South Burlington has now tried and rejected laptop carts at both the middle and high schools.  There's just too much overhead in moving the cart, handing out the laptops, getting everyone logged in, collecting the laptops at the end of the period and returning the cart.  It's much more straightforward to just bring the class to a lab.
 
Personally, I think the emergence and refinement of netbooks is bringing us closer to the point where one-to-one initiatives make more sense.  I think the convergence of cost, features, and available resources is rapidly coming together and will happen very soon.  The real key, in my mind, at least, is getting written materials available through netbooks, so we can move toward replacing textbooks with electronic resources.  If we can get publishers to reduce the cost of electronic texts, or develop quality open source texts and escape the commercial textbook publishing racket entirely, it's very possible that one-to-one initiatives could pay for themselves in savings.
 
Steve Barner
South Burlington High School


From: School Information Technology Discussion [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Sigurd Andersen
Sent: Saturday, March 14, 2009 11:45 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Web Page Overhaul..., also integrating technology - advice?

I'm a part-time jack-of-all-trades IT for Walden School.
I do the web site myself. The CSS is not quite right -
see esp. menu on grade 7-8. Looks fine w/ Firefox, but not IE.
Haven't thought about taking the time to fix it for quite a while.
I've been taking a few staff pictures lately to replace
the "no picture" signs, esp. on the staff page, and entering
the text (have not yet received anything in electronic form)
for each person's "blurb".

Until this year, I spent about a day a week at Walden (pre-k-8, 130+/- students),
keeping computers, incl. file/printer server & network working,
along with helping staff with Word, Excel, email, whatever--, various related issues,
and creating an occasional database (e.g., for tracking meals).

This year I'm spending a good part of most Wed & Thurs
in front of kids in grades 3-8 (usu ~45 minute/week w/each grade).
(bare-bones curriculum principal & I cobbled together)
This summer the principal is putting on the agenda figuring out how
to take "integrating technology" the next step.
She has already drawn out matrices on 6' swaths of paper
mapping technologies and subjects.

If any of you (Lucie, I've been in awe of what you've been doing for forever)
have some thoughts, suggestions on a couple of fronts, I'd welcome getting them.

One is facing how to change the "technology culture" of a school.
Teachers need to get comfort using tech tools for their own use before
capably/comfortably passing on those skills as part of history, math, whatever.

We have little "teaching technology" (e.g., just got some Elmos a year or 2 ago,
may get white boards if the board and community will agree to including in a budget).
We have a collection of over a dozen computers in the library, so that any one class
can have a computer per student. The PCs are squeezed into too-small a space,
so that a teacher can only see from any one spot what 1/3 or 1/2 of the students
are doing with their computer.
The principal and I have been talking about laptop carts; I've been wondering if the school
should consider a "One Laptop per Child" environment - every kid gets his/her own device -
say, for implementation over the next half-dozen years. I think getting $$ into the budget to
consider making big changes is unlikely. Perhaps there are grants out there for this ...

Comments welcome
Sigurd Andersen

Bjorn Behrendt wrote:
[log in to unmask] type="cite">
At Proctor I do my own.  I am currently redesigning it using Drupal, with my site being hosted from (http://www.siteground.com/) (their cheep and have servers optomized for drupal).   Our teachers use the document feature of our email client (zimbra) for creating their personal websites.   If we didn't have zimbra I'd have teachers create their personal sites in Google sites (part of Apps), or if our SIS program has a parent portal I'd push managing that over a web presence.  .

the dev site I am working on: http://dev.rcsu.org/

-bj

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bryan Thompson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Friday, March 13, 2009 4:11:57 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: District Web Page Overhaul...

All,

It is time to give our web page, <http://www.winooski.k12.vt.us> a major overhaul. I have been looking at some other school web pages in our region and I'll be contacting them to see who designed their web page, but until I do that, I'm wondering if I could get a quick poll of who designed your web pages, and who keeps them up-to-date. Do you have a full time person, or do you have students do some of the work, or do you outsource?

Thanks,
Bryan

Bryan Thompson
Technology Coordinator
Winooski School District
Winooski, VT 05404
802-655-2555

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