1. I am wondering about the technology that is available in your school. I have been thinking about a great many technology ideas to be integrated into the classroom; however, currently we can use up to 12 computer periods a semester in each course. I find that it's not enough. I would like to have at least one a week if we were going to blog in an English class. As a K-12 school, how do you determine usage for your classes?

    • George

      We definitely need to increase the amount of computers in our school. We have about 80 computers for 240 kids at one site, and we are looking to increase that to about 120. Grade 5 and 6 will have laptops all the time this year. Nice to be able to run the budget as well 🙂

      At the other site though, we need to increase the amount of technology in the building. We would probably increase by 30 computers in the school for 200 kids but this is at a non-traditional site with kids also working at home. If we do that, both sites could probably have technology a minimum of 1/3 of the day, every day.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. We have about 150 computers (6 labs) and then an individual computer in each classroom (extremely antiquated and slow) for the teacher to complete online attendance and have access to the school system. There are 10-12 Smartboard rooms and they each have a better computer attached to it; otherwise, the technology doesn't work well.

    We have 900+ students so I think your ratio overall is better. It's a high school, so there are classes that are designated to computer labs and some free periods. I believe that if everyone tried to use the computers 12x in each course, there wouldn't be enough availability; it's sometimes difficult to book computer time, and the labs are rarely unused.

    Our computer allocation and support is determined at the board level, but our technician advocates for the school's needs. The principal bought the Smartboards by reducing departmental budgets by about 10% over two years.

    They have installed wireless hubs in the school, but it's not accessible as they want to ensure that it will function well and have rules/protocol in place for usage. It's currently being piloted at our smaller sister high school that has about 300 students.

    I would love to teach a class that's connected often…not necessarily all the time, but 1/2 of the time would be fantastic. There are so many great ideas that I'd like to try that are not yet possible.

  3. Brad White

    Hi George – I like that you have made this a goal of your school, what a great way to communicate with colleagues, students and parents. I recently created a blog at blogger.com but I am not happy with a link that goes to "next blog" – I am new to blogging (too old I guess) – would you be able to give me some information on where you set your blog up – thanks George.

    • George

      We set up our sites through WordPress Multi-User. To be honest, this is a little bit of work for set up but easy once you get going. If you, or someone you know is fairly strong with tech, I would be happy to let them know how we put everything together. I did all the initial set up for our staff so that it would be as easy for them as possible.

  4. I love that you started PD with reflection and writing in the form of a blog. Such a neat transformation in the way that professional growth is handled!

    • George

      I have seen so much growth in our school from the two years that I have been there. I have loved it! Thanks for your comment Kelly!

  5. […] I used to think in-services were an opportunity for me to address my staff about important issues. (If I’m going to wear a suit to work, I may as well stand up in front of you with this PowerPoint presentation!) Now I know that I am not comfortable spending 6 hours of the day leading professional development sessions in which teachers have little ownership. (Let them lead the way). […]

  6. […] board. Seem a lot different than the traditional first days back at school?  This reminded me of our own staff professional development initiatives at Forest Green School where all of the learning was led by staff.  It was created and […]

  7. I certainly have no objection to this, Mr. Halvorson. But how about we concentrate on getting everybody access to some kind of medical care first, eh? THEN we can worry about getting all the rich people to the “best” hospitals and “best” doctors.

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