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  • Technology Planning Committee Community and Staff Night

    Posted by Julie Morgenthal on 4/22/2019

    The Technology Committee has been working hard to decide on audio visual upgrades for classrooms. Our current audio visual equipment is beginning to fail due to age and use.

    Thank you to the voters, we are able to upgrade these systems and ensure our students have access to modern, interactive learning environments.

    We are hosting a Community and Staff Night on Wednesday April 24th from 4-6:30 at the Balsz Community Center. We will have an Interactive projector, a document camera, and a teacher surround sound system available for the staff and community to see and touch some of the hardware solutions the committee is proposing.

     

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  • Technology Planning Committee Meeting 4/18/19

    Posted by Julie Morgenthal on 4/19/2019 4:00:00 PM

    Technology Planning Committee

    4/18/19

     

    Committee Members in Attendance:

    Karen Netzer

    Leslee Jonovich

    Ellen Trzaskowski

    Aurelia Ionescu

    Patricia Lacina

    Drew Miller

    Julie Morgenthal

    We started the meeting by reviewing some budget estimations for the interactive projectors, whiteboard replacements and additions in trouble spots versus the cost of the interactive flat panels.

     

    We considered the question again of advantages and disadvantages of interactive projectors versus flat panels.

    • Based on the data we collected from the survey, 67% of teachers indicated they preferred a projector type display versus 23% who said they preferred a large main panel or a main panel with multiple smaller panels on the side walls.
    • The committee members felt the panel (75 inches diagonal) was difficult for the students to see from the back of the room.
    • Committee members also felt the panels were difficult to use with kids sitting on the far edges. The image becomes difficult or impossible to see.
    • The interactivity of the projector is slightly less sensitive than the interactive panel, but they felt both worked well and the difference was minimal.
    • The projector has a 90 to 100 inch throw versus the panel that is 75 inches. Larger panels (>75 inches) are currently cost prohibitive.
    • With the projector, teachers do not lose any of the white board real estate.
    • The projectors we are proposing are laser projectors so there is no need for future lamp replacements and the projectors are advertised to last 50,000 hours. They are 3300 lumens so they should be bright even in a well lit room with windows.
    • Interactive panels are about 700.00 more per unit (without installation).

     

    The Committee's final recommendation is interactive projectors as the new standard for the classroom display. We are planning to add an additional 200-300 per installation for external speakers. This will also be better sound quality than the panels offer with the built in sound bar.

     

    We are planning to give up permanent cabling and going with a widi solution. This will allow teachers to project and interact with the projector wirelessly so they can move freely about the classroom. We will provide a long HDMI cable for use in case of a widi issue that can’t be solved in a short amount of time. The advantage of the widi solution is that there is less latency and delay for videos than with our current Airtame solution. However, it only works with Windows computers. The HDMI cable will also be available for the rare occasions that a teacher wants to project the Chromebook.

     

    We are also planning on providing portable microphone systems for teachers to check out. We have not spent as much time on these units. So, I have ordered seed units from two different manufacturers. Committee members will get to try these out for several days in their classrooms and show and tell with other teachers on campus. We will bring a recommendation for standardization on these units based on their feedback.

     

    Options for small rooms - The interactive projector solution is only for standard classroom areas. Currently, we do have projectors installed in small office spaces. Pending final budgetary quotes, we will revisit this topic with regard to replacement and refresh in these areas.

     

    We are hosting a Community/Staff Night on Wednesday April 24th at the Balsz Community Center. We will have an Interactive projector, a document camera, and the teacher surround sound system available for staff and community to see and test the hardware the committee is proposing.

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  • Technology Planning Committee Notes 4/2/19

    Posted by Julie Morgenthal on 4/3/2019 2:00:00 AM

    Technology Planning Committee Notes 04/02/2019

    Technology Committee Members in Attendance:

    Ellen Trzaskowski

    Karen Netzer

    Aurelia Ionescu

    Leslee Jonovich

    Patricia Lacina

    Drew Miller

    Julie Morgenthal

    The Technology Planning Committee met in the Crockett Computer Lab. After much discussion and review of teacher survey responses, the Committee was leaning toward the Hitachi Interactive model projector to replace our current projectors. However, there were some doubts because the Committee Members had only had a limited opportunity to see the projector in use. We had a previous, voluntary meeting for Committee members to see an older model Hitachi Interactive installed at Tillman. However, the older model is not exactly the same as the newer, laser models. So, we invited a Hitachi representative to come to the meeting and answer questions about the interactive projector. He also allowed the committee some additional time to try it out. The alternative option to the interactive projector is an interactive flat panel. Crockett has one of these panels in the library. The librarian at Crockett, Ms. Erwin was willing to stay after and give us a thorough demonstration of the product. Thank you Ms. Erwin! The committee also had an opportunity to try out the panel a second time.  

