Spotlight Schools By State
Shelby County Schools
Shelby County was created by an act of the Mississippi Territorial General Assembly on February 7, 1817. It is named for Isaac Shelby, a Revolutionary War soldier and a governor of Kentucky. The county seat is Columbiana, which is 35 miles south of Birmingham and 75 miles north of Montgomery. The citizens of Shelby County represent a wide variety of socioeconomic and racial diversity. The 1997 population, as determined by the US Census Population, was 134,872. Shelby County is ranked 6th in population among Alabama counties. 44% of the residents work in Shelby County. The unemployment rate in Shelby County is less than 2 percent. Currently there are 33 schools in the system.
Located in the heart of Alabama, Shelby County is the fastest growing county in the state. During the past seven years the county has experienced a yearly growth rate of 34.68%. The Shelby County School System is the seventh largest in Alabama. The Board of Education employs 1571 professional staff members. Including support personnel and bus drivers, a total of 2554 employees maintain the Shelby County School System. The enrollment for the 2000-01 school year will exceed just over 20,000 students. There are 8 high schools, 8 middle schools, 14 elementary schools, a School of Technology and the Linda Nolen Learning Center and an Instructional Services Center. Two new elementary schools are scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2000 and one in the fall of 2001. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has accredited all schools.
The main focus of our school system is on student learning and effective teaching strategies. The challenge to prepare students to be productive workers and citizens in the 21st Century is the driving force behind our staff development programs and continuous training of Shelby County Board of Education employees. We challenge our students to become the best they can be by providing a curriculum, which addresses the needs of a changing world in an environment conducive to learning.
Shelby County Schools Mission Statement:
To provide a system of education which is committed to academic excellence and which provides education of the highest quality to all Shelby County school students, preparing them for the twenty-first century.
Shelby County Board of Education is committed to providing access to technology as a means of achieving this mission. In the past three years, a wide area network has been installed which connects all 33 school sites and administrative offices. With beginning of the 2000-01 school year, all classroom will have at least one computer which provides access to the Internet, e-mail and a wide variety of instructional and productivity software.
Realizing that technology without training is ineffective, Shelby County Schools through the Technology Office provide weekly training during and after school. A training program called ProTech was implemented in the summer of 1999. In this training program teams of teachers are trained intensively for three days during the summer with follow-up training and support during the school year. A total of 156 teachers have received this training in the past two summers. These teachers receive a computer for their classroom and a stipend in exchange for modeling the curriculum integration of technology in the local schools. The ProTech teams also provide a minimum of six hours of technology training for staff members at their schools. The use of technology in instruction has increased tremendously as a result of this training approach. Several school systems in the state have modeled this program. Many of the training projects and handouts as well as other implementation ideas are posted on the Shelby County Schools website at www.shelbyed.k12.al.us.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Orangewood Elementary School
Washington School District
Orangewood School is located in north central Phoenix. Previously farmland and citrus orchards, the neighborhood has retained a sense of rural Phoenix since the time of the school's inception, in 1955, even as the city has grown around and well beyond it. In 1998, Orangewood was reborn and rebuilt on the same property as a modern two-story facility with upgraded electrical, cooling and environmental standards.
Currently, Orangewood serves a diverse K-6 population of 775 students (50% free/reduced lunch, 10% English Language Learners, 11% Gifted and 7% Special Education students). In keeping with our school mission to prepare students to become literate, creative, responsible, lifelong learners in partnership with families and the community, our fine arts program is a priority and is strongly supported and integrated throughout the curriculum. Community involvement and school-home communication are high priorities as well. Additionally, Orangewood serves as a field-based teacher training site for Arizona State University West students.
With the support and guidance of principal Dr. Peggy George, Orangewood has vaulted into the information age during the last three years. Funded by a 1996 district technology bond of $30 million, we have computerized the library and created a Macintosh lab with Internet connections. All classrooms have a minimum of one teacher/student station consisting of an internet-linked computer, printer, VCR, laserdisc player and 27-inch monitor. Three classroom sets of Alphasmart keyboards allow keyboarding practice and entire classes completing writing assignments as a group. Phones with voice mail are found in each classroom, and the Phonemaster allows us to do outdials to parents, and conversely allows parents to access prerecorded messages from teachers.
We anticipate cable connections to each classroom in the coming months. Plans call for classroom stations to be used for attendance and grading, linking to the SASIxp data management program, which is capable of providing data analysis for school planning and accountability throughout the district. We will also explore the full capabilities of our closed circuit television system.
An aggressive technology training component has supported the new hardware. The district support includes a Technology Training staff of 6 full-time trainers, one training coordinator and at least two technology mentors in each school. The MIS (Management Information System) department has a staff of twenty-five people providing technical assistance and maintenance of all technology including a Help Desk hotline. Opportunities for Technology training have been offered to staff through numerous Eisenhower grant projects as an additional piece of our ASU West partnership. These projects have moved our teachers to the forefront of technology expertise in our district.
Strong evidence exists schoolwide as to the power of technology to motivate student learning. A wide variety of creative computer lab projects adorn the walls, methods of student research have changed forever and enthusiasm abounds. As we strive at our site to find effective technology tools and methods for best learning, our district technology committee has been developing technology curriculum and is beginning to integrate it into the existing curricula, so that technology will become more logically connected to everyday classroom activities.
Since the very early days of organized education in America, teachers have been lighting the torch of learning by using the best available tools for teaching. None have been more challenging to integrate than the technology of computers and online learning. While many districts have pursued the integration of technology into the classroom since the early eighties, the vision for the use of technology in education has changed dramatically over the last decade. In the early days, technology was used mostly to reinforce skills already taught through "drill and practice" software. Today, we recognize that the use of technology in isolation from meaningful classroom curriculum will not impact student achievement. However, computers can have a significant impact on student achievement given appropriate staff development. Project Venture will address the need for comprehensive staff development and curriculum integration by assisting our teachers to become pioneers in the use of technology and then to become guides for others seeking to undertake this venture into the new frontier of teaching and learning.
Project Venture will recruit and train a cadre of master trainers (guides) who will provide classes for large groups of staff members as well as modeling effective practices in classrooms throughout the consortium. Classroom teachers will be trained to use technology in a collaborative learning environment that focuses on student mastery of Arizona State Content Standards. Our teachers' classrooms will have Internet connectivity and be equipped with a five-station multi-media lab, printer and presentation device. Our project objectives are:
Objective 1.0 To increase the number of teachers trained to use technology for teaching and learning
Objective 2.0 To develop and implement curriculum materials that are in alignment to State Content Standards and includes the integration of technology.
Objective 3.0 To develop and implement an ongoing evaluation protocol that assists with project refinement, implementation and ensures sustainability and replication by the end of the project.
The consortium for Project Venture is comprised of Creighton Elementary School District; the Arizona Department of Education (ADE); a tri-district consortium consisting of Tempe Union High School District and its two feeder districts, Tempe and Kyrene Elementary; and Maricopa County Small Schools Consortium (MCSSC) and its eleven rural school districts. The project will impact 3,031 teachers and their 54,062 students of whom 43% are low-income and 42% are minority. Business partnerships include CISCO, Compaq, and Microsoft who will provide the necessary hardware and networking software infrastructure for the project. Arizona State University (ASU) and Stevens Institute for Technology are also consortium partners. ASU will provide formative as well an objective summative evaluation. Stevens Institute will provide access to their Internet Training Curriculum. Creighton District will act as fiscal agent and provide project direction and oversight. The staff development program to be refined during Project Venture has been successfully piloted by Creighton District. The ADE will coordinate inservice training through its Regional Training Centers and disseminate curriculum and training materials through the State Infrastructure. The Tri-District Consortium will develop curriculum that is aligned with State Content Standards and make it available for project use. MCSSC will provide a small school setting for training where the needs are in contrast to those in large urban districts. A critical mass of teachers will develop the skills and knowledge to integrate technology and extend that knowledge to other teachers. The project will result in the refinement and implementation of a successful staff development program that trains teachers to use technology for teaching and learning. Project Venture will be sustainable and replicable by other institutions.
Enterprise's 4-year Technology Project
Enterprise School District
Project S.I.T.E. (School Integration of Technology in Education), is a federally funded project that is orchestrated by Tom Armelino, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, Enterprise Elementary School District. Project S.I.T.E. seeks to enhance learning for all students in the classroom by using technology as a tool that is integrated into the curriculum exclusively by classroom teachers within each school. Project S.I.T.E. offers an alternative strategy to classroom technology integration that differs greatly from approaches used in most American schools by:
- Employing a strategy of staged growth over three years, as one-third of a school's classroom teaching faculty enters the project each year.
- Enabling classroom teachers to provide leadership for other classroom teachers. Each year a lead teacher in every school will work closely with one-third of the staff to support technology integration into their classrooms.
- Through our Even Start program we will "put the most powerful technologies in the least powerful hands" through our family outreach program for 2-4 year old children.
The fundamental goal of Project S.I.T.E. is not that students learn how to use technology. Rather that students learn, using technology. Specifically, Project S.I.T.E. seeks the following outcomes:
- Allow classroom teachers to use technology to accommodate a greater range of learning styles.
- Help students master core curriculum skills.
- Structure classroom experiences to involve cooperative learning, cross-age tutoring, and higher order thinking.
Students who use technology tools to gain both a deeper understanding of the subjects they study, and learn how to access information with the tips of their fingers.
Our outcomes will be accomplished by:
- Staged Participation: By providing different entry points that allow regular classroom teachers in each building to join the project over three consecutive years, Project S.I.T.E. provides a gradual (but inevitable) inclusion process for teachers with different levels of technology skills and interest.
- Peer Leadership: Three regular classroom teachers in each school receive training to become, on an annual rotating basis, the Lead Teacher within their building.
- Enabling Support: Every participating teacher receives mentoring, support for classroom technology integration and a menu of professional development options. A Tech. IA (Technology Instructional Assistant) supports each Lead Teacher.
- Hardware & Software: New multimedia hardware and curriculum based software is evident in our classrooms. Each Lead Teacher receives a bank of computers for student use and a multimedia display in the classroom. District software is available through software metering on our district server.
The project makes it possible for regular classroom teachers to:
- Routinely integrate multimedia instructional materials in core subjects such as reading, mathematics, science, and writing;
- Exploit the value of technology tools in accommodating the neglected learning styles and needs of students who learn "differently";
- Harness technology tools to promote higher order instructional goals recommended by the state board of education and
- Evaluate the progress of students through ongoing collection of data and state mandated Stanford 9 test.
San Diego Unified School District
San Diego, California
The San Diego Unified School District is the eighth largest school district in the country. More than 27% of its students are classified "English language learners" (ELL) who speak more than 52 native languages. Over half the ELL students are economically disadvantaged. There is a need to improve academic achievement among many students throughout the school system. As the program is expanded to include all San Diego School System students by the year 2000, more than 140,000 children will participate.
