Actively Sharing and Learning

March 18, 2011

My Technology Action Plan

Filed under: Uncategorized — wrenbump @ 6:54 pm

 Organizational Chart for Integrating Technology

 

School Board: Our school board is in charge of our school district and has several goals related to technology.

 

Board Goals 2010-2011

1. A fiscally responsible District – Maintain network capabilities and infrastructure; Use online training resources to keep staff up to date & proficient; Research, evaluate and implement cost effective resources; Maintain refresh cycle on resources.

 

2. Dedicated in supporting all families at school and at home for life-long success – Offer technology classes to community; Maintain online community resources.

   

3. Providing instructional leadership and quality professional development for all staff – Provide teacher & admin training on various programs Eduphoria, Gradespeed, Etc.; Assist with technology integration projects & use online resources to build technology skills; Increase growth in teacher competencies using Atomic Learning & Star Chart; Post student work on teacher WebPages.

       

4. Aligned to support students through rigorous curriculum, instruction, and leadership- Develop & implement social behavior guidelines for staff & students; Increase teacher access and network capacity; Implementation of the Acceptable Use Policy

 

5. Creating an environment of respectful, responsible, and motivated individuals

 

6. Maintaining ongoing open communication with students, parents, staff, and community -

Implement annual Technology Open House; Host internet tech resources co-op (SAILon website)
 

Superintendent and Principals:

1. Understands the elements and characteristics of long-range planning for the use of current and emerging technology — infrastructure; budgeting; staff development; technical support; personnel; upgrades

2. Demonstrates ability to analyze and react to technology issues, concepts and proposals

— community and corporate pressures

3. Possesses a “big-picture” vision of technology in education and schools — educational reform movement; academic standards; time allocation

4. Uses technology to communicate efficiently with staff, parents and the community — voice mail; e-mail; newsletters

5. Uses technology directly to collect and analyze data and other information that can improve decision-making and other management functions — student academic achievement tests; gathering of data on variables not previously gathered; access to information

6. Understands how current and available technologies can be integrated effectively into all aspects of the teaching and learning process — application of software in each instructional area; access to research information; multimedia presentations

7. Understands the legal and ethical issues related to technology licensing and usage — purchasing agreements; safety and security issues

8. Uses technology appropriately in leading and communicating about school programs and activities — efficient management of the school enterprise; effective presentation of information to staff, parents and the community; improved decision-making. (SREB, p. 7)

 

Assistant Superintendent of Instruction: Chairman of the District Educational Improvement Committee; Director of Professional Development.

 

Director of Technology: Answers directly to Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent; interacts closely with Principals and Subject Area Coordinators.

 

Subject Area Coordinators: Answer directly to the Assistant Superintendent of Instruction. Develop curriculum and scope and sequence for one main subject area (math, language arts, social studies, science) at all grade levels; update resources and assessments in Eduphoria.

 

Instructional Specialists: Answer directly to the Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Principals to set up campus-wide training; works directly with classroom teachers on planning, implementation and/or assessment.

 

Campus Instructional Technology Specialists (ITS): Answer directly to Principals and Director of Technology

 

Campus Department Chairs and Team Leaders: Responsible for meeting with teams or departments on a regular basis; make plans for technology integration and projects; schedule time with campus ITS.

 

Classroom Teachers: Responsible for planning, developing, implementing and assessing  lessons that integrate technology; input and analyze data with students and with other teachers; store assessment scores and artifacts; post student work on class website.

 

 

Educational technology: Are school administrators ready for it? Southern Regional Education Board. Retrieved on March 18, 2011 from http://info.sreb.org/programs/EdTech/pubs/ReadyForIt/EdTech-ReadyForIt.pdf  

 

Professional Development and Evaluation

Based on the StAR Chart data, the Campus Improvement Plan and the District Improvement Plan, the following activities have been planned for professional development and evaluation.

 

Job Title

Timeline

Professional
Development

Evaluation

Teaching and Learning

SantaFe JH teachers are in the Developing Technology range which means that they need professional development experiences, applied classroom activities and time in order to progress to the next level.    
       
Principal Annually; each semester New teacher training includes introduction to the STaR Chart; NETS-S; and technology requirements.

Teams and departments include time each week for technology integration discussion and decision making.

In-service days throughout the year include technology integration training, practice, feedback, follow-up

 

Classroom walkthroughs; formal observations; STaR Chart data
Campus Technology Specialist Weekly Rotate to work with teams, departments, and classes to plan, develop, implement and assess technology integration level.

Train teachers and students by modeling technology use by teachers and students; pointing out the differences and what true integration looks like.

