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NH Statewide Educational
Technology Council

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


October 1, 2003 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM


North Country Education Services, Gorham

Members in Attendance:

Deb Couture, Keene LESCN
Matt Treamer & Lori Langlois, Berlin LESCN
Cyndy Currier, Manchester LESCN
Bob Haurand, Exeter LESCN
John Moulis, Berlin SAU
Wendy Siebrands, Claremont School District
Dorinda Gibney, Merrimack School District & NHSTE
Ellen Swain, Woodsville School District
Cheryl Baker, Plymouth State University
Philip Girard, Crotched Mountain, Greenfield
Danielle Bolduc, Oyster River School District & NHSTE
Kent Chamberlin, UNH Durham
Frank Windsor, NHPTV
Kevin Shyne, Pathways Pgm (attended for Kim Runion, NHDOE)
NHDOE: Cathy Higgins, Chrys Bouvier, Dan Cherry, Karen Grant


After Cathy Higgins welcomed everyone, Chrys Bouvier spoke briefly about the critical function of the local Center sites (LESCN), the fact that they are the primary points of implementation of our state tech plan, and that each Center was represented at the meeting by one or two Center staff persons. The Council serves an important function as an advisory group to the NHDOE, relative to educational technology. Council members, in talking with their peers in the field about Council discussions, bring back ideas and concerns from the groups they represent.

Members were asked to introduce themselves and indicate one or more technology tools they feel are essential to use in their current position. Their list of essential tools includes: Laptop, Palm pilot, Internet, Email, Computer and Internet, iSight or other webcam, Smartphones with Palm OS, a good communication software package, digital video camera, digital still camera, flash drive.

State Ed Tech Plan Goal 1 – Access to information technology

Members gathered into smaller groups according to their region of the state and proximity to one of the four local Centers. With facilitation by OET staff members Chrys Bouvier, Cathy Higgins, Karen Grant, and Dan Cherry, the Council looked at current access in each region with regard to Technology Foundations (computers, tech tools, software, etc.) and Connectivity (bandwidth, LANs, videoconferencing, community access, etc.). Discussion centered around current strengths and weaknesses in each region. The group gathered back together to report their insights and ideas:

Thoughts from Western NH:

  • 25% of the equipment is outdated.
  • Computer platforms are about 55% Mac and 45% PC based.
  • There is a strong need for professional development in classroom integration of technology, as reflected by a predominance of schools at level 1 on the Level of Technology Implementation (LoTi) assessment survey.
  • There is a need for technology coordinators in districts, so that there would be someone on staff with the time and expertise to facilitate technology based activities, complete online surveys, technology plans and reports, etc.
  • Although most schools are connected, about 50% of them have the bandwidth capacity of a T1 line, while the other 50% have slower lines.
  • There are no video conferencing portals for distance learning in any western schools.
  • A suggestion was made to consider asking survey questions about actual numbers of each type of technology tool (i.e., number of GPS units, number of LCD projectors, number of digital video cameras, etc.)
  • With regard to assistive technology tools available for students with special needs, it was observed that it might be too difficult to count the variety of categories of tools from one school to the next.  However, the Bureau of Special Education is working with the ASSETT organization to gather this information using a statewide survey.

Thoughts from Eastern NH (Seacoast area):

  • There was a question whether we could see any impact on the student to computer ratios in schools that had previously received technology grants. We currently do not have data available to answer this question.
  • There are issues with replacement cycles in schools, which members felt were at least partly due to funding constraints.
  • Looking at the student to computer ratios, each region has approximated the state tech plan goal of 5:1 ratio. However, this includes modern computer levels B, C, and D as defined on our School Technology Survey. The ratios change dramatically (closer to 16:1 ratio) when considering only level D computers. See hardware question #10 at
  • There was discussion about computers and other technology tools.
    • What level and type of computers are schools buying?
    • Are we advocating laptops or desktops?
    • Are schools purchasing based on productivity functions similar to those used in business and industry or are schools purchasing based on educational functions?
    • If there were more mobile environments (laptop labs, handheld tools), would increase to access equate to increase of use?
  • There is a difference between user ability levels with regard to technology and school ability levels (i.e., power users vs occasional users). Is there a difference in teacher access to technology depending on their level of implementation? If teachers demonstrate a plan for effective use, are they provided incentives in the form of additional technology tools? Does an increase in access equate to an increase in use? Are great teachers still great teachers whether they regularly use technology or not?
  • Leadership is critical at the administrator level and discussed ways to have a greater affect statewide on administrators. The SALT Program is one initiative having an affect. It is important to provide access to a variety of tools for administrators to use, such as tech classroom observation tools, templates for internal RFP processing for their school tech budget (i.e., teachers propose use of tech dollars for specific purposes).
  • Consider ways to calculate bandwidth access on a per pupil basis. This might be important when looking at internal vs external bandwidth. For example, ATM lines are great to have, but what about internal bottlenecks within school networks?
  • It is possible to have a single statewide network managed by one entity, but the politics of doing so can be problematic.
  • It is important to hold people accountable for how they use technology and ensure that assessment activities provide a way of measuring effectiveness.
  • Members questioned why we would need research on effectiveness of 1:1 laptop programs if we didn’t conduct research on 1:1 textbook programs. ???

