Laptop Learning Final Project, 12

May 31, 2007

haulin netFrom West Carteret HS comes the Laptop Learning feedback of the instructional technology facilitator. In her blog entry, “Mobile and Up-dated,” Amy points to several examples of how the laptop and Web 2.0 staff development inspired teaching and learning at WCHS.

One of the most useful items on the laptop is the RAM and the ability for students to complete projects for senior and advanced studies.. One example of this is a student’s advanced studies project. The student in the business area completed a video and research project where she worked with a member of the Carolina Hurricanes staff to create a documentary on the Spirit Squad of the Carolina Hurricanes.

Other projects include integrating the program Moviemaker into the curriculum at WCHS. I have two teachers that have completed videos within their classes. Mrs. Bonnette created videos in her Film Literature Class in which the students had to write, produce and edit their video using the computers and compile them into a format that could be viewed by the students digitally. Mrs. Lutz created Moviemaker projects with her Earth Science classes. Her students created movies to teach their peers about the US National Parks.

We introduced blogging to the staff in a staff development and then we had a few teachers to utilize blogging in their classrooms as a form of journal and discussion. One of the teachers that has begun his own blog is Mr. L. Arnold. He began his blog with his US History class for discussion and has found that the students enjoy discussion on the web more than discussion in the class. Students felt more freedom to speak up in the blog. This has entered the students into and more in depth discussion and facilitated understanding that they may not have received if the blog had not been present.

From Amy’s experience—and the experience of the others in the Laptop Learning Initiative—one thing is clear: The instructional technology facilitators have a handle on the 21st Century technology skills. They are at their best when conditions allow them to exercise their 21st century instructional leadership.


Laptop Learning Final Project, 11

May 30, 2007

haulin netIn Eagles’ Nest, the instructional technology facilitator at NMS weighs in on the power of laptops for teachers:

With laptops in a wireless environment, teachers have the ability to stay connected to the internet, email, and file servers everywhere they go. Having the capability to be mobile enables educators to have access to their gradebooks, lesson plans, websites, staff development and other educational tools right at their finger tips.

Becky shares her final project, the NMS morning announcement podcasts:

This laptop is able to run applications for making movies, picture shows, podcasting and other advanced technological applications. Each morning at NMS we start our day off with a morning news show, EagleVision. Through the use of the laptop and the skills I learned through our Web 2.0 workshops, I am able to record the audio and post the file as a podcast on our schools webpage.

And she hopes to use her laptop and a webcam to solve the challenges of time and space for a serviceman on duty:

One of our 8th grade students has a dad in Iraq. I am working with Operation Freedom Calls to set up a live video feed via the internet so his dad can watch his graduation live.

Final Media Tech Meeting of Year (5/31)

May 29, 2007

haulin net5/31/07 is our final media and technology meeting of the year. It will be from 8:30-10:30 at Central Office. This is our customary “covered dish” celebration of hard work and success.

Here is a working draft of the agenda:

  • Year in Review Wiki (add stuff)
  • United Streaming and SAS inSchool Data
  • School MediaTech Plans (’07-’08)
  • Budget OneStop
  • Public Comment (June 4)
  • AMTR
  • Hardware Acquisition Deployment Strategy
  • August 9 Workshop in Jacksonville
  • TitlePeek
  • School MediaTech Plans (’08-09)
  • ’08-’09 NCWise Rollout?
  • ’08-’09 Professional Development Focus
    • NCLSMA conference
    • NCaect conference
    • Laptop Learning, Phase II
    • Carteret County Conference (Oct 8th)

Laptop Learning Final Project, 10

May 29, 2007

haulin netFrom the instructional technology facilitator at Morehead Primary School comes this excellent example of an enhanced podcast. In it, the young students document their treasure hunt using GPS.

Here are some of Mary’s reflections from her blog, On Second Thought:

Now to my thoughts on the laptop I received as part of this project, “I couldn’t live without it!” Every teacher needs a laptop to use both at school and at home. Laptops make an easy transition between home and school.

I am excited about all of the possibilities that will arise when I introduce Web 2.0 to our teachers …

Mrs. Newman, our principal, is excited about the possibilities of using technology to differentiate instruction with our students and is anxious for us to get started. She has approved summer technology staff development sessions that will be offered to all of our teachers. Teachers are invited to attend the sessions each Tuesday night starting late June through late July from 6:00- 9:00. We will spend each night learning about podcasting, blogging, using Google Docs and Spreadsheets, and much more.

