KETS 2018 - 2024 Master Plan

Published: 9/13/2023 12:15 PM

Contents < Executive Summary > Introduction

Executive Summary

The Office of Education Technology (OET) is responsible for:

  • Creating and implementing the Kentucky Education Technology System (KETS) Master Plan every six years to provide a technology strategy that supports the school districts' education plans and digital readiness, as well as ensuring alignment to the Kentucky Department of Education's (KDE) and Kentucky Board of Education's (KBE) vision and educational goals;
  • Ensuring basic and equitable anytime, anywhere, always-on access to instructional and administrative education technology (EdTech) services are provided to students, teachers, administrators, parents and the general public;
  • Creating and maximizing partnerships (student technology leadership/skills, vendors, districts, agencies, universities), as well as building and maintaining productive customer relationships;
  • Staying current and open to emerging technology and trends that may assist with meeting educational needs and managing/maximizing EdTech resource opportunities;
  • Managing educational technology policies and legislation;
  • Maximizing data use, continuing to improve data quality, and championing data security and data privacy best practices to all districts and KDE.


The 2018-2024 KETS Master Plan will identify: (a) things we already do well that we want to continue doing well over the next six years, (b) areas to improve upon, and (c) emerging items likely to occur that need to be accounted for by this Master Plan. The studies, research, standards, governance and technology needs for the state and districts that play a critical role in executing the Master Plan are also identified.


KETS celebrated its 25th year in 2017. It is very rare for a K-12 state-level education technology initiative to not only survive but also thrive for 25 years through changes of education commissioners and board members, governors' administrations, and state legislators. Fortunately, KETS maintained solid support throughout the entire time. In that sense, KETS is like a good band of musicians that, over the decades, stays relevant, continues putting out hits and grows in depth. Progress in earlier years (e.g., the initial six-year Kentucky K-12 Education Technology Master Plan, Internet connectivity and identification of a variety of sustaining funding sources) created a solid foundation for the unique accomplishments including, but not limited to, cloud-based major state level services, digital learning initiatives, Student Technology Leadership Program and the IT Academy (now Imagine Academy). A more detailed look at the KETS history from 1992-2019 can be found in Appendix G.


The Kentucky Education Technology System's (KETS) major achievements since 1992 that we want to continue doing well include:

  • National leader in state and district education technology planning and project management, including measures, metrics and feedback to frequently identify education technology that is and is not being used or adding value
  • In 1995, first state to have all districts connected by high speed to the Internet, have all schools connected by fiber speeds, and, in August 2015, first state to reach the national goal of providing 100 kbps per student of fibered Internet access

  • National leader of K-12 EdTech in product standardization - This allows Kentucky K-12 to:
    • significantly reduce costs
    • provide equitable price and service to all districts
    • make all the technology enabled components reliably work together in large scale with slim EdTech staffing
    • quickly integrate different, large EdTech systems
    • reduce obstacles to provide great cyber security
  • National leader in K-12 EdTech cloud-based computing that is more reliable and secure, and saves money
  • In 2014, recognized by the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) as a top three state for data quality
  • National leader in education technology equity of access, opportunity and services
  • National leader in K-12 cybersecurity
  • Established the Kentucky K-12 Digital Learning Guidelines and a digital learning assistance team that significantly improved capacity building, relationships and connectedness with the folks in districts that focus on academic achievement in the classroom
  • Created nation's first digital driver's license for students that now is adopted by the other 49 states
  • Consistent stewardship and maximization of federal and state taxpayer funds (e.g., KETS, E-rate, bids)
  • Nation's best Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP) - In May 2016, Kentucky Educational Television (KET) highlighted Kentucky's STLP for the one-hour "Education Matters" show.
  • National leader in the implementation of Kentucky's first IT Academy (now called The Imagine Academy)
  • Formative and interim online assessment providing immediate feedback to students and teachers
  • First state to provide an online and smartphone app providing every K-12 student and their parent(s) real time status of students' grades, attendance, missing assignments, class schedule, and teachers' names/contact information
  • First state to have telephones in every classroom
  • First state to have an email account for every staff member, teacher, and student (helping parents stay connected with their child's teachers)
  • Open House website, online School Report Card services and district websites help community members stay informed and connected with their district and school
  • National leader in regards to the relationship, communications and trust between KDE's education technology office and customers (i.e., school districts, KDE program areas, vendor/government agency partners, and others)
  • Received the 2016 Making IT Happen award from Kentucky K-12 school districts
  • Received Government Technology Magazine's 2016 Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers award
  • Received the Kentucky Association of School Administrators' 2017 State Education Leadership award and EdScoop's 2017 EdTech Hero award


Going forward, these will be other areas of emphasis during the next six years:

  • Recognize, educate, and continue to build upon previous accomplishments - Educate others about high quality continuing initiatives to prevent duplicative work for things that already exist and are very successful for schools.
  • Address the importance of having adequate numbers of education technology roles/positions in all districts to ensure that existing and new education technology is (a) extremely reliable and available in the classroom, (b) maximized, (c) secure and safe, and (d) provides data of the highest quality
  • Address funding required for basic cost of living increases, previous budget cuts to basic services and projected growth by districts (e.g., Internet consumption)
  • Recognize the most crucial education technology professional development needs identified by teachers and identify who can best address the needs
  • Focus efforts on shifting basic cyber security and safety to a prime position on the radar screen of teachers and district staff members
  • A higher percentage of districts annually examining education technology investments to determine which technologies are and are not being used/maximized
  • Data systems are first-class but we need to do much better with districts using the data available to them as well as providing visual data analytic tools allowing the data to be better understood and more interesting to the average person who does not have a technology and data background.
  • While it's gotten significantly better due to advancements of hardware and software, there are still too many traditional labs filled with desktop computers in schools. Typically, labs do not provide ease of access for students throughout the school day and for all parts of the curriculum. Labs are also problematic for large-scale online assessment within a compressed window of time. Student and teacher mobile or portable devices help address the "ease of access" issue.
  • Create a deeper partnership with higher education (postsecondary institutions). Focus on giving future teachers currently in a Kentucky postsecondary college of education experience with the K-12 education technology tools and environment. Have STLP events better maximized by the institution while we are on their campus. Kentucky is the most advanced state in regards to having electronic transcripts being sent from a K-12 school and electronically accepted by a KY higher education institution; transition cost for the service from the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) to the institutions.
  • There can be a significant cost savings and increased reliability and security by continuing to move more types of services to managed (e.g., printing) and cloud-based services (e.g., phone systems).
  • Continue to create a closer connection with Career and Technical Education (CTE) expanding opportunities for students to code, expand the technology and computer science courses/exams available through our IT Academy (now Imagine Academy), implement computer science standards, and digital literacy standards
  • Be a vital part of helping implement the new assessment and accountability system - This includes the implementation of the new school report card/dashboard and summative online assessment. The success in formative and interim online assessment has not yet been duplicated in online summative assessment.


The following list of choice resources and websites help capture where we have been, where we currently are, and where we are going:


The 2018-2024 KETS Master Plan includes the following sections: Introduction, Vision, Technology Planning, Areas of Emphasis, Technology Need Budget Projections, Studies and Research, Surveys and Results, Supporting Resources, Governance Structures, Standards, and Projected Costs of KY K-12 Technology Needs.

Contents < Executive Summary > Introduction

Mike Leadingham
Office of Education Technology
Division of School Technology Planning and Project Management
300 Sower Blvd., 4th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-2020 ext. 2202
Fax (502) 564-1519
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