Three Minute Update: May 30, 2008

Technology and physical education at Woodglen – I was invited to meet with Karen and Alanna (PE teachers) to see how they use technology in the PE classes, and had follow up conversations with Karen Ertl.  It was very exciting, though they are using an old Gateway Destination system which cannot be seen by all students.  We discussed using a projection unit and projecting on a large screen.  Karen Ertl and I are involved in follow-up conversations to explore the feasibility of moving forward with this as a pilot program.

Plasmas in conference rooms – We are working with Laura Lavine to ensure that one room in each school, identified as a CSE meeting room, will have a plasma display, computer, wireless keyboard/mouse and printer.  Laura’s department is also coordinating with facilities to ensure these will be installed and operational by September. 

Interesting uses of Wikis– Mike Frerichs and Josanna Jean-Louis (library media specialists at Bardonia and North, respectively) are using wiki technology with students in ways that are quite engaging.  At Bardonia, the students are using the wiki space and voicethread technology.  It can be viewed at  The North wiki is private (you can request access directly from Josanna) and is designed “to attract students to reading for pleasure and ultimately for enhancing literacy skills.”  Currently, they are working on a collaborative project using Jeanne DuPrau’s novel, The City of Ember.

SMART Board installed in main conference room at Chestnut Grove – A SMART Board was installed on Wednesday in the  main conference at Chestnut Grove.  It will be available for any presentation or training sessions that are scheduled in that room.  NOTE:  We will be attaching a computer to the board shortly, but currently are attaching a laptop.

Ten SMART Boards installed in mathematics classrooms– This week, seven math classrooms at North High School and three at Felix Festa Middle School received “next generation” SMART Boards, which were installed on Tuesday. Both schools have already scheduled learning opportunities for the mathematics department, and these will be led by John Calvert, our district’s newest learning facilitator. John has already met with Ann Marie Hastings, David Jacobs, and Jon Chernick to plan for purposeful and sustainable learning opportunities that provide hands-on training and modeling. The plans for the summer including the installation of a SMART Board in every Kindergarten classroom, art classroom, and 6-12 mathematics classroom. The initial teacher response has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic! 

Technology Committee meeting – On Tuesday, May 27, 2008, the technology committee held its final formal meeting of the year. The agenda included roundtable discussion and demonstrations, open comments, an update on selecting the district’s digital toolbox, a SMART Board demonstration by John Calvert, a summary of summer work and extended conversations regarding the district Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and parent permissions. A subcommittee will be formed to review the acceptable use policy to ensure it is aligned with the district’s goals for 21st century learning.

Defining a digital toolbox for teachers and students– The meeting is set for June 10 and June 17 at North High School’s library classroom from 3:30 – 6:30.  Food will be provided.  Please contact Lenore Carzzarella if you will be attending.  (Details: A group of administrators, teachers, parents and (hopefully) students have agreed to participate in two 3-hour sessions focusing on what technology tools the district should provide to students and teachers.  One intended outcome is to standardize and recommend a portal (i.e. or Moodle), and other tools such as blogs , wikis, student email, anti plagiarism software and more as appropriate.)

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