Rhodes School District 84.5

Technology

Technology at Rhodes is a priority. From preschool through 8th grade, students are exposed to technology in the classroom as well as the labs.

For more information please contact John Mertes, at (708) 453-6813 or via Email

Rhodes Technology Curriculum Map


History - A Story in the Making

Rhodes has been actively using technology since 1982. In fact our first set of computers were an Texas Instruments (TI 30) and an Apple II+. By 1985 we added our first lab consisting of 23 Apple IIe computers along with several printers. While using this equipment, our school was creating a large software library for teacher use. Additionally we added two Apple IIgs computers as well as several ImageWriter printers.

In 1991 we completely updated our hardware. We added a new Macintosh LC lab (24 computers). We also networked our lab to a Digicard system. By 1992 we added a LaserWriter printer and put our entire library and student databases on line. We also added several additional devices including a scanner, LCD panel, modems, etc.

In the summer of 1992 our building was completed networked together with Digicard (LAN). On this LAN, we put all the Apple IIe's and Apple IIgs' along with several Macintosh computers. This enabled each room to have access to over 80 programs without having to use any disks.

A second lab was added in 1994. This lab included 28 Macintosh computers and a new laser printer. In addition five new computers were added to the original lab so that both labs have 28 stations. The school also added a complete Desktop publishing center complete with a 20" monitor.

Additionally, during this time our school began to travel to area conferences/conventions to exhibit our use of technology. Tech 2000 and IASB have been shows we have presented for several years. Additional ones include: ICE, SITE 97, Webnet 97, Midwest Education and Technology Conference, as well as the League for Innovation. See our Conferences section for more information.

During the 1995/1996 school year, we received a grant from the Illinois State Board of Education to connect to the Internet. This grant included a Macintosh 7200 along with the materials needed to connect this computer to the Internet. Our school then added to this grant to be able to put both labs, our entire administrative network, and several classrooms on the Internet. We also created a partnership with Triton College to connect to their Internet connection via wireless technology. The wiring was contracted out to ICS Solutions, who did an excellent job.

We also connected our administrative machines to our new system. However, based on the distance required, fiber optic wire was needed. While the cost was a little higher, the speed helps our entire office run more efficiently.

In 1998, Rhodes technology has had a transformation. First, in the spring of 1998 our school was awarded a grant from Asanté to complete the network of our entire building. Asanté only awards this grant to 5 schools in North America (US and Canada).

Second, River Grove On-line, the site created by our students, was selected as the Jr. Level School of the Year Project by ILEED. Two students and two teachers were flown to Washington, DC to receive the recognition. See our Environmental Education for more information.

Third, we were selected to receive a TLCF grant in the summer of 1998. With these funds we have added a third lab and will be initiating two new projects. This lab contains 24 Gateway computers plus two laser printers. Both tech classes as well as classroom teachers use this lab.

Additionally, we were selected by ICE an official ICE Web Showcase site for the 1998 ICE Conference in November.

Finally, we have been invited to present at several National Conferences including The League for Innovation in Miami this past November and the National School Board Association Convention in San Francisco and Dallas. The NSBA topic is "Creating partnerships that work."

In 2000, we updated our oldest Macintosh Lab with new Gateway Computers. This Lab was funded in part from our TIP (Technology Integration Plan) funded by the Illinois State Board of Education.

One major upgrade in 2006 was changing our Inherent service provider to the Illinois Century Network. This now provides a much faster connection than in the past.

In 2007 and 2008, we upgraded our classrooms, labs, administrative sections to Dell Computers using 20-22" Flat Screens. The entire building now has up to date technology to help our kids develop their skills.

Today, we have over 200 computers in our building, with all of these connected to the Internet. In addition, we have over 40 laser printers, Internet access, e-mail access for all Rhodes staff, and Internet safety measures in place for both students and staff.

We are extremely proud of our accomplishments both hardware and curricular based. While keeping up with changing technologies is always challenging, the benefits are fantastic.

Classrooms

Our building has two LANs (local area network) One of them is for our Fiber Office Network. The other is our new CAT 5 wire Ethernet network. Both of these systems provide teachers and students access to over 50 programs to pick from. Additionally, for those computers on our new Ethernet network, both Internet and E-Mail access are on-line for teachers.

Computer Labs

This Computer lab (Lab #2) has been the main lab used since 1985. It started out as the Apple IIe Lab, then became the Macintosh Lab in 1991. In 2000, it became a Gateway Lab. In 2008, it was upgraded again with Dell Computers using 22" Flat Screens. Today many of the technology courses are taught from this lab. Any classroom teacher may sign out the lab for their own needs. A total of 29 computers and two laser printers are housed in this lab. Additionally, this lab is connected to the Internet as well as all networked applications.

A major component of all our Computer labs are our Epson ceiling mounted projectors. Installed in 2008, they allow both computer and videos to be displayed for classroom viewing. Plus, classroom teachers can check out projectors for classroom use.

Our Writing/Drafting lab (Lab #3) was created in 1994. Originally, it was to be used for writing, but soon the Industrial Arts program updated their curriculum to CADD (computer aided design & drafting). In 2008, it was upgraded again with Dell Computers using 22" Flat Screens. This lab also is connected to the Internet. Any classroom teacher may sign out the lab for their own needs. A total of 24 computers and two laser printers are housed in this lab. Additionally, this lab is connected to the Internet as well as all networked applications.

In 1998, we added this Pc Lab (Lab #1). It started with 24 Gateway 3100 computers, along with two Laser Printers. In 2008, it was upgraded again with Dell Computers using 22" Flat Screens. Many classes are also taught from this lab. A total of 24 computers and two laser printers are housed in this lab. Additionally, this lab is connected to the Internet as well as all networked applications.

School Recognition

Chosen to present at Tech 2000 in Springfield 1993 through 2013.