NH State Educational Technology Council

Southwestern New Hampshire Educational Support Center

Meeting Minutes

April 7, 2004


Attendees:  Bev Straneva, Deb Couture, Matt Treamer, Chris Nelson, Bob Haurand, Phil McCormack, Wendy Siebrands, Danielle Bolduc, Ellen Swain, Phil Gerard, Mike Alberts, Ann Hoey, Ken Chamberlain, Cathy Higgins, Karen Grant.


Phil McCormack thanked everyone for coming and expressed appreciation to the staff at CIRTT and the Southwest NH Center for the work they’ve done getting the Keene center up and running.


Cathy Higgins welcomed members to the meeting. After a round of introductions, she explained that the heart of Council is the Educational Support Centers and their work as primary implementation sites of the state tech plan. This is why it has been important to hold this year’s council meetings at each of the newly formed centers. Cathy thanked Deb Couture for agreeing to facilitate the meeting and Jill Hart for taking a full day of notes.


Deb Couture reviewed the evolution of CIRTT (the meeting location). CIRTT began with the concept of a central collection of audio visual resources. It has evolved into support for technology in education. With the opportunity for developing a Center, the goal was to expand services – beyond SAU – and that is happening through the SWnhESC. Thus, in another five years, we anticipate many changes and enhancements yet to come.


Icebreaker: Deb facilitated a communication exercise geared toward reminding members of the importance of listening and cooperating.


Center Reports


SWnhESC - Bev Straneva

Keene is adding a Mac lab next to the current lab, which will become a lab with wireless Gateway laptops. This makes Keene a multi-platform Center and makes it more user friendly for groups. Developing partnerships is an ongoing process. Claremont submitted a proposal for funding as a satellite of the Keene center. This has the potential for collaborative growth for both districts, should Claremont get funded. Monadnock (SAU38) is working with Keene on more Intel teacher training. Seats will be available for other districts to send participants. ConVal has reached out with their online course development work. Discussions are now underway with Fall Mountain to replicate the tech partner program there. Kearsarge is planning a summer program with tech partners. Upcoming sessions at Keene… Taming the Web, Train the Trainers – another summer forum, NHPTV – Summer Institute.


Exeter Seacoast ESC - Bob Haurand

Seacoast summer institutes now will include 8 school districts, with the additional of twelve districts in 04-05. Exeter is hosting a CLL workshop for paraeducator training, a School-IQ session (Victoria Burnhart) is being offered, workshop dates for Middle School teachers are now being decided, an Intel program is scheduled in July, and other programming is running through August. Exeter applied for the Induction with Mentoring grant, which will provide for a peer mentoring program for new teachers with less than 3 years experience. The funding source is the federal Teacher Quality Enhancement grant.


Manchester Educational Support Center – Chris Nelson

Manchester has refocused the grant to largely Manchester and its feeder districts of Bedford, Candia, Auburn, and Hoosett. The new teacher program continues, a summer program where new teachers will learn how to integrate technology into the classroom using web quests. They will be teamed up with mentor teachers. An arrangement with Plymouth State is setup to offer a Masters program to teachers. A partnership with NHPTV is being developed, working with the Content Enhancement program, and have applied for the Induction with Mentoring grant.


North Country ESC- Matt Treamer

Deb Stuart is offering a distance learning course for paraprofessionals, bringing technology into the classroom via PDA, distance learning, digital learning, and more. North Country is working with Dan Cherry on some NH SALT activities, working on submitting a RUS Grant, and teaming up with Plymouth on a Math Grant.


Other Reports


NH PTV- Kelly Clark

NHPTV is working on a series that looks at different issues in technology. What they discovered is that there’s such a vast array of experience and understanding of technology implementation. They are working with the North Country to apply for a TOP Grant to expand distance learning where there is a high community need which could reap great benefits from distance learning and technology. The ability to do data casting offers the potential of 300 hours of programming to be delivered in digital format. They offer PBS Teacher Line, an online professional development series of courses which begins with getting participants together for one initial class. The remaining classes are online. There is a Friday conference call to discuss the program with facilitators, an Intro session in May, a brochure is being developed, and the web site will be updated. Info is being provided to centers on what is being offered content wise and about video streaming capability to enhance the centers’ RUS grant applications. They are evaluating their work with an educational focus and developing a strategic plan that will be delivered to their board of governors.


NH Department of Education - Cathy Higgins

Chrys Bouvier has moved to a position within the Bureau of Credentialing, managing the TQE grant. Cathy now manages the federal Ed Tech funding. Revision of school minimum standards is still in process.


Dr. McCormack is on the standards task force helping to develop the new standards and gave an update on the status. The standards will not be ready by 10/04 as originally expected and there is no revised timeline yet. At the group’s last meeting there were five state board members in attendance. There was some back and forth discussion between whether to develop ideal or minimum standards. Progress was made regarding what programs must be offered and what students need with respect to credits. They did not get to discuss the distance learning section and its impact on High Quality Teaching. For example, distance learning would allow us to share Latin teachers between Keene and Fall Mountain. Real world learning opportunities is a concept under discussion and being promoted.


