Monday, November 23, 2009

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Monday, March 28, 2005

More reasons why we need to get laptops into our college bound student's hands, sooner rather than later. We need to prepare them for the college they are going to attend in the 21st century. Being at the head of the pack costs money and I think our parents will understand that. We need a night to present the facts to parent body.

E-learning in North America

Friday, March 25, 2005


An article to read

Laptop Program
The article linked to above is a great read. Lets move forward and start planning our rollout.


Friday, March 11, 2005


Plan Outline from Sandy

St. Mary’s Schools Information Technology Plan 2005-2008

1. Introduction
2. Mission & Vision
3. Status Report – Progress since last plan
4. Plan Purpose
5. Technology Program Constituencies – identify and define constituencies, survey capabilities and needs*, and define goals and objectives to meet needs for each constituency
• Students
• Teachers
• Administrators (Principals and staff; Development Office)
• Parish Staff
• Parents
• Community (coordinate with Parish Long Range Planning committee to identify constituencies and needs)
6. Curriculum Development
• Describe high achievement curriculum based on digital content and technology tools
• Identify steps to develop high achievement curriculum (map elements of curriculum to goals/objectives identified for students (and other constituencies?))
• Define technical capabilities* needed by technology tool(s) to support high achievement curriculum
• Summarize estimated cost and schedule to achieve curriculum goals
7. Technology Education and Training
• Technology training/education needed by each constituency (map needs to goals/objectives identified for each constituency)
• Issues to consider
 incentives for teacher professional development
 role of computer labs
• Summarize estimated cost and schedule to achieve education and training goals
8. Technology Infrastructure
• Describe current network structure, capacity, and capabilities
• Describe future (four year) evolution of infrastructure (map changes to goals/objectives identified for constituencies)
• Issues to consider
 power supply (including battery use and recharging)
 physical security (lockers, etc.)
 other
• Summarize estimated cost and schedule to achieve infrastructure goals
9. Technology Program Cost and Funding Strategy
• Estimated capital and operating costs
• Multi-year budget plan and spending priorities
• Funding sources and strategies
10. Implementation Plan
• Public relations (parent education) plan
• Decision points for selecting technology tool(s) (e.g., laptop, tablet, PDA), rollout plan, other
• Implementation schedule

*Skills, Capabilities, Uses of Technology to Consider in Defining Needs of Constituents
• Reference
• Research
• Communication
• Collaboration
• Independent learning
• Remote learning
• Content development
• Web site development and maintenance
• Web logs (blogs)
• Computer lab use
• Desktop publishing
• Data management
• Information storage and retrieval
• Accounting
• Graphic and/or artistic activities
• Computation and analysis
• Programming
• What else?


Desired Outcomes

Here is Sandy's desired outcomes handout..

Desired outcomes for students from St. Mary’s Technology Plan

• Improved attitude. Our students enjoy learning. They take pride in accomplishments, are more motivated, more helpful, more effective as a result of our use of technology in the curriculum. The relationships between students and teachers are improved. [8, 11, 16, 18, 22]
• Improved behavior. Our students accept greater challenges. They take on additional classroom roles, are more engaged in schoolwork, and are more responsible for their own learning. Their attendance improved. They regularly edit their own work. [2, 5, 6, 15, 17, 21]
• Improved use of time. Our students spend more time on academic work. They work faster. They also operate more independently. [1, 3, 6, 8, 13, 19]
• Improved preparation. Our students have greater technical skills and improved writing skills. They are able to gain knowledge and learn independently. They have much greater experience in collaborative learning, which better prepares them college, work, and lifelong learning. [4, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14, 20]
• Improved knowledge. Our students have a record of all of their homework assignments, projects, communications, papers, notes, tests, and ideas, which they can readily search, organize, and distill as an aid to broaden, strengthen, and stimulate their knowledge base as they move on from high school to the challenges of a university curriculum.