Evidence of use in lesson plans and/or classroom observations.
Subject Area Coordinators Quarterly Include technology integration in quarterly IPGs; give examples and model lessons. Amount of activities and data uploaded to Eduphoria
Instructional Specialists Once every six weeks Mentor and demonstrate in classroom planning and implementation. Review data and provide feedback for improvement. Evidence of strategies use in lessons and data in planning.
Classroom Teachers Quarterly Plan, develop and implement a technology-integrated lesson or unit. Share with colleagues. STaR Chart data; self assessment
       
Educator Preparation   SantaFe JH teachers are in the Advanced Technology range which means that they have received professional development on technology integration into the curriculum through the creation of new lessons and activities that promote higher order thinking skills. They use technology as a tool for higher order thinking. They have 36 hours of professional development each year.

 

 
       
Principal Each semester Allots appropriate time for professional development.

Monitors professional development taken by teachers and offered by specialists.

Number of opportunities provided to teachers.

Quality of professional development opportunities.

Technology Director Before school, each nine weeks, after school ends Meet with Campus Technology Specialists to create goals and professional development activities.

Meet with Principals so that time is allotted for teachers to participate and apply concepts.

Yearly evaluation of job done by Technology Director
Campus Technology Specialists

 

 

 

Create anytime, anywhere learning opportunities that include individual, as well as collaborative, activities.

 

Number of courses/opportunities

Number of teachers participating

       
Leadership, Administration and Instructional Support   SantaFe JH teachers are in the Advanced Technology range which means that they have bought into the shared vision of technology integration to help student achievement.  
       
Principal Quarterly

Annually

Faculty meetings include modeling of technology integration by administrators and at least one extended session each nine weeks.

PDAS review sessions with individual teachers include discussions of technology use and integration.

Annual technology benchmarks
Classroom teachers Each semester Self-assessment and professional development plans include technology integration sessions. STaR Chart data
Department Heads and Team Leaders Quarterly Develop, encourage and model teacher cadres for professional learning communities that include technology integration. Evidence in lessons; teacher websites; and professional communications
       
Infrastructure for Technology   SantaFe JH teachers are in the Advanced Technology range which means that teachers have direct and wireless access to the internet all throughout the day. They use it for attendance, lesson plans, instruction, lab/laptop reservations and help requests. They also have a home drive that is accessible anywhere in the district on which they can save their work/resources. It is backed up every night and they can access it, as well as public and shared drives, from home through our new portal.  
       
Technology Director/Campus Technology Specialist Annually New teacher training includes information about structure of storage and access of files.

Periodic training activities and reminders of how to store/share/access files and resources.

Review of Technology Plan, STaR Chart, and LoTi survey results

March 6, 2011

Sharing Data with the Faculty

Filed under: Uncategorized — wrenbump @ 9:49 pm

The National Educational Technology Plan

Filed under: Uncategorized — wrenbump @ 5:19 pm

The National Educational Technology Plan has two goals by 2020: 1) raise the proportion of college graduates from where it now stands [39%] so that 60% of our population holds a 2-year or 4-year degree, and 2) close the achievement gap so that all students – regardless of race, income, or neighborhood – graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and careers. The Plan calls for a “revolutionary transformation” instead of “evolutionary tinkering”. It encourages all entities to work together to focus on the outcomes and the students instead of the politics and the finances. The Plan includes recommendations in five essential areas: learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure, and productivity. Learning should be individualized and should use the power of technology to create engaging activities. Personal, mobile and accessible are the important features of technology used by our students. The Plan emphasizes connected teaching and building on the power of each other in such a way that isolation does not occur. ProjectShare Texas is just the thing to use for this. Teachers can create their portfolios, personal networks and groups that include sharing, collaboration and dropboxes for files. It includes blogs, wikis and social networking, and if properly developed, can be a powerful tool for the classroom teacher, especially those in small schools and school districts. The Plan says that professional development needs to be “collaborative, coherent, and continuous and that blends more effective in-person courses and workshops with the expanded opportunities, immediacy, and convenience enabled by online environments full of resources and opportunities for collaboration.” This is exactly what ProjectShare Texas is.

Progress Report (2008) for the Texas Long Range Technology Plan

Filed under: Uncategorized — wrenbump @ 5:00 pm

The Progress Report on the Long-Range Plan for Technology for 2008 gives information about the Texas Technology Immersion Pilot and the Texas Virtual School Network. I am very interested in this since I work with the high school teachers and they want to develop courses to include on the network in order to earn some money and some free time at school. We are still checking on that and the requirements.

I was especially interested in the Traits of Higher Technology Immersion Teachers. The teachers in these classrooms were described as mid-career teachers with 6-15 years of experience. These teachers had several supports in place including principals who emphasized the positive value of technology and allotted time for it. These teachers participated in more technology professional development and said it helped them with implementation. Their lessons were more intellectually challenging. The students in these classes were more engaged in academic tasks and construction of knowledge.

