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Dr. Burke visit to Mill Creek Middle School: Kent, WA


Mill Creek Middle School
Kent, WA
On-site visit by Dr. Michael Burke

  1. District Demographics
    • 770 students from poor and lower middles class, 65% on free and reduced lunch
    • Classrooms all have:
    • Smartboard
    • LCD projectors
    • Color & B/W printers.
    • Document camera
    • Each room has a wireless hub.
    • All students have e-mail.
    • District has 26,000 students
      • 2,200 staff
      • 4 high schools
      • 6 middle schools

    • Most classes only had 20 students

  2. Hardware/Software:
    • CISCO switches and wireless equipment and hubs
    • HP low end laptops
    • Purchased computers
    • Use Moodle for MLS
    • Bought extended battery (6 hrs.)
    • Private fiber between schools

    • For more information:

  3. Teacher Interviews
    • 8th grade science teacher
    • Easier to differentiate
    • Student in her class have had 1 year experience, no problem using them as tool
    • She can do more with laptops as tool, more access to resources.
    • Students were using spreadsheet for lesson.
    • She received training and laptop 3 months before students.
    • They have classroom set of textbooks for reference.
    • Quality and quantity of student work has improved.
    • Biggest change is the paradigm shift to student centered learning.

  4. Other Teacher Comments
    • Student productivity has increased substantially.
    • Teacher said he gets 3-5 emails at night from students with questions.
    • Could not live without SMART board (note: SMART school)
    • Never enough time for staff development and sharing ideas.
    • Students have been an excellent resource in learning how to maximize use of software.

  5. Student Interviews
    • Students can loose access to laptop for 3 days for code of ethics violation plus detention.
    • Most students have access to internet at home. District worked with Qwest for students on free and reduced lunch
    • They are responsible for making sure they charge their battery every night.
    • Students are responsible for their own computers.
    • If they run out of power they have to use paper and pencil. They’ve learned how to manage 6 hr. of battery life.
    • Cell phones are to be kept in locker.
    • Student felt they were more organized, less paperwork
    • Felt their quality of work had increased
    • They liked Moodle lessons. They can go back and see teacher’s comments and make changes electronically.
    • Students signed up for academy because they liked the idea of using technology.
    • They felt some teachers need more training.

  6. 8th Grade Humanities Class
    • Still had to turn in some reports on paper.
    • Working on book report as a collaborative effort, using word processing to compose report.

  7. Technology Academy
    • Started 3 years ago with 90, 7th graders.
    • Selection by application and lottery
    • Second year the pilot expanded to 90, 8th graders.
    • This year all 7th graders have laptops.

  8. Administrator’s Comments
    • More kids passed state science test last year than the year before, when they didn’t have a 1-to-1 program.
    • Kids are scoring better than state on average on language arts and writing test.
    • Bond, 5 million/year for 4 years to implement district wide.
    • They have instructional coaches who model lessons and provide support.
    • Barbara Grohe, Superintendent, is the chief proponent of 1-to-1 laptop program.
    • First thing they did was to write a 10 year tech plan with vision, revisions are made every year.
    • Start small and grow
    • Set a target where they want to be.
    • Used book “Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works”, as a guide.
    • Worked hard to make sure process, procedures and structure is in place.
    • Infrastructure Breakout
    • Very few laptops (2 or 3 were lost) in the last 3 years – use Low Jack monitoring software.
    • $70/computers for 5 years.
    • District owns machines. Hot Swap is available if their laptop dies during the day.
    • Students have to call help desk for support. If it can’t be fixed over the phone they take it to be exchanged for repair.
    • Took 5 years for wireless network to stabilize.
    • All information is stored on district files
    • Support system is pro-active in monitoring network use and health.
    • Centralized software deployment
    • Customer support center at school, students provide tech support.
    • Unrestricted network storage
    • Very large network data center 5,000 sq. ft. and 64 racks
    • Use SSL VPN for access from home, F5 is the vendor. $75,000. for 2,000 concurrent remote users.
    • Virtual Application Deployment System
    • 6 LCD projectors on carts in case ceiling mounted LCD’s burn out
    • Lightspeed for filtering software.
    • 10 Gig Backbone
    • Remote assist tracking
    • 1300 wireless access points in district
    • 54 staff members for tech support
    • Started with 10% additional machines, for Hot Swaps, smaller percentage is needed each year.
    • Bridge track used to keep track of repairs
    • 48 hr. support turn-around
    • Use paid interns from tech college.
    • Use students to help during summer and school days.
    • Students call in their own support from classroom. 5 min. rule, if you can’t fix in 5 minutes, take it in for a Hot Swap.
    • Very few after school service calls, looking to tie homework support with tech support.
    • Several student intern programs to provide software training for trackers and tech support.
    • Purchase replacement computers every 4 years.
    • Textbooks are online although some classes still require that books be brought to class.
    • Laptops collected and re-imaged each summer.

  9. Miscellaneous
    • Anytime, Anywhere Learning Foundation
      Goal is to provide all students access to unlimited opportunities to learn.
      AALF provides consulting services and support to Kent
    • 1-to-1 should help you obtain that which you are unable to without this technological tool.
    • Helps you address diverse learning styles.
    • Results from 1-to1 studies
      • Attendance increases
      • Motivation increases
      • Students write more often and better.
      • Improved test scores
      • Students are engaged in higher order thinking skills.

      Design Strategy for Implementing

    • Success of 1-to-1 program depends on teachers.

  10. Staff Development

    • Used to build foundation and define expectations for hardware and software use.
    • Started with needs assessment of staff ability and knowledge
    • Emphasis on using computers to provide differentiated instruction.
    • Teachers ranked as basic/proficient or exemplary in their use of technology
    • Limited in time, money and training staff
    • Summer institute
    • Some online training
    • Content embedded coaching
    • A lot of training was just-in-time for staff
    • Training on laptop care and Hot Swap procedures
    • Basic troubleshooting
    • Use of electronic resources
    • AUP and how to handle violations

  11. Instructional Model

    • Instructional staff and information technology staff collaborate
    • Used “Understanding by Design” and “Marzano models”
    • Moodle is their learning management system.
    • Teachers share units.
    • Embedding technology across the curriculum

  12. Classroom Management
    • Staff have agreed and are consistent in what behavior they will and will not accept during class.
    • Students 100% responsible for their laptop
    • Teachers design lessons that are engaging for students using real world experiences
    • Electronic Resource Use Policy and AUP
    • Students take test to get laptop “drivers license” which lets them take laptop home.
    • Students leave laptops in Phy. Ed. lockers and in the classroom that they are going to after lunch.
    • District tech department does history check periodically on student use.

  13. Family Involvement

    • Family training is required to discuss AUP, laptop care; Internet safety, discipline, high speed access and getting help.

  14. Evaluation

    • Hired an outside consulting firm

  15. Implementing Your 1-to-1 Roadmap

    • Create a vision and establish desired outcomes.
    • Monitor priorities
    • Provide just-in-time for staff and student training
    • Student training
      • Laptop care and Hot Swap procedure
      • Basic troubleshooting
      • AUP and technology violations
      • Using electronic software and online resources
      • Laptop driver’s license – 80% on test of 50 questions

    • Typical student tech violations:
      • Using when not supposed to.
      • Not on task.

    • Student e-mail is internal only.
    • Policy violation
      1. Verbal warning
      2. Detention
      3. Take laptop away, create a public service announcement, have to have a parent or peer monitor, reapply for drivers license.


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