School system seeks technology input

Published 2:03 pm Monday, November 14, 2016

By JOYANNA LOVE/Senior Staff Writer

Chilton County Schools is collecting input from staff, parents, students and community members in its annual Speak Up Survey.

Chilton County Schools technology coordinator Kim Arrington said the web-based survey asks questions about “learning and teaching with technology … such as internet safety, how students are using technology for learning in and out of school, how important the use of technology is for our teachers and parents, what types of technology our teachers need and how it would be used in the classroom, finding out the hot trends in emerging technologies, administrators’ challenges, and parents’ concerns.”

Speak Up is mostly multiple choice, but does provide space for written comments.

The deadline for completing the survey has been extended to Jan. 13.

“Our school district uses results from the surveys for strategic planning, professional development and budgeting. We use state and national comparisons to help us ensure that our students are well prepared to be tomorrow’s innovators, leaders and engaged citizens of the world,” Arrington said.

The survey responses are used in developing technology plans for each school and at a district level.

“Students provide information about their accessibility to technology at home, their preferences of printed books versus e-books, their awareness of internet safety, the devices they prefer for learning, how they use devices/internet for school work, and how technology is incorporated in their classes. Teachers and administrators provide feedback about technology issues and needs as well as training that is needed. Parents provide feedback about using technology for communication, technology in their child’s education, and its importance to student success,” Arrington said.

Many schools, such as Clanton Intermediate, have a link to the survey posted on their website.

“It is important to get comments from not just administrators, but also parents,” Clanton Intermediate principal Louise Pitts said.

She said the survey is a way “to help us see where it would be best to spend technology money.”

“To access the survey, community members can visit the Chilton County School District’s website at and click Speak Up under Quick Links. After choosing the appropriate survey, they should follow the instructions provided. The survey should take less than 20 minutes to complete, and all answers are 100 percent confidential,” Arrington said.

Arrington said those without internet access can use the computers at the Chilton-Clanton Public Library to complete the survey.

Annual Speak Up surveys have been used by the school district for the past 10 years. Arrington said past responses from students led the district to choose Chromebooks as the preferred device in all schools.

“Since the Chromebook initiative began, more than 3,000 Chromebooks have been purchased for classrooms throughout our district,” Arrington said.

The school’s annual technology plan is accessible on the Chilton County School website at To access the plan, click on Documents under the Technology tab.