It is amazing how many ideas I can come up with, so I can only imagine what it will be like when I share these tools with the 36 other amazing teachers I work with here at Morehead City Primary. I can only say “wait ’til next year! The best is yet to come.”

Preparing Future-Ready Students

May 25, 2007

Letter to the Editor:
In order for our students to succeed, we must nurture not only their intellectual development, but their physical, emotional and social health as well. We have to engage them with literacies beyond the traditional 3R’s in contexts beyond the traditional four walls.

Both the National Partnership for 21st Century Skills and The North Carolina State Board of Education endorse missions and goals to prepare “Future-Ready Students for the 21st Century.” In both frameworks, digital technologies continue to be the pervasive work tools of the future.

Students and staff in our schools routinely use computers in a variety of contexts to support teaching, learning, and school administration. We teach the North Carolina Standard Course of Study Computer Skills Curriculum. Since 1995, we have been regarded as a state leader in efforts to integrate technology into all areas of the curriculum.

Because we are neither a low wealth county nor a small school system, our primary source for funding school technology is local money. Over the eight years that we have been trying to keep our computer inventory refreshed, local support has waxed to as much as $600K (2000 and 2001) per year and has waned to $0 (2002).

As a result of inconsistent funding, forty-two percent (or 1243) of our computers are 7-yrs or older. Besides being unreliable and high maintenance, these computers are inadequate for handling up to eighty-five percent of the objectives in the Computer Skills Curriculum. Students and teachers generally forego the older computers except for low-level applications.

At Budget Onestop, I have assembled local artifacts (news stories, editorials, movie clips, data, blog entries, projects, etc.) that support the technology portion of the 2007-2008 local capital request.

More and more, our students will compete with students beyond regional and national borders. As we steer a very successful school system towards the globally connected future, we must ensure assets and opportunities that best prepare our students for international competition.

I encourage continued support for the Carteret County Public School System . . . especially in the area of educational technology.

Joseph R. Poletti
Director of Technology and Media
Carteret County Public School System

Laptop Learning Final Project, 9

May 24, 2007

haulin netMorehead Elementary School caught the portable technology bug as a result of the Laptop Learning Initiative. The instructional technology facilitator shares the enthusiasm at Mullet Over:

Before my training, Mrs. Gilpin, a fourth grade teacher at Morehead Elementary, borrowed the county’s set of GPS’s to do a lesson on geocaching. This was right before Easter, so the teacher was integrating social studies into a fun Easter activity. She had a fifth grade class go out and hide easter eggs and record their coordinate locations. Then her fourth grade class plugged in the coordinates and used the GPS’s to go outside for a easter egg hunt to find the hidden eggs.

I was so excited after the Laptop Learning workshop on GPS, I met with our school’s PTO and they agreed to purchase our school a class set of 25 Garmin Etrex Legend’s. We have just received them…so hopefully I will be providing training soon.

Here are her thoughts on laptops for teachers:

Oliver Wendall Holmes once said, “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” Holmes’ quote articulates my feelings precisely…my mind has truly been stretched. After receiving our laptops, we were provided training by technology experts, allowed to collaborate with other technology facilitators, as well as share the new knowledge experienced with our teachers and students.

This instructional growth is vital if we are going to empower our “digital natives” to be prepared for life in the 21st Century. This instruction also provided a wonderful re-energizing experience for me.

Well said, Ruamie, and well done! As we can clearly see from the first nine Laptop Learning projects, we are establishing our coordinates on the 21C landscape.

Laptop Learning Final Project, 8

May 22, 2007

haulin netFrom the Keys of the instructional technology facilitator of Broad Creek Middle School comes yet another final project associated with our Laptop Learning initiative. This one is not so much about laptops, however.

Instead, it deals with an even more portable technology we acquired—Global Positioning Systems. Here’s Laura’s take on GPS plans for BCMS:

The faculty was most excited and looking forward to using the Global Positioning System (GPS) as a tool to another fish IMPACT collaboration school-wide activity that integrates media and technology with middle school standard course of studies. Check out our lesson description and activity.

As to laptops for teachers, Laura adds this insight:

It has been liberating to work with a laptop instead of a desktop computer. Web 2.0 has been a breath of fresh air for technology facilitators in Carteret County. We are usually the ones providing technology staff development opportunities to our staff; it was an absolute pleasure to be one receiving staff development that we could go back to school and use with our teachers.

Whether laptops or GPS, the common factor is portability. Suddenly, the environment becomes flexible and fluid.

Rigidity lessens.
Creativity flows.
Everyone soars.