fulfill these needs such as iPads to promote an interactive learning experience, smartboards that provide a connective experience for students using touch tracking and tactile feedback, as well as head- and eye-tracking software used to control computers in a way similar to a traditional mouse-and-keyboard interface. Sometimes, however, some of these tools are rendered unusable due to one, or a combination, of the IT-related problems described above. Without a thoroughly implemented underlying technology infrastructure, students and staff are often not presented with a consistent experience across the devices on the network. For example, in the case of the smart whiteboards and eye/head-tracking software, there have been instances where a curious student or staff member with administrative privileges has uninstalled or otherwise modified key files and applications thatare required for these tools to work. The above scenario is just one example where these IT-related problems manifest themselves as an inconsistently managed IT infrastructure at the school.
Summers, Cary; Parks, Reginald; and Harris, Romona, "Consolidating IT Asset Management To Improve a K-12 Educational Environment" (2013). Mathematics and Computer Science Capstones. Paper 9.