Dublin City Schools students could soon build their own courses with online resources available 24/7.

Dublin City Schools students could soon build their own courses with online resources available 24/7.

Chief technology director Michael Voss last week outlined strategic goals for the district over the next three years, focusing on instruction and infrastructure.

Voss' plan envisions a free-flow of information to students from teachers and the Internet.

"We want our students to work with other students all over the state, country and globe," he told Dublin Board of Education members during a Jan. 25 meeting.

To improve instruction with technology, Voss said, teachers will have to focus on a larger Web presence.

A program called Moodle that gives students online learning options is being used by the district, and Voss said he wants more content online that could be put in a Dublin storage cloud. Both students and teachers can pull information from the cloud to fit them, he said.

Voss hopes to use technology to individualize and personalize learning for students.

"Students can access content 24/7," he said. "We shouldn't limit learning to the school day."

Content available online would allow students to learn at their own pace and wherever they want to access it. "They could pull up a video on the bus to school," Voss said.

Personalizing learning also would allow students to learn in the way that suits them best, Voss said. Right now, students learn in the classroom the way the teacher wants to.

"But all students don't learn the same way," he said, noting that different content such as text files, audio files and videos can be used by students to learn.

"Students can customize what they're learning," Voss said.

Plans that allow students to put together their own courses with online content will require improvements to the district's technology infrastructure, though.

Voss said he wants to improve the student and teacher experience with technology and eliminate problems with software updates and slow computers.

The bandwidth between the central office and buildings within the district needs to be expanded, and Voss proposed increasing it by 20 times for "a relatively small cost.

"There will be no more roadblocks, no more clogged pipes," he said.

A larger connection between the central office and the Internet is also needed, Voss said, proposing an increase from 100 megabits per second to 250. "We regularly max out 100," he said.

The connection increase was approved by board members last week with a contract with MEC and Time Warner Cable.

Board members approved a $31,090 contract with MEC for an increase of 250 megabits per second from 100. The Time Warner contract for $23,750 would increase internet service between the central office and all schools except Coffman High School, which is connected through the city.

Other infrastructure improvements planned by Voss include a secure way to let students and teachers access information saved within the district at home, and moving all storage from buildings to the central office.

Board member Lynn May questioned how many Dublin students have Internet access at home to use these planned resources.

Voss said he was unsure of exact numbers, but it'll "probably never be 100 percent.

"We'll do everything we can to help those kids who don't have access," he said, adding that computer labs at the school can be opened before and after school. A building recently purchased by the district near the central office is also being refurbished as a sort of technology hub, and Voss said that could be opened to students as well.

The three-year strategic plan for technology is part of a district-wide goal to have plans for the future of each department.