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Technology Committee Minutes – May 7, 2019

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Call to Order – 4:04 p.m.

Attendance

  • Admin: Mr. Edson, Mr. Goodwin
  • Committee: Ms. Demarco, Ms. Mahar, Ms. O’Connor, Ms. Omecinsky, Mr. Poli, Ms. Virnelli, Ms. Wladarczyk

General Update

  • Multi-Function Printing: Deployment of printers is complete for the elementary schools.  Each library is equipped with a printer to release small jobs. Discussion ensued that there should be some cards for substitutes to access in order to make copies.  Mr. Goodwin stated that each school should seek to have at least two cards for their substitutes, and that the Main Office in each school should arrange for them. Mr. Goodwin spoke about the many features of the equipment, including scan to email and the grading features for CARS testing which is being explored right now. Classroom printers will be removed over the summer. The high school will be the last phase of the multi-function printing project in the beginning of the 2019-2020 year; the PPS office has been converted at this time due to severe need.
  • Smart Schools: The Smart Schools wireless project has been completed, along with the purchase and distribution of all chromebooks. The next phase of Smart Schools includes purchase of 50 interactive whiteboards, with priority for placement in classrooms that do not currently have them. Additional focus is on deployment to art and music areas. The second priority is replacement of failing equipment.
  • Wide Area Network Project: This project is complete, with implementation of a 10 giga-byte backbone for the network. It is entirely fiber with a dedicated circuit and has increased reliability and ability to cover outages.  The project also included a diverse entry for Citizen Genet and Columbia High School to have an alternate provider path in case of a network outage.
  • Firewall: A new firewall has been purchased and in the process of being installed; it should improve network security.
  • Phone System: As part of Phase I of the capital improvement project, the telephone system is being replaced with a Cisco system, with a target completion date of mid-July. Professional development will be scheduled for staff on how to use the new equipment.
  • Professional Development: Planning is underway for the half-day professional development days on October 4 and February 7 next year.  The training is likely to occur by webinar in order to reduce time spent by staff traveling to other buildings, although there may be other formats for training going on as well.  The November 5 Election Day will be a regional day coordinated with Questar III BOCES; the topics are yet to be determined.
  • Product Use Data: Mr. Goodwin thanked Ms. Eriole for compiling product use statistics using the Go Guardian Director Module. The data highlight the need for additional professional development on using Google Classroom. It was suggested that a training could include teachers acting as students with a Google Classroom instructor to actually see how the product works and its value.
  • Reflex Math: Reviews of Reflex Math have been excellent along with data demonstrating student proficiency growth using the software. Purchase is planned next year from the software budget.

Evaluation of Education Tools Using ISTE Standards

At the March 5 technology committee meeting, small groups by K-5, 6-8, and 9-12 grade levels reviewed a Google Form titled “ISTE Aligned Instructional Tools Survey”. The purpose of the form was to rate an instructional tool according to each ISTE Standard on a five-point scale from 1 (not aligned) to 5 (well aligned). Mr. Goodwin is in the process of compiling the results in a summarized manner from a Google Sheet.

Discussion ensued that the evaluation tool could possibly be simplified, potentially using a checklist. Further, if a product is well or not well aligned for a particular standard, there may not be a need to go further to each sub-standard listed. Mr. Goodwin will look to revise the evaluation tool for a future meeting.

Communication Roundtable

Ms. Virnelli was excited to hear about the purchase of Reflex Math; she reiterated the enthusiasm generated among students and the high gains in proficiency attained.

Ms. O’Connor requested professional development time to show staff the many features and benefits of the library databases.  Many of the databases integrate well with Google Classroom.

Ms. Wladarczyk and Ms. O’Connor spoke of the value of the new Follett library management system. The system is much easier and faster for basic library functions, particularly checking out books, search capability and report generation. Next year, the system will be more integrated with a Google login and allow students to post reviews of books. It was noted the system is very appealing to students since it features covers of books by category and covers recently added to the collection. The library clerks were thanked for their assistance in the transition to Follett.

Ms. Wladarczyk thanked Mr. Goodwin for the access to a printer in the library.

Meeting Schedule for 2018-2019 Year, 2019-2020 Year

2018-2019: Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.: June 4. Meetings will be held in the Citizen Genet conference room. The list of meetings can also be found on the TEG website.

2019-2020: Tentative dates are all Tuesdays: September 10, October 1, November 5, January 14, February 11, March 10, April 7, May 12, June 9 (Times to be announced)

Adjournment – 5:25 p.m.