    We had walked all of the classrooms and taken photos of our current installations. The Committee looked at the photos as well as a spreadsheet outlining the quality of the whiteboards in all of the classrooms. We have to consider all factors for cost. This includes the overall quality of existing whiteboards, placement of existing whiteboards, and cost of new whiteboards. We also have consider demo of existing Smart Boards, room repairs, etc.  Based on this, we decided we needed more pricing information on installing interactive projectors versus panels in every classroom, and costs for the other variables outlined above. We are doing that research now and should be able to provide the committee with more detail at the next meeting.

    The next meeting is on April 18th at 4:00 PM at the Balsz District Office Governing Board Room

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  • Technology Planning Committee Meeting 3/21/19

    Posted by Julie Morgenthal on 3/22/2019 2:00:00 AM

    Technology Committee Members in Attendance.

    Aurelia Ionescu

    Sarah Simpson

    Julie Morgenthal

    Drew Miller

    Patricia Lacina

    Karen Netzer

    Leslee Jonovich

    Ellen Trzaskowski

    The Technology Planning Committee met to discuss final recommendations for classroom audio-visual equipment.

    We presented some budget guidelines and had a small group discussion on the ideal classroom setup to maximize teaching and learning.

    The committee studied the data from the teacher survey a second time and we reviewed our overarching guidelines for making a decision. The teacher data favors the idea of a projector over a large panel for classroom use. The Committee also seemed to prefer the idea of an interactive, laser projector. The interactive part allows the teacher to use a pen at the whiteboard and interact with the computer. The laser aspect insures a bright, clear picture without bulb replacements or filter replacements. Hitachi is the current brand we are favoring because we already have infrastructure in place to manage Hitachi brand devices remotely. This ensures, among other features, that all devices can be shut down on a schedule when they are not in use. This provides power savings to the District.

    Before making a final recommendation, we determined we need some more information on interactive projectors. We discussed challenges with interactive projectors, such as classrooms without whiteboards or classrooms with old whiteboards that may have divets or bumps on the surface. This could interfere with interactivity.

    Between now and the next meeting, we are going to do an inventory of whiteboards and old Smart Board installations to see if there could be any additional costs with respect to whiteboards if we consider the interactive projector solution. We are going to open a classroom at Tillman to the Committee that already has an older model interactive projector. This way Committee Members can visit and try out the device. We are asking a vendor that sells the Hitachi brand interactive projector to come and show us the latest model at our next Technology Committee Planning Meeting. That meeting is going to take place on April 2nd, from 4-5:30 in the District Office Board Room. 

    Other items we are still discussing are wireless projection devices so teachers can move around the room with their tablet untethered, surround sound for voice amplification, and document cameras.

    If you would like to contribute to our discussion, please comment. All comments are moderated.

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  • Technology Planning Committee Meeting 3/4/19

    Posted by Julie Morgenthal on 3/5/2019

    Notes from Technology Planning Committee Meeting 3/4/19

    Technology Committee Members in Attendance.

    Aurelia Ionescu

    Sarah Simpson

    Julie Morgenthal

    Drew Miller

    Patricia Lacina

    Karen Netzer

    Leslee Jonovich

    Ellen Trzaskowski

    The Technology Planning Committee met at the Troxell showroom to see demonstrations of some of the latest developments in classroom audio-visual solutions. Troxell is on the Mohave Cooperative (15I-TROX-1002) for purchasing and has an Arizona State Contract (ADSPO17-184593) as well.

     

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  • Technology Planning Committee Meeting 2/21/19

    Posted by Julie Morgenthal on 2/22/2019

     

    Technology Planning Committee Notes 2/21/19

    The current audio video equipment in the classrooms is 6-7+ years old and is in need of replacement. Many of the projectors are dim or blurry and the interactive boards no longer function. Thank you to the community for supporting the bond. Because of this support, we are able to look at options to upgrade, and in some cases re-think our classrooms with respect to audio-visual technology. The Technology Planning Committee met on 2/21/19 at 4:00PM to begin the discussion on updating the audio-visual equipment in the classrooms, libraries, and common meeting areas. 

