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Year Two: HP Grant Project-What a Difference a Year Can Make!
by Dr. Christine Coleman


               It is the beginning of November and the second year of our HP Grant project is in full swing. There were very few technical issues this year. There is continued professional development for the teachers, but they knew how to jump right in and start teaching with the HP laptops, software, HP digital cameras and HP large printers. There were no panic phone calls that the laptops cannot connect to the Internet. There were really no calls to the Tech Department at all from this project. In fact, I feel like the Maytag Repair Man! Technically lonely!

             So, I decided to venture to the classrooms to see for myself how the HP Grant Teams were doing. I peeked into the classrooms and saw students engaged, motivated, discussing, sharing, and learning. The teachers were working with small groups on the project or providing whole class instruction. In fact, they didn’t notice me at all. Last year, I was escorted into these rooms to provide solutions and “fix” things. Asked if I wanted coffee or a snack.  So far, this year, I am just a guide on the side!

I left the buildings and returned to my office and decided to just unplug my keyboard and turn off my surge protector just so I would have something to “fix”.  Then I realized, THIS IS TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION! A real “AH-HA” moment for me. I plugged everything in again, turned on my computer, and sent the HP Grant teachers teams and email to just say “hello” and ask  “do they need any additional support?” I then actually had the time to eat lunch!
 
            What a difference a year can make!

 

 

Dr. Christine Coleman has been a Director of Technology for more than ten years. For the past six years she has been working in the City School District of New Rochelle and her department manages a 13,000 user network. She is responsible for integrating technology into the K-12 curriculum, technology professional development, technical support services, data processing services, strategic planning and project management of technology, technology budget management and asset management for her district.

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Back to School! Are You Too Plugged In?
by Dr. Christine Coleman


 

Back to School! Are You Too Plugged In?
 
Each year at this time it is exciting to see the yellow school busses roll, students and teachers returning back to the school buildings and the computer network beginning to be a flurry of activity. Each year it amazes me how teachers who leave in June on break do not check their email accounts until the day they return in June. As a result, so many forget their network and email passwords and often begin the school year in a fluster as attendance is online in our district. I cannot even imagine being without email for a week much less 8 weeks of summer break!
 
In an online article written on August 26th, 2010 by Aaron Saenz, entitled, “Are We too Plugged In? asks the essential questions, “It seems possible our brains may have a practical restriction to how much data they can and should process. Is the growing digital age doomed to fail due to our own mental limits?” I agree we all need to unplug and have some down time form technology, but when we return we are overwhelmed with the emails we did not respond to and spend the next week to catch up. What if one of those emails was from a parent or from a student sent on a Friday at 6:00 PM? In the online article the author concludes and I have to agree, “If we learn how to manage data well, we could become enhanced beyond anything humans have ever experienced before.”
 
Data is all around us. From state reporting, test scores, assessments, demographic, student registration records, curriculum and teaching strategies for effective instruction are all swirling above our heads ready for us to just point and click on our computers. Perhaps professional development needs to begin to address data and electronic communications management in order to relieve some of the stress that administrators and teachers are faced with?
 
Like anything else, it is all a balancing act, but it is important to take a moment and put down the texting when driving, silence the ringer to our cell phones when having dinner with our families and read a good book before going to sleep instead of one last look at emails! As the school year begins..on your mark…get set…and point and click!
 
Sources:
 
Are We too Plugged In?

 

Dr. Christine Coleman has been a Director of Technology for more than ten years. For the past six years she has been working in the City School District of New Rochelle and her department manages a 13,000 user network. She is responsible for integrating technology into the K-12 curriculum, technology professional development, technical support services, data processing services, strategic planning and project management of technology, technology budget management and asset management for her district.

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Web 2.0- How do we define this?
by Dr. Christine Coleman


   What is the actual definition of Web 2.0? According to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0, the term "Web 2.0 (2004-present) is commonly associated with web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration on the World Wide Web.” 

   en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Web_2.0 defines it as “The second generation of the World Wide Web, especially the movement away from static web pages to dynamic and shareable content and social networking. From the United Kingdom it is defined from www.headland.co.uk/pages/glossary as “A term used to describe a new generation of Web services and applications with an increasing emphasis on human collaboration.” From www.informit.com/guides/content.aspx it is defined as, “Web 2.0 (or Web 2) is the popular term for advanced Internet technology and applications including blogs, wikis, RSS and social bookmarking.”

   I also found from www.share.uni-koeln.de/ defines, “Web 2.0 is an expression which was used for the first time in 2004 and referred to the second generation of Internet. The main characteristics of new era in Internet is connected with its constant development and delivering services tailored to the needs of each user.”
 
   www.capilanou.ca/help/login-page/active-cms/glossary.html explains it as, “Web 2.0 refers to the second generation of the Web, which enables people with no specialized technical knowledge to create their own websites, to self-publish, create and upload audio and video files, share photos and information and complete a variety of other tasks.”
 
   Finally, from webtrends.about.com/od/web20/a/web20-glossary_2.htm explains Web 2.0 as “there is no set definition of Web 2.0, it generally refers to the use of the web as a more social platform where users participate by generating their own content alongside the content provided by the websites.”
 
   From what I can conclude, Web 2.0 has created a new generation of web use that is centered around free (for the most part) web based content creation tools and applications that allow for collaboration with others. Today, such Web 2.0 sites as YouTube, Ning, del.icio.us, Flickr, Blogger, Digg, Skype, GMail and Wikipedia are very commonly used in schools and for productivity in offices, that it is difficult to understand that we still cannot define what Web 2.0! Perhaps Web 3.0 will be defined......
 