This program includes strong staff development and evaluation components that are woven into ongoing curriculum development and implementation. A major focus is the development and disemination of content-based and standards-driven projects which integrate the use of technology as a tool for learning. The program stresses systemic reform, works with other district initiatives such as the San Diego Urban Systemic Initiative (SD-USI), and contains elements that are in compliance with recommendations of state and national calls to reform, including the Goals 2000 Act.
The Patterns Project will achieve these goals through the complementary use of six technology-based strategies:
- Web as Input: Using the World Wide Web as a resource for information and learning.
- Web as Output: Using the Web as a publication vehicle for student and teacher work.
- Graphical Organizing Tools: Using software, such as Inspiration, Stencil-It, TimeLiner, and Cocoa, to help students organize and manipulate information and ideas.
- Patterns of Thinking: Teaching habits of mind, including inductive and deductive reasoning, through the use of technology tools and within the context of curriculum standards.
- Communal Knowledge Construction: Gathering and cataloging the intellectual products of teachers, students, parents, community organizations, and businesses and making them available and open to feedback from others by means of a centralized data base.
- Service Learning: Applying information literacy skills to provide needed services for parents, other students, and local community members
Douglas County School District
Castle Rock, Colorado
Douglas County School District occupies almost 900 square miles of land between Denver and Colorado Springs. It encompasses rural, suburban and mountain landscapes, and the burgeoning towns of Highlands Ranch, Parker and Castle Rock. During the past decade, it has been one of the fastest growing districts in the nation. In 1990, some 13,000 students attended school here. Enrollment for the 2000-2001 school year has topped 34,500. Growth over the next five years is anticipated to continue at approximately 2,550 students per year, which will require building ten new schools during that time frame to keep up with growth. Douglas County is known as a "lighthouse" school district with students scoring well above state averages on the Colorado Student Assessment Program, and above state and national averages on the ACT exam. The districts Strategic Plan zeros in on three main areas, and quality efforts are aligned to achieve continuous improvement in:
1) Student Achievement;
2) Effective Use of Resources, and;
3) Responsive Governance.
The Information Technology Department continues to implement the latest in technology infrastructure throughout the school district. Douglas County Schools was one of the first districts in the nation to fully implement wireless technology in the schools. Our district technology plan focuses on the following areas:
- Providing adequate and sufficient technology systems to support and enhance district curricular goals
- Providing adequate and sufficient technology systems to support all
- Providing adequate and sufficient opportunities for acquiring
technology skills for both students and staff
Using a data driven model for continuous quality improvement, the Information Technology Department is committed to insuring that students are given every opportunity to acquire the technology skills necessary to enhance their educational experience and that staff have the equipment and skills necessary to assist students with their learning experiences. We have developed a "Skills Continuum for Students" that describes the skills that students are expected to develop before they begin their high school experience. These skills are meant to help enable students to achieve our district standards through technology.
The teachers in the Douglas County Schools are encouraged to develop their skills through a variety of different approaches: from imbedded, on-site staff development to district level classes (some of which give the teachers extra performance pay) to web-based modular classes. The instructional staff is supported by a team of three integration specialists who offer staff development and support to individual buildings and teachers in the areas of technology integration, project and cross-curricular pedagogy, and management of technology based classrooms. The schools are also supported by a team of technical experts who build and maintain the hardware infrastructure throughout the district.
Douglas County Schools continue to encourage students with the vision of preparing students to use technology to access, retrieve, and produce information for school-wide, district-wide, community-wide, national, and international audiences.
Winchester School District
1. To ensure that the use of technology is truly impacting student learning.
2. To fully integrate the use of technology into academic disciplines.
3. To improve student achievement in state mastery test through the use of technology.
Only four years ago the Winchester Public Schools owned just a few computers, most of which went unused, while those that were in operation were primarily limited to drill and practice. Since then the district has invested heavily in new technology, and has received numerous, state, TLCF and erate funds. It now has a state-of-the-art infrastructure with a minimum of two online computers per classroom, multiple labs, Local Area Networks (LANs) and Internet connectivity throughout the district. The school also developed partnerships with neighboring rural schools in Connecticut and Massachusetts to provide high quality, focused, multi-day professional development programs throughout the year. As an example, this summer over 400 days of instruction will be delivered. Nevertheless, last year the students did not meet the state's goals for reading comprehension and math competency as measured by the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT).
The district performed an in-depth self-analysis of all aspects of the availability and use of technology, and compared itself to documented effective practices. While the general goals of the technology curriculum were preserved, the lesson plans were discarded and only those activities that clearly addressed academic curricular objectives were maintained. A Technology Integration Team was established that includes the media specialist, the director of technology, the assistant superintendent, and administrators and teachers with expertise in multiple aspects of technology and education. The team began its work with a comprehensive analysis of the curriculum, identifying areas for improvement, and gaining insight into how technology plays a significant role in supporting student learning. Each team member worked to establish well thought out math tasks and developed a process for tracking student growth based on CMT results. Two examples included: 1) The district tracked each student's reading growth by posting their pre and post Degree of Reading Power (DRP) tests results on the network. This helped the teachers look at each student's longitudinal growth and promoted the sharing of student assessment data. 2) Specific math lessons were designed to help improve the objectives that related to concepts that involve the use of fractions. These technology rich math activities were posted on the school's network in a math curriculum folder. After a student solved a problem, the teacher could then utilize an assessment rubric to evaluate the student's work. The rubric also can be used by the student to self-assess their own work, enabling them to focus on specific areas of improvement.
During the year, the following information has been posted on the district's network:
* Grade specific Math Tasks aligned with the CMT objectives.
* Math Task Assessment rubrics
* District developed CMT aligned Mathematics Benchmarks for each grade level, kindergarten through grade eight
* Mathematics curriculum framework from the Connecticut State Department of Education
* A summary of NCTM standards
* 1999 CMT scores for all students from grades 2-8.
* Guided Reading material
* Pre and Post DRP results for all students grades 2-8
* Four Blocks Reading Program information
The Technology Integration Team then continued their work by demonstrating, mentoring, following up and evaluating the use of these materials. Although the students have yet had the opportunity to take the 3rd Generation of the Connecticut Mastery Test, there has been a marked improvement in the targeted areas as measured by performance on school level testing, measured by rubrics, observations, attendance and student demonstrations and explanations of problems.
Henry M. Brader Elementary School
Henry M. Brader Elementary School is a kindergarten through fourth grade school in Newark, Delaware. Brader was built in 1989 by the Christina School District in northern New Castle County, Delaware.
Brader Elementary School serves a diverse urban and suburban population of approximately 1000 students. Because of the proximity of the University of Delaware, Delaware State College and Wilmington College, Brader serves as training center for student teachers. Brader also serves as an observation site of best teaching practices for teachers from other schools in the state of Delaware.
In 1998 Brader Elementary School was awarded one of ten Federal Technology and Learning Challenge Grants awarded by the state of Delaware. This five year grant has a yearly application and renewal and gives the school $200,000 a year to be used to make the school a high technology school.
Using grant monies along with district funds, Brader has been able to pilot the use of an instructional management system, upgrade computers to access the Internet, and provide training during the school day and after hours. Additionally, monies have been used to purchase Windows based machines to replace outdated machines, teacher stations for planning areas, projection systems, digital cameras, video cameras, printers, scanners, desks, hubs, and carts.
Software programs with school wide licenses have been purchased for word processing, math, reading assessment, presentations, e-mail, virus protection and for Internet access.
Two full time positions essential to the success of the project were created with the hiring of a technology specialist and a writing teacher. The technology specialist oversees the daily operation of hardware and software, helps staff members integrate technology into their curriculum, works to create a community link to the project, and coordinates the district technology projects with Brader's technology goals.
The writing teacher uses the AlphaSmarts word processing machines to teach students in grades one through four the writing process during a 45 minute lesson each week.
The Library Media Center has been moved away from being used as a planning period for teachers and is now used as a Power Library site. In this program teachers team-teach with the library media specialist the research process and guide students through an assigned research project based on authentic curriculum.
In the 2000-2001 school year, Brader Elementary is working to provide complete web access to school publications, open the library media center after the school day, and provide technology learning opportunities for the community.
Bloom Trail High School
Chicago Heights, Illinois
Bloom Trail High School is the newer of two schools in Bloom District 206. Located approximately 40 miles south of Chicago, it opened as a four-year high school in the fall of 1976. The prior twelve years it housed the district's freshmen and sophomores.
Trail's diverse student body resides in Steger, Crete, Sauk Village, Ford Heights and Lynwood, with a significant portion from families below the poverty level.
Trail offers an equally diverse academic program for its 1,250-1,300 students, with technology playing a significant role in student learning and achievement.
That technology includes a robust T-1 connection to the Internet, and a LAN provides Internet connection to every classroom. Completing a four-year process, by December of this year there will be a networked Internet high performance computer in every academic classroom in the building, accessible to teachers.
There are seven large high performance computer labs at Bloom Trail, all connected to the Internet. Some are subject-specific, some are for Title I reading, and some are open labs available as needed by teachers. In addition, there are 19 internet-connected computers in the media center.
The two Title I math labs, graphic arts, yearbook and art classes have computer work group clusters (fewer than 10 computers).
To facilitate engaged learning and changes in the instructional process, technology also includes LCD projectors, digital cameras, scanners, laptops, and a 36-inch multi-purpose monitor with a full function Internet computer and VCR.
Overseeing the purchase, installation and maintenance of hardware, and serving as a troubleshooter for teachers, is the technology coordinator assigned to Bloom Trail High School.
Instructional resources targeting engaged learning are being used in math, science, social studies, reading and writing classes.
Extensive staff development included the use of specific equipment and programs, use of the Internet in classrooms, new dimensions for learning with technology, innovative instructional practices, engaged learning with technology, interdisciplinary learning, multimedia presentations, and new alternative assessment strategies and techniques.
Federal and state grants provided a majority of the funds for technology implementation, including infrastructure, hardware, software and staff development.
The community is able to access information about state-of-the-art technology and teaching at Bloom Trail through the Bloom District 206 web page.
Rich East High School
Olympia Fields, Ilinois
Rich East High School, located approximately 30 miles south of downtown Chicago, is a 9 - 12 high school located in Park Forest, IL. East currently serves 1200 students and is the original campus within Rich Township High Schools District 227. Park Forest gained status as an All-America City in 1953, as a tribute to the new school, the known as Rich High. The village, incorporated in 1948, had already won recognition as an exemplary prototype of the post-war, middle class, planned communities that came to define suburbia.
