Wednesday, January 28, 2015

District Technology Committee January 2015 Meeting

The January 2015 meeting of the District Technology Committee (DTC) included the following topics for discussion:
  • One to World Update
  • District Website Update
  • Formulation of iPad Questions to Answer during the Upcoming Pilot (Grades PK-5)
  • DTC Student Selection Matrix for Grades 6-12
  • iPad Site Visit Volunteers Sign-up
  • Tech Integration News/Issues/Share-outs from Buildings/Departments
All DTC meeting agendas, notes, and meeting materials are available for any Barrington 220 staff member to access at any time on the DTC website at bit.ly/220dtc.

You are encouraged to visit the DTC Meeting Highlights page to read the highlights from the January 2015 meeting (and all previous meetings).

To see a list of the DTC members, please refer to the Technology Committee Member Matrix.

District Technology Committee December 2014 Meeting

The District Technology Committee (DTC) met for the first time in December 2014 for a full-day meeting. Major topics discussed included the following:
  • One to World Update
  • Considerations for iPad use in Barrington 220
  • Technology support structure for Barrington 220
  • Learning Management System (LMS) needs and issues
  • Email/calendar system transition
  • DTC communication process
  • Identification of priorities at the PK-5, 6-8, and 9-12 levels
All DTC meeting agendas, notes, and meeting materials are available for any Barrington 220 staff member to access at any time on the DTC website at bit.ly/220dtc.

After each DTC meeting, Meeting Highlights are presented. You are encouraged to visit the Meeting Highlights page to read the highlights from the December 2014 meeting.

To see a list of DTC members, please refer to the Technology Committee Member Matrix on the DTC website.

New Technology Support Options Coming Soon!

Since the beginning of the school year, the Technology Department has been planning some changes to provide more options for staff members to get technology support in Barrington 220.

BEGINNING FEBRUARY 2, 2015, you will have three ways to request technology support, in addition to working with building Support Technicians (“Techs”):

Call extension 1500 (224-655-1500), 
our new Service Desk (7 AM-3 PM).

and start a remote support session (7 AM-3 PM)
[instructions on page 2 of this flyer].

if you do not need immediate support.

Support Technician Schedules
  • Barrington High School: Carolyn Glenn and Lisa Gough (Monday-Friday)
  • BMS - Prairie: Jason Bryant (Monday-Friday)
  • BMS - Station: Kim Martinez (Monday-Friday)
Elementary Support Technicians are each assigned to two schools and support the entire district. Specific building times will be published online.
  • Arnett Lines: True Kong (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday)
  • Barbara Rose: True Kong (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday)
  • Countryside: Patti Hecker (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday)
  • Grove Avenue: Dennis Solinko (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)
  • Hough Street: Sandee Kramer (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday)
  • North Barrington: Dennis Solinko (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)
  • Roslyn Road: Sandee Kramer (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday)
  • Sunny Hill: Patti Hecker (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday)
Click here to download a flyer that summarizes the technology support options.

Questions? Please contact Mark Polzin, Barrington 220’s Technology Support Supervisor, at mdpolzin@barrington220.org or 847-756-2486.

Taking a Hammer to SAMR: Augmentation

An earlier article defined Dr. Ruben Puentedura's SAMR model as a tool teachers can use to measure the opportunities afforded to students by technology integration. In this fourth article of the "Taking a Hammer to SAMR" series, we learn about Augmentation, the second level of the SAMR scale: the use of technology tools that add functions, but do not change the original task of the lesson.

The SAMR Activity Scale:



The SAMR Activity Scale outlines how technology use affords students opportunities to learn and demonstrate learning. In the SAMR continuum, Augmentation refers to the use of technology tools that add functions, but do not change the task of the lesson. At the Augmentation level, technology use offers some advantages to the teacher or the student. An activity is completed in the same manner as a non-digital activity, but uses technology as a tool to offer additional functionality.