The progress report also included surveys and graphs from data collected from students of all ages showing how they use technology, how they use computers at school, and what obstacles they faced. At the junior high level, they really didn’t like all the filters and firewalls. Of course they wouldn’t because they are the age group that really likes to play online games and get into places in which they don’t belong. For grades 9-12, completing writing assignments was the number one use of computers and they wished they had more time and could use their own personal computers at school.

March 5, 2011

Thoughts on the Texas Long Range Plan for Technology

Filed under: Uncategorized — wrenbump @ 11:31 pm

The area I want to discuss is Teaching and Learning. The vision for this is that all learners will be engaged and will have opportunities in their communities to “stimulate and initiate this engagement”. (TXLRPT, p. 17) by integrating technology into this process, teaching and learning can be transformed and allow greater interest, interaction, inquiry, collaboration and creativity. The state of Texas has made great progress in this area as they required all educators to demonstrate technology competencies as shown in the Technology Application standards. These standards were based on the national ISTE standards. Locally we have made great progress as well, but we are still about 7 to 10 years behind many of the districts surrounding us and the national trend. Nationally, schools are increasing their connectivity and interaction with others. They are utilizing as many Web 2.0 applications as they can. This involves more “cloud computing” and environments where users can create content and collaborate more easily with others around the world. Our bond program has helped tremendously, but we are still playing catch up and will continue to do so for many years. My recommendations for improvement in this area are to open up the filtering system enough to allow students to have email addresses and use the Web 2.0 applications that would help them do their work in a more engaging and interactive manner. Teachers are also blocked from many of the Web 2.0 applications. They have been issued laptops, but they are not free to pursue all avenues to help make their students’ learning a spectacular accomplishment.

August 5, 2010

Week 4 – Revisions and Comments

Filed under: Uncategorized — wrenbump @ 2:30 pm

I met with 2 other teachers in my district who are in the Lamar program and are in class with me. We each read each other’s action plan and make comments and revisions. On my plan I had to clarify a few things and make sure that I was not adding more to the teachers than they could do. We are going to have a lot of new and different things happening and we will be moving back into a building that is still under construction, so we are going to have to go slow and be flexible.

  • What happened during the conference (who, when, where, what happened)?

The other 2 teachers and I all met together since one teacher’s action research is about increasing attendance and one’s is about increasing parental involvement  (grades 5-6) and mine is grades 7-8. We met last week at the intermediate school. We were able to go over all of our assignments and our internship plans.

 

  • Identify highlights or key insights from the conference

Key insights included how much we were helping our principal by actually going through with our action research plans and how it was really going to work together quite nicely with our new Foundation Team and our Safe and Civil program that we are going to implement.

  • Describe any changes or revisions made to the Action Research Plan as a result of the conferfence

It will be up to me to get with the Foundation Team and the Leadership Team and present a Parent Contract. Then I will get their input and feedback and we will have it ready to go for Meet the Teacher night. We will also have our surveys and databases ready to collect information from the parents.

August 1, 2010

Week 3 – Setting Up My Action Plan

Filed under: Uncategorized — wrenbump @ 5:55 pm

My action research project is: Can we increase parent involvement at our campus and how will increasing parent involvement affect our students’ performance?

The results need to be measurable. This project should answer these questions:
Did it increase parent involvement as measured by the number of hours they interacted with the school and/or their child in school-related activities?
Did PTA membership go up?
Did number of parent volunteers go up?
Did the number of hours of volunteerism go up?
Did the number of dad volunteerism go up?
If parent involvement did go up, how did it affect the students behaviorally and academically?
Did student attendance improve?

I have looked at 3 major projects that will provide the rationale for this study:
1. Community in Schools
2. Project Appleseed
3. Three for Me

Communities In Schools is the leading community-based organization helping kids succeed in school and prepare for life. It is the largest dropout prevention network in America. It is a community-builder delivering resources for kids.
They partner with families, schools and community leaders to create a support system for students. They utilize a committed field staff to customize, develop and facilitate effective local programs. They successfully garner support from businesses, organizations and government, social service providers and volunteer groups. They work in partnership with public schools–principals, superintendents, teachers and administrators.
Among CIS-tracked students:
• 78 percent improved attendance.
• 89 percent had fewer incidents of discipline.
• 80 percent improved academic performance.
• 82 percent were promoted to the next grade.
• 78 percent of eligible seniors graduated.
• 3 percent dropped out, lower than the national average of 4 percent and lower than the estimated 6 percent dropout rate for student populations similar to those served by CIS. http://communitiesinschools.org/assets/imgs/content/pdf/about/communities-in-schools-at-a-glance_finaliii.pdf (Henderson & Mapp)

