Three Minute Update: September 6, 2008

SMART Boards – The installer was in district earlier this week, and has promised that ALL installations will be finalized by Wednesday evening.  They will prioritize based on open house schedules.  Most SMART Boards are functional, but require some tweaking, adjustment or speaker installations.  Thank you for your patience as we finalize the finishing touches on this extensive project.  So far, the feedback from teachers has been extremely positive.  John Calvert continues to lead the professional development with these boards and formal workshops are listed in My Learning Plan, including two sessions at Chestnut Grove for math teachers.  Strawtown has a new kindergarten section (which Jimmy anticipated in June) and we will be mounting a board in that room.  We did not mount a SMART Board in that room until the section was confirmed, in order to remain loyal to our budget commitment (only K, art, secondary math rooms, and Foundation grant winners) were funded by the capital proposition.  

Document cameras for SMART Boards – SMART now brands a document camera (aka “elmo”) which integrates directly with the latest version of SMART Notebook.  We ordered three to pilot and ensure it’s everything it promises to be.  Thank you to Maggie Murray, Wendy Ansons, and John Calvert for putting them through the paces.  We anticipate ordering one for every kindergarten classroom and including integration strategies in the training sessions.  The potential learning experiences for our students is significant.

Computer functionality – Inevitably, after a summer where our team surplussed more than 500 “end of life” computers, there will be some areas that are overlooked.  If your school has a Gateway Destination system or any beige computers (other than the electronic card catalog in the library), thesee were to have been surplussed this summer.  Please let your building Tech TA (elementary) or technician (secondary) know ASAP.  Additionally, if there are computers that were removed but not replaced, or systems/printers that are not functional, please do the same.  I thank you in advance for following the protocol for reporting such items (or repairs), as it enables us to serve you more efficiently.  As a review, initial contact is made with the Tech TA (elementary) or building technician (secondary).  If that person can’t resolve the issue, it is escalated to the appropriate support person and resolved.

School Web Lockers Our plan was to roll out school web lockers during the third week in September (after the “add/drop” flurry of activity), ensuring that the class lists would be relatively stable.  However, after feedback from a number of teachers, we have shortened that timeline, and have made it a priority.  Katrina and Toni are collaborating on the extracting the data from various systems, verifying its accuracy, and uploading (and testing) it in the school web lockers system.  We anticipate the system will be functional by Friday September 12, 2008, and Toni will follow up with further details.

Acceptable Use Policy (same posting as last week, but there have been many calls with questions) – This summer we did not send out copies of the acceptable use policy to our K, 3, 6, and 9th grade parents. Please use the information and “permissions” from the previous years, and for students new to the district, please use the most restrictive choice when it comes to posting items on the internet, etc.  We are in the process of revising the AUP to more closely align with the district’s strategic goals and the needs of 21st century learners.  The technology committee will be focusing on this early in the year, and I expect to present a near final draft copy to the other members of the superintendent’s staff to review in October.  All students should be given their network usernames and password.

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