1. Students spend more time on academic work.
2. Students do more extensive correcting and editing.
3. Students work independently.
4. Students work more collaboratively – work with others in groups that form according to need or under the direction of an adult.
5. Students take on additional roles in classroom – including teaching, showing, and helping, in addition to learning.
6. Students work faster, keyboard faster, correct and edit their work, and produce more and better quality work.
7. Students gain greater technical skills.
8. Students spend more time working. Students are more motivated.
9. Students exercise greater choice in meeting their own learning needs partly as a result of one-to-one access as well as having multiple, simultaneous learning opportunities to choose from more often during class time.
10. Improve relationships between students and teachers.
11. Incorporate new strategies for effective teaching.
12. Undertake more project-based activities, which require more complex thinking skills such as application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and creation.
13. Students operate more independently to gain knowledge and understanding for themselves rather than simply rely on teachers to present facts, knowledge, and understanding.
14. Students participate in more collaborative learning activities.
15. Students are engaged and learn more.
16. Students enjoy learning.
17. More motivated students who are likely to engage in challenging tasks.
18. More students with self-efficacy.
19. Students spending more time on academic work.
20. Students improve their writing skills.
21. Improve students’ attendance rates.
22. Increased sense of pride in accomplishments.

(Numbered list paraphrased from Davies, Ann, What does Teaching and learning Look Like in a One-to-One Computing Classroom? 2004.)

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


A Draft to work From

After reading and thinking about everything that has been written in the Blog about curriculum I thought I would take a shot of coming up with draft of curriculum. I have tried to reflect the ideas expressed in the entries. Call it my detailed outline if you would. This is a draft.



As St. Mary’s Schools move into the 21st century we need to begin changing how we teach. St. Mary’s has made a commitment to becoming a student centered school that encourages its students to develop the habits of independent thought and life long learning that will help them to become productive citizens and solid questioning Roman Catholics.

Just as the printing press ushered in the new societies of the renaissance so too has the Internet now ushered in a new renaissance of learning and exploration that is changing everything human beings are learning and doing. To explore that new world we are committed to putting digital tools into our students’ hands and integrating those tools into the evolving curriculum of St. Mary’s schools.

What our students learn will become less important than how our students learn. To facilitate our students’ progress toward the goal of becoming life long life long learners, we are making a commitment to the reality of one-one networked computing for appropriate student levels at St. Mary’s over the next 5 years.

To do this we are making a commitment to a new paradigm of learning that puts the student and the student’s interests at the forefront of our educational effort. St. Mary’s schools is making a commitment to connecting our curriculum to the life interests and goals of our students. Whereas many schools view computing devices as teaching machines, we at St. Mary’s schools, in our student centered viewpoint, consider them to be learning machines with many teaching functions. We also make the commitment to the usefulness of all digital computing and communication devices in our students’ lives and pledge ourselves to their imaginative and responsible use in school.

The Need for change

St. Mary’s schools have been educating children throughout a period of great change. From her founding after the war, St. Mary’s schools educated our students with the tried and true methods of the School Sisters of Notre Dame and the Redemistrist Fathers in very successful ways, ways appropriate for the world in which those students lived. That world has changed drastically since the launch of Sputnik in 1957, growing more technological and more diverse with every passing year. We are no longer in an industrial world. We have moved from a world of stuff to a world of information, from a world of atoms to a world of bits. We are now in the information age where all human beings will need to be facile in information tools and self-directed life long learning.

Industrial Age Information Age
Standardization Customization
Bureaucratic organizationTeam-based organization
Centralized controlAutonomy with responsibility
Adversarial relationshipsCooperative relationships
Autocratic decision making Shared decision making
Compliance Initiative
Conformity Diversity
One-way communication Networking
Compartmentalization Holism
Parts oriented Process oriented
Planned obsolescence Total quality
CBO or boss as “king” Customer as “king”

Key markers that distinguish industrial-age and information-age organizations.

St, Mary’s is an industrial age organization in transition. Over the last five years we have made great strides in moving towards an information-age organization while maintaining our spirituality and faith. We have increased the use of technology in our whole organization. Our technology however still remains rooted in a centralized structure that supports the broadcast
method of education. Much of our technology use aims at creating electronic blackboards and the presentation method of teaching. Projectors,
SmartBoards, Laptop carts, and the like simply make us an electronic teacher centered school, and while important in our development and transition, not the networked student-centered school that we seek to become. The network infrastructure is in place, and improving everyday. Now we have to put the power of connection into the hands of every student with a sense of ownership and control. With tools like laptops, hand helds, video and audio communication devices, and collaborative social software combined with the standard productive software options, our students will develop the new literacy of the information age.