    Technology Committee Members in Attendance:

    Ellen Trzaskowski

    Sarah Simpson

    Karen Netzer

    Aurelia Ionescu

    Leslee Jonovich

    Patricia Lacina

    Drew Miller

    Julie Morgenthal

    The presentation we used in the meeting is here.

    We began with some demonstrations of LanSchool, virtual reality, and the Airtame wireless connection for the projector. These are newer technologies that we have in some areas of the District that relate to the Committee's discussions. We did the demonstrations to ensure all committee members would have a common understanding of these topics. 

    We also spent some time brainstorming some overarching guidelines for the committee to consider as we study AV needs as they relate to teaching and learning. We will finalize these guidelines at our next meeting.

    We discussed this question as a committee, What AV Equipment is necessary to teach the curriculum? 

    We then studied survey data from certified staff. A survey was sent out to all teachers prior to this meeting regarding audio-visual priorities. The committee reviewed the initial results. At the time of our review of the data, 61 certified staff had responded. The committee agreed we wanted to try and get a more data. So, another reminder was sent out. We will review the data again prior to our next meeting.

    The next meeting will be held at a demonstration showroom to see what AV possibilities exist and what new classroom technologies are available. 

    The next meeting is on March 4th at 4:00 PM at Troxell Communications.

     

     

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  • Technology Planning Committee Meeting Notes 05/18/2015

    Posted by Julie Morgenthal on 5/18/2015 1:00:00 AM
    Committee Members in Attendance
    Jan Mains - District
    Kelly Roman - Griffith
    Karen Peterson - Griffith
    Drew Miller - District
    Zachary LoMonaco - District
    Simon Alaniz - District
    Myra Romero - District
    Patricia Lacina - District
    Ellen Trzaskowski - Crockett
    Bryan Cunningham - Griffith
     

    Thanks to those in attendance for reviewing the finalized documents at the Technology Planning Committee meeting yesterday. On the diagram labeled Mobile Computing Device Distribution Flow we discussed the idea that parent night may not be the best venue to orient parents regarding technology since there is not any targeted time during that event to address parents as a group. This was discussed at our ALT Meeting with principals on May 19th. Principals felt we may be able to make parent night work or we may look at a different technology specific or other combination venue to meet with parents. We all agreed we will need an alternative, electronic type orientation as well to ensure parents have other methods of accessing the information. There will be a follow up on this topic at a later ALT Meeting. Since parent completion of the orientation is required for students to use the computers in the class, there was a sense we should focus on requiring 5th-8th grade parents this year and then add in K-4 next year once we have a system in place. Principals agreed that would work as a minimum to get started.   

     

    If you have not reviewed the finalized Google Docs for the teacher policy and student/parent policy, please take a look at those asap.  Here are the links:

    Student Parent Agreement:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1BtfXm-Bmby4d0UPOjs8dmQHGPLhCZ7pmzsiSKsZp8m4&authuser=0

    Teacher Classroom Agreement: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1B8TOhU2wiBEaIyYIK3ITRWncFkevKLgiJKgtwpVloho&authuser=0

     

    As per the discussion at the meeting, I was able to talk to one 7th grade class and one 8th grade class regarding the parent/student policy and general ideas regarding computer breakage and loss. The students felt it was fair to pay for deliberate damage. The majority felt parents would attend some type of orientation. They did point out however that the Lenovo model we purchased has some inherent weaknesses. They indicated the keyboards sometimes do pop up on their own. They also said the hinges break easily. They indicated sleeves for the laptops would be helpful. One group liked the idea of a separate bag and the other group felt a separate bag may get easily lost since it is another thing to remember. They thought sleeves would be better. Approximately 1/3 of the students I spoke to indicated the computers to get used at home by other family members to watch videos, look for jobs, play games, and do research. All felt the newest model of Lenovos were too slow. They said labeling the chargers may help with mixing them up and losing them. They also felt that tablet/laptop combos where you could optionally use a keyboard would be the best option. Some liked the detachable keyboard and some liked the fold back version. There was not really a clear majority. 

     

    At the Technology Planning Committee Meeting, we also discussed the Criteria for Teacher Software Subscriptions. Please review this and provide any feedback as well: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1EkY8MfGYR_MXUh5ZsbpYhsA-W9UwDbfOPnHnTva4M8I&authuser=0.

