This is the first “Three Minute Update” (actually, more of a six minute update) and will aim to capture some of the recent changes and decisions that have been made across several of the group’s areas of responsibility. They are, in no particular order:
- Elementary principals unanimously decided that Kindergarten will be the grade level for the initial set of centrally purchased SMART Boards
- Secondary principals unanimously decided that Mathematics will be the department that receives the centrally purchased SMART Boards for grades 6-12
- A subcommittee is being formed to determine which of the tools that we have discussed so much this past school year should become part of a student/teacher electronic toolbox. Specifically, we will provide a recommendation with regard to what the district should provide and support, and which products should be selected. A good example is whether we choose Blackboard.com or Moodle as a learning management system. Please let me know if you are interested in serving on this committee. I will schedule two 3 hour afternoon sessions and will request a demo from both blackboard.com and Moodle (and perhaps ePals).
- We discussed whether the district should provide student email accounts, which would require a change in Board of Education policy. We will explore this in the meeting (above), including a CIPA compliant third party email system.
- The team is piloting two separate models aimed at reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO) by replacing high end workstations with terminals that tie into one local processor. For details on this, visit the ncomputing website. The initial results are strong, and this may be a solution to lower the TCO while providing an adequate number of workstations as defined by our technology plan. This also lowers licensing costs and improves the efficiency by which our hard drive images can be maintained.