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Technology Committee Minutes – September 10, 2019

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Call to Order – 4:04 p.m.

Attendance

  • Admin: Mr. Edson, Mr. Goodwin, Mr. Grignon, Mr. Kilmartin, Mr. McHugh
  • Board: Ms. Muth
  • Committee: Ms. Bernard, Mr. Defrias, Ms. Demarco, Ms. Duncan, Mr. Ecker, Ms. Mahar, Ms. O’Connor, Ms. O’Neil, Ms. Shepardson,  Ms. Snyder, Ms. Virnelli, Ms. Wladarczyk

General Update

  • Multi-Function Printing: Implementation of the project is complete at the elementary schools and middle school.  A phase-in approach is planned for the high school due to the size of the building and number of staff.  Mr. Ecker requested the ability to send jobs to the printer from home. This would also be helpful for ENL teachers in multiple buildings and classrooms.  It was noted that Chromebook printing will be limited to teacher accounts. Sessions on using Copier MFP project devices with Flubaroo were requested.
  • SmartSchools Plan:  ViewSonic Panels were installed in Columbia’s third floor North & South Towers.  Additional panels were installed at Goff. Mr. Goodwin noted the need to plan for additional panels due to wall preparation.  Panels for elementary schools are projected for installation in late September or October.
  • Phones:  The installation of the phone system is nearly complete.  The system’s main server is at Genet with a duplicate at Columbia to ensure functionality.  POTS (plain old telephone service) lines are still in place at each building in the event of emergency power loss.  A small number of phones are yet to be installed in locations where additional wiring is needed. Mr. Ecker asked if the backlight on the phones could be brightened.  Mr. Goodwin said he would research the matter. Mr. Grignon expressed concern about intermittent disruption on the lines; Mr. Goodwin said he believed that was due to programming still occurring in the system.  Ms. Bernard said that traveling teachers do not have access to voicemail. Mr. Goodwin said he will be assigning these teachers “phantom” extensions and that their voicemail will travel to their gmail.
  • Professional Development Days:  Half-day professional development days on October 4 and February 7 will include a focus on technology.  Mr. McHugh advised that teachers are ready for more specific, targeted professional development on how to use the technology in subject areas.  Sessions will be limited to 25-30 people and also focus on professional collaboration among departments and grade level team members. The November 5 full-day session will be a regional day with Questar III BOCES.  No schedule is available at this time, although individual school districts have provided information on professional development needs. The March full-day session will involve personal wellness, safety and self-reflection. Mr. Goodwin and the ViewSonic vendor will be at the high school and middle school for two days each to answer staff questions.  Ms. Snyder requested vendors be available for October 4 and February 7. Mr. Goodwin explained that some of the training will be through webinars.  Ms. Snyder asked for consideration of the NYSCATE model that discusses several products at once and provides contact information to participants. This is called and App Smash, or a Smash Up.
  • 1:1 Chromebook Project:   Seventh and eighth grade Chromebooks were collected at year-end and redistributed at the start of the school year.  Mr. Goodwin said this procedure is being reevaluated. Additional carts have been purchased for the elementary schools.  Some Chromebooks collected from seniors were put to use in the summer school program.
  • ViewSonic 7550 Interactive Flat Panels:  The board allows for casting between it and a tablet or iPhone. The panels will also support the old VGA environment. The life expectancy of a panel  is about five years.
  • MvViewBoard Intro:  The group watched a brief video on how to utilize the MyViewBoard.  The product is a digital whiteboard in the cloud built with online interactive technologies that allow individuals to access tools through touch displays.  MyViewBoard allows instant access to curriculum content, annotations and drawings on the content, storage in an account, and remote management.

Smart Schools Planning

Mr. Goodwin explained that the District still has remaining funds from the original Smart Schools allocation.  Mr. McHugh and Mr. Goodwin will be drafting a new plan at the end of the month for unused funds. Mr. Goodwin suggested consideration of sustainability of Chromebooks and purchasing more ViewSonic panels.  He requested committee members to email him any other suggestions over the next few weeks. Members requested additional carts and new Chromebooks for existing carts.

Communication Roundtable

Ms. Snyder requested a roll-in presentation board on behalf of Mr. Sankey for events such as parents night.  Mr. Goodwin said that a plan is in process to reinvent Goff TV.

Ms. Snyder requested that digital versions of textbooks be considered when purchasing new textbooks, particularly those that can be easily accessed.  Mr. McHugh said the requests should be part of the five-year program review process. Ms. Shepardson said many of the textbooks could be accessed through Powerschool or the publisher’s website.

Mr. Kilmartin asked if the procedure could be modified for approval of extensions and apps.  Mr. Goodwin said the initial procedure had been put in place for network security, however acknowledged that it could be cumbersome for the high school.  He requested to meet with Mr. Kilmartin to develop an alternate procedure.

Ms. Mahar asked for a dashboard of apps in Clever.  Ms. O’Connor said this is already available on the library system.  

Mr. Ecker asked for a master list of resources available to teachers and in use.  He said that some evaluation of the resources would also be helpful. Discussion ensued about sharing programs among levels and introducing students to programs that they might use in future grades.

Mr. Goodwin distributed charts about the effectiveness of Reflex Math at grades 3 and 4.  Mr. Goodwin also advised that licensing is ready and questions should be sent to him by email.

Ms. Snyder requested additional chargers for teacher use when students do not have a working Chromebook.  Discussion ensued about student responsibility for charging technology. However, it was noted that the teacher not having the charger causes disruption to the class.

Mr. Ecker expressed concern with accessing Youtube through Google because Google has suspended all YouTube Brand accounts that connect to a domain that ends in.edu.  Mr. Goodwin requested he be sent an email so that he can request that Google reactivate any such accounts. He also noted that the bookmarks for Youtube videos should return once the account is reactivated.

Meeting Schedule for 2019-2020 Year

2019-2020: all Tuesdays at 4:00 p.m.: September 10, October 1, November 5, January 14, February 11, March 10, April 7, May 12

Adjournment – 5:48 p.m.