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
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,
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
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- 25% of the equipment is outdated.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 http://nheon.org/oet/survey02/TechSurveyPrelim2002.htm.
- There was discussion about computers and other technology
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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.
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.
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.
are like Gameboys to kids.
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.
Washington Observatory has facilitated activities with GPS.
software from ESRI is the industry standard.
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.
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.
those teachers who have used GIS – GPS in some way, such as
Phil Brown at Concord High School and Sheila Adams
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 http://nheon.org/oet/standards/standardsrevision.htm
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.
will update members via email regarding action steps initiated
during Council discussions.
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.
site is a part of
We welcome comments about
how this site could be more helpful to you.
maintained by NHDOE Office of Educational Technology