Example First Grade Lesson: Types of Clouds (Weather Unit)

The student uses an iPad to navigate to a website to read an article with photos of different types of clouds online and then uses Google Docs to type a short definition of one type of cloud.  Google Docs is used to check spelling and submit the definition to the teacher online.

This is Augmentation because the teacher is still using the same lesson and reading about the different types of clouds, but adds the functionalities of spell check and submitting a definition online.

Augmentation, the second level of the SAMR scale, refers tto the use of technology tools that add functions, but do not change the task of the lesson. In the next issue, the "Taking a Hammer to SAMR" series will focus on Modification, the first step toward Transformational technology integration.

Taking a Hammer to SAMR: Substitution

Use the Comments section below to share your reflections about the Augmentation level.

Taking a Closer Look at Online Resources

As our district transitions to the new website, we are taking a close look at how elementary students access resources from school sites. Members of the district technology committee have volunteered to work with a team of librarians and technology support assistants to re-envision the student entry point for all technology and library resources. Our goal is to provide a site that is both easy to use and visually appealing to Pre-K–5th grade students.  

Our sub-committee will present an initial design to the District Technology Committee for feedback in February 2015. Keep an eye open for updates to this process.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Getting Our Families Connected

For the past 18 months, our district has developed a unique partnership with Comcast to provide internet services to families that qualify for the national school lunch program.  In addition, Netgear generously provided routers to enable participating families to connect wirelessly to their service. With any new program, there have been some growing pains.  We are currently working with Comcast and one of the BHS student incubator businesses, Funtastech, to improve the enrollment process and provide more support for families included in the program.
Funtastech, a teen tech tutoring company is providing two different services.  First, the student-run business is in the process of creating a start-up tutorial video (in both Spanish and English) for families to utilize when connecting their internet start-up kit and wireless router at home.  Second, by subcontracting Spanish translators, Sunny Hill families will have access to personalized tech tutoring in the coming months.  Thank you to all involved to help get this running: Nora Carranza, Shirly Soto, Hector Ontiveros, Joann Fullman and Dr. Cynthia Armendariz-Maxwell.  

In the coming weeks, look for more information regarding improvements to the Project Horsepower program. In the meantime, families or individuals can visit this website or contact Joann Fullman, jfullman@barrington220.org, (847)842-3246 or Nora Carranza en espaƱol, ncarranza@barrington220.org, (847)842-3458.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

One to World Initiative Program Update

At this week’s Barrington 220 Board of Education meeting (January 13, 2015), I presented a program update on our One to World initiative. This update included a program overview, an explanation of our new District Technology Committee, an overview of our District TPACK Team, a brief look at professional development offerings for teachers in Grades 6-12, a discussion about some of the resources we offer parents for home device use, and a presentation of two short videos featuring Barrington 220 classrooms using One to World devices.

The program overview began with an up-to-date organizational chart that shows how the Technology Department now includes both infrastructure support and instructional technology support. Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, both our Director of Media Services and our Instructional Technology Coordinator are now part of the technology department, under a new Chief Technology Officer position. This change is significant because it demonstrates how technology in Barrington 220 supports technology functionality, teaching, and learning among staff and students. In addition, the Technology Department works closely with the Curriculum Department, including the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Staff Development, and our Curriculum Directors. Finally, a detailed timeline of the One to World program was presented that specifies major planned device implementations until the 2016-17 school year.

The District Technology Committee (DTC), comprised of 40 members, including teachers, administrators, staff, and students, began this year with a full meeting in December 2014. Members of the DTC will represent and communicate to their various building and department constituents, suggest professional development needs, provide input regarding future district technology systems, and lend important feedback regarding the Middle School and Grades PK–5 device pilot programs. All activities of the Barrington 220 DTC can be followed at bit.ly/220dtc.

