• Technology Subcommittee Meeting

    July 2, 2020

    Members in attendance:  Assistant Superintendents, Administrators, Teachers, Parents, Principals, Students, Board of Education Member 

    Assistant Superintendent: We are skipping presentation review, and making the presumption that everyone had the opportunity to look at materials sent out, links, and data from other sources compiled.  We will spend all our time today going from person to person sharing ideas. A member of our staff is our official note taker and we will publish minutes from this meeting. I would ask if you are not speaking to go on mute so we can focus on the speaker and aid us to focus on one person at a time. We have a diverse group of both parents/teachers and some students. We would like to start with the parents . This is a great place to ground our thoughts and ideas. I’ll call on you one at a time to share thoughts and ideas. 

    Parent: Is a high school teacher in Manhattan, and imbedded in the technology field. Main thoughts: A centralized IT management platform that could serve as a place for parents, students and teachers to go to for tech requests/help desk. Suggest webinars to help people get along with what they need to do, help desk. We are going to need a lot of training for staff, students and guardians. We cannot assume all are techies, especially kids. It is not completely true that all kids are advanced with technology skills. Synchronous mode and asynchronous mode. We need training for beginners through experts. As far as devices we must make sure all have a laptop or desktop. Ipads at home will not serve well. Better used as classroom experience.

    We should plan for a model of complete remote learning and supplement with what is going on in school. Have infrastructure in place. Make sure everyone has good internet access and great bandwidth in their learning environment. We need a centralized place where students can go to use technology when not in the classroom. When on a “not in school” day, there is another social distance place to go. Previously we went to a library. A centralized, monitored place to do your technology.

    Learning Management System (LMS)  - Has a daughter who got used to it, but did miss a few things. Need a centralized place that everyone uses to disseminate information. One of biggest things with his own daughter who will be entering 5th grade was not the content, but assessing her learning. Didn’t know if teachers were truly assessing learning. I don’t have a solution but needs to be a large thought. Maybe a video presentation at the end of things. We are delivering some content online. In school we might have books, will we use ebooks?

    Papers. Do parents and homes have printers? Is this viable? Is there a delivery mechanism? 

    Assistant Superintendent: Some of these topics of discussion are already on our radar. Perhaps articulated differently. Ask that people pick different areas of discussion than what has already been touched upon. Want to be mindful of time and want to be able to capture everyone's thoughts. Please pick topics of discussion people did not cover.

    Teacher - secondary level/Parent: I have two girls in the district.  I am a teacher, and now am an IT coach. I have a good working knowledge of curriculum and technology.

    Are there enough devices for students to be one to one? Who will clean and sanitize? Are labs obsolete because of cleaning?

    Is there a place for parents to get support? i.e. district device that is not working or connecting.

    Computer labs.

    Spring was survival mode. Parents were forgiving. Going back in fall we need to be buttoned up. Is there differentiated PD for teachers? Development for different levels.

    A parent had mentioned LMS. My daughter used Cleaver which was great on getting onto all platforms. Seesaw is great. Can do video pictures, can draw on it. Touch screen. I hope the district continues with Seesaw. Useful for art, music, PE... kids post pictures of artwork, teachers make videos.

    Middle school daughter - Some of her teachers used google classroom and some just used email. Google classroom is a no brainer. Do teachers need training?

    Are there enough devices whether hybrid or full brick and mortar? Are there enough devices for each teacher and can they project in their classroom? We need to make sure teachers are aware of adaptive technology or any software available to them.

    EDlaw 2D. To start the year off compliant.

    Assessment: In the classroom it is very easy. Assessment equals test mindset. Can use screencast devices and powerpoint. Many teachers use giant zoom meetings. Along with assessment, how to get a good feedback loop. How can teachers give feedback before giving a student a grade?

    Assistant Superintendent: Response: We are getting input from all subcommittees. We will synthesize.

    Parent: Feels previous parent and teacher/parent touched on everything on her list of concerns.

    Google classroom is useful if everyone could be familiar and comfortable with google classroom.
    Professional Development - We need to have leave replacement teachers ready to do it. Sometimes leave replacement teachers do not have PD. 

    Devices: At the NHS we had to give out a lot of devices. 

    Teacher - secondary level: I have worked in the district for 15 years.  Technology has always been an interest. We need something to ground us as to how technology is used in the classroom. Many teachers were not ready to redefine their classrooms. Used technology given to them to substitute it. Instruction and assessment go together. This was distance learning, not blended learning, gamification or flipped learning. We struggle with what to do now. How to build relationships to build technology. Social emotional needs. Professional development is always key.

    Assistant Superintendent: We will be taking this input to various subcommittees and then we will talk about the intersections of some of the meetings and get back with some resolutions. 

    Teacher - secondary level: The CIA website is difficult to manage. Had many emails from teachers. We need to revamp it for teachers. The read/write toolbar is important. Some teachers don’t know it.

    Google classroom is the way to go. Would like to take a look at extensions we can approve to put on google classroom. Would like to be proactive to add extensions ahead of time for teachers who need more.