Located in southernmost Cook County, District 227 now consists of three separate high schools, Rich East, Rich Central and Rich South. Together they server 3300 students from all or part of seven communities: Chicago Heights, Country Club Hills, Matteson, Olympia Fields, Park Forest, Richton Park, and Tinley Park. The area is primarily residential and is culturally and socio-economically diverse. District-wide, the mobility rate is about 10 percent. The number of free and reduced lunches has more than tripled in the last nine years.
Community support is a key element in the ongoing success of District 227 schools. The district's high academic, social and behavioral expectations show results: the graduation rate is 90 per cent with over 80 percent college-bound. Students, teachers, and business partners work together to define goals and provide enriching opportunities for life-long learning. Partnership programs include job shadowing, skills assessment, and curriculum development that provides educational solutions to the challenges of the workplace.
District 227 maintains a leadership role in technology literacy. Rich East currently has six computer labs: accounting, CAD, keyboarding, writing, math/science, and media center. A long-range plan will provide technology to every classroom, office and lab, including wiring for voice, video and data connections. The plan includes staff development as well as student learning.
A Technology Literacy Challenge Fund grant supported a recently completed partnership research project with two neighboring high school districts. Students investigated and then reported on their topic - the historical impact of change as it relates to the future in the south suburban area - via the use of technology.
Students created PowerPoint presentations and developed brochures, posters, and web pages using such vehicles as Word, PhotoShop, DreamWeaver, and HTML. The information was shared with the school board, with community groups and through community access cablevision. Students worked in diverse, heterogeneous, collaborative groups determined by instructional tasks. The multidisciplinary project included English, reading, mathematics, and more.
Teachers, through the integration of technology into a standards-based curriculum, are helping students to achieve the Illinois State Learning Standards. Teachers facilitate group collaboration as co-learners and co-investigators of research and data collection. In order to do this, teachers must be willing to take risks and to explore areas outside of their expertise. Training and workshops for teachers have included Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, DreamWeaver, Adobe PhotoShop, Internet, and HTML web design.
Students are exploring new areas as well, using new tools for research, engaging in new experiences, and developing new and useful products. As cognitive apprentices, they are engaged in authentic, challenging tasks, observing, and then applying and refining the thinking process. Students teach and learn from each other as they integrate knowledge and skills for themselves and for the community.
Holton School District Profile USD 336 is located in Holton, Kansas, 26 miles north of Topeka, the state capital. A new four lane highway, reservoir and numerous new businesses have led to a growing population. Holton, which has a population of 3,300, serves as the county seat of Jackson County.
Four schools are contained within USD 336: Colorado Elementary for grades K-2; Central Elementary for grades 3-5; Holton Middle School with grades 6-8; and Holton High School, a 4A-size school, with grades 9-12. The total student population for the district is 1086. The district has 97 teachers for an overall student to teacher ratio of 11:1.
USD 336 is the sponsoring district of a five-district special education cooperative which employs two administrators and 46 certified personnel.
Highly regarded for its strong educational offerings and professional staff, USD 336 has created a strong in-service program for staff development. The district is a leader in technology offerings for students at all levels.
In 1995, Holton USD 336 became the first school district in Jackson County to acquire a direct internet connection for its high school and by 1996 the district became the first internet service provider for Jackson County. Later, partnerships with surrounding districts were established enabling them to access internet services at a high rate of speed. Today a number of communities surrounding Holton have internet access via a local phone call through the schools. Currently more than 1,270 community patrons receive internet connectivity through Holton USD 336. In 1998, USD 336 used DSL technologies to create a wide area network. The district has also donated a computer along with free internet access to Beck-Bookman Public Library, a senior citizens center, two Jackson County nursing homes and the Fresh Start Adult Education program.
Over the past seven years the district has obtained numerous grants, totaling $346,189, from various state and federal agencies. Grant money has been used to purchase hardware and software, to establish new classes and to provide staff development.
Ashland Independent School District
The Ashland Independent School District in Ashland, Kentucky considers itself to be a leader in the use of technology to support teaching and learning in the classroom. Technology permeates our district with over 1,000 networked computers and Internet/Email access for every classroom. With approximately 3,400 students in our district, we are seeking to make our technology an integral part of the curriculum with instructional software for grades K-12. This creates an environment where teachers and students become more proficient in using a wide variety of tools to enhance learning, problem solving, communication, collaboration, productivity and creativity. In addition, we hope to strengthen the home-school connection by expanding our district and school web sites with detailed information about school activities and by making our technology available to families and the community.
District Technology Vision Statement: "The Ashland Independent School District will provide 21st century technology that will empower the learning community to become information-literate critical thinkers to achieve lifelong learning goals in their personal, educational, and workplace environment."
5 District Technology Goals:
- Develop a comprehensive three-year district technology plan for the effective implementation of technology that will provide appropriate guidelines for acquisition, training, and support for staff, students, and the community.
- Construct a state-of-the-art network infrastructure to provide global communications and information literacy for schools and administration with sufficient technical support to extend, further develop, and keep the network operational.
- Establish a robust staff development program to facilitate and evaluate the relevant use of technology with the highest standards of professionalism and training in order to empower staff members to embrace technology as a tool that can be utilized effectively across the curriculum.
- Create, implement, and assess a spiral curriculum for students, which integrates technology in an engaged learning environment while meeting local, state, and national standards of excellence in a legal and ethical manner for the promotion of citizenship and technological leadership.
- Identify needs for software and hardware acquisition through systematic planning at the district and building level to build an equitable, cost-effective technology base for our students and provide for refresh.
Kenton County Schools
Kenton County Schools, located in Erlanger, Kentucky is the 5th largest district in the state with 12,000 students. The district is dedicated to student learning and setting clear expectations about the learning that takes place each day. Effective resources, whether paper or electronic, are provided in support of this district goal.
With the Kentucky legislative action of 1992 awarding school districts Ed-Tech funds to be matched dollar for dollar by the local school district, Kenton County Schools have been able to run cabling to the classrooms, purchased computers and printers, provided full time technicians, build a support system of teams of teachers and students within each building to address building needs, provided digital cameras, scanners and projection devices, and offer software trainings for staff members. While each year we continue to expand the hardware, software, and professional development to staff and students, this year we are putting our resources into people that will assist teachers with the integration of technology into the curriculum.
During the past year, the Kentucky Department of Education Professional Standards Committee created technology standards that all teachers are expected to achieve, whether that teacher is a new or experienced teacher. The district, in support of these standards, used the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund grant dollars for professional development to support our teachers and create an environment where all teachers are learners.
This school year a Technology Resource Teacher has been added to the technology staff. This person is available to teachers to help with the integration of technology into their curriculum. This may be accomplished in several ways: model teaching, help with lesson plans, support services, consulting in various ways, or finding resources to accompany lessons.
To further support the teachers a call for integrator/trainers was advertised among staff members. The plan was to hire 12 experienced and effective teachers in the integration of technology in the curriculum. Those selected would work with teachers in their buildings as well as within the district to empower and support teachers. Their mission was to:
· Provide individual consulting time with teachers
· Focus on content that the staff is currently teaching
· Ask the teacher to identify an area in which they want to begin
· Start small and meaningful to the teachers
· Create a plan of action which includes how to acquires materials and support
· Assist in planning lessons
· Model technology in their classroom
· Do collaborative teaching when necessary
· Provide resources
· Partner the teacher with someone else who is using that same technology
· Follow-up within 2-3 weeks to see how the teacher is doing.
We are looking for measurable progress in the area of technology with our students. To help teachers meet this goal the state has provided an electronic self survey (Profiler - SCR*Tec) that supports the professional technology standards. The results of this survey helps teachers, building administrators and the technology staff plan appropriate professional development.
With this support it is hoped that teachers will become learners and then teachers to our learning community of students.
Many High School
Rockledge Elementary School
Rockledge Elementary, a K-6 comprehensive school of 625 students, is located in Prince George's County, Bowie, Maryland. Seven years ago our technology consisted of outdated computers and basic audiovisual equipment. Our road to improvement began with a new administrator who spearheaded a technology committee made up of staff members and interested parents. Our ongoing technology plan initially addressed the procurement of space, selection of hardware, and creation of a curriculum technology infusion program. Funds received from increased scores in the Maryland Schools Performance Assessment Program provided seed money to purchase new PCs for our computer laboratory. At least one computer is in every classroom, converters allow instructors to use them with their television monitors for whole classroom instruction; staff members are encouraged to take advantage of county and peer technology training. Thanks to the committee's initiative, all classrooms and administrative offices are online.
Our philosophy is to provide all students with the opportunity to become information literate and to provide staff training so that all instructors may infuse technology into their curricular areas. Scheduling of classes for the Computer Lab and the Media Center has evolved over the past three years; the best of fixed and flexible schedule options combine to yield enormous benefits for students and teachers. The Computer Technician works closely with the Media Specialist to provide the most recent and up-to-date technological applications. Together they plan with the classroom teachers how best to use their media and computer time, facilities, equipment, and software. Often the allocated time is combined and team-taught; especially in extended research assignments. The Computer Technician, Media Specialist, and classroom teachers work cooperatively on software selection and evaluation, each bringing important areas of expertise to the process.
The Technology Literacy Challenge Fund Grant is a federally funded initiative in which Rockledge participated during the 1999-2000 school year. The Media Specialist, with a third and fifth grade teacher forms a cooperative triad whose goal was to infuse technology into existing curriculum. Monthly meetings with others in the program provide for staff training sessions and peer review of lesson plans and projects, triad members present at local conferences, technology infused lesson plans are developed for online publication, and the triad develops and implements staff training opportunities. Our school has been selected to participate in this program for a second year, 2000-2001, allowing our group to include two more classroom teachers, from second and fourth grades respectively.
Video teleconferencing has been made available to the students by one of our parent's employers; emails to our overseas partners are part of the daily routine, and parents may find homework assignments online. Ten classrooms and the Media Center now house computers with portable keyboards allowing for more student interaction and flexibility. This year a set of portable microprocessors will be used in the classrooms. Students are encouraged to explore all forms of technology. Production is an assessment as well as a culminating activity. It is not unexpected for students to publish their research as a PowerPoint while incorporating digital pictures; or they might make it a news report for the morning television show, directed and produced by the sixth grade. Students have video portfolios recording their progress and accomplishments; parent volunteers do the actual filming. The resources on the Internet are made available to the students through the Computer Lab, Media Center, and their classroom computers. We strive to continue with our technology and information literacy goals knowing the importance for our children's success in the twenty-first century. Our team approach ensures that every child will have the best resources our school has to offer.
