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III. ACTION PLAN:    A. Technology Access    B. ICT Literacy    C. Professional Development    D. Community Involvement     [Data]

ICT Literacy Toolkit
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1. Standards
2. Research
3. Case Studies
4. ePortfolio Support
5. Presentations
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Effective Projects Case Study


ICT Literacy Training for Teachers at Profile School District


This is a story about a project that started 12/30/2006.

For more information, please contact: Jacques-Jude Lepine at


Implementation of new ICT standards through faculty training and network infrastructure upgrade


Funding: This project was supported by $15,700 from NCLB Title II-D (Educational Technology) and $0 in local funds. The project illustrates how federal funding supports “Technology literacy for all students - Implementing systemic changes through robust curriculum integration with technology (includes student work with digital tools, distance learning courses, etc.).” The project addressed the following grades and content areas: 

   Gr6-8    EngLangArts  Math  Science  SocSt  TheArts  Health - Title I reading


The Setting: Profile School is a 350 students rural school with an established reputation for excellence (2008 US News Silver Medal). Traditionally, technology is well supported with a full-time Network Administrator, a Technology Coordinator and a stable 25K-30K annual technology budget. When the new ICT standards were introduced, the Technology Committee determined that the current curriculum, with some minor adjustments, already meets or exceeds them. Our focus, therefore, has been the design, policy, training for, and implementation of student eportfolios. The Technology Committee, which includes the technology personnel, teachers, and board members has been the driving force behind this project.


The plot: Clearly, the biggest challenge has been the clarification of the requirements for e-portfolio and communicating them to the Middle School faculty. The second challenge has been, and still is, scheduling issues for a small group of MS students who are taking Title-I reading courses during IT courses (were it not for this grant, the cost of the technological upgrades required for making e-portfolios available to each student would have been a major challenge). Clarification and communication were gradually achieved through workshops at the local Educational Services Center (a trainer also came several times to the school), followed up by meetings between the Technology Coordinator and the Middle School Faculty, and the redaction of e-portfolio rubrics.  An additional, circumstantial challenge is a transitional building situation. Most classrooms, the administration, and core facilities are being gradually relocated into a new building. The process started in Sept 07 and is planned to be completed by June 09. At this stage, the biggest challenge remains scheduling issues for Title-I students. We opted for having the Title-I instructor, who is equipped with a full wireless computer lab, to design, in collaboration with the technology teacher and core curriculum teachers, cross-disciplinary projects suitable for e-portfolios.


The teachers: 8 teachers were directly involved. The Technology Committee includes the two Technology persons, four core-curriculum teachers and two School Board members. Four other MS teachers participated actively into the worshops, which means that 90% of the MS faculty got involved in the development of e-portfolio form (i.e., they were trained to use Acrobat Pro) and content (i.e., they provide input about the e-portfolio rubrics).


The students: Aggressive technology integration started at Profile over ten years ago. Today, student multimedia projects are common practice in most areas of the curriculum. The specific requirements of the portfolio helped the faculty identify the areas where this approach still had to be implemented. Faculty reported a new dimension in their relationship with students. Identifying and proposing projects geared toward the portfolio quality helped foster their role as facilitators in the learning process.  A clear benefit for students is that the e-portfolio is endowing them with control and responsibility (a teacher remains responsible, however, for the completion of the e-portfolio in due time). This sense of ownership definitely has an impact on the quality of the content and structural variety of the e-portfolio, as the students seem to perceive it as a reflection of who they are.


The data: Given the small size of the MS building and the daily MS faculty meetings, it is not an exaggeration to state that the Technology Coordinator is getting regular, “live” feedback from teachers about everything that involves technology. For this specific project, though, specific questions were asked at the end of each training session about the relevance and usefulness of the sessions, and the level of comfort of the faculty with the e-portfolio software, which was new for virtually everyone.


The difference: We are still in the early stage of the deployment of this project. One definite benefit for students is that this project implies the integration of technology in areas where it was not done before. It also implies a use of technology which integrates substantial critical thinking with working simultaneously across various areas of the curriculum. For instance, creating a website about the solar system allows the student to learn about science, develop his artistic capabilities, manipulate 2 and even 3-D proportions, work within given parameters, and explore (compare/contrast/communicate with) more developed, professional and educational sites on the topic. It is too early to evaluate the impact of the project using an empirical approach such as a database. However, teachers have now decided, as a group, to coordinate their class projects so that, by their time of completion, e-portfolios include a large technological variety of artifacts. By the end of next year, students will have used a larger variety of IT tools. This will be measurable, based on an analysis of the content of e-portfolios.


Essential conditions: Funding was absolutely critical. The cost of a new server, necessary to handle e-portfolios storage, including back-up system, portfolio software and training, represents about half the cost of Profile annual IT budget. Without a grant, implementation would have been extremely problematic.


Changes for the future: Taking the time, right at the outset, to establish a more detailed, step by step, implementation calendar. Reflecting on the past months, we’ve achieved a lot, basically deciding where to go from there at each step of the process, using a time frame based on no solid deadline except for reports and grant spending deadlines. A more systematic approach would save time. No change seems to be necessary at this point. Presumably, the first assessment of e-portfolio variety and technological and academic depth will be followed by a fine tuning of the assessment itself, its parameters and interpretation.


Recommendations: New ICT requirement implementation, especially the conception and deployment of the technological infrastructure for e-portfolios, looks a bit overwhelming for teachers and IT people. Our recommendation would be the following: 1. Make sure that clarification of the expectations for teachers and demo of existing e-portfolios are made at an early stage of the project. 2. Plan enough PD time for teachers during the year of implementation for learning about e-portfolios and also designing for themselves, as a group, the whole process of selecting and assembling the artifacts. 3. Make sure that one person or committee has responsibility for the coordination of the diverse aspects of the project. 4. Make sure that there is an ongoing communication between all parties involved.


Telling our story: A year ago, the Technology Coordinator presented to the Committee On Instruction (COI) the new ICT requirements and how the school was intending to meet them. In the beginning of 2007-08, he gave two other presentations to the COI. The first one was an overview of Profile portfolio rubrics; the second one was a demo of a variety of portfolio quality artifacts and the portfolio assembly process, using Acrobat Pro. The COI is composed of administrators, board members, teachers, parents and students. It is one of the most effective communication platforms throughout the school and community.


Documents to share:  We did not use a promotional document.