     

    The idea is that next year,  grade level teams will create a list of 10 software products they would like for their grade level grouping ordered by preference. Then the Technology Department would verify the products for compatibility and pricing. By having the Tech Department do the procurement, there is an opportunity to combine common programs across schools for a better price as well as ensure all of the agreements have a common renewal date. This way it will be easier to create a timeline for yearly product reviews and decisions about renewals.

     

    We also discussed that next year we are going to focus on student technology for grades K-6. This means we are essentially flip flopping years 1 and 2 of the Override Plan. This is necessary to renew student technology sooner for online testing.

     

     
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  • Technology Planning Committee Meeting Agenda 05/18/2015 3:30-5:00

    Posted by Julie Morgenthal on 5/17/2015
    The Technology Planning Committee will be meeting at the Balsz District Office in the Governing Board Room on 5/18/15 from 3:30-5:00.
     
    Meeting Agenda:
    • Final review of Student Parent Agreement
    • Final review of Teacher Agreement for Use of Student Mobile Computing Devices in the Classroom
    • Discussion of Criteria for Teacher Based Software and the Override Funding for this Item
    • Quick Review of Override Budget Considerations and Timeline
     
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  • Meeting Notes 4/13/14

    Posted by Julie Morgenthal on 4/14/2015
    The focus of the committee has been to address the management of student technology from a policy perspective. We have been trying to build consistency around the management of technology district-wide. Our first meeting was structured around a Google Presentation, The Committee split into groups and provided feedback on areas such as dealing with missing/stolen devices and damage, both accidental and intentional. The topic of classroom management of devices was discussed as well. Based on the feedback, I modified and created some additional policies as a starting place for the Committee to study and refine. I also tried to put together some rough some flow charts so we can identify areas of need as we progress. 
     
    The committee studied the documents below, provided feedback and made edits. They were directed to go back to their sites, share these documents and seek additional feedback. All feedback is due on April 24th. Everyone is invited to comment.
     
    The links below were used during our meeting and should be used for feedback:
    Flow Chart 1 - Stolen Device
    Flow Chart 2 - Damaged Device
     
    Once everyone has had an opportunity to comment, I will make modifications and share the documents back out to the Committee. Once the Committee approves, I will share our work with the Administrative Team. The final step is that they will be presented to the Governing Board. The anticipated date for that is the May or June Board Meeting.
     
    The next topic discussed was around individual teacher technology subscriptions. This is an item we budgeted for in the Override for teachers to be able to secure subscriptions for online programs for supplemental instruction.
      
    Our brainstorming notes are below: 
     
    • There was a sense that each school should agree on a few subscriptions for different grade level groupings that teachers could choose to use. For example, a set of K-5 programs and a set of 6-8 programs.
    • They felt grouping may be more effective for collaboration/quality use/training
    • There was a sense a school site license would be an economical option rather than paying for individual teachers
    • There was an idea that the money should be allocated based on student count 
    • All subscriptions should be web Based
    • We should make sure we don't agree on programs that have the same functionality as programs we already have
    • No subscriptions for sites that are only for printable worksheets. They must have some element of interactivity
     
    How do we get feedback on this process.
     
    Ideas: 
    • Principals should deliver the message
    • Ask them to share at a PCL and collect feedback
    • We can collect the information via spreadsheet with name/url/grade level group
    • Another option is to survey teachers for programs of interest
    Please comment on this blog to add to the teacher software subscription brainstorm.
     
     
    Our next meeting is May 18th. It will be held in the Governing Board Room at the District Office from 3:30PM to 5:00PM.
     
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  • Technology Planning Committee Meeting Agenda 4/13/15

    Posted by Julie Morgenthal on 4/13/2015 1:00:00 PM
    Based on the feedback from the Google Presentation, I modified and created some additional policies as a starting place for the Committee to study and refine. I also tried to start some flow charts so we can identify areas of need in our approach.
     
    The links below will be relevant to our meeting:
     
    Flow Chart 1 - Stolen Device
    Flow Chart 2 - Damaged Device
     
    Break into groups and review and comment on the drafts. 
    Go back and discuss ideas with peers/feedback 
    Final Topic - Brainstorm ideas around the teacher based software subscription funds
    Set next meeting date 
     
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