Project Appleseed
“Project Appleseed is a major educational resource and advocate for parents and families engaged in the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness in America’s public schools.”  Project Appleseed has three major purposes: improvement in learning, wellness, and school facilities.
Do programs and special efforts to engage families make a difference?
“Yes, several studies found that they do. For example, teacher outreach to parents was related to strong and consistent gains in student performance in both reading and math. The effective outreach practices included meeting face to face, sending materials home, and keeping in touch about progress. Workshops for parents on helping their children at home were linked to higher reading and math scores. Schools with highly rated partnership programs made greater gains on state tests than schools with lower rated programs. “(Henderson & Mapp, p. 7)

“When parents talk to their children about school, expect them to do well, help them plan for college, and make sure that out-of-school activities are constructive, their children do better in school. When schools engage families in ways that are linked to improving learning, students make greater gains. When schools build partnerships with families that respond to their concerns and honor their contributions, they are successful in sustaining connections that are aimed at improving student achievement. And when families and communities organize to hold poorly performing schools accountable, studies suggest that school districts make positive changes in policy, practice, and resources.” (Henderson & Mapp, p. 6)

Three for Me
The last program I looked at, and the one that our school is going to implement, is Three for Me, the program adopted by the National PTA. “In that first year, 525 parents signed up, doubling the number of hours of parental involvement. The number of volunteer hours by dads also doubled. Three for Me has since spread to other schools in the district.” (Delisio, p. 1)

Delisio, E. R. (June 1, 2010). Got three hours? A school needs you. Education World. Retrieved from

http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin437.shtml

Henderson, A. T., & Mapp, K. L. (2002), A new wave of evidence: The impact of school, family and community connections on student achievement. Austin TX: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.

July 23, 2010

Real Life Action Research Examples

Filed under: Uncategorized — wrenbump @ 5:29 pm

This week’s lecture, interviews, readings and assignments gave examples of action research in educational settings. There were interviews with three educational leaders. I chose two of them to write about – Johnny Briseno, Principal, Rancho Isabella Elementary, Angleton ISD and Dr. Kirk Lewis, Superintendent, Pasadena ISD. I like the fact that both these leaders encourage their teachers to look at the data, as well as the context, and many decisions are based on data.

Dr. Briseno said that he always asked his teacher about the data, but he warned them that they need to look at much more than that when they work with students. There can be all sorts of things going on in that child’s life that are influencing his performance.

Dr. Lewis said that you should ask, “What is practical? What do you need to know to apply to student learning?” You want to do something that will benefit the students. This reminds me of doing my doctoral work at Texas A&M. The directors of research at the local school districts were very leery of all the university people wanting to use their students as guinea. I guess principals of any kind would have to be protective of their students’ and teachers’ time.

The readings from our book, helped me to see many areas that were just waiting for questions to be asked. These examples helped me begin to identify my topic for my action research project and I had something to present to my principal when I met with her this week. The readings also provided me with a clear purpose describing why action research projects are important in anyone’s professional development.

Dana, N.F. (2009). Leading with passion and knowledge: The principal as action researcher. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

July 16, 2010

How can educational leaders use blogs?

Filed under: Uncategorized — wrenbump @ 5:40 am

Blogs can encourage writing, sharing, collaborating and growth in a very user-friendly way. As educators write they have to organize their thoughts and reflect on the best way to present them. This can help them work through what they have done and help them formulate new questions to research. As educators share their thoughts online they will be motivated to continue their researching, sharing and collaborating. Also the more they write, the more they will think of to write about. As this becomes a daily or weekly activity, they will be creating a record of study for themselves and others.

Using Action Research

Filed under: Uncategorized — wrenbump @ 4:55 am

I have just begun a course about Action Research. I am very excited to be able to participate with a community of professionals for the next five weeks. During my readings this week I have learned that action research can help administrators and teachers be learners and model the inquiry process in a very practical way. If teachers do this on a regular basis, then their students will just assume that is the normal way to approach problems and they will follow the model that their teachers have provided. They will know to ask a question, reflect on it, think about data that would help you figure out the question, develop an action plan, implement it and then reflect on what happened and what you learned.

Action research can be a valuable tool in the school improvement plan and should be introduced and implemented throughout the learning community. It should be the norm for the teachers and the students and it should be applied wherever there is a need for inquiry. Schools that embrace this will see improvement year after year and will have happier teachers, students and parents.

As classroom teachers continue their quest to improve their teaching, action research can be a very useful structure on which to build. Hopefully, they will get so used to this paradigm that their students will know to use it whenever they have a question. I read a very interesting article that illustrated this very thing -Using Action Research to Improve Discussions and Meet Standards

http://www.teachersnetwork.org/teachnetnyc/mattwayne/actionres.htm

Here is another video I found that explains why we need to change the way we do things. There are problems all around us and our students need to be equipped to adapt and find answers.

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