    Concerns about zoom. Significant discipline issue. Need to outline our code of conduct. We had to suspend students because of actions online.

    Assistant Superintendent: Code of conduct is on our minds. Thank you for affirming things we know we need to work through.

    Student: Found when teachers gave an assignment every day or every other day helpful. Long assignments did not feel like “school”. Felt like when on a break.

    Every day assignments feel more like school than busy work.

    Student:  April and spring were about staying safe and finishing the curriculum. Starting the new year should feel like school. Pre-recorded videos were used to finish the semester. Livestream would be better. Structure the school day like periods during high school. 

    Assistant Superintendent: We have three teachers to hear from before the Board of Education member speaks. Please comment on new topics. Cast net as wide as possible.

    Teacher - elementary level: As an K-5 teacher, math specialist, and a classroom teacher what resonates is the big difference at the elementary level. This is overwhelming for elementary buildings in different ways. There are teachers who work with every grade. We need every platform. Need to keep as much as possible the same. Don't change Seesaw or Google classroom right now. Permissions are an issue. Parents don’t know how to support students. Huge burden on teachers. Teacher served as a liaison between her building and the district technology teachers. Had teachers calling her in a zoom call. We need that in every elementary building. The other piece is to make sure the district technology teachers know if she is calling, it is because she is troubleshooting for her building. Parents send in help requests and are waiting three days for help. Centralization.

    We have to plan for 100 percent remote learning in order to be successful. We could reopen and then be shut down again.

    Teacher - elementary level: Kindergarten teacher at a CCSD elementary school. Also unofficial tech person in the building. Function as go between for school and district technology teachers. Spent much time troubleshooting problems. Happy to do it, but we need a plan for that moving forward. Things are way different in kindergarten. Kids need one to one,  which they have. What has been reported for K/1 is difficulty on Seesaw if children do not have Ipads. They need an iPad, not a laptop. Some kids who had laptops or chromebooks couldn't get on platforms.

    Need to plan for the online piece, hybrid mode, one centralized person who does the on-line piece. It’s double load, double the pressure, different expectations. One person cannot do it. Zoom was a nightmare for kindergarten. At risk kids were a concern. Some kids never got on.

    Love google classroom, cannot set up with her kids. K-1 kids don't have access.

    Social emotional piece. Concerned about kindergartners who have never been on a device. Concerns and how to instruct remotely, students who have never used Seesaw.

    Teacher - secondary level: Tech Liaison - Agree with others. Speaking as an elementary parent, Ipad got her daughter through remote learning. Teacher has a parent app. on her phone, also teacher and student apps. Parents going into K need training on all platforms, especially Seesaw. Different apps. depending upon who you are. Regarding zooms, hard to do live learning depending upon class and students. Should be used in certain settings but not mandated.

    Technology at home needs to be one to one. Parents could still be working at home and taking from the bandwidth. Centralized help page.

    Professional Development is done best in like groups. Science teachers will have similar questions. Maybe extend schedules on certain days to do professional development. PD should be differentiated by skill. Need to give teachers more ideas about interactive lessons. Keep student attention. We shared out “best practices” in survival mode. Moving forward, we should share out once a week.

    Assessments need to be looked at. Teacher does not want to ruin the integrity of her assessments. We will do a disservice to students  if they don’t practice for May tests.

    We should assign assignments on google classrooms - need to be consistent. An announcement is not an assignment on google classroom. Consistency is important.

    Grading plan should be communicated before school starts. Can’t accept late work after a certain point. Time consuming for teachers.

    Surveyed students and students loved Kami. It is a great tool to annotate work that was ED puzzle, Pear Deck.

    Assistant Superintendent: Reiterated all platforms that are renewed.

    Principal - elementary level: How to support the faculty. Kids will be ok if parents and faculty are ok. Parents: access 

    Faculty: comfort levels of different modalities. What does engagement look like?

    Key points:

    - access and equity

    - professional development, support for teachers/parents

    - redefining “engagement”

    Assistant Superintendent: The intersection of technology and instruction is hand in hand. Take everything shared and take it straight in. Responses are valuable. 

    Key points:

    1) The mandatory use of one consistent learning management system used by every teacher K-12

    2) Differentiated Professional Development

    3) Mindfulness of assignments and instructional delivery

    4) The need for one to one devices for teachers and students

    5) Technology Support (for devices, software) in real time for parents, students, and teachers


    Key points:

    • I was very impressed with everyone's thoughts and feedback and I wanted to thank everyone for their participation.
    • Many of the things that were said were things we were already thinking about at the district level but there were also a lot of additional ideas that we had not thought of so it was great to hear from everyone.
    • I also appreciated having a full K-12 perspective as this will help our planning efforts greatly.

    Assistant Superintendent: We will make a determination as to how to feed information back to subcommittees. Time frame is short. In order to execute the plan for September, we need a plan by the third week in July. We'll be sharing information as we step through milestones. Next 10 days to two weeks are extremely important in the process. We will follow up with minutes.

    Member of the Board of Education: Thank you for running a great meeting. Fantastic job.

Last Modified on July 10, 2020