October 23, 2009: Monthly ITS Meeting


(Absent: Robert Alford, Rose Fiduk, Alice (Bunny) Barnard, John Powell, Maury Rhynard)

Morning Agenda for All ITSs (8:00 - 1:00) (Bold = Primary Presenter):
- Visit and snacks (8:00 - 8:30)
- Celebrations (MJ)
  • Cactus Ranch received money for Pluto project.
  • Mark and Fern Bluff students and Robert and Cactus Ranch students had a web-cam Math Jeopardy competition.
  • Mark received money for Flip cameras as a grant
  • Julie Haney received money for Lego Mindstorms project so that all students can participate in Robotics
  • Charlotte (Great Oaks Elementary) received SMARTboard for Music
  • Sommer Elementary received money for Lego Mindstorms kits
  • Union Hill received iPods to use with reading intervention
  • Stony Point (9th Grade) received a SMARTboard
  • Monday night celebration (Oct. 19) was a very nice event to see the ITS walk on the field with their leadership teams - would have been nice to have the ITS shirts.
- Do we need Envision training? (see Future Trainings an Plans below) (MJ)
  • MJ asked to see who needs it, several new ITS requested. So we will set up an elementary Envision training soon.
- Old Equipment and Software Deployment (Ed and Jan)
  • Go to Central Repository, then IS-Dell, you will find the latest prices. You need the employee number, which will be posted on the flier.
  • EPP changes every month (Ed suggested that the best prices are during the winter holidays and graduation times)
  • Old equipments - we need to keep trying to cycle old equipment out. However, with the Read180 program, we had to use the older machines because they were the only ones available. Ed believes that we should have placed new equipment with a new program, since we will have to replace the older equipment soon. Once equipment is retired, it's retired - no getting it back. Focus on getting and supporting newer equipment.
  • Latitude 600s are no longer supported - they need to be cycled out. The 610s are in their fifth year, so this is the last year of support. GX260s need to go away eventually, but we will continue to support them as long as it doesn't cost money to the district. We will not buy equipment for the 260s. There wasn't any money associated with the Read180 program, so the new schools (4 elementary - Voigt, Gattis, Robertson, Callison) will not have new equipment for it.
  • This is the one year we do not have a laptop/notebook refresh. Next year, we will have 2500 notebook refreshes. 5 years is about how much we can get out of a notebook.
  • Jan's group gets inundated with software deployment requests, but it gets prioritized. (Jan has family event so couldn't make it). The Flash update issue is not a RRISD issue; it has been widespread - a Flash issue. Jan is still researching. Brent said they have a fix and will send it out through Altiris.
  • Promethean projects started (rooms being fitted for Promethean boards), they will start walking through classrooms next week.
  • Update on new building: we have started moving into it last week. 20 staff members moved from administrative building to the new one and more will continue to move. The method of moving: staff first, then equipment. Issue: if Cisco switches do not come in on time, the move-in will be delayed. We hope to have moved in before winter break. The new technology center is near Cedar Valley MS. Love to give you a tour if you stop by. The January ITS meeting is scheduled in the new building. The training room is finished except for data projector that needs to be installed on the ceiling.
  • Not certain if all the principals know about the 5 year refresh timeline. Elementary needs to use all of the refresh money; the secondary schools usually do not spend all of the refresh money at once - prioritize what is needed urgently.
- Calculators - 45 minutes (Janet Palermo, Tricia Rothenberg)
  • RRISD Calculators-Vertically aligned: TI-10: Kinder-Gr.2, TI-15 Explorer: Gr.3-5, TI-73 Explorer: Gr.6-7, TI-83/84+: Grade 8-High School
  • There's continuity on what's on the calculators throughout the grade-levels.
  • The older grade levels get more function on calculators to include graphing capabilities.
  • TI-Smartview Emulator software is being requested by teachers to use
  • CBL (Calculator Based Lab) - 7 added this year, data can be collected through probes.
  • CBR (Calculator Based Ranger) - high schools received them last year (30 received last year), CBRs will allow you to collect real-time data
  • TI-Connect can be downloaded for free onto the calculators so that they can download apps to use.
  • TI-73 allows to collect and analyze data. (TEKS 8.12C exaple TAKS item, TEKS 6.10D example TAKS item)
  • SmartView Emulator licenses were purchased to show students what's happening with the graphing (shows calculator, graphs, and equations). Licenses were purchased for one computer per license.
  • Emulator keeps track of the keystroke history so you know what keys were pressed.
  • On TI-73, you can enter up to 6 sets of data. We all tried out example problems using the TI-73s.
  • There is a one-to-one correspondence between the lists of datas, so if there is a dimensional mismatch, it will give an error. TI-73s can do many different kinds of graphs: line graphs, scatter plots, histograms, bar graphs, circle graphs.
  • TI-73 training: last year, all 6th grade and 7th grade math teachers went through training. This year, they have created a TI-73 after-school support sessions (including Job-Alike). There was also funding for substitutes to attend as well.
  • TI-10 calculators are for training the younger students in the district - every K-2 student has one.
  • TI-15 Explorer calculators were purchased for every 3-5 students last year.
  • Why do elementary students need calculators: TEKS in K-5 requires the use of calculator technology; By grade 6, the TEKS require the use of graphing calculators; TI-15 Explorer is aligned vertically with the TI-10 for Grades K-2 and the TI-73 Explorer for Grades 6-7; Calculators are important tools for learning and doing mathematics - by 9th grade, students need to be using calculators efficiently for graphing and etc. Having the students familiar with the technology is advantageous for success.
  • TI-10 and 15 Explorers are used for: as a way to explore number concepts; as a tool for generating data that can be studied for patterns; as a highly efficient and accurate tool for computing in problem-solving contexts; as a tool for use when cumbersome computations are needed to solve problems.
  • Libraries have resource books available for teachers to use with calculators; also the electronic copies are available online (RRISD website > Academics > Mathematics > Elementary or Secondary > Mathematics Tools and Resources
  • TI Activities Exchange: all the activities that were created and approved of are posted online for other teachers to use.
