Three Minute Update: July 29, 2010

During the last few weeks of school and this first month of summer, the Department of Instructional Technology has been working on a variety of projects.  Some of these are behind the scenes while others will be quite obvious to the teachers and students we serve.  Below is a list of items, listed in random order, that may be of interest to you.  Please share all or parts of this message as appropriate.  Enjoy the rest of the summer!

Review of the Elementary Schools’ Technology Rubric – On July 13 and 14, 2010, the elementary technology rubric review committee convened to review the district’s elementary technology rubrics and determine how these rubrics can effectively be used by teachers to assess student technology proficiency during the course of the school year. the various curricula.  Their work will be shared with principals and teachers in September/October and should provide a strong platform for purposefully integrating technology in the elementary grades.

Google Applications – Google Applications has changed the start page to more closely resemble their iGoogle page, and as a result, we will be making a change in the start page for our users.  In short, the start page will resemble more of a webpage than it did before.  This is necessary, as Google itself cautions  that their changes, “doesn’t let administrators prevent users from accessing inappropriate gadgets or themes, such as those that are adult-oriented; therefore, some organizations, such as K-12 schools, might not want to use this option. For those organizations, we recommend using the Start Page template in Google Sites instead.”

SMART Board installations – This summer we will be installing more than forty five SMART Boards in the district.  Many of the boards have already arrived, and there is an excitement surrounding these new additions and the professional development that is an integral part of the process.  In September, all kindergarten and first grade classrooms will be equipped with SMART Boards, and many more rooms will have them as well due to the generosity of both the Clarkstown Education Foundation and the PTA.

Technical Support – As part of our ongoing review of the technical support we provide to those we serve, our department is exploring the best practices for ensuring efficient and effective support during the upcoming school year.  We have analyzed the data from 2009-10 in our help desk software to determine what changes we can make to provide tier one service throughout the district.  More information in this area will be shared as we solidify our processes.

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