Cathy further explained that the intent of the ed tech recommendations for standards was to embed technology through all content areas through the expectation of students creating digital portfolios. A new distance education section would replace the outdated correspondence course section. One concept under consideration now at the Department is how to support or encourage the development of a statewide virtual school.


Action: Hinsdale High School should be part of any discussions on virtual schools, as they are very involved in virtual learning.


NH Department of Education - Karen Grant

Regarding the PT3 grant (preparing tomorrow’s teachers to use technology), the centers have done a great job with their activities this spring, offering portfolio training and working on websites. Karen’s position ends on 5/31/04 with the completion of the federal PT3 grant.


General Question about the Consolidated Grant Applications

There will be a ConApp meeting at the Center of NH on May 10 for districts to learn about each title fund. It was suggested that district people who write these grants should attend a training session at the Centers on completing the on line application forms.


Action:  Cathy will research this possibility for the next round.


History of the Statewide Educational Technology Council

Deb suggested that Cathy help members better understand the purpose and function of the council and what members can do. The council has existed for about eight years. It was established as an advisory council, primarily for the purpose of developing a state educational technology plan. The state is required to have a plan and to have it approved by the U.S. Department of Education in order to receive federal educational technology dollars. The previous plan was written with the Technology Literacy Challenge Grants in mind. At that time, there was also a joint legislative committee focused on statewide technology issues. Upon the completion of the 1998 technology plan, the legislative representatives decided to dissolve that committee, in light of the presence of this state Technology Council and its ability to provide representation from all stakeholders.


The primary function of the council is to advise on the implementation of the goals envisioned in the state plan. The current state plan (2002) describes the Local Educational Support Centers as a key delivery system of technology and professional development services to districts. It was suggested that the Council needs to meet quarterly, and the Centers should meet monthly. 


Action:  Think about ways the centers can help implement the state plan, and how the council can support the centers.


Members were asked to think about future ideas for topics to be dealt with by the Centers, then write their ideas on post it notes. These were shared with the group and discussed. It was noted that many new ideas come from Council meetings, but the challenge is to find the time to implement these new ideas. Consider focusing on two topics per meeting agenda and on making progress on those selected items.


Action:  Jill will create an online survey (using www.surveymonkey.com ) so we can prioritize our Ideas-To-Do before our next meeting. Responses will be evaluated and results presented at the June meeting.  (The survey was posted and made available for completion until 4/16/04.)


Some of the ideas discussed:

·        Can we put out an RFP for video conferencing – for cost advantages for all schools?  Should we all use the same vendor for cost savings – or choose from two vendors and can there be center entities to aggregate the cost and realize savings? 

·        Should the council be aware of state initiatives like Connected University or MarcoPolo?  Should the Council give advisement on change in direction regarding anything that has to do with the state tech plan, i.e., how to get from here to there to meet a goal and how efforts should be redirected at times?

·        For the council to advise on such matters, we need to establish a good communication mechanism. Are most meetings attended by the same representatives? If yes, this will create ongoing consistency between meetings.  


Action:  Try to use more on line techniques including the Reply to all to generate ongoing discussion between meetings.


Action: Licenses for Connected University online courses run out at the end of June. Should we renew them? Discuss among the centers at the next center staff meeting.


Student to computer ratios – impacting student achievement


The state tech plan goal is to achieve 5 to 1 ratios in each school. This is not a mandate but a goal. A classroom with 4 –5 computers helps achieve some good learning, but can we look broadly at all tech tools to arrive at the ratios? Perhaps not all students will have laptops all the time, so what else can we use to bring technology to students hands?


Our tech survey data currently includes number of computers and ratios, but does not include numbers of PDA, Alphasmarts, and such. We know which schools are using such tools, but we don’t know how they are using them or how many or how frequently they are being used.  How do we want to frame the concept of computer ratios in the state plan and the work of the centers? Do we need to prove technology does impact student achievement first?  Yes, otherwise we are simply using stats - we should qualify utilization rates. For example, Manchester created mobile labs. Take a look at mobile labs and their power - what are our options – we must give direction regarding what we want to achieve. How can we quantify meaningful data regarding student achievement and technology use?


Should we compare student achievement data between students who have regular access to computers and those who do not? Can we determine a minimum number of hours we want our students to use computers? How do we close the gaps between haves and have nots? More access is an exponential climb.


What is the vision in the classroom? Paint a picture…. Create a set of scenarios with an example of computer use. What does it take? What difference does it make? Tie this to federal funding sources? The Centers can be very beneficial in creating the custom vision for districts.