  • The lessons are also linked in the ARRC under the Recommended Timeline as PDF documents.
  • education.ti.com - you can go to download Key Fonts for the calculator, but how to get it to teachers - up in the air.
  • Tutorials and videos are also available on the TI website that anyone can go to get started with the calculators.
  • Technical support 1-800-TI-CARES - anyone can call and they are very helpfu. Available M-Th 7AM-7PM, Fridays they have meetings.
  • The ITS all took the remaining time to explore a problem using the TI-15: Random Remainders. When you divide something that has remainders, it will give you the remainders in integer form or decimal form (two types of division buttons). The Problem-Solving key (Special key that looks like a hieroglyphic symbol) that gives you problems that you solve (algebraic). If you put in the wrong answer, it will give you a clue by giving you a "<" or ">" sign with your number.
  • How ITS can help: use tech funds to purchase software, ask the math experts of the ITS for ideas when planning with teachers, use Virtual TI-83 emulator (software created a few years ago by student) that's available in \\grab\stuff\ and can be used with Airliner, also incorporate using MS Excel
- SpEd implementation update (Viki Johnson)
  • Rose is at Read180 training today. She will talk to Linda Noy about the 260s.
  • Everyone picked up the Solo software - unlimited license. It will be pushed out as well. Load the software for whoever requests/needs it. The training will be rolled out, there are online trainings available as well. GenEd students can use this software too. But if a teacher wants it to work at home, feel free to burn a copy for them to take home.
  • Elementary schools have a good plan lined up to use the Special Ed hardware - Promethean, Interactive Whiteboards, Netbooks, Turning Point, etc.
  • Window of opportunity for requesting hardware for Sped Ed is closing after today. $61,000 worth of stuff requested - they are deciding what to get
  • To install a Promethean board is $3000, doesn't count the projector or board.
  • Send an email to MaryJo if you want SMARTBoard mounted.
- AUP and Cyber Safety for Subs, Students, Volunteers (Amanda Allen, and others with experience to share)
  • Technology equipment usage policy for substitutes - The substitutes do not have the information to know what they are supposed to do with students using the equipment.
  • AUP PowerPoint available for student usage available on ITS wiki.
  • Parent expectation guideline available as well - what do they have access to?
  • It was suggested that have a list of preferred subs and train them
  • There are a few workarounds - library computers, PRO center computers - parents can log in even without AUP.
  • YISD Cyber Safety Initiative - http://www2.yisd.net/education/staff/staff.php?sectionid=12829 The teachers have to go through this website at this district with their students in order to use the technology equipment. It has lessons, has compliance act, standards (TEKS K-12), games, etc.
  • Committee will be established to bring wireless network to student computers with set expectations
  • Teachers wanted to bring their personal laptops to get on Facebook - so is it used for work or for personal use?
- Technology Training and Sub Reimbursement update (i.e. have you met with your teachers and what have you done - 2 minutes max) (Autrey / All)
  • Robert gave spreadsheet to those that requested sub reimbursement; those who did not turn it in yet need to do so.
  • Meet with teachers and discuss what kind of training is needed, follow up with Promethean teachers, Excel training, train teachers and students how to log into the computer, focus training on what they want to do within their lessons, updating Teacher webpages, GoogleEarth, Technology Literacy test results to go over,
  • Sub funds can be used to send teachers to training (Secondary).
  • Sub Reimbursement forms must be filled out correctly and send them to appropriate Robert.
- Update on Expression Web and Compliance/Accessibility (Mark Kania)
  • According to Section 508, we are compliant. But we need to be more ACCESSIBLE.
  • Mark has PowerPoint presentation about this topic that he will send out to everyone.
  • We need to keep in mind that people are now accessing websites through their mobile devices as well - simple is best.
  • Create landing pages for all the Java menus - can you get to everything on your site just using your keyboard?
  • Links need to make sense, make your title appropriate and add the link to the title - be descriptive: Do not put "click here" or "more" or generic items
  • Make all documents into PDF forms from Adobe Acrobat, NOT MS OFFICE! It is due to accessibility tags that are created. If you do your web work on desktop, order software to install.
  • School menu is totally inaccessible currently, need to go in and create tags.
  • Sitemap and Skip Navigation links can be put on the main page "hidden"
  • WebAnywhere (http://webanywhere.cs.washington.edu/wa.php) and JAWS (trial version) - free screen readers to try out for visually-impaired
  • If you have any other questions, give Mark a call.
  • Google calendars that are embedded on the website can be read, but not the color-coded texts.
  • The website had to be "tab-compliant" - press the Tab key to get to every link.
  • Mark will create a list of what needs to be done first.
- Update on uploads and training for TMSDS, Fitnessgram, Connected Tech/learning.com, Envision (MJ)
  • Fitnessgram - any issues need to be sent to MaryJo.
  • Install the 8.4 version of the \\grab\stuf\ - same version as last year.
  • Password and usernames are the same - ALL CAPS FIRSTINITIALLASTNAME (ex.-MHUMPHREYS)
  • Connected Tech vs. learning.com - Learning.com bought Connected Tech. Connected Tech will not go away this year, but they will go away next year.
  • We will have Learning.com license for everyone in RRISD this year (elementary level has typing program that's very useful).
  • Robert Autrey will train the new ITS on Envision
- Approved Software List - http://209.184.141.5/edtech/ApprovedSoftware/rrisd_approvedsoftwarelist.htm (MJ)
  • Before you submit a request for a new software, check the Approved Software list to see if there is a comparable software.
  • If you found something better, then we need to replace it with its counter-part on the list.
  • This list should reflect what is submitted at the end of the year.
  • Some software may not be on the list because it's a one-time purchase and no longer needs to be supported.
  • Robotics software issue - being addressed/looked into by Bunny and two Lego software engineers
  • Eventual goal is that the list will have links to descriptions for each software
  • TI calculator emulator software is not on the list.
- Begin TCEA Registration (MJ, Autrey) (early bird registration discount prior to Nov. 1)
- Feedback on Department Improvement Plan

