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Technology Committee Minutes – December 4, 2018

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Call to Order – 5:34 p.m.


  • Board: Mr. Buono
  • Admin: Mr. Edson, Mr. Goodwin, Mr. Kilmartin
  • Committee: Ms. Bernard, Ms. Duncan, Ms. Mahar, Ms. O’Connor,
  • Ms. O’Neil, Ms. Thompson, Ms. Virnelli

NearPod College and Career Readiness Module

Mr. Goodwin introduced the college and career readiness module as part of NearPod.  He clarified that these are lessons for classroom use and not duplicative of the resources provided by the Naviance software used by the guidance office.

The group was shown a demonstration of one of the lessons involving trade occupations.  The lesson contained videos, class discussion, surveys, collaboration board, and questions for review.  The videos featured a construction contractor and a aviation maintenance individual. The lessons can be complemented with a teacher’s own materials.

Another lesson available involved exploring public service.  Lessons can be used for multiple grade levels.

Nearpod EL has been requested for purchase for ENL teachers.  Ms. Omecinsky has been invited to participate on the technology committee.

Overall NearPod utilization is in the 50% range.  Three (3) accounts are still available for assignment to teachers.  Of the 20 top NearPod users, 7 are at the Howard L. Goff Middle School.  Over 500 sessions were run in the October-November time period.

Technology Professional Development

Mr. Goodwin has been looking at different ways of providing technology professional development to staff and allowing them to obtain CTLE hours.  One of the sessions at the NYSCATE conference involved a BOCES in central New York that provides evening professional development using a Zoom technology.  Mr. Goodwin indicated that EGCSD has a similar distance learning technology called WebEx that might be used for this purpose in the future. Some teachers have found embedded training to be more beneficial and meaningful.

Go Guardian Activity for a One Week Period

Sites Visited92,573216,581123,081
Blocked Attempts370799757
Flagged Activity1393,9914,426
YouTube Views5998,2633,355

Mr. Goodwin was pleased that blocked attempts were below 1% of the sites visited at all levels.  He was also pleased to see the volume of usage on the Chromebooks.

Measuring Academic Return on Investment/Product Usage

Mr. Goodwin asked about how we can measure the academic return on investment technology purchases (equipment, software, licensing, etc.)  Specifically, we want to ask the questions: how do we measure success? what detail or data is available for measurement? is there more than one way to measure success and which method is better? how do we know when we have succeeded?  Sometimes it may need to be more than a simple measure of the number of students utilizing the product.

Another option may be to measure student engagement or proficiency in using the Chromebook, for example, the touchpad to draw, ability to submit feedback, navigation skills, etc.

Mr. Kilmartin said that some of the high school teachers use the NearPod lessons as more of a presentation tool.  Assistance is needed to show how students can work in groups, create content, and demonstrate learning. He noted a product weakness in integrating PowerPoint presentations into NearPod.  Some Middle School teachers have used Flip Grid.

Mr. Goodwin said that now is a good time to find out what tools teachers like using for the purposes of budgeting and targeting professional development.  Typing Club has provided the best statistics on usage. Ms. Mahar noted difficulty with getting students not to look at the keyboard. A cardboard cover was shared for possible implementation.

Communication Around the Table

  • Ms. Thompson said that accessing library databases through the Chromebooks is an issue because logon and passwords are needed.  She requested these be collected and emailed to teachers. Ms. Thompson reflected concern with student preparation for online testing.  She asked if resources were available other than Google Forms. was offered as a possible resource.
  • Ms. Duncan reflected the need for printers for Chromebook work.  Mr. Goodwin said that the multi-function printer project should address this need in the future.  At the current time, existing equipment should be used.
  • Ms. Virnelli spoke about Fluency Tutor as a resource for ENL teachers.  She will demonstrate the product at the next technology meeting. The cost is $100 per teacher, and the product may also be helpful for AIS and special education teachers.  The first month is free. The product links to the internet for uploading materials.
  • Ms. O’Neil also reflected concern with student preparation for online testing.  Edulastic was offered as another option; free and paid accounts are available.
  • Ms. O’Connor believed the issue with unique IP addresses has been handled.  She also spoke of potential issues with sharing of Chromebook carts. Some schools use an automated sign-out sheet.  Mr. Goodwin is working on purchasing a product called Gopher to manage the fleet of Chromebook carts and measure usage.  Ms. Virnelli said that some teachers hold back ten (10) Chromebooks for distribution to other teachers to use in student small group work.

Meeting Schedule for 2018-2019 Year

The agenda contained the following meeting schedule for the Technology Committee on Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m.:  January 8, February 5, March 5, April 2, May 7, and June 4. Meetings will be held in the Citizen Genet conference room.  The list of meetings can also be found on the TEG website.

Adjournment – 7:12 p.m.