Next, the District TPACK Team was discussed. TPACK is a structure that asserts that the most effective technology integration activities occur at the point where Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge (TPACK) converge (Koehler & Mishra, 2008). In Barrington 220, each TPACK area is represented by staff members who work together as a team:

  • Technological Knowledge—Technology Support Assistants (TSAs) help teachers better use technology tools; Technology Support Technicians (“Techs”) provide seamless device and network support.
  • Pedagogical Knowledge—Digital Age Learning Coaches (DAL Coaches) help teachers improve practice.
  • Content Knowledge—Library Media Specialists connect rich and varied resources to content.

Professional development program offerings at Barrington High School and the Barrington Middle Schools were then conveyed. At BHS, the building-level TPACK team has adapted the “Get, Keep, Grow” customer retention model (as presented in our Business Incubator classes) to serve as a model for professional development. The model describes how technology integration professional development is offered through a variety of differentiated options, modes, and activities. Notably, BHS has implemented a “Digital Badge” program where teachers can earn badges for completing self-directed technology learning. Similarly, both Barrington Middle Schools deliver technology integration professional development options through a variety of differentiated methods that employ an online portal focused upon teacher choice, challenge-based learning, and content-driven offerings. Specific to the middle schools this year, the iPad pilot is focused upon identifying workflow systems, student creativity apps, long-form writing methods, and effective collaboration tools.

Parents of students in Barrington 220 have shared their issues and concerns regarding the establishment of guidelines for home technology use. The TPACK Team has responded by providing after-school opportunities for parents to discuss family technology issues in part through a partnership with Barrington Youth & Family Services. In addition, a new Parent Information section has been established on the district’s One to World website that is updated with new information as needs arise. Barrington 220 continues to provide free Internet access to low-income families through our Project Horsepower program, a partnership with Comcast, NetGear, and the Barrington Area Development Council.

Finally, School Board members saw two videos that took them into our classrooms in Grades 6-12 to see how some teachers are using One to World devices. Grade 6 teachers and students demonstrated the use of iPads, showing examples of classroom workflow, individual and group activities, and student engagement. Sheila Soss’s Grade 9 Spanish class demonstrated interpersonal writing, interactive dialog, and presentation speaking through a series of innovative online tools accessed by students on their MacBook Air laptops.

The presentation was followed by the School Board engaging several representatives from the District 220 TPACK Team in a “Questions & Discussion” session. Board Members were extremely supportive in their questions and comments regarding the One to World program. Additional updates will be offered this year as the One to World program moves forward.

Download a PDF of the presentation.

PARCC Testing and Barrington 220 Technology

PARCC assessment testing is coming to a school near you!

I thought I’d take a minute or two to provide a brief glimpse of the upcoming preparations for PARCC assessment testing as they relate to technology devices and network infrastructure here at Barrington 220. So how about a short FAQ?

Q. Can the PARCC assessment test be taken on the iPads, MacBook Air laptops, and PC laptops used within our district?  Will all of these devices work?
A. Yes. The PARCC test can be accessed on just about any computing device currently deployed to students within our district. The test is provided on Mac and PC computers via a web browser, using the computer’s Oracle JAVA program on the "back end."  For iPads, "there's an app for that," as the saying goes!

Q. Are these PARCC tests located on our Barrington 220 network servers or are they Internet-based?
A.  PARCC tests are Internet-based and are provided and hosted by Pearson PLC.  Pearson has provided tools to “cache” some of the test content (graphics and other large files) locally onto Barrington 220 servers, which should greatly reduce the Internet traffic during testing. 

Q.  Have we reviewed our Barrington 220 network capabilities at Barrington 220 as they relate to PARCC testing?
A. Yes! Pearson provided a PARCC Technology Readiness Tool (PARCC TRT) that determined our device and network capabilities for PARCC testing. We scored high on this assessment, and more recently we have completed an ISBE-based PARCC readiness tool called "I-TRAx".  This tool delved even deeper into our technology, and once completed, we found that we scored highest ratings possible.