   So how do you define Web 2.0?

 

Dr. Christine Coleman has been a Director of Technology for more than ten years. For the past six years she has been working in the City School District of New Rochelle and her department manages a 13,000 user network. She is responsible for integrating technology into the K-12 curriculum, technology professional development, technical support services, data processing services, strategic planning and project management of technology, technology budget management and asset management for her district.

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What a Difference a Year Makes! HP Grant Year 2
by Dr. Christine Coleman


     What a difference a year makes! Last year at this time our HP grant equipment just started to be delivered. It was a flurry of inventory, skids of boxes, and trying to integrate our new HP laptops, printers, probeware onto our network.  Next was the professional development, planning, training and preparing for our grant project. Finally, we were ready to begin our project with students...

      As with any new hardware or software that is integrated onto a school network, there is always a chance of a glitch. Luckily, we were able to migrate the HP equipment pretty easily onto the network but do know the "pain" of "those" installs that take hours to install and run smoothly.  Technology is as good as it works! When it does not work, teachers get frustrated and students lose learning time.  It is a high stakes effort and one that needs planning and follow-up.

As we prepare for the start of year 2 of our HP grant project, the focus has shifted to reflection. What have we learned in year 1 to improve on year 2? First, the HP equipment has been refreshed and charged and ready for a new group of students. We are ready to go and it is only July! This has set a more relaxed and confident tone for the year for this project. Next, the teachers are looking forward to expanding on the curriculum and grant project goals and can relax this summer. Last year we had to provide training in the summer so teachers could adapt to their new classroom HP technology. At times this was stressful and we were always looking foe more time to train and plan. We will begin professional development in late September to continue to plan and further develop the grant projects. Finally, it will be wonderful to watch the next group of students participate in the projects. We learned so much from the students in the year 1 group that I am certain the next group will only exceed our expectations. We will have to wait for the data outcomes from this group of students and compare it to group 2.

So what have learned? Change and growth is clearly a process and that with time and effort, learning does blossom!

Dr. Christine Coleman has been a Director of Technology for more than ten years. For the past six years she has been working in the City School District of New Rochelle and her department manages a 13,000 user network. She is responsible for integrating technology into the K-12 curriculum, technology professional development, technical support services, data processing services, strategic planning and project management of technology, technology budget management and asset management for her district.

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UPDATE: ISTE 2010 HP Grant Meeting and Presentation Sessions
by Dr. Christine Coleman


 

      What an exciting event for our HP Grant team to attend ISTE in Colorado at the end of June. First we had a day long meeting with the other teams from around the country who also received the grant. We had the opportunity to catch up and share how our grant projects were progressing and also how the installs and implementations went. To our surprise, our install and rollout went smoothly compared to several other districts’s who had challenges getting the technology integrated onto their school network and supporting it. For our team the key was in strategic planning and deployment based on professional development. 
 
      We had first imaged and distributed the equipment to our HP Teacher Grant Teams, one at our High School and the other at our middle school. This allowed the teachers to receive professional development and orientation to their HP laptops, HP digital camera, HP large format printers, probe ware and the software applications.While the teachers were being trained and had time to “play” and get comfortable with their new HP technology, our Tech’s were busy setting up and integrating the laptops, wireless carts and other equipment on our Novell network for students to use. This timing was key to the success of our grant projects.
 
      When we were ready to roll out the equipment to the classrooms, the teachers were really ready to integrate their HP equipment into the curriculum and begin the grant project. The teacher’s did a great job with the many hours of professional development we offered. Our Instructional Technology Facilitators worked one-on-one with our HP Grant teachers in planning the lessons and acting as the supportive “guide on the side” in the classrooms. This helped to build confidence for the teachers and to create an environment that was rich in teaching, learning and integrating technology into the curriculum.
 
      Two of our HP Grant teachers attended the ISTE conference with me in Colorado, and presented at a session that explained and demonstrated their project. Their area was mobbed! We met teachers from all over the country and two high school students from Mexico! The grant truly provided the resources and equipment for our District and students to study and learn about invasive plants. As we begin year two of the HP grant, we are prepared to offer another group of students the experience of this project.
 
       For more information about our grant project entitled: The Green Invasion: RIPP (Removal of Invasive Plants Project), go to:
 
http://nrhs.nred.org/www/nred_nrhs/site/hosting/Guarino/RIPPweb/pages/
InvasivePlantABOUTtheProject.htm
 
      In a nutshell, Vitoria Guarino-our high school Instructional Technology Facilitator, describes our HP Grant project was about, "combining the best of technology & research tools with a real- world environmental project, RIPP will equip students to "Be the change" - to improve their world through innovative technologies & methodologies, as well as through volunteerism. 

 
      The RIPP project engages high school, middle school, ELL and inclusion students in collaborative, active learning as they research and analyze data about invasive plants in three biomes: woodland, marshland and coastal regions.  Using exciting technologies such as scientific probes, digital video, graphing calculators, pod casts, vod casts, web design, digital photography and videoconferencing, RIPP aims to develop solutions that will address the invasive plant population locally and globally.  To further unite our multicultural community, our students will create bilingual materials.  Finally, RIPP will collaborate with partner organizations to affect change regarding real societal and environmental issues."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Dr. Christine Coleman has been a Director of Technology for more than ten years. For the past six years she has been working in the City School District of New Rochelle and her department manages a 13,000 user network. She is responsible for integrating technology into the K-12 curriculum, technology professional development, technical support services, data processing services, strategic planning and project management of technology, technology budget management and asset management for her district.



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