Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Submit Your Questions

Please submit any questions you'd like to see addressed in our presentation as comments to this post. Simply click on "0 (or whatever number) comments" at the bottom of this post, then follow the directions. You'll need a Google Account - which is free - to submit a comment.


Blogger Mason said...

Would you discuss how laptops and wireless needs compare across elem. middle and high school? I can see the benefit for both technologies in high school and college, but I'm having a harder time seeing as much benefit in middle and elementary. Is that weird? What are your thoughts about it? I'm curious to know.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 5:58:00 PM  
Blogger Joseph Miller said...

(1) What methods for evaluation are you using to determine effectiveness?
(2) How was the project funded?
(3) How do you build momentum for blogging? It seems like some of the teachers in your cohorts stayed involved in blogging and others let it die. What worked with the ones that stayed engaged?
(4) How involved were students and parents in commenting on teacher reflections?
(5) Were any expectations tied to the teacher evaluation?
(6) Were teachers expected to include aspects of constructivism and technology in their own growth plans?
(7) What worked in terms of leadership? Principal leadership? District leadership?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 9:51:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Tarwater said...

Karl and Team,

Does your District block access to MySpaceand or youtube? What is your District's strategy and approach to teaching your internet users online safety?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 1:25:00 PM  
Blogger Karl Fisch said...

Everyone - sorry if we didn't fully address these questions in our session. As usual, we talked too much.

Mason - We talked later about this, but for everyone else briefly - I think laptops would be a big benefit at both elementary (at least upper elementary) and middle level. I don't know if they need 24/7/365 access at those levels, but certainly during school hours and when they are learning at home. For me, the issue isn't the machine, it's the access. There is a world of information/connections available to them, and I think we are limiting ourselves - and most especially our students - if we can't practice "just in time" learning with them. But, as I hope we conveyed in the session, it's not about the technology, it's about the learning, so we need to make sure we continue to focus on that.

Joseph - Our evaluation component is not hard data in the sense of test scores or anything, it's more from our teacher and student surveys, as well as the discussions we have with the teachers. For me, test scores aren't the goal, and frankly I don't think what we'll doing will necessarily boost test scores (perhaps slightly because of increased engagement from underperforming students, but not a ton). For me, the feedback we receive from students and teachers gives us a pretty good indication of how things are going. Having said that, we are trying to come up with a little more formal way to evaluate that this year.

2. Funding - you can read one of the two grants we received at this post. Basically, one grant from an organization called PFSE, one grant from some money our school board set aside for innovative grant proposals.

3. Momentum for blogging is a tough one. Those that continued found value in it, those that didn't apparently did not. I am still working on (evangelizing) the power of blogging/sharing/transparency to all of those folks, and hope to get a few more on board this coming year.

4. Students were fairly involved in commenting on teacher reflections, parents not so much. We haven't publicized this a huge amount with our parents, but we will be making it more public this coming year by adding a page on our new web site with links to blogs and my shared Google Reader items.

5. No, we did not tie anything to teacher evaluations. We wanted them to want to do this, not have to do this. Having said that, my administration has indicated that our staff development has come up in every evaluation they have done of a participating teacher - and a large number of non-participating teachers )because the conversations have spread).

6. Again, no expectations in growth plans, but many teachers did because it was a natural fit.

7. We had strong support from our adminstration and district, but the leadership was from within our building. We are trying to make all of our participating teachers be leaders - both within our cohorts and then taking it beyond (to non-participating teachers, to other schools, etc.)

Dave - we do block MySpace (although any staff member can have the override login and password), but not YouTube. In general, I think my district is much more open than most.

As far as a strategy for teaching Internet safety, we don't have one that I know of. That's something I'm working on.

Hope this helps. If anyone has further questions, please comment or email. Thanks for coming to the session!

Friday, June 22, 2007 3:40:00 PM  

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