Eugene Burroughs Middle School
Prince George's County, Maryland
Eugene Burroughs Middle School, located in southern Prince George's County, Maryland, is a combined middle school consisting of 750 students. The school offers a Magnet Continuity program, "The Center for the Enhancement of Higher Order Thinking Skills through Technology". Eugene Burroughs also serves to provide a Talented and Gifted Magnet Program to those TAG identified students who comprise about half of our sixth grade class. There are 120 sixth graders who feed into the school from our neighboring elementary. Grades 7 and 8 have approximately 310 students in each, half who reside within our attendance area and half who receive magnet continuity from a Traditional/Classical feeder elementary. The school's racial composition is 75% African American, 20% Caucasian, and the remainder 5% is divided between Filipino, Asian, and American Indian. Twenty one percent receive free or reduced lunch. Eugene Burroughs Middle School is among the highest performing middle schools in Prince George's County. The 1998 index was 71.1.
As "The Center for the Enhancement of Higher Order Thinking Skills through Technology", the school offers a special program which highlights the inclusion model for the teaching of higher order thinking skills and the infusion of technology with over 300 network computers. Eugene Burroughs Middle School was a national pilot for a project which created a partnership between Jostens, makers and distributors of instructional software and Workforce 2000, a company providing software and training designed to help teachers plan instruction that is correlated to MSDE outcomes and indicators. This "High Performance Instruction Model" utilizes technology through Task Builder in the alignment of instruction with instructional outcomes and the development of performance assessments.
Instructionally, both students and teachers at Eugene Burroughs Middle School benefit from our four computer labs. Students have the opportunity to frequent each of the computer labs weekly, that is once in each of the four core content subjects of Reading/ Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science. Teachers utilize Task Builder and Power Point in the design and delivery of unit lesson plans. The use of JCAT pre tests provide early indicators of students' strengths and weaknesses. Progress is monitored and appropriate instructional adjustments are made. All have direct Internet access.
Organizationally, teachers at Eugene Burroughs Middle School benefit from our internal and external e-mail and Microsoft Office. With a computer on each teacher's desktop, educators have access to our student information system. A student photo along with information regarding home address, parent/guardian phone numbers, student schedule, attendance, behavior are accessible to staff members.
Technology at Eugene Burroughs Middle School is the one tool that empowers the acquisition of knowledge and enhances the learning process.
Maine State Department of Education
Springfield Massachusetts Public Schools
Demographics: With 156,983 residents, the city of Springfield is the largest city in Western Massachusetts and enjoys a 359 year history as "The City of Homes," the birthplace of Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel (March 2, 1904), and the birthplace of basketball (Dr. James Naismith, 1891). Springfield is strategically located 90 miles west of Boston and 150 miles north of New York City.
In the Springfield Public Schools, the second largest school district in New England, 25,918 students attend classes in forty-eight schools located throughout the city. The school district population is 42% Hispanic, 26% Caucasian, 30% African-American, and 2% Asian. Approximately 78% of the students were classified as low-income according to their eligibility for free or reduced price lunches. In the 1999-2000 school year, Springfield began a "Universal Free Lunch Program" for all its students.
Instructional Technology: Various technologies are utilized in support of standards-based learning, including computers, graphing calculators, digital cameras, scanners, television studio equipment. In order to have resources available whenever necessary, our technology guidelines (see below) call for equipment in every classroom. We promote the use of online resources for research, communication, collaboration, and problem solving. The student to computer ratio is currently approximately 4:1.
The Springfield Public School District is also a founding district for Massachusetts' Virtual Education Space project (a set of on-line tools and implementation strategies individualized for each educator, student, and parent to enable them to increase student achievement on standards-based curriculum), and has personnel on the Board of Directors and the Working Group.
The district has a system-wide assistive technology team which promotes the concept of universal design for all students throughout the district, and addresses the assistive and adaptive technology needs of our students.
Student Technical Courses and Projects: Springfield offers courses for students in network design and management, hardware maintenance, computer design and animation, telecommunications, CAD, and various other technology/engineering courses with a focus on design and problem solving. Student internships are arranged with local businesses.
Administrative Technology: Every administrator, counselor, and support staff member (where appropriate) has access to a computer and printer which is connected to our district WAN and the Internet. State, federal, and local reports are submitted online by both school and Central Office staff. Professional development on all district software is provided.
The Springfield Public School System is in the process of acquiring SIF-compliant software systems. We have a new student database that interacts with the statewide student information management system, distributed responsibility for data reporting, library automation systems, lunch accountability systems, identification-badge systems, security systems, and a newly designed web site including web pages for each school and program.
Professional Development for Teachers and Administrators: Springfield provides seven full PD days for all teachers each year, as well as 1.25 hours of PD per week. Technology PD is also provided through embedded (on-site, in-classroom) PD, after school and weekend workshops, an on-site Master's Degree program, and online courses.
Our district professional development center includes a 30-station technology training room, multiple small and one large 100-person meeting room, and several classrooms. All are equipped with new technologies for demonstration, display, and hands-on training.
Infrastructure/Hardware/Software: The City of Springfield has committed to replace, renovate, or expand an average of two schools per year until all schools offer equitable services to students and the community. Between 14% and 20% of construction/renovation costs are allocated to technology. Springfield also utilizes grants, bonds, leasing, and E-Rate funding for technology infrastructure, hardware, and software.
All schools currently have Internet access, and twelve schools fully meet the district's technology guidelines (five more are in process):
- School-wide LAN connected to our district WAN
- Fiber-optic connections between communications closets; Category five horizontal wiring to the desktop
- Six networked student computers, one networked teacher computer, and one networked printer in all classrooms
- Computer Labs where appropriate
- Standardized software packages including a productivity package (office suite), software which promotes open-ended reasoning and higher-order thinking skills, and virus protection
- Subject-specific and optional software where appropriate
In order to address the electrical issues in older buildings, we have begun to implement wireless laptop schools, with our first venture a K-5 school. All students and staff will be equipped (Grades 3,4,5 students, and all staff members were equipped in 1999-2000; K-2 students are scheduled to be equipped in 2000-2001) with networked laptop computers.
Partnerships/Collaborations: The Springfield Public Schools considers its business, college, and organizational partnerships to be invaluable. Currently, we partner with organizations such as the Massachusetts Department of Education, other school districts, Mass Networks Education Partnership Inc., TERC, the WGBH Teacher Center, CAST, Inc., the Institute for Community Inclusion, MassCUE, the Northeast Center for Telecommunications Technologies/Springfield Technical Community College, The University of Pittsburgh, Springfield College, Framingham State College, the NSF, Nortel Networks, Dell Computer, LanTamers, Microsoft, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance, New Horizons Computer Learning Center, NetSchools, and WGBY Television. All of these organizations, and many others, assist us in providing educational excellence for our students.
Holland Public Schools
Poplar Springs Elementary School
Crestwood School/MeridianPublic School
Farmington School District
Farmington, Missouri, a City of Tradition and Progress is a rural community located 70 miles south of St. Louis Missouri. The Farmington R-7 School District's current population is approximately 3,500 students with 260 teachers in nine schools. The schools include: W.L.Johns Early Childhood Center (pre K), Truman Kindergarten Center, Washington Franklin Elementary (1-4), Jefferson Elementary (1-4), Lincoln Intermediate Center (5-6), Farmington Middle School (7-8), Farmington High School (9-12), and Midwest Learning Center (alt. sch.). District staff has a strong commitment to use educational technology. The district's technology plan states that Farmington Schools Districts' students will be able to use the tools of educational technology effectively, holding in thier hands the means to shape their own destinies. To accomplish this goal, the district is constantly seeking technology funding which would have the most impact on student learning. To move towards this goal the district participated in the 1999-2000 enhancing Missouri's Instructional Networked Teaching Strategies (eMINTS) Project.
The enhancing Missouri's Instructional Networked Teaching Strategies (eMINTS) project is an expansion of a successful pilot project conducted in six urban school districts which had a high population of at risk students. The purpose of that project was to eliminate the technology barriers, change teaching styles and strategies, and significantly improve student performance. Building upon the success of this project a collaborative effort between Missouri's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Missouri Research and Education Network (MOREnet), and 44 school districts state wide was developed to provide the funding for 88 eMINTS classrooms. Two classrooms, a third grade and a fourth grade in Washington-Franklin Elementary were selected to participate in eMINTS project. Each of eMINTS classrooms have been equipped with a networked computer workstation for every two students, a multi-media teacher workstation, interactive SmartBoard, data projector, digital camera, printer, scanner, high speed Internet access, and desktop videoconferencing equipment. In addition to the technology available in each classroom, new student desks were designed and purchased. The student desks were ergonomically designed to provide a collaborative workspace for pairs of students. The newly designed desks are visible in the accompanying photographs.
Students after learning the basics on the proper use of the computer and how to access the Internet, pair up in groups of two, view Web sites related to the school's curriculum, use the data projector and SmartBoard, to present PowerPoint and Hyperstudio presentations. This requires the student to think through and evaluate the information they access through the Internet and to define what is clearly important.
To ensure efficient operation of the classroom technologies and appropriate integration of the technologies into the curriculum, the two teachers participated in an aggressive professional development program. This prepared them to use the technologies to support inquiry-based learning and to become facilitators of their students' learning. It also provided them with an understanding whereby the classroom becomes a constructivist learning environment where teachers and students learn and actively participate in the educational process. We as teachers need to become increasingly more comfortable with becoming facilitators (guides and coaches) rather than transmitters of knowledge.
Other positive results of the project have included reduced discipline and better school attendance. Students have also learned independence by finding information on their own, and have gained assurance through their work. Students are taking responsibility for their own education. Not only at school, but at home as well, as many of the student's families are purchasing computers and continuing their education with their families at home.
Robert E. Bartman, Missouri's Commissioner of Education states, "The eMINTS initiative is a key part of the statewide effort to show how cutting-edge technology, in combination with first-class teaching, can transform Missouri's classrooms into the 21st Century."
During the 2000-2001 school year the district has chosen to expand the project into two additional third and fourth grades in the Jefferson elementary school and into a fifth grade classroom in the Lincoln Intermediate Center. A successful passage of a school bond issue in the spring of 2000 will result in a new eMINTS elementary school. All teachers and staff will receive extensive professional development prior to their transfer into this 21st Century school.
Helena Public Schools
Helena, Montana, nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains, is Montana's capital city. The Helena School District, serves 8188 students and includes two high schools, two middle schools, eleven elementary schools, an alternative high school, a transitional middle school and an Adult Learning Center which includes a District Media Center and Technology Training Center. The district employs a well-educated staff of 600. These professionals serve our children, schools and community with dedication and compassion. The Helena Public Schools have a long tradition of excellence in all areas whether it be academics, the arts, technology, or sports. We continue to strive to achieve the Mission of the Helena Public Schools, which is: " to challenge our students, to maximize individual potential and to help students become a competent, productive, responsible, caring citizens."
