This morning Tech Director Noel Erskine and Network Administrator Jim McConnell hosted an ad hoc committee to engage in strategic planning and professional development preparation for further technology integration. Here were some of the topics, areas of interest, and needs identified:
Blogging with Google sites
Advanced Google forms with self-grading quizzes
Review game web sites.
Sessions on web resources for specific curricular strands or grade levels
Paperless classroom workflow and setup.
More computer availability
One comment I would offer is in follow-up to Rick's comments about the need for more computers, which I think was widely re-affirmed. Dr. Brandt and Shari seemed ecstatic to learn that a cart of netbooks will be rolling their way soon.
This summer we had the opportunity as members of the admin team to meet with Scott McLeod and discuss tech integration at the Administrators' Days conference in Kearney. He indicated it is crucial that a "robust device" - whether a tablet, a smart phone, a laptop - whatever - be "in the hands of every individual learner" in order for seamless tech integration to occur and for educational methodology to move away from a 'stand and deliver' to a more 'learner-centered' mode. I think McLeod's points have a lot of validity. I even think that at some levels and in some content areas, it would be increasingly possible to use technology in lieu of textbooks and to build courses online that do not require textbooks and a lot of hard copy materials (some of Janelle's comments this morning resonated with this theme). I would like to challenge us to consider how we can do that. I don't want discussions around technology to approach it as a discrete topic, one that is separate and distinct from curriculum and instruction. Discussions about technology must also incorporate discussions about how we teach and how we access and deliver valuable content to students.
Thank you for your leadership and your initiative in helping us move forward as a district to keep on the cutting edge technologically. I realize we will always have a push for more resources and that the need stated is a legitimate one. The infrastructure development which occurred this summer with wireless was a huge step forward. We are now at a place where our capacity to integrate classroom-level devices (whether tablets or laptops) is the envy of most districts. We need you to continue to consider how you integrate this amazing capacity and what the needs are for you to do so - both materially and instructionally. Keep communicating that back to us so we can help you on this journey!
[I tweeted several in-meeting comments which you can pick up off my twitter timeline @jskretta - some of the other tweeters from today's meeting include @noelerskine & @jimmcconnell62 & @jillr2 & @mrscoady so please follow us and we'll follow you for continuing #edtech discussion.]