Thoughts from North Country NH:

  • Provide adequate explanation of each question on the NHDOE School Technology Survey to ensure consistency of the data collection across the state.
  • Some schools haven’t invested in their technology infrastructure in as much as 6 years.
  • Effective online data collection systems can improve decision making.
  • District technology leadership needs to be promoted. Full time staffing instead of part time can make a difference in technology impact.
  • Problems with standardization of software applications need to be resolved, to ensure that an electronic file is accessible to anyone, not just to those who have the same software version and operating system. School technology plans should address software compatibility issues.
  • The Computers in the Schools (CITS) Program should be more pro-active about promoting student use of the computers from this program. Ensuring that computers are not redirected to administrative use would affect the student to computer ratios.
  • Budget difficulties sometimes have a more dramatic affect on schools in the North Country.  For example, a 10% budget cut in a smaller district creates more difficulty than it would in a large district receiving a 10% cut.

Thoughts from South Central NH:

  • A few districts have probably updated to T1 since the last technology survey results were compiled.
  • A suggestion was made to revise the technology survey to include questions on adaptive assistive tools and to identify school educators who are experts in this arena to serve regional and statewide needs.
  • When discussing NCLB allocation funds, it was noted that the funding application cannot place restraints on how districts use these entitlement funds, other than requiring consistency with their district technology plans. Federal guidelines dictate the required elements of their technology plans.
  • Add a question on the technology survey about numbers of individual students who have dedicated technology equipment for special needs. Consider how that might also affect the reported student to computer ratios.
  • Another example of the affect on ratios is the practice of high schools counting computers which are located within the Vocational Tech Centers as part of their high school ratios, when in reality those computers are distributed more widely across a student body from several high schools.
  • Consider whether districts are conducting technology audits to ensure efficiency and adherence to policy, ethics, etc. as stated within their technology plans.
  • Connectivity needs to be T1 or equivalent for all schools in the state.
  • Matching technology to the task: Is there an awareness of how assistive technology is used and how one determines what tools to provide to a student with special needs? How do you figure out who in a district is expert? What are your human resources in a district, region, or across the state?


State Ed Tech Plan Goal 3
Student Technology and Info Literacy Skills

Time was spent after lunch discussing goal 3 of the state plan by first looking at activities and measures of classroom use of technology: (1) the LoTi Survey and (2) GIS Curriculum Implementation. This was followed by discussion of instructional opportunities involving technology and a brief update on the revisions to School Minimum Standards document.

LoTi Survey: Dan Cherry, SALT Program Coordinator, reviewed State Results of the LoTi Survey and the significance of LoTi Levels to achieve this goal. Discussion focused on the importance of implementing technology in all areas and on assisting educators to engage their students in higher order thinking and problem solving activities. The council reviewed the LoTi State Report from 2002, noting that our state’s overall LoTi levels correspond to the national levels.

GIS Curriculum: Kevin Shyne, School-to-Work Consultant, introduced Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software and provided examples of its use by students in NH schools. Kevin collaborated with Margaret Heaney, Professor of Geographic Information Systems, NHCTC-Berlin, to provide a wealth of background information on current use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) units within middle schools, high schools, and post secondary institutions. The Council discussed the possibilities for using GIS software in a variety of ways.

  • Kevin described the GIS Pathways Curriculum currently under development. This is funded by Tech Prep monies and is one of 16 pathways being created for NH schools by NH educators. Schools can expand their pathways course offerings for students by including GIS courses, which can help students in several different career paths. For example, students who study GIS in the trades program can be helped into architectural or other career paths.
  • GPS units range from $400 to several thousand. The base units are adequate to conduct many school projects.
  • Littleton received a grant from NASA to use GPS units.
  • These are like Gameboys to kids.
  • Schools can conduct projects with community involvement that will benefit both the students and a specific town planning need. Berlin City Bank even provided a computer lab setup within their bank space, complete with GIS software.
  • Mt Washington Observatory has facilitated activities with GPS.
  • Arcview software from ESRI is the industry standard.
  • There is a software grant possibility from ESRI which would provide small amount of GIS software to the state. Kevin and OET staff are looking into this.
  • Although GIS sessions have previously been offered at the McAuliffe Technology Conference, members suggested it would be valuable to offer a session specifically on the GIS Pathways.
  • Contact those teachers who have used GIS – GPS in some way, such as Phil Brown at Concord High School and Sheila Adams in Rye.

Revision of School Standards                

The Council was given a brief update on the School Minimum Standards document revision process and asked to provide feedback on the recommendations currently under consideration. Members were directed to the standards link on the Office of Educational Technology web site at

Next Steps

  • Council meeting minutes will be distributed via email and on the Council web pages, along with further actions taken to address topics discussed at Council meeting.
  • OET will update members via email regarding action steps initiated during Council discussions.
  • Cathy Higgins and Kevin Shyne will pursue options to use GIS software to map out some of the data from the state’s annual tech survey.

The meeting adjourned at 2:30 p.m. 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 will be held on January 7, 2004 in Exeter.


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