A District Technology Plan for the School District was implemented in 1990 and continues to evolve. It is a dynamic document that is revisited and revised. Each school includes a technology component in their Annual School Improvement Plan. Each building's Annual School Improvement Plan must address the role of technology in enhancing teaching and learning. Further, the plan must describe how technology will be acquired and used to maximize improved student learning.
The District established a District Information Services / Technology Administrator position in January of 1998. This position oversees and coordinates the implementation of technology in the District. A network manager position was funded during the 1998-99 school year. This position is responsible for network design, management and security at all levels and for all systems. The District has invested in and implemented local area networks in all schools. All sites are connected in a wireless wide area. Network authentication protocols have been implemented. Instructional applications like Accelerated Reader, business applications, student management applications and library applications are being used District wide.
An Elementary Technology Specialist position was established in 1994 and in 1997 the position also began coordinating activities at Technology Training Center. Library Media Specialists in some locations have accepted responsibility for building level technology support. Both high schools and both middle schools employ a technology teacher. These individuals provide technical support as well as training and instructional support.
The District Technology Training Center was established in the fall of 1996. An extensive Professional Development program was developed and professional development opportunities for district teachers, as well as teachers from surrounding districts and community members, continues today. The Center operates evenings, weekends and throughout the summer months. Non district staff are charged a nominal fee to help defray overhead costs.
All school libraries are automated and provide a wide array of resources both electronic and print which support teaching and learning.
All students and staff in our high schools have comprehensive access to the tools of technology. Access includes classroom, mini-lab, full lab and library lab access. Further all high school instructional sites have both local and wide area network access. The two middle schools and eleven elementary schools have centralized access to network resources and varying levels of access to technology tools.
Each school has a District web site which highlights school activities and student work. Each high school web site also includes instructional information provided by classroom teachers. Email accounts are provided for all staff members.
A set of essential technology skills has been identified at each grade level. Work continues to insure that technology is used as a tool to support teaching and learning and that fundamental skills be used in the context of the curriculum. Efforts at evaluation have tended to be tied to specific programs. The Accelerated Reader Program has been extensively evaluated over a period of five years. Student achievement has been documented through a series of standardized tests, student performance records and other assessments. Students participating in the Problem Based Learning project have provided anecdotal evidence of improved achievement through oral assessments. Additionally, students participated in pre and post assessments which measured their technical abilities.
The Board Policy Committee continues to review and revise technology policies. The Student Acceptable Use Procedure was revised in the spring of 2000. A Staff Acceptable Use Procedure was implemented in the fall of 1999. The Board of Trustees has adopted a Network Policy. Work continues on an electronic publishing policy.
A Technology Literacy Challenge Grant has allowed a systematic implementation of Problem Based Learning at various grade levels and schools across the District. Teachers apply to participate, receive extensive and ongoing training in PBL instructional strategies, and are provided with the technology tools needed to enhance their own instruction as well as enhance student learning. During the second year of the project new participants were matched with a PBL mentor and now in the third year of the project new participants are matched one-on-one with a mentor. Problem Based Learning engages students in solving messy, real-world problems.
The Helena voters approved a seven-million dollar technology / telecommunications levy in the Spring of 2000. This levy will enable the District to implement a new district-wide telecommunications system as well as provide ongoing support and increased access to a wide array of technological tools. Additionally, technology is supported through one-time allocations (i.e. HB47, Timber Technology funds, ERate, etc.). Goals 2000 and Technology Literacy Challenge Grants have helped establish major inroads in the implementation of the District's technology plan.
Grand Island Public Schools
Grand Island, Nebraska
Dodge Elementary School
Moultonborough School District
Moultonborough, New Hampshire
Kingsbury Middle School
Zephyr Cove, Nevada
Morris County Educational Technology Training Center
Morris County School of Technology
Denville, New Jersey
Morris County School of Technology is located at 400 East Main Street, Denville, NJ. Since it's inception more than twenty years ago, Morris County School of Technology has been responsive to the needs of the local educational community by researching, developing and providing career, technology and tech prep programs to meet needs not fully addressed in local schools. In the last several years, the school district has been serving as a leader in technology, as a central hub for the provision of technology services, teacher training, and other services that can be efficiently provided through county coordination.
The Morris County Educational Technology Training Center (MC-ETTC) located in Morris County School of Technology is dedicated to providing strategies that integrate technology and education, and provides plans to meet the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards. The Morris County ETTC offers professional development workshops utilizing state-of-the-art technology to unify teaching strategies and technology for all grade levels, and content areas. Training is available on incorporating current technology into instructional strategies. Located at the MC-ETTC is an extensive software library directly related to content areas for our county educators to review.
The MC-ETTC has strong support from all of the school districts in Morris County. Supporting the MC-ETTC is a consortium that consists of 33 public school districts and 20 non-public school districts. To date the MC-ETTC has held 996 workshops for 9,788 educators in Morris County.
The MC-ETTC supports educators in understanding and implementing the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and the integration of technology across the curriculum through many of our workshops (i.e. Algebra Two Using Graphing Calculators, project based workshops, subject specific workshops, and more).
All ETTC's in the state have been certified nationally by the National Association of State Boards of Education as an exemplary educational practice. New Jersey's twenty-one ETTC's meet monthly with the New Jersey Department of Education to stay current with county, state, and federal technology updates (i.e. Universal Service Fund).
Juanita Unhoch, Director of the MC-ETTC brings a unique and diverse background that combines teaching and technology. In addition to writing and winning technology based grants, Ms. Unhoch also provides professional development activities designed to incorporate technology into all classrooms. Mrs. Unhoch earned her Masters of Education at East Stroudsburg University and holds a New Jersey Supervisory Certificate.
Educational Technology Training Center
@Camden County Technical Schools
Sicklerville, New Jersey
To find educational professionals learning to use technology in the classroom, one need not look further than Camden County Technical Schools (CCTS). Camden County Technical Schools operates the Educational Technology Training Center (ETTC) at its Gloucester Township Campus on 343 Berlin Cross Keys Road in Sicklerville, New Jersey. Since opening its doors in 1997, the Camden County ETTC has trained over 8,000 educators, administrators and other staff from schools and municipalities throughout the county.
Three years ago, through a federally funded grant, the State of New Jersey established 21 Educational Technology Training Centers throughout the State, one in each county. The primary goal of this initiative was to provide professional development opportunities to educators in the use of infusing instructional technology into the curriculum.
Technology training is coordinated with statewide initiatives in conjunction with the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and in the use of infusing instructional technology into the curriculum. The ETTC has four state-of-the-art of training labs, two PC labs, one G4 Apple lab and a distance learning lab equipped with a Concorde PictureTel video-conferencing system and an eight-port bridge. Within the center, there are lab areas dedicated to the demonstration of hardware, software preview and technical assistance.
The ETTC is staffed with a full-time director, technology operations coordinator, a help desk assistant and part-time trainers from our partner schools. The staff development training includes the use of the Internet, graphics, web development, multimedia presentations, spreadsheets, databases, word processing, hand held technologies, desktop publishing, as well as video-streaming, video editing, and video conferencing (distance learning). During the 1999-2000 school year, the Camden County ETTC trained 3350 educators from both public and nonpublic schools throughout the county. Over 96% of the participants in these workshops have rated them to be above average in quality and content.
Camden County Technical Schools also provides space on their server to house the home pages with web site addresses and Internet E-mail addresses for all 162 schools in Camden County as well as access to E-mail for all teachers. This initiative serves over 9,000 students with at least 50% of the 9,000 attending economically disadvantaged districts.
Additionally, each month the ETTC meets with the county school district's technology coordinators. During these monthly meetings, these coordinators receive training on educational technology issues and each meeting culminates with a roundtable discussion of district concerns, as well as, county, state and federal technology updates.
In Camden County, the ETTC has become the focal point of technology for school districts. Every county-based educational technology initiative is coordinated or hosted by the Camden County ETTC. These include the Camden County Technology Committee, the County Technology Curriculum Committee, CAMNET and several other county technology-based committees. The culmination of all of these resources and initiatives serve as a forum and catalyst for the ETTC training programs insuring quality need-based workshops.
Santa Rosa Consolidated Schools
Santa Rosa, New Mexico
Santa Rosa Consolidated Schools (SRCS) consists of five schools in rural Guadalupe County, New Mexico. Guadalupe ranks second lowest in per capita income among New Mexico's counties, and its population has been declining while the state has been experiencing a population increase. Percent of high school graduates in the County is 57.8 compared to a national average of 75.2, and percent of college graduates is 6.1 (national average is 20.3). Average per capita income is $6,529. SRCS is 93.8% Hispanic, and it is ranked first out of New Mexico's 89 districts in "percent of students living in poverty" by Census Bureau statistics. With this demographic data in mind, SRCS has propelled itself to seek excellence in technology education. Our goal is to maximize resources available to our students to prepare them for an increasingly information-driven society which demands technologically-literate members.
Since 1998 the district has had a WAN, with all classrooms, offices, libraries, and computer labs connected. Computers in labs and libraries have direct Internet access through a T1 connection, as does each classroom.
All students and staff members in the district are assigned e-mail addresses. At the elementary level, students are taught keyboarding skills, word processing, and basic Internet search techniques. At the middle school they are taught more extensive productivity skills, more refined Internet search techniques, and basic web page publishing. The high school presently teaches business classes with Office 2000 as the focus of the curriculum.
Distance Education is also important, since the nearest college is 70 miles away. Courses are available by satellite for credit; some classes offer concurrent high school and college credit.
Principal components of our technology program include a very successful student laptop computer checkout program (Internet access provided on the school account), our Distance Education program, after-school and summer enrichment programs, extensive LCD projector use by students (public presentation skills are emphasized), a Technology Plan for Professional Development for staff, and successful community partnerships.
To attain our goal, we are:
- Attempting to fund technology purchases using a variety of sources, including operational funds, mil levy proceeds, grants, and e-rate assistance.
- Providing students with the basic skills and tools they need to succeed in the employment marketplace and in life. We believe that these are: (1) strong skills in reading, writing, mathematics, and communications; (2) a working knowledge of basic computer productivity tools; (3) ability to locate information using Internet resources; (4) basic competency in equipment and software troubleshooting skills; (5) an understanding that cooperation and collaboration are necessary components of successful living and job marketability.
To measure our program's success, we will analyze quantitative data on an ongoing basis. And although scientific analysis is not supported by reliance on qualitative assessment, we also listen to feedback from students, staff, parents, and community members. Based on the initial overwhelmingly positive response we have been receiving, "we must be doing something right".
