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NH Statewide Educational
Technology Council

 NHEON >> Office of Ed Tech >> Tech Council
Meeting Minutes


January 7, 2004 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM


Seacoast Professional Development Center, Exeter

Members in Attendance:

Bev Straneva, Keene LESCN
Matt Treamer, Berlin LESCN
Lori Langlois, Berlin LESCN
Ellen Swain, Haverhill SAU

Mike Alberts, Littleton, NE Wire Co.
Chris Nelson, Manchester LESCN
Bob Haurand, Exeter LESCN
Steve Kossakoski, Exeter LESCN
Warren Henderson, Exeter, PC Outreach
John Moulis, Berlin SAU
Dorinda Gibney, Merrimack School District & NHSTE
Cheryl Baker, Plymouth State University
Philip Girard, Crotched Mountain, Greenfield
Danielle Bolduc, Oyster River School District & NHSTE
Ann Hoey, NH State Library
NHDOE: Cathy Higgins, Dan Cherry

Local Educational Support Centers

Steve Kossakoski and Bob Haurand described the creation of the Seacoast Professional Development Center (SPDC) as one of the state's four initial Centers. They talked about the kinds of professional development that has been planned and offered and initial results being reported by teachers and administrators. Steve noted that because of the district policy of requiring teachers to use technology, many teachers voluntarily signed up for SPDC training. They said they knew they would be supported.

The value of the Centers was noted, such as the incredible talent among educators within the districts which are now being tapped, and the ability to use videoconferencing over the GSDLN to each area of the state to delivery full day content to teachers.

Bev Straneva, Chris Nelson, Matt Treamer, and Lori Langlois, from the Keene, Manchester, and North Country Centers respectively, described their ongoing activities. Some discussion focused on Intel training, including graduate credits available for Intel training through Plymouth State and Keene State. The use of "Tech Buddies" and creation of WebQuests by participants in south central area has been well received and principals are now asking about the concept. The North Country Center added a Mac lab for their workshops, the science workshops are proceeding well, and they will be supporting a team to attend the ICE-T program at PSU this summer.

Laptops in Schools

Dan Cherry provided an update on the Governor's laptop initiative, and the group discussed possibilities for learning from it. It was noted that teachers will continue to need PD support to make best use of the laptops available to their kids. They, as well as any other teacher, can benefit from PD being offered by the Centers to address higher order thinking skills. In time, the Council agreed that the schools who are piloting this initiative will be able to share "lessons learned" for us to consider in future efforts to improve student to computing ratios.

Warren Henderson described the idea of "computer-a-thons" in communities to encourage computer donations from area businesses to be made available to students and schools.

State plan goal of achieving a 5:1 ratio

There was much discussion about this target ratio of students to computers, which some but not all schools have achieved. Council members suggested we consider changing the state plan goal to a 1:1 ratio. The reasoning is that the 1:1 ratio doesn't have to mean one laptop per each student. It could mean that there are enough computing tools in the school for every student and that there is a computing tool in every student's home. It could mean there are Palms or other PDA tools in some classrooms and desktops in other classrooms. Additional computers in other classrooms such as physical education and music should also be in the equation, but it was noted that instruction in these classes often doesn't require a computer for each student. Ratios should have relevancy to the instructional situation.

It was suggested that we might reframe our state plan targets for technology use today. For example, does the plan imply desktop PC? What about differentiated technology for different grade levels and types of content?

The council agreed to focus on the One-to-One Concept at the next council meeting to explore this idea further. OET will use the technology survey data to provide various data sets for this purpose to indicate how the ratios change with the inclusion or exclusion of the number of computers at levels B,C,D per school, district, and region.

State plan and community outreach

Members also discussed the idea of adding a section in the plan about community outreach. It was suggested that we consider creating some sort of position paper from the Council about bigger ideas, such as community-wide access. The inclusion of some technology best practices in the state plan would also be helpful to this outreach effort, as a way of showing and celebrating some of the promising projects with technology that can make a difference. Also noted was the fact that we should leverage more involvement of administrators.

Local tech planning

There was some discussion about local technology plans. It was noted that OET and a small team of educators created an online technology planning guide, which is now outdated. Each Center could host Tech Planning meetings to gather input for rewriting the guide, to learn what they have difficulty with in terms of planning and implementation, and what might improve the tech plan guide for them. It was also noted that we should consider changing the word "suggested" to "recommended" in the language of the technology plan approval guidelines.

Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

There seems to be great interest in districts to be trained on using GIS software and GPS units. Members were reminded that the DOE submitted a software grant proposal for GIS software which would provide demographic and transportation planning software. These would be extensions for ESRI's ArcView software. Members felt it would be worth it to proceed with a presentation being offered by EPS and DDP software companies about this. Cathy will work with the NC Center to set this up.

Next Steps

  • All members:
    • prepare for discussion of One-to-One Concept at the next council meeting,
    • send email (hit reply to all) to fellow members regarding what to include and where in the state plan to include (next revision) more about community outreach.
  • Cathy H - prepare data sets from tech survey data regarding ratios based on computer levels.
  • Cathy H - work with NC to set up GIS demo
  • Chrys B - discuss with Centers the idea of tech planning brainstorm meetings

The meeting adjourned at 2:30 pm with a reminder to members to periodically check the Council web pages and continue discussing today’s topics with others in their organizations. The next meeting of the full Council is scheduled for April 7, 2004 at the Keene Center.

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