Q. The high school and middle schools, with their “One to World” student computing device deployments have a high-capacity wireless access point in each classroom. This is not the case in the elementary schools. Will computer-based PARCC testing still work in the elementary schools? 
A. Yes. Staff members from our technology department recently met with each elementary school principal to discuss testing schedules and testing locations within each building. Where necessary, extra wireless access points are being deployed to specific building locations to provide additional wireless capabilities.

Q. Will there be a “techie” at each building while PARCC testing is taking place.
A. Absolutely. We have more school buildings than we do Technicians, but combined with our Technology Support Assistants, we have committed to having a technology department staff member on-site during testing at each building. These staff members will be trained in the basics of PARCC test administration and they all have a great knowledge of supporting our computing systems here within our district.


PARCC testing concerns are major here in Barrington 220, and no doubt, concerns are just as large in other Illinois districts. Rightfully so! The test is brand new, not only to our district, but nationwide. In addition, for testing on this scale and magnitude, many logistical challenges must be overcome, not only on the technology side - in which I dabble - but also in just about every other area of education here at Barrington 220. In this article I have just offered a glimpse of our PARRC readiness from a technology point of view. As the actual testing window for PARCC approaches, you will no doubt see a steady rise in information and training coming your way.

Taking a Hammer to SAMR: Substitution

An earlier article defined Dr. Ruben Puentedura's SAMR model as a tool teachers can use to measure the opportunities afforded to students by technology integration. In this third article of the "Taking a Hammer to SAMR" series, we learn about Substitution, the first level of the SAMR scale, the use of technology without the addition any functional changes.

The SAMR Activity Scale:


The SAMR Activity Scale outlines how technology use affords students opportunities to learn and demonstrate learning. In the SAMR continuum, Substitution refers to technology used as a direct tool substitute, with no functional change. At the Substitution level, technology use offers no significant advantages to the teacher or the student; an activity is completed in the same manner as a non-digital activity, but using technology.

Example First Grade Lesson: Types of Clouds (Weather Unit)

Students use an iPad to navigate to a website and read an article that includes photos of various types of clouds online and then type a short definition of one type of cloud.

This is Substitution because the teacher could print the article and hand it to the students with no functional differences. The students type the definition of one type of cloud, but could write it by hand without changing the activity.

Substitution, the first level of the SAMR scale, refers to the use of technology without the addition any functional changes. In the next issue, the "Taking a Hammer to SAMR" series will focus on Augmentation.

Use the Comments section below to share your initial reflections about the Substitution level.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Update Your SMART Software on Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite

With many thanks to Kathy Hempel, Librarian at Barrington Middle School—Station Campus, the following directions will assist MacBook Air laptop users who have upgraded to Mac OS X 10.10 (“Yosemite”) update their SMART software.

1. Click the Finder icon in the Dock.

2. Click the Applications folder in the left column.
3. Open the SMART Technologies folder and double-click the SMART Uninstaller.

4. Click Select All to remove all SMART applications.
Click Remove.
Click OK.
Type your computer’s password.
Click OK.

NOTE
The SMART Uninstaller only removes SMART applications and SMART system files from your computer. The SMART Uninstaller DOES NOT delete SMART documents you have created.

5. The uninstall process should take less than 5 minutes.

6. Click the following link:

http://smarttech.com/Support/Browse+Support/Download+Software/Software/SMART+Notebook+collaborative+learning+software/SMART+Notebook+software/SMART+Notebook+14_3+Mac


Click Download.


7. Scroll down the page and click Continue with download.

The download will likely take several minutes.

8. Open your Downloads folder (usually in the Dock).
Double-click file smartesi2014sept.dmg to open it.

Double-click esi2014september.pkg to open it.


9. Click Continue.

Click Continue.
Click Continue.
Click Agree.
Click Continue.
Click Continue.
Click Install.


10. Type your computer’s password.
Click Install Software.
Click Continue.

The install will likely take several minutes.

11. Click Close.

Please contact your building Tech or another district Tech and ask them to provide the serial number to officially register the SMART software. The software will function for 90 days before a code is required.

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