“Prepare kids to use the technology of tomorrow, not of today.”


Action:  Look back at the proposals to see if the centers are achieving what they said they would. How can the Centers help with this vision of tech use to make a difference?


Action: How can we add/change the school tech survey and the LoTi intro questions to gain more data about access to tech tools and their affect on student learning? What are the questions to ask? For example - Do you have graphing calculators?  How often do you use them?  Within what content do you use them?


Danielle will set up a state survey committee – if interested in participating in this committee, email Danielle at:  dbolduc@orcsd.org


We are trying to find out if classroom teachers are moving to higher level thinking in their use of technology in classroom practice. How do we go from a LoTi Level two to a four?   Looked at lesson and brainstormed and came to certain realizations – insightful.  Can we think of a selection of questions to be added to the Loti?  How many hours a week can the kids actually access the technology?  Can we provide a resource to provide an analysis of computer utilization? Timing is right to make changes to Loti survey. Do we want to chunk out content area and grade to really get live classroom input? Describe classroom settings and tech usage – 1 to 1 ratio vs. 1 to 5 ratio usage weekly. Organize standards questions by content area – science, math, etc. What is the goal of Loti? See if we are making progress on tech plan goals. Increase access to technology? Is the infrastructure changing? How is the data being used? Link LoTi results to tech survey comparison report to give data with some meaning, and organize by region and by content area.


Another possibility is to look at the current questionnaire portion of the NHEIAP which asks students to respond to various questions on course content, assignments and other subject-related behavior.  That might be a very appropriate place and opportunity to add a few questions about technology use in the classroom in order to gain student perspective. 



State Tech Plan Goal 5: Digital content and network applications


Cathy answered questions regarding items in goal 5 of the state plan.


Standard email addresses: The first step to establish this has been taken. The K-12 domain addressing is now managed by the NHDOE. Schools send their K-12 domain applications or changes to the Office of Educational Technology, which then forwards the info to the state’s Office of Information Technology. OIT maintains the domain server. Staff update domain records as received. Once K-12 addresses are established for every school, NHDOE will implement standard email addressing. Are schools aware of how to set up servers to receive email? This may be something with which Centers can offer to assist schools.


Tracking Professional Development: Districts are struggling to find the most useful packages. What about web based PD management system? The Bureau of Credentialing is currently working on a system. Discuss this further at center meetings and provide feedback to council. Exeter has their own PD software to track participation at Center sponsored events.


NH-SALT and impact on SAU 29: This program has had an impact on administrators. During SALT year two, there were 6 administrators. There’s always a 2 day session kick off, followed by quarterly meetings in the region. SALT readings are very valuable. Administrators use technology to meet licensing standards in technology. Some districts use Title II-A for monies to pay for administrators to attend course. Claremont participated in SALT – very valuable – exceptional readings.


Virtual Schools: We can begin to see collaborations with distance learning – when we have a few more RUS grants we can turn the corner on distance learning.


Action:  Make available virtual opportunities. What steps does the council think that the center can take to move these opportunities forward? What kinds of content to does NH PTV already have access to which educators would like? How can NHPTV help push more content to education?  How can we utilize the tech council to further this work? Do we divide into two main areas of workgroups -- access and use?  It all goes back to content and usage. For example, can three schools get together to offer Latin classes? The answer is yes through distance learning. Distance Learning Listservs provide worlds of distance opportunities. One interesting site using open source software is www.moodle.org which is open source online course software.


NHPTV is interested in archiving local history facts – moving towards being able to send info to servers for data casting – all you need is a PC card and antennae to do receiving and file server. Mention was made of efforts at Dartmouth and Microsoft to archive video events. How can we overcome bandwidth problems? How do we aggregate purchases of digital resources given the demand is district by district? For example, AIMS Multimedia has “Digital Curriculum.” An alternative is United Streaming. These are two content providers – great content different products.


Survey school needs – one question is who takes charge of the projects?  Is it led by the centers?  The centers are responsible for needs assessment. They ask vendors to send out free products, and the centers host events to showcase products. Then teachers get to use them – focus on key products and services that we want to look at. Consider bringing vendors to tech coordinator meetings – there are advantages and disadvantages.


Data Team at the NHDOE: There exists a team within the Department, which currently does not meet. This group resolved some data issues, and some data elements are now being worked on within the Department.


Action:  Cathy will research the status of these efforts and share at a future meeting.


Next meetings


The council currently meets once each quarter in fall, winter, and spring. Members decided at this meeting that they needed to meet again via videoconference before the end of the academic year.


June 4, 2004 – Matt Treamer will schedule a two hour video-conference for this date. He will need to know by 5/27/04 which sites are required for members to attend. His email is matt@ncedservices.org.


Fall - September 2004 – North Country

Winter – December 2004 – Manchester

Spring – March 2005 – Keene

Summer – June 2005 – Exeter