We will move from a school where learning is seen as knowledge acquisition, where the teacher is the primary source of knowledge, to where learning is knowledge construction, where the teacher is guide and mentor, where everyone teaches and learns from everyone else in the community. We will move towards a school where the social interaction of the community will take place both within our walls and beyond our walls all at the same time. We will deliver curriculum to each student at their desks, both in school and at home, or wherever the student or teacher is through our connected digital devices. That curriculum will be meaningful and connected to individual student lives and needs in ways we can do now.

A Networked Learning Community

St. Mary’s over the last five years has made great strides in putting the infrastructure in place that will make it possible for us to become a networked learning community. We now need to use that structure to connect our community, faculty, staff and students into community of learning and spirituality 24-7. We need to make learning a community process of meeting our needs as human beings. We must give our students a feeling of ownership of the technology that they use by putting it in their hands and making them responsible for its care and function. Every student will have wireless access to our network while at St. Mary’s and Internet access to our repository of learning materials on-line 24/7. We will accustom the community to staying connected to each other through synchronous and asynchronous technology. We will increase the range and
scope of curriculum through developing an on line presence for St. Mary’s schools. Our classes will become 24-7 learning environments by incorporating the Internet and readily available communication tools. We will put the same technology into our student’s hands that they will use in the college and work world.

The essence of teaching and learning is communication. Technology connects us over space and time so we may teach and learn 24/7. We will begin to give our students responsibility and control over their own education as they move into a world where less and less learning will occur in school.

A Plan of Action

• Over the next five years St. Mary’s schools will map their curriculum and then set about to gather the learning resources or objects that meet the need currently being met by textbooks and other static learning materials. We will begin to build permanent subject repositories for use by the whole school as well as enter into partner relationships with other learning object developers.

• Over the next five years St. Mary’s school will create electronic portfolios of our students and teachers based on using their own computer and communication devices as permanent records of their achievements and growth while at St. Mary’s.

• Over the next five years St. Mary’s schools will encourage the development of interdepartmental classes that will utilize our learning objects, and human resources at all levels.

• Over the next five years St. Mary’s schools will develop mobile language labs through the use of laptops and digital media such as IPODS and cell phones. We will make a concentrated effort to adapt social communication programs to school use.

• Over the next five years St. Mary’s schools will increase the use of video in both instruction and presentation to enhance the communication within and modes of expression available to our students.

• Over the next five years St. Mary’s schools will meld all of its face to face classes with fully interactive websites in the hybrid mode of offering. Students will need to be self directed and teacher directed at the same time

• Over the next five years St. Mary’s schools will develop an On-Line AP course and elective program in order to extend our offerings and enrich the present curriculum. This will also include staff development programs in various technology uses and professional growth.

• In order to achieve these programs, St. Mary’s schools will put Tablet Laptop computers into the hands of our students and teachers at all levels. We will encourage our students to use appropriate hand helds, MP3 devices, and cell technology in responsible ways for the development of our learning community. We will become a learner centered program focusing on connecting the interests of the students to the map of our curriculum. St. Mary’s schools will become the greatest constructivist center of networked learning in the Diocese of Baltimore.

Friday, March 04, 2005


Some ideas from Debbie and John, with contributions from Norm:Answers to Tim's Questions

Curriculum Subcommittee
Draft ideas

What kinds of technological tools best complement the curriculum?
Laptop computers, multimedia projectors, Smart boards, graphing
calculators, science tools, iPods,
Software – maintain updates for Microsoft, Windows, etc.
Technology utility cart with all equipment available at all times

How can technology best be integrated into the curriculum and who can lead the development and implementation of this?
Best integrated by reworking current lessons to seamlessly use technology as a learning tool – don’t change the content of the lesson – adapt the way it’s taught
Led by individual teachers interested in using technology – one teacher on each team assigned as technology lead, technology integration specialists – 2 FTE, consultant (Tim), students helping students and teachers (STARS at Notre Dame Prep)

