Monday, September 20, 2010

Project BluePrint: Tech Trends

The districts that participate in Project Blueprint shared the state of Tech in their district. I've highlighted what I think were the important points.

  • 3,210 desktops and laptops (PC now, but may support other soon.)
  • LCD in each classroom
  • Fiber, 1 gig between buildings
  • 50 meg connection to the Internet. (Buying roughly 10 meg per year additional.)
  • Network (IP phones, digital video)
  • Wireless: 90% coverage at Secondary, 20% coverage at elementary
  • Aligned to mission and vision of the district, promotes curriculum and instruction, encourages innovation
  • Improve efficiencies and effectiveness in the delivery of technology services
  • ITIL framework
  • Providing access
  • Allowing personal devices
  • Student Centric Learning: Cloud based, Universal Design for Learning, Easy wireless access, Anytime-Anywhere learning opportunities, rich multi-media content.
  • 10 gig between the building
  • 1 gig within
  • 50 meg connection for 2500 students, but seeing that be tapped out. Looking at 100 meg this summer.
  • Looking at VOIP
  • 100% g wireless coverage and moving to upgrade to n this year.
  • Doesn't want to be seen as an inhibitor
  • Centralized IT support. Only 2 1/2 miles across. Remote in to computer. 95% of problems can be resolved this way. If not, help ticket. They can get most things done w/in 1/2 hour.
  • Mac District. All but 60 are Apple. VNC w/ Remote Desktop
  • iPad trial going on right now. Bundles of 4 for classroom teachers and some for teacher checkout.
  • All of E's "Inservice" tool for PD.
  • Struggling with some "cloud based" tools
  • PowerSchool for SIS
  • Quia, Moodle, Working to define the best tool for the task
  • Pilot first before implementation

Thomas Forcella talked about his work in Maine where 1:1 computing and moved to Connecticut. 5 years ago, they had no mobile tech, 1 IWB, etc. Multiplied tech funding 4x's the level of 5 years ago. Starting from scratch allowed them to focus first on student learning.

Gave every teacher a laptop, with expectations on how to use it, which helped a great deal with innovation.
  • Mission: Provide instruction that invites effort and supports rigor.
  • Smartboards: Cognitive apprenticeship, student and teacher demo in front of students. Goal is to create producers not "reproducers." The IWB is the first step of the process.
  • "We want students who produce knowledge, not reproduce knowledge."
  • Video Integration: Interactive Reading Project-Across schools AND grade levels. Students challenged one another about the books they were reading
  • Expanded the use of Web-based tools: Voki, Wikis, Blogs, etc.
  • Document learning: Flip Camera project
  • SmartMusic, Lab Simulations, Movie Production
Burning Questions:
How can we insure that all students have access to rich technological experiences in school? (How do you ensure other curriculum standards/experiences are provided?)

How do we keep technology from being "busy work" or "entertainment centers" in classrooms?
(They do learning walks a few days a year and see abuses.)
ID of right programs that allow differentiation of instruction by curriculum and integration specialists

This video might have some answers...

Within 3 years, anyone with a "smart phone will be inexorably linked to it. How does this impact our schools?

Shared their Program Review where they had a 2 day process of review and assessment.
PD was an area of concern
Only those interested were attending
If people are required to attend...that increased participation.
  • They require daily updates to Teacher Web Pages.
  • Online Grading and student management
  • The more accountability, the greater level of concern by staff
  • Expectations of parents has driven that too!
Tech Leaders in the building w/ stipend.
PA Classrooms for the Future-Included a Full year of coursework to receive it.
Nationwide sponsors their Website. Best Buy provides scholarships for funding
Cybersonics Robotics program-Best example of PBL and 21st Century they have
Academy for Tech during the summer
They are exploring the California online textbooks

The equity issue: Wayland looking at "student computer" innitiative and what this means.

Parents not comfortable w/o control for how students are learning and what that means..

  • Mobile technology for students and staff
  • Improving network infrastructure
  • Paperless classrooms and new PD model for teachers
  • Virtualizing their data centers -VDI
  • A lot of $ on upgrade of switches and access points
  • "Learning To Change" 3R's & 4 C's : Critical Thinking, Communication, Creativity Collaboration, (Curriculum would be the 5th)
  • Instructional tools they are using: Need to consolidate
  • Single Interface called: "It's Learning"
  • Can't call it 1:1...It's too controversial-budget concerns
  • Teachers have laptops, students have access to lab/carts in Physics
  • Blended Learning for PD-"Wayland Rises"-Rich Instruction for Student Engagement and Success
  • More student-centered learning. Modeling for staff
  • Learning the "It's Learning" interface through PD
  • Using STaR, MassONE (Tech Self Assessment Test), Surveys
  • Looking at the actual work of the students to assess if teachers are truly integrating
  • On their Website, they added a "Fast Facts" page about the district that the "stole" from Whitefish Bay.
  • It's Learning has a plagiarism component as well.
Many ideas here made me think of this video I've posted before, but feel fits the shift we are seeing in student learning. Wendy Drexler created it about 2 years ago, but it is still relevant today!

Much of the discussion after focussed on shifts to online learning.
Who's really doing the work?
How do we maintain our brand if we start using non-district products?

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