Friday, March 26, 2004
Technology blossoms at CPS
This past year the Carlisle Public School has added a full time technology teacher, Cyd McCann, and a mobile iBook lab donated by the Carlisle Education Foundation (CEF) and the Carlisle School Association (CSA).
McCann told the Carlisle School Committee (CSC) Wednesday evening, March 17, that last fall each teacher was asked to provide an update of the use of technology in the teacher's classroom. With this information, an assessment will be evaluated of current technology use in the grades and within the context of the K-8 curriculum program. This plan will also identify professional development necessary to implement the goals and determine whether the necessary hardware and software are available.
Superintendent Davida Fox-Melanson said, "McCann has accelerated our program way ahead of all expectations." School Committee member Michael Fitzgerald agreed, "The program is moving at lightning speed and has made a quantum leap this year."
Focus, standards, goals
The Technology Library Group of Steven Moore, Cyd McCann, Carolynn Luby and Sandy Kelly provided an extensive draft of the focus, standards and goals of technology for the Carlisle Public School to be reviewed and voted on by the School Committee later in the year. Members of the group will meet with representatives from the Concord Schools and the Concord-Carlisle High School to determine expectations for the Carlisle students. The State Department of Education also has available the School Technology and Readiness (STAR) Guidelines to help schools such as Carlisle develop plans for the use of technology within its system.
From this information, McCann reported that benchmarks and standards for the use of technology will be developed for the Carlisle School and the standards will be broken down and determined to be appropriate for each grade level.
The draft version of the report begins with a mission statement. Technology will be "fully integrated into our educational institution — from individual students to administrators — by developing a systematic approach for acquiring and implementing new technology; the training of staff in the use and integration of technology; and the continued maintenance and upgrading of existing technology." Technology will be used, "as a tool for routine daily instruction rather than a separate topic of learning."
The twelve goals include such standards as providing at least one type "A" computer for each classroom, having enough computers by the year 2006 for individual students in three separate classrooms; purchasing eight additional computers for the Library Media Center, having available a second mobile laptop lab; and maintaining sufficient technology and staff training levels. Ultimately the school hopes to develop formal programs and positions that "integrate the student's attainment of computer literacy within the existing curriculum and teach students to become effective, capable, and critical users of information and technology."
All grade levels
This technology is for all grade levels. McCann brought to the School Committee's attention a second-grade study of Alaska. A colorful spreadsheet with balloons of information and connecting lines demonstrated visually the relationships and characteristics of all aspects of Alaska such as wildlife, the history, climate, the weather, land use and size, recreation, water, and festivals.
This process of using diagrams helps the children organize information and is a great tool for "visual learners," McCann told the CSC. "Eighty percent of the students in the sixth grade," said McCann, "prefer to use the diagram design rather than an outline form. It makes a starting tool for a document." The students are able to work at their own pace, added CSC member Nicole Burkel. CSC members agreed that kids loved the projects and showed a real desire to learn the necessary keyboard and typing skills.
© 2004 The