  • Includes Elementary, Secondary instructional support as well as Support Group
  • Sub funds are for one-on-one with teachers to train them and help support their instructional technology needs
  • The ITS can look over the DIP and make comments. If you're doing some big initiative on your campus and it's not on the DIP, please let MaryJo know so she can add it.

Afternoon Agenda for All ITSs (1:30 tentative start):
- Middle School ITS TA-TEKS updates and planning
- Elementary TA-TEKS Taskforce meeting

Future Trainings and Plans:
- TMSDS training for academic deans, new coaches, and ITS's (Alford - Oct 27, 9 - 11, or Oct 29, 9 - 11 at Cedar Valley Room 4105; register on eCampus)
  • TMSDS training is next Tuesday and Thursday (10/27 and 10/29) - make sure your username is longer than 6-digit employee ID, use campus ID in front of it or add an "E" at the end, if you want.
- Envision training for academic deans, new coaches, and ITS's (do we need this-yes) - several ITS requested, so we will schedule one soon.
- Intermediate Smartboard/Airliner/Notebook training tentatively set for Nov. 11 depending on availability of lab at Walsh (AM - elementary focus, PM - secondary focus); participants must have attended at least 1 basic training or received training from campus ITS
- Advanced Smartboard/Airliner/Notebook training tentatively set for Feb. 3 depending on availability of lab at Walsh (AM - elementary focus, PM - secondary focus)


Planned ITS Meeting agenda for Nov:
MIS Training for ITS (morning): Active Directory, Re-imaging, Wireless, Printing
Smart Training for ITS (afternoon); FitnessGram Asst. Athletic Director, Susan Nix