Des Moines Municipal Schools
Des Moines, New Mexico
The Des Moines School District is located in Des Moines, New Mexico, in the remote northeastern corner of the state. It serves the communities of Des Moines, Folsom, Capulin, Grenville, and the outlying areas. One hundred sixty (160) students are served in the 1,775 square mile district on one campus which includes an elementary and a high school building. Smallness and remoteness have not been a barrier to student achievement; instead, they have been an advantage. The District has been able to provide individualized instructional programs and to ensure participation in activities and leadership development for its students. Now, technology has redefined learning and instructional strategies.
The school system is changing the teaching/learning environment for its K-12 students and, as a community service center, is affecting the lives of community residents in a variety of ways. Change is impacted by a technological infrastructure, a myriad of technology uses, and instructional strategies directed at improving student achievement. The District expects teachers to develop curriculum that is enhanced by technology integration and students to become self-reliant and successful in a new Century that is colored with fast moving technological change. The District's Technology Plan, Educational Plan for Student Success (EPSS) and Master Facility Plan all address technology needs. The fact that distance learning is included in all long-term planning reflects the importance of enhanced education technology and training at school and in the community.
New Mexico's per-student funding formula for technology education might have been the single barrier to development of a successful program. Instead, successful grant-writing and important partnerships have moved the District ahead by "giant steps". In a three-year period, 1996-1999, revenues generated by private foundation grants, Technology Literacy Challenge Fund and Goals 2000 Professional Development grants, and a Rural Utilities Service Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant enabled the District to place computer work stations at every teacher's desk, establish state-of-the art computer labs, classroom mini-labs, mobile laptop labs, a modern library/media center, and a two-way interactive distance learning classroom. A valuable partnership with the local telephone company resulted in an ideal infrastructure, including fiberoptic cable to both buildings, telephones in each classroom, and unlimited Internet access for students and faculty/staff. In 1999, Family Home and Computing Magazine named the school district one of the "Best Wired Schools" in the nation, based on computers-per-student and Internet access.
In the District, professional development has been the key to ensuring a technology integrated school curriculum. Grant funds, state and nation-wide initiatives, and effective local planning have enabled faculty/staff to participate in a variety of training activities including: RETA (Regional Educational Technology Assistance), US West Teacher Network, site-based staff training, out-of-district visits, conferences, college/university coursework, and curriculum-based initiatives. Des Moines teachers are trainers now and they assist with regional and state-level training programs. District personnel don't still write "technology grants"; they develop curriculum proposals with technology integration (examples: National Geographic Society Educational Foundation Grant, Teacher Dream Fund Grant, MathStar Program, Intel Innovative Education proposals, and various private or educational entity programs.
Most current goals include on-going evaluation of the Technology Plan and student achievement related to technology integration. Recently, teachers designed a K-12 skills matrix that assures sequential skills development with computers, digital cameras, scanners, multi/media presentation, web page design and applications, etc. That skills scope/sequence is aligned with New Mexico Department of Education Content Standards and Benchmarks and National Educational Technology Standards.
Technology has "evened the playing field" for kids in Des Moines and the small, rural school district in northeastern New Mexico has become a leader in educational technology.
Community School District
New York, New York
Community School District Six (CSD6), nationally recognized for it's pioneering and innovative use of advanced mobile computing technology, is located in the Washington Heights section of New York City. It is considered a technological leader among the thirty-two (32) K-8 community school districts in the New York City school system.
This urban, upper Manhattan community is home to a diverse and thriving, but economically disadvantaged, immigrant population. Over 94% of the District's 30,000 student's live at or below the poverty level and nearly 9,000 students are Second Language Learners.
The challenges and obstacles to educating our students and serving our community are many. The unique obstacles created by our commitment to integrate meaningful and relevant advanced technological tools into the day-to-day educational lives of our students are particularly challenging.
In 1996 CSD6 became a pioneer in implementing the concept of parental financial participation as a means of equipping students and their families with the tools necessary to become full participants in the new Information Age. We chose to equip our students with Laptop computers and, in partnership with the Microsoft Corporation and the founders of Connected Learning Associates, created a program that allowed the District and Parents to share in the equipment cost while having ownership ultimately transferred to the parent. This public school leasing model, the first of it's kind in the country, continues to be an integral component in the success of our "Laptop Program".
Our initial 21 student pilot program, begun at our Mott Hall School in Harlem, has been dwarfed by the 5,000 laptops we currently have deployed throughout the twenty-five (25) schools within our district. In varying concentrations laptops are now being used in the day-to-day classroom curriculum in grades four through eight.
This program has made a profound difference in the type and quality of both the student work product and in the student-teacher-parent relationship. Laptop students have also shown impressive improvement in attendance rates and self-image. The unintended increase in Parent involvement in their children's education in general and in attending school activities specifically have become a corner stone of our programs educational impact.
Washington County Schools
Plymouth, North Carolina
Washington County Schools is located in rural, northeastern North Carolina. The county has a high rate of poverty, single parent families, and working mothers. The unemployment rate for Washington County is 6% compared with a statewide rate of 3.1% (Problem-Solving Research, Inc., Business North Carolina, February 2000). Our extremely high rate (70%) of students eligible for free and/or reduced lunch impacts our youth. Our school district, regardless of these statistics, has managed to implement up-to-date strategies using technology in our education curriculum. With the help of Washington County Commissioners, the district was able to lease over $300,000 worth of equipment and software through a lease-to-purchase program, improving our student-to-computer ratio from 11:1 to 5:1. Every classroom has at least one computer with internet access and every school has at least one computer lab for students and staff. All schools have a Local Area Network in place and we have recently established a Wide Area Network for the district.
With the support of Technology Literacy Challenge Fund (TLCF) Grants, Washington County Schools has been able to establish three Teacher Technology Centers at 3 of 5 schools, two Innovatively Challenging Classrooms (one elementary and one high school), and provide technology training through a Technology Leadership Academy for Teachers and a Technology Leadership Academy for Administrators. Opportunities for technology training are also being provided to support staff and teacher assistants. The Technology Centers contain 14 dual platform computers (Macintosh with PC card or Virtual PC) and various multimedia equipment (scanners, digital cameras, LCD projector, etc.). The Centers are used for staff development and as computer labs for students. The equipment in the Centers is available for checkout so that teachers have access to the equipment for integration into their curriculum.
The Innovatively Challenging Classrooms are model electronic classrooms with 7 iMacs at the elementary school and 7 iBooks at the high school. The elementary ICC Learning Leader uses various software for technology integration. Using problem-based learning activities, the teacher integrates the technology she has available into the third grade curriculum. The ICC Learning Leader at the high school teaches science. The students in her classes use various technology resources to complete projects. She incorporates not only multimedia equipment and computers, but also PBL's and graphics calculators.
The Technology Leadership Academies provide 50 hours of technology training over the course of two school years. Participants must complete a minimum of 27 in-class hours and 23 out-of-class hours. The Technology Leaders in the district provide the training for the in-class hours. There are two individuals at each school who provide on-site technology training and support to their school. For a minimum of 7 hours/month of support and training, they receive a $100 stipend. The in-class training focuses on Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Databases, Multimedia (HyperStudio, Kid Pix, &/or PowerPoint--depending on the grade level), digital camera, scanner, problem-based learning, teaching strategies using the internet, and maintenance and troubleshooting. After the initial 12 hours in the summer or after school (at the beginning of the year), follow-up sessions are offered monthly so that participants are able to complete the 27 required hours. To complete the out-of-class hours, participants must: read journal articles, complete internet research, view technology videos, visit local businesses, and conduct interviews at local businesses or organizations. Participants have to document what they find in each case by answering several questions (i.e. How can you use this info. in your classroom? or How can you share this with your peers?). At the end of the year, participants are required to participate in the Technology Fair (a culminating event for the parents and community). The Technology Fair is where they demonstrate what they have learned as well as allow their students to demonstrate technology-integrated projects they have completed. To receive technology renewal credit, participants submit a portfolio documenting all of their in-class and out-of-class hours, as well as a lesson plan that includes technology integration (for teachers) or a technology-integrated project relative to their area of responsibility (for administrators).
WCS has recently been awarded another TLCF Grant (Year 4) for $75,000 to continue the Academies, continue to provide technology training to teacher assistants and support staff, implement another Teacher Technology Center, and implement another Innovatively Challenging Classroom.
As we continue to implement new and existing technology initiatives, our teachers will become more proficient and our students will become more prepared for technology in the 21st Century.
McDowell County Schools
McDowell County is a rural area in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Almost 50% of the county's land produces virtually zero revenue, for it is state or federally owned wilderness or national forest. McDowell County has the lowest per capita and average monthly earnings of the counties along the I-40 corridor across North Carolina. The county is designation 'low wealth,' and its children are ranked 2nd in the state in the percent of medically uninsured. Most parents work in the manufacturing industries.
Despite these seeming barriers, McDowell County Schools have made tremendous efforts to provide the resources, training and infrastructure to make a real impact on teaching and learning. Since the inception of the first district-level technology plan in 1995, many accomplishments have been noted:
- All regular classroom teachers, grades K-12, have between 1-5 multimedia computers in their classrooms
- All schools have at least one technology lab for class learning
- All teachers participate in at least 30-50 hours of technology-related staff development every five years. These opportunities have moved from skills instruction to work with new ways of developing curriculum to take full advantage of all available resources.
- All elementary and junior high schools have one lead teacher for technology and a full-time technology assistant who serves in both instructional and technical capacities. The high school has a full-time, certified technology coordinator
- All schools have a dedicated Internet connection
- All schools have Local Area Networks, and the Wide Area Network is in the final stages of implementation
- All teachers and administrators, along with many support personnel, have email and use it for daily communications.
These accomplishments have been made possible not only through a strong commitment from local school administrators, but by a number of business and community partnerships. Grant funding has also been instrumental in the progress of the instructional technology program. Partnerships and funding sources include:
- A local hardware vendor which provides three-year, on-site parts and labor warranty support
A software vendor which provides staff development and technical assistance at no cost to the school system
- A Regional Education Service Alliance which provides technology training and consulting support
- A regional consultant from the Department of Public Instruction who works as an aid in all facets of the program
- Technology Literacy Challenge Grant Funding
- Universal Service Fund discounts.
As the next technology plan, for the years 2001-2005, is written at both school and district levels, provisions will be made toward constant and continuing improvement of technology infusion in the schools. Curriculum development, infrastructure improvements, and improved use of technology to communicate with parents and community will be important parts of these efforts.
Richardton-Taylor High School
Richardton-Taylor High School is located in the small rural community of Richardton in Western North Dakota with an enrollment of approximately 190 students from grades 7-12, and a staff of approximately 20 teachers. Taylor-Richardton Elementary in the rural community of Taylor enrolls 180 students from grades K-6.
