Planning Sheet 2009-2010
I have been involved in two main collaborative efforts this school year. First of all, I helped organize and run technology training sessions. Secondly, I formed a subcommittee to review Student Management Systems.
With Carol Larow not conducting training this year the technology committee had to conduct the training in house. Though the committee has done similar training in the past, this was the first Tech Committee only, District wide, training. Organizing professional development sessions required communication between the presenters, faculty, IT staff, and administration.
The technology committee realized that the district is in need of a new student managment system (SMS or SIS) for several reasons. Though the reasons are important I will not detail them here, but suffice to say a SMS needs the input from every section of the district from the nurse's office to PPS. As the head of the committee I would need to collaborate with these differeing parts of the district to determine the best SMS for the district.
The training was a limited success. There were a few mix-ups regarding scheduling of sessions and teachers accessing accounts, but overall they only detracted somewhat from the training. The importance of faculty understanding and being comfortable with computer technology cannot be overstated. I expect this type of training to continue next year. Ideally, it is during an already scheduled professional development day as it was this year. This way teachers are focused on what they are learning, not on what might be going on in their classroom. I like the mix of session offerings that we had. There were sessions that dealt with both instruction (StarBoard, WISE) and with assessment (Castle Learning).
The subcommittee was a very difficult undertaking. I knew starting out that gathering all the myriad of persons together would be difficult. To overcome this limitation I enacted a Wiki to both allow face to face collaboration, but also to expose the district to other forms of internet collaboration. The Wiki did not foster the collaboration I had hoped for. If nothing else though, it provided a place for those who did post to write down their ideas for all to see. We had a few productive meetings where most interested parties were present. The subcommittee decided to adopt GradeSpeed for an interim period while a complete SMS switch is still being evaluated.
Just a few thoughts - I think Starbase works well right now for teachers’ needs. I, personally, would not use a grade book “add on”, since I already use excel to compute my grades. My only current criticism of Starbase is that sometimes it is very sluggish/slow when you are trying to input data.
Sent: Tuesday, November 10, 2009
A technology subcommittee has been working on assessing the needs of the district before moving forward to either remain with Starbase or adopt a different system. This is a very important process with many interested parties. We have been using a wiki to pool our ideas. To view some of our thinking please visit the below website:
Contact me or Dave Howell with suggestions or feedback concerning essential aspects of a system that we have yet to identify.
Thank you for the email. Margaret and I will meet and discuss and we will get back to you within the time frame you requested. Thank you very much, Mary
Sent: Wednesday, November 18,
2009 10:29 AM
Dear Health Office,
I know I’ve talked to both of you before about adopting a new data system for students. We need your feedback to do it right. Can you please get to me list of needs you have for the new data system? What would you like it to be able to do? What features of starbase do you like or dislike? Either just reply to this email or write up something to give to me I’d appreciate it. It doesn’t have to be done at this very moment, but within the next week.
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