Skip to main content

Comments to @norris160 teachers on technology integration

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
Google forms
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.
Smartpen (Livescribe)

Technology needs:
More computer availability
More Clickers

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.]


Popular posts from this blog

Superintendent’s Coffee Talk for May, 2017

Superintendent’s Coffee Talk for May, 2017
Upcoming dates, events: May 10th Honors Convocation, final HS concerts 5-15, 5-16, commencement is Sunday, May 21st, last student day Mon. May 22nd. (Teachers are on contract for two days following the end of the student year). Seniors are finishing up May 10-11; seniors traditionally finish early.

Thursday, August 17th is the first day of school for the 2017-18 school year. The full calendar is available at

Commendations: Spring activities success has been tremendous - top-ranked baseball team, quiz bowl state champs, Skills USA and FFA national qualifiers, the list goes on!

Thanks: We are grateful for the tremendous parent volunteerism that made post-prom a huge success and is spearheading another great PTO Fun Run event scheduled for Friday, May 5th.

Foundation: The Norris Foundation will award more than 30K in scholarships to graduating seniors at the May 10th Honors Convocatio…

Difficult discussions are opportunities for growth: let's grow together!

Here's some advice for helping ourselves through crucial conversations which we must have, every day, with many others. . . . sometimes planned, often unplanned - and deep in the fourth quarter of a school year, staff tensions, parental conflict or dissatisfaction from a stakeholder may be the impetus for these school-based conversations. They offer great opportunities for personal growth and organizational improvement, so embrace them as such! Here are some reminders to educators for positive and productive outcomes from difficult discussions:
Remember that if someone is talking to you - that is good! They value you, they believe you can help, they believe you have the power to positively assist them. Listen first, then talkRehearse empathy statements (sometimes that's only a "thank you for sharing that" but often it can be more meaningful than that)If you are mad or defensive because you feel accused, count down before responding or wait it out until you realize you…

Human Resources: The Role of the Superintendent: Talking Points for Doane Cadre

Talking Points for Doane Cadre Panel: June, 2015
What is the role of superintendent in the overall design, policies, culture and practices of HR?
Policies need to delineate roles and responsibilities clearly. Practices need to be professional: have a process that gathers multiple inputs & allows district to weight most important candidate characteristics. Practice the practice. Train up on it. Review it, recite it, so you abide by it or you will end up with slippage and quality control problems. Practices need to be both consistent and have an inherent degree of flexibility to capitalize on unique circumstances. Culture of HR should equate to culture of organization- hard to credibly say you are collaborative culture if selection decisions are made unilaterally.
What is your role in working with the Board and staff (such as principals) in implementing HR?
With board members, the most important thing is understanding protocol and for all of us to know and abide by our roles. Staff (pri…