Teachers and students have access to technology in many forms, including a 1:3 computer to student ratio in computer labs and mini-labs located throughout the classrooms. Networked laser printers, color laser and inkjet printers, digital cameras, flatbed scanners, video cameras, in-focus projectors, laptops, graphing calculators and palm pilots are accessed daily by students and teaching staff. Extensive research is available to all students and teachers through the use of on-line subscriptions to Electric Library, encyclopedias, Microsoft Reference Encarta and other on-line services. Curriculum in the technology area is strong in applications as well as technology education in robotics, mechanical drawing, CAD programs and many more. Curriculum is constantly revised and revisited, and in the fall of 2001, programs in A+ certification and Cisco Training will be provided to students
Over the course of eight years, the school district has established a local area network within the building. A network administrator is hired to establish and maintain the LAN infrastructure. Microsoft NT with a domain server and Windows '95 and '98 on all workstations is the major network software applications throughout the school. Internet connections, a registered domain name, domain servers, a local web server (http://www.richardton.k12.nd.us), an Internet mail server and dial-in access are established. E-rate dollars have been used over the past three years to help support and provide Internet and intranet applications, as well as hardware needs to maintain the network. All teachers integrate technology through the use of a variety of on-line applications software to record student attendance, school correspondence, grading, create presentations, e-mail and Internet access. Administrative software is used for all scheduling, accounting and maintenance of student records.
Staff development opportunities are available throughout the year for all teachers. Teachers have received local training over the last three years in creating and maintaining local web pages to integrate technology in their day-to-day curriculum. Teachers receive stipends to attend and present at the State Teaching and Technology Conference (TNT) for one week in June in the capital city of Bismarck. Teachers are funded and encouraged to attend and present at many state and national conferences.
An appropriate amount of release time during the school day has been provided for 100% of the teachers as a result of grant dollars available through the North Dakota Teaching With Technology (NDTWT) grant and competitive Federal Challenge Grants available through the Department of Public Instruction in ND. The North Dakota Teaching with Technology Initiative (NDTWT) is a five-year project to integrate technology into the teaching curriculum in North Dakota public schools. The initiative was made available by a federal 1998 Technology Innovation Challenge Grant Award, which provided for 20 grants at a total of $7.3 million over the five years. Its audience is the school administrators, teachers, and other educators. The goal is to provide training and technical assistance that will enable educational staff to effectively integrate technology as an instructional tool into the curriculum. The Richardton-Taylor School District will continue to actively participate in this grant for the next three years.
SENDIT Technology Services
Fargo, North Dakota
New Albany High School
New Albany, Ohio
Pickerington Junior High School
Isabel, a town of 280 people located in a geographically remote portion of northwestern South Dakota, borders both the Cheyenne River and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Reservations. In this mostly agricultural area, lies a single school district-- a self-contained K to12 school with approximately 140 students from 3 counties. All elementary teachers have a classroom with 2 grade levels combined. 47 students attend the high school. About 70% of the students qualify for free and reduced lunches and 30% of our students are Native American.
The entire school is networked under Governor Janklow's "Connect the Schools" Program. Each classroom has at least two computers connected to the Internet, although many classrooms have multiple connections. Keyboarding instruction begins in the elementary grades. There is a 14-station networked PC lab in the high school and a 14-station networked iMac lab in the library. The iMac lab, funded by school-wide Title I and Title VI, offers computer-assisted and individualized math and reading instruction to all elementary students daily. A V-TEL distance-learning studio will be functioning during the 2000-2001 school year, allowing students to enroll in selective courses offered throughout the state and to collaborate with other classrooms.
Small class sizes and low teacher-pupil ratios encourage individualized and personalized attention. These improve the availability of our highly dedicated teachers and create unique opportunities for parents and school staff to partner to maximize student potential. A Goals 2000 Technology Planning Grant during 1996 and 1997 was evidence of the power of collaboration between school and community. These relationships create high standards and expectations for all students, and ensure that the school maintains the community's values. The effectiveness of this model is demonstrated by the fact that Isabel students consistently perform above state norms on standardized testing. 99+% of the district's students graduate from high school, 58% go on to college and 20% enter vocational education programs.
The past decade has witnessed a two-pronged educational emphasis within the school. In addition to teaching "the basics" there has also been a focus on problem solving and applications in math and science. As a result our students have rated highly in regional History Day, Science Fair, and Quiz Bowl competitions and advanced to National History Day and International ISEF Science competitions. Inclusion in the TEC-RAM Federal Challenge Grant in1998 and the LOFTI Federal Challenge Grant in 1999 has allowed for intense professional development for Isabel School's educators over the past 2 years. Opportunities to expand their expertise and knowledge have profoundly impacted the education of our students. With the availability of equipment and training, not only in technology, but also in new teaching techniques and assessment methods, our students are learning in technology-infused, engaged-learning classrooms.
Britton School District
Britton, South Dakota
The Britton School District 45-1 is a K-12 district with an enrollment of 530 students. There are three facilities in the district: one elementary school (K-6), and a junior/senior high school (7-12) are located in the city and one elementary school (K-8) is located at Sunset Hutterite Colony seven miles west of town.
The Britton Elementary School provides two sections of each grade as well as special education and related services. It has a full time staff of 19 teachers, three certified aides and two non-certified aides. The population demographics are similar to most rural South Dakota communities. The majority of students are Caucasian of northern European ancestry. However, the number of students who are from a non-traditional background is increasing every year.
The Sunset Hutterite Colony has a rural school with approximately 30 students in grades K-8 taught by two certified teachers and one non-certified aide.
The Britton Junior/Senior High School had an enrollment of 250 students in 1999-2000 with 17 certified teachers and one non-certified aide. The high school, with a tradition of academic excellence, has been accredited by the North Central Association since 1927.
In the past five years, approximately 90% of the high school graduates have elected to attend a university, college or vocational school. The student body boasts a 95% attendance rate and a 95%-100% graduation rate.
The Britton School District 45-1 is a rural district in northeastern South Dakota. The district includes the communities of Britton, Lake City, Kidder, and Amherst and totals 444 square miles.
The school district is a state leader in technology. It is one recipient of a federal grant, LOFTI, which targets staff technology development and integration of that technology into the curriculum. A large majority of the staff works vigorously at mastering new technologies and teaching those skills to students. Staff development opportunities are available throughout the year for teachers. LOFTI committee members and TTL (Technology for Teaching and Learning) graduates teach the classes.
District infrastructure includes internet drops in every classroom, a workstation by every teacher's desk and a 1:2.5 computer to student ratio throughout the district. Two computer labs in the high school and one lab in the elementary school are easily accessible and used hourly by classroom teachers. All computers are networked and the school is connected to the internet by a T-1 line.
Britton, the county seat of Marshall County, serves as a trade center for part of northeastern South Dakota. It is located in the heart of the Glacial Lakes area and provides easy access to fishing, swimming, skiing and camping. Historic Fort Sisseton is located within 25 miles of the city and the annual Fort Sisseton Festival draws hundreds of visitors from several states.
Britton is a unique small town in that it has three thriving industries including: Horton Industries, a very successful high-tech fan clutch plant which employs over 200 people; Sheldahl, an electronic plant which produces electronic circuitry for major businesses such as Delco, IBM and Boeing, and which employs 125 people; Truss Pros, one of the largest truss/rafter companies in eastern South Dakota and which employs over 75 people.
In addition, Britton has a successful hospital/clinic, including a new assisted living center, a nursing home, a dentist, a chiropractor and a vital business district. All look to the school for leadership and training in technology.
Eyes wide with anticipation, 122 new adventurers (teachers) embark on Voyage of Discovery II. Representing the 2316 teachers and 28,850 students of the fifteen SUPERNet districts of East Texas, the anxious voyagers look forward to joining their predecessors. Stories of success from those who blazed the trail last year have spread throughout the districts creating an air of excitement that makes systemic change appear to truly be within reach. The new world promises hope of a brighter future where all students are designers of their own destiny.
The way has been paved by the 128 trail blazers of Voyage I. As the new voyagers set sail, the security of the network of support woven throughout the consortium allows them to step out into risky territory. It is this network which is the single most important factor for enabling change to be sustained. Previously isolated in time and space, sojourners now know that they are not alone in the change process. Imagine a land where students initiate projects, use technology to solve problems, and work collaboratively to accomplish real world tasks. Teachers confidently guide their exploration, totally in control of the direction of instruction, while modeling the joy of lifelong learning as they share in their students' discoveries. Imagine students who seek out other students via electronic means, using voice, data, and video; teachers who collaborate electronically, and community members who share in the desire for their children to have these opportunities. Due to the TIE 4 expansion grant it's happening!!!
- 13,178 hours extra duty time put in by teachers in the last 9 months learning technology
- Over 250 community members in 13 districts participate in summer tech school
- 15 districts use distance technology to train inservice teachers monthly
- 15 districts unite their community members by distance technology
- Over 1700 PowerPoint presentations created by project teachers' students
- Over 500 webquests created by project teachers and their students
As these bold explorers embark, (Arp, Big Sandy, Carlisle, Chapel Hill, Hawkins, Henderson, Jacksonville, Lindale, New Summerfield, Tyler, Union Grove, Van, Whitehouse, Winona, Winnsboro) they will be joined by many fellow dreamers. The Southwest Educational Development Laboratories will keep the vision alive and always progressing. Local partners, The University of Texas Health Center at Tyler, Tiger Missing Link Foundation, The Discovery Science Place, The Literacy Council, and The Athens Freshwater Fish Hatchery, will join the journey and lend their special resources, making the dream a reality. Local captains (principals) will ban together to assure that proper credit for efforts made is given. Their collaborative charting of a clear direction for the journey is an essential goal to be accomplished this year. The resource monitors (librarians) will work together to create an environment supportive of the new structure. And most importantly, the support network built last year will serve as a constant safety net as the new adventurers step onto the tightrope of change. As last year's travelers become this year's leaders, they will use technology to implement the constructivist model in the classroom which will broaden the horizons of learning for hundreds of East Texas students. Last year's successes are already evident and enthusiasm is spreading like a tidal wave to new voyagers in the 15 districts.
Cyberways and Waterways integrates technology and education by means of an environmentally based curriculum centered on Texas' streams, rivers, coastlines and oceans. Through the creation of a unique public-private sector consortium, Cyberways and Waterways brings together the best of the best in education, technology, marine and aquatic science, and the private sector to deliver a high profile program for all participating schools. This innovative online and field study learning program offers students and teachers an unprecedented opportunity to study and electronically visualize the entire Texas watershed from school grounds, streams and rivers to the Flower Gardens coral reef 110 miles off the Texas shore in the Gulf of Mexico.
Students become technically literate as they develop interdisciplinary real-world skills such as data analysis, graphical presentation, interpretation, critical thinking, and information synthesis using the environment as a contextual framework for learning. The Cyberways and Waterways curriculum, website, resource material, and online chats are fully bilingual (Spanish and English) to ensure that all students, parents and teachers derive maximum benefit from the program.
