Who We Are and What We Do
Sun Associates works with schools, districts, state departments of education, and other educational organizations nationwide. All of our work is grounded in a thorough understanding of technology's role as a tool for improving teaching and learning. We take a broad approach to technology implementation which emphasizes the need to link the efforts of teachers, students, administrators, parents, and other community members in a common vision of the uses and value of classroom technology. Our staff have expertise in educational practice at both the K-12 and higher education levels.
Our approach is realized through services centered around:
In most cases, an important element of our work is capacity development in our client districts. Sun Associates works our clients to design evaluation strategies, professional development, and strategic plans which will inspire reflection and change. Our clients often choose to work with us to both facilitate plans and to implement some or all of their plans. We always strive to leave our clients in a position where they can be even stronger collaborators in the future.
Several examples of the firm's recent work are listed below. For direct links to some of our clients' websites, visit our Clients, On-Line page. Information on our staff - including resumes - can be found on the Sun Associates Staff page. We also have information on our approach to work and how we arrange work with our clients.
School District Technology Audits and Strategic Technology Planning
Sun Associates designs plans and procedures to evaluate and assess the impact of educational innovations on teaching and learning. We take clients beyond their current strategic plans and into an area where they can begin to assess their progress in meeting the vision and goals of these plans. Some example projects...
Lakota Local Schools (OH) Technology Audit and Strategic Planning
Lakota Local Schools is the largest suburban school district in Ohio. Sun Associates worked with this very large district (over 15,000 students and 1,000 teachers) to develop a new strategic technology plan that supports the district’s overall strategic goals and objects for teaching and learning. The work included a comprehensive technology audit (November, 2012) which included on-site classroom visits to the district’s 25 schools, surveys of all 1,000 teachers, and broad-based data collection with administrators, parents and students. This audit report’s findings and recommendations drove the district’s strategic planning effort which Sun Associates also facilitated.
Nyack (NY) Public Schools Instructional Technology Audit
Sun Associates worked with Nyack to create a comprehensive audit/review of the district's instructional technology program. The intention of this review was to create a comprehensive "snapshot" of the district's current efforts with regard to the use of technology for teaching and learning. The resulting findings and recommendations were used to set district policies related to curriculum and instruction as well as technology staffing.
Support to State Departments of Education
Sun Associates works with state departments of education to update the technology plans and to provide training support to local districts in the evaluation of district technology plans.
Creating 21st Century Classrooms Project – Vermont State Department of Education
Sun Associates is the external evaluator of a statewide project to develop teacher skills in the use and integration of Web 2.0 tools and other new media to support 21st Century learning. Now in its third cohort of teachers, evaluation work includes formative and summatively assessing teacher professional development, project management, and the actual classroom implementation and student learning impacts of the project work. Over the course of the next year (2010 – 2011), Sun Associates will observe and collect data from the approximately 70 teachers currently implementing the project in their schools across the state.
Long Range Planning and Program Evaluation Support to the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Education
Sun Associates has created strategic plans and conducted multiple territory-wide evaluations of technology integration and implementation in schools and classrooms across the U.S. Virgin Islands. This unique environment allows us to address simultaneously issues typically associated with remote rural areas (e.g., isolation and poor communication) and intensely urban areas (high poverty, decaying school infrastructure, etc.). During the 2009 – 2010 school year, we have written the current territory-wide technology plan, both local district long-range plans, and have conducted a building by building assessment of effective teacher technology use.
State-wide Technology Plan and Local District Evaluation Planning -- Alabama State Department of Education
Sun Associates provides support to the Alabama State Department of Education in the creation of its 2007 – 2012 state technology plan and subsequent creation of a new approach to local technology evaluation. This work includes providing consulting services to the state planning committee and State Education Agency staff. Follow up support to the state includes the development of two state-wide technology surveys and a pilot project with five districts (2006) and a subsequent cohort of 12 districts (2007 – 2008) to create unique local level technology assessment procedures.
Title IID Evaluation
For a number of years, we have engaged with a large number of Title IID and A.R.R.A funding recipients around the issue of external program evaluation. We also work with all Northeast states to develop resources and approaches to address US Department of Education guidelines for Title IID evaluation.
Teaching Program Evaluation
External evaluation services are provided to U.S. Department of Education-funded Teaching American History (TAH) grants.
Large Scale Program Evaluation
Sun Associates provides program evaluation services to multi-state and regional funded initiatives from the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and various foundations and organizations. Recent projects include:
American History and Civics Initiative Meta-Evaluation and Program Support – Working with the WGBH Interactive, the Program Manager for CPB’s AHCI initiative, Sun Associates provided meta-evaluation support to this $20 million Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) initiative. The AHCI initiative has funded seven projects that use new and interactive media to support K-12 American History and Civics education. Sun Associates worked with the Initiative to guide the individual project evaluations to utilize common metrics for measuring the projects’ impact on student learning.
RI-ITEST Project Evaluation – RI-ITEST is a National Science Foundation-funded “ITEST” project held by the Concord Consortium. This project involves training teachers to use computer-based modeling software to engage students in analysis of data related to physics and chemistry. RI-ITEST is now implemented in several dozen schools in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. Sun Associates is the project evaluator for RI-ITEST. In this work we conduct classroom observations of teachers and students using the modeling activities, observe project professional development and assess project outcomes using a set of performance indicators we developed specifically for this project.
Engineering Energy Efficiency - is a National Science Foundation-funded project that has developed a hands-on science curriculum that emphasizes and tests the role of simulations within a project-based learning environment. Sun Associates is the project evaluator for this project.
Field-Based Data Collection for the Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory’s (NEIREL) Long-Range Study on Literacy – Sun Associates worked with NEIREL and its partners AIR and CAST to implement a two year study of technology-based literacy interventions. This study was built around a quasi-scientific research methodology that compared the efficacy of Thinking Reader to other non-technology-based literacy interventions.
NEIRTEC Evaluation -- Sun Associates served as the program evaluator for the Northeast and Islands Regional Technology in Education Consortium (NEIRTEC). NEIRTEC was one of 10 U.S. Department of Education technology technical assistance projects.
NH Preparing New Teachers 2 Evaluation -- Sun Associates is the program evaluator for this $1.2 million/year US Department of Education "PT3" grant. The grant is administered by the NH Department of Education and serves all Institutions of Higher Education in NH. The overarching goal of the project is to improve pre-service education facultys capacity to integrate technology as a tool for learning.
Information on this site that has been produced by Sun Associates is Copyright 1997 - 2015 Sun Associates and is available for individual, one-time, use by educators. Duplication is prohibited without permission. All other material is the property of its authors and Sun Associates makes no warranty for its use or accuracy.Last updated, February 3, 2015