Monday, December 17, 2007

The First 6 Months

I have been at the new job for about 6 months and the Superintendent asked for a mid-year recap. Here is an overview of what we have don in the last 6 months. There is more coming soon too!

Updates in Educational Technology since July 1st include:

  • · Blackberry roll-out to all District administrators, principals, assistant principals, athletic directors, deans, and technology staff. This has increased the ability to communicate via e-mail and has increased productivity.
  • · Currently, we are half-way through a new technology planning process which has involved students, teachers, staff, and community members.
  • · Department chairs all have new laptops this year and have been using them for staff development and evaluations.
  • · Each building is now running i-Tech sessions, which provide for staff development opportunities for integrating technology into the curriculum. Nearly 150 teachers, administrators, and staff are participating throughout the district this year. Topics covered have included use of network resources, PowerPoint, podcasting, image editing, and digital storytelling.
  • · Gradebook Training took place at the first two institute days and was well received. The technology staff followed up with individual instruction where required and support was provided by Al Michalik, Linda Rutchke, and Mike Smith who have been working on the development of the gradebook program and enhancement of the student information system. All teachers are using the gradebook program to maintain and post grades.
  • · In late October ten members of 207 attended the National School Board Association’s Technology and Learning Conference in Nashville, TN. This conference has sparked a great deal of creativity and energy in the area of technology development in our district.
  • · New Language Labs were outfitted this summer allowing for greater functionality and interaction in Foreign Language classes.
  • · Parent and Student Portals were opened in October. There are approximately 9000 users signed up. 67% of portal users are students and 33% are parents. We average 4000 visits to the portal each school day.
  • · Teachers and Staff have been trained on how to use the new Xerox copiers to scan documents to PDF files which should allow greater flexibility in digital information.
  • · The district purchased Adobe’s Master Suite, which will allow us to deploy all 22 of Adobe’s products throughout our schools over the next year. Teachers also can take the software home for their home computers.
  • · The network team has enabled a guest wireless network that allows visitors to the Maine schools filtered access to the Internet.
  • · The process has begun for creating a formal timeline of events for the new web environment, which will be deployed next year.
  • · There is now an emergency alert system up and running in the case of inclement weather or other school cancellations.
  • · We are in the process of connecting all three buildings with fiber optics. When completed in early January we will be able to support 154mbps of data traffic between the buildings (100mbps via fiber and 54mbps via wireless) and 50mbps out to the Internet.
  • · Within the next week we will be putting in place a new Internet filter that will allow more access to the Internet while providing better tracking of Internet use.

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