Funded by a grant through the Texas Education Agency, Cyberways and Waterways directly involves over 50,000 students in participating school districts. An average of 59% of students are economically disadvantaged. The ethnic diversity of the target student population is 58% Hispanic, 30% Anglo, and 12% African American. Cyberways and Waterways will indirectly include more than a million people through consortium member organizations, as well as the nearly limitless population of the World Wide Web.
Cyberways and Waterways Consortium
The Cyberways and Waterways consortium is comprised of over 30 schools and over 30 public, non-profit, and private organizations. Consortium members include:
|Texas School Districts
Along the Colorado River: Austin, Brownwood, Colorado City, Palacios, Van Vleck
Along the Rio Grande River: Brownsville, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Laredo, Presidio, El Paso
Along the Brazos River: Round Rock
Along the Trinity River: Dallas, West Hardin
Along the Nueces River: Odem-Edroy
Along the Neches River: Kountze,
Along the San Antonio River: Northside SA
Along the Sabine River: Little Cypress
Charles A. Dana Center at UT-Austin
Texas AandM-Corpus Christi - Center for Coastal Studies
Texas Center for Educational Technology
Texas Education Agency
Marine and Aquatic Science Partners
Center for Marine Conservation
Coral Reef Alliance
Marine and Aquatic Science Partners (cont.)
National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration - Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary
Gulf of Mexico Foundation
Lower Colorado River Authority
Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission
Texas Parks and Wildlife
Technology and Business Partners
America Online's Digital Cities
Capital Area Training Foundation
Terrace Mountain Systems
Cyberways and Waterways was conceived by 4empowerment.com. 4empowerment.com was founded with a vision to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals, the community, and the environment. Steve Amos, President and Founder of 4empowerment.com, brings extensive expertise in both the technology and business sectors. During his 20 years in marketing and advertising (both domestic and international), Steve created successful online campaigns for the Tourism Division of the Texas Department of Economic Development (winner of a 1997 CASIE award for website and online advertising campaign), the Center for Marine Conservation, MasterCard, Wal-Mart, Southwestern Bell Cellular, Lennox Industries and other business clients.
Science Academy of Austin at LBJ High School
Lindale High School
Grand County School District
Grand County School District (GCSD) is a rural school district located in Moab, Utah (SE Utah). We serve almost 1600 students in grades K-12 attending one high school, one middle school (grades 7-8), one intermediate school (HMK, grades 4-6), and one elementary school (RRE, grades K-3). We also have an adult education center and a preschool (CRS).
All GCSD schools are networked and connected to a wide area network. We have thirteen servers (two Windows NT, one UNIX, and ten NetWare 5.1) using a star-bus topology, Ethernet protocol, and Cisco or LinkSys routers and switches. Each school has a fiber backbone and 100 Mb connections from the workstation to the backbone. Each elementary school has one instructional computer lab, a mini-lab in the library, and at least one computer in each classroom. Secondary schools have up to five instructional computer labs, a lab of twenty computers in the library, several mini-labs, and at least one computer in each classroom. We manage our own e-mail, mailing list, and DNS servers. We also provide free, dial-up access to the Internet for all district employees. Our district network is part of Utah's Education Network.
Hardware and Software
We have fifteen Macintosh computers in the Special Education classrooms. Remaining computers are Pentium-level computers running Windows NT on the desktop. Our computer-to-student ratio is 1:4. All Wintel computers have direct connection to the Internet and are running both Netscape and Internet Explorer browsers. We also have site licenses to Microsoft Office 2000 and SIS 2000+ (administrative software using Microsoft SQL server). This school year, we will be installing a Web interface to our grading and attendance software so teachers can work from home and parents can access their student's current grade, homework, and attendance information.
Our district has been very active in providing both online and in-person professional development opportunities for all district employees. We were the recipients of a Technology Literacy Challenge Grant for Professional Development in 1999-2000. It is our goal to create online agendas and references for all professional development courses so teachers can refer to the information when needed. Please visit our Staff Development Agendas and our Frequently Asked Questions pages.
Our instructional support and staff development focus over the past two years has been on Curriculum Integration of technology. We believe we have an excellent installed base of hardware and software, a good mechanism in place to update that hardware and software, and progressing plans to integrate the technology into the teaching and learning process. Please visit our 102 Tips for Technology Integration page (a new project still in progress) for more information about how we use technology in Grand County School District.
We have four, highly-qualified staff members providing technology support: a Technology Coordinator who also teaches networking, programming, and computer repair at the high school (she has Novell CNA/CNI and CompTIA A+ certifications and a teaching certificate with computer science endorsements and an administrative credential); a District Sysop who provides user support (he has a Novell CNA certification); and two network technicians (one is a Novell CNA and the other has both Novell CNE and Cisco CCNA certifications). Our Technology Coordinator is also the President of the Utah Coalition for Educational Technology, an affiliate of ISTE, and serves on Utah's Information Technology Core Curriculum Executive Committee. Please visit our Technology Support page for more information about the support we provide.
Grand County School District was selected by the Ohana Foundation as Utah's recipient of the Technology in Education Leadership Award for 2000.
Lamoillel South Supervisory Union
Hanover County Schools
Mount Baker High School
Mt. Baker School District is a semi-rural district in northwest Washington State that educates approximately 2500 K-12 students. The district has 3 elementary schools (K-6), one junior high school (7-8) and one high school (9-12). All classrooms and offices in the district are connected via LAN and also contain multiple connections to the Internet. The district utilizes 3 servers that provide for administration, staff and student file sharing capabilities and independent work. The district also employs one network supervisor and two technicians for classroom support. The district has been an aggressive recipient of technology grant funds for the last 5 years-securing about $2.1 million in competitive monies from state and federal sources. Mt. Baker Science Department has been recognized nationally for its creation of a digital curriculum and featured in CNN News segments and Apple Computer Marketing videos. The district wishes to develop a comprehensive technology and content-based standards curriculum framework with assessment tools.
Sherman Junior High School
Seth, West Virginia
Oconto Falls School District
The Oconto Falls School District, located in rural Northeastern Wisconsin, stretches forty miles from the cool waters of the Bay of Green Bay at one corner to the edge of wooded lands of the Nicolet National Forest at the other. This is a school district which includes a mix of dairy farms, a state of the art paper mill, an active industrial park, and a divided four-lane highway used by many residents on their daily commute to work in the Green Bay Area. This same road fills with weekend traffic as people living further south head to weekend cottages and vacation spots in the north woods.
The district has just under 2,000 students in six different schools including a multi-graded two room rural charter school and a high school alternative charter school. The district was a pioneer in the use of CAD systems and partnered with IBM as a Beta site for their software over ten years ago. The rural nature of the district limited its access to the world wide web. The first access to the Internet was through dial up long distance lines. Today the district has a wide area network connecting four sites with fiber and a fifth with a T-1 line. The district has made good use of state funding opportunities such as TEACH and WATF. An important partnership is with the City of Oconto Falls which uses fiber to carry video signals from the Oconto Falls High School to the local cable access channel.
A significant catalyst for change in the use of technology came with the formation of the TRITON distance learning network in 1994. This network brought together nine rural school districts, a technical college and St. Norbert College. The initial goal was to allow the members to provide instruction between the sites through interactive full motion video. Through this medium, the rural districts would not just survive, but thrive. The network became fully operational in August 1996. It soon became apparent that TRITON was much more than distance learning. In the second year of operation, a grant brought high speed Internet access to each of the schools. Training has an important part of TRITON. The network received a number of grants to train teachers who were instructors on the network. In August of 1997 the first TRITON Totally Technology Academy at St. Norbert College. This was a week long residential training for teachers and was very well received. Many of the participants went on to become change agents in the use of technology within their own school districts. This format allowed teachers to participate in high quality training without the distractions that might come if the training was in a short after school session in a local school building. The fact that the Packers training camp was headquartered at the same location was an added bonus. The academy has grown during each of the four years it has operated.
During the 97-98 school year TRITON received the first of four TLCF grants. Each used a slightly different approach , but a project funded mentor was key to the success of the effort. The TLCF projects had active participation from the private schools in the member districts. The 99-2000 project brought together several concepts with a focus on the Wevfolio. The latest project will develop and support building level technology mentors.
The summer of 2000 saw the first participation in a new masters degree program set up in partnership with St. Norbert College. The format allows teachers to complete much of the program through the TRITON network from their own school buildings.
The success stories of the Oconto Falls School District and the TRITON network during the past five years have made it clear that rural school districts have not only kept pace, but have taken a leadership role.
Platte County Schools
In 1995, Platte County School District Number One in Wheatland, Wyoming, began Project PLATTE.LINK, an ambitious seven-year technology integration initiative. In spite of the high availability of technology and Internet access in Platte County, professional development efforts had not prepared teachers to thoughtfully integrate educational technology into the curriculum. To address this concern, District administrators formed a cadre of teacher-trainers to become the District's "Technology Integration Team." The team of thirty K-12 educators has been trained to help other teachers integrate technology into their specific curricular areas. This team has also fostered staff development and technology integration among a number of school districts and institutions in Southeastern Wyoming.
Platte County School District Number One had long known that well-trained teachers are the keys to successful classroom technology integration. District administrators had also known that technology-savvy teachers would use computers as tools to provide enriched learning environments. However, to move from technology novices to true innovators, the District realized that educators must learn in an active process in which the learners (the teachers) are full participants. As a result of this integration project, this cadre of educators in recent years has explored the viability of technology in education, learned to model "best practices" for colleagues and has explored critical questions that face the district as technology continues to advance.
Much of the training for the Technology Integration Team has occurred over the Internet in the form of Web-based instruction in productivity tools (phase I training). As part of this staff development program, teachers are trained on industry-standard applications in a self-paced, non-threatening environment. This program enables teachers to determine their current level of knowledge on selected computer applications, participate in on-line training modules and complete a certification test at the end of the project. During the second phase of this program, participants focus tightly on the curricular implications that technology poses for today's classroom. This training has included:
- Customized, facilitated workshops that support the integration of technology into the classroom, performance-based assessment with rubrics, meeting the needs of divers groups of students, constructivist methodology, and learning-centered classrooms
- Sustained, small group mentoring sessions in the schools that reinforce the strategies and techniques introduced in the workshops.
Since its inception, Project PLATTE.LINK has made a positive impact on education in this rural Wyoming school district. According to one outside observer: "The team of teachers and administrators has made significant strides in effectively integrating technology within their existing curriculum. They have embraced pedagogical and philosophical issues relating to constructivist teaching approaches, learning-centered classrooms and multiple assessment methods. This has facilitated meeting the needs of students with varied intelligence and learning styles, and incorporates all the elements of effective planning, preparation, instruction, management and assessment."
Campbell County School District