How will using technology change textbook adoption and content monitoring?
Textbooks online to be used as a supplement to classroom content
Removal of hardcopy textbooks, copybooks – use Word to take notes
Need stronger curriculum guidelines to use as basis for content

How will technology alter student’s assessment practices, the match between curriculum and state testing programs, and accountability policies related to testing and evaluations?
Online testing, alternative assessments, cooperative group projects, simulations, game based learning
Will promote better writing
Accountability – set policy guidelines for discussion boards, online testing

How can technology help students demonstrate what they have learned (e.g. electronic portfolios, video products, etc.)?
Portfolios for each student that is cumulative through out all years here
Students responsible for building own portfolios, can reflect on their learning
Teacher electronic portfolios need to be added

Saturday, February 12, 2005


Oregon Episcopal School Laptop Program

This is the website for the school that I mentioned that is starting a one to one program with their seventh grade. They are having an introductory parent meeting on Wednesday night. Wish we could be a fly on the wall at their meeting! I understand they are not putting the cost burden on the parents, and that without a financial issue, their situation is different from ours. Still, they may present ideas that will help us.

I especially like these comments that they make:

"So, this program isn’t designed to “increase technology use” for the sake of using computers more often. We’re concentrating on the larger issues of a balanced approach to the benefits and drawbacks of the technology, starting with the issue of equity of access and opportunity at an age when students may benefit the most. "

"In the end, Middle School students may not use computers any more than they do now as a result of this program, but access will be more direct, consistent, and reliable. The curricular program of the Middle School will not be changed as a result of the laptops, but the quality and impact of students’ computer use can be substantially improved. "

The consistent access is becoming an issue for our middle school. I had 2 instances on Friday where teachers wanted to use laptops and none were available because they were booked by other teachers. As our use grows, we need to be able to provide that consistency for the students and teachers.
I’ve been reading articles and talking to people about where we should go with this task. Margaret has stressed that it is important that we present information that will help parents understand why we feel we need to go to a one to one program. Sandy has asked that we describe a “high achievement curriculum.” I think we all agree that technology is a tool that will not change what we teach, but the way we teach it. To try to address both of the above purposes, I would like to suggest that we look at identifying the way teachers teach and how students learn. Perhaps we can demonstrate to parents how the technology fits into those categories.

From research I’ve done, I have come up with a list of “curricular goals.” Could we elaborate on these with the idea of explaining to parents how and why technology can be used to further their children’s education? Could we meet and brainstorm examples of how technology could address each of these? This could then be used as a framework for the curriculum piece of the tech plan.

How Teachers Teach

Promote active learning
Promote multidisciplinary learning
Promote interactive instruction
Provide performance based assessments
Address needs of different learning styles
Complement curriculum objectives with use of electronic communication
Reinforce curricular goals interactively and in real time
(I think this one especially supports one to one laptops)
Teacher becomes a facilitator

How Students Learn

Employ higher level thinking skills
Employ problem solving skills
Are active learners
Learning is collaborative
Learning is multidisciplinary
Learning is project based
Learn by different learning styles
Are self directed learners
Multimedia learning environment addresses how 21st century learners learn


There is a substantial body of research of what happens to in one to one classrooms in the anytime anywhere learning mode. I was a taken aback a bit by the notion that there is no research supporting the idea that learning improves in the connected classroom with one to one computing so I went out looking. There is a wonderful article of the latest findings of what happens in a connected classroom by Anne Davis, "Finding Proof of Learning in a One-To-One Classroom". A wonderful summary of its conclusions can be found at The Online Journal-Research in Action. The beauty of the summary is that is not only provides Davies' research finding but also provides additional research projects that support the idea. I have ordered a full copy of the report in hard copy. I believe that the outcomes on the left side of the summary can form the basis of our tech plan on curriculum and where we intend to take learning at St. Mary’s. I will try to put together a working document for us to dig into by the 15th as planned based on these ideas. Once we settle on these we can start to rough in a training scheme to accomplish that goal.

I agree with Brandon Hogan's idea of increasing the number of contributors to the working committee and suggest that I invite at least the department chairs from both schools to join the Blog and help us to create this document. Bubble up from the bottom!

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