Brittany Thomas Technology Center Analysis FRIT 7738 Practicum in Instructional Technology Fall 2012 Dr.

Elizabeth Downs

Executive Summary Maxwell Elementary is a Title I school that consists of grades pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first. The school is located in Thomson, GA within McDuffie County. Maxwell Elementary School contains 30 homeroom classes: six pre-kindergarten classes, twelve kindergarten classes, and twelve first grade classrooms. In addition to the homeroom teachers, they have four reading resource teachers: one in kindergarten and three in first grade, and five special education teachers: one in pre-kindergarten, one in kindergarten, and three in first grade. There are a total of forty four certified teachers in the school including the art and physical education educators. Maxwell Elementary’s media and technology center is run by the full time media and technology specialist. The media technology specialist has assistance from the full time media center paraprofessional and from a reading resource teacher that is also a technology specialist. The media and technology center at this elementary school contains a science center, storytelling corner, teacher resource center, a parent resource center, video production studio, a circulation desk, and four computers. There is also a separate technology lab that is utilized by the center as well that houses thirty computers. The teacher resource center includes a well-organized selection of guided reading books, die cutters, poster making machine, laminating machine, collection of video cassette tapes, dvds, cassette tapes with books for listening centers, and science and social studies thematic units. In addition to these resources, teachers may check out Renaissance Responder Clickers, digital cameras, digital camcorders, listening centers, and iPods. Each classroom is equipped with a document camera, an ENO board, and five computers. The media/technology specialist’s responsibilities include: providing professional development for teachers on software and new technology resources, assisting teachers with research for their lesson plan topics, organizing, updating, and collecting materials in the teacher resource center, distributing and collecting of classroom technology materials for homeroom teachers, assisting teachers and students on research projects, updating the school website, taking inventory of media items, teacher resource items, parent resource items, and all media books, purchasing books and technology resources for the school, providing media/technology center

orientation and internet safety class for all students, teaching whole or small group lessons on science and social studies topics, maintain and updating the science center, overseeing Max TV (student-focused news show broadcasted live for the entire school daily), and organizing two book fairs each school year. The media center paraprofessional’s responsibilities are monitoring students at the circulation desk, assisting students in checking out books and taking Accelerated Reader tests in the center, assisting parents in checking out and returning materials from the parent resource center, and organizing media books that are returned. The reading resource teacher that also plays the role of a second technology specialist for Maxwell Elementary collects and compiles student data from all homeroom classes on the software programs that are used for student assessments. This resource teacher also provides professional development and one-on-one assistance for the teachers on these assessment programs when needed. The academic software that she manages include: Academy of Reading and Math, Advantage Learning Systems (ALS) English Language Arts and Math, Harcourt Math, Renzulli, and Discovery Education. The assessment software that she manages include: Online Assessment Systems (OAS), Star Reading, Star Math, Renaissance Accelerated Reader, and DataDirector. The guidance counselor takes on the role of providing professional development and managing software used for behavior and for the Response to Intervention program. These software programs are Classworks Math and English Language Arts, Lexia Reading, and Alternative Behavior Educator Intervention. In addition to these employers of the media and technology center at Maxwell Elementary School, the McDuffie County BOE has two technology technicians that are responsible for the installation of new software and hardware, and the maintenance of all technology hardware for the seven schools in the school system. Prior to this year the county has had a full time technology coordinator for the entire school system. Due to budget cuts the system technology coordinator is now a media/technology specialist at the high school. However, she still provides support and technology leadership to the BOE and the media specialists at the seven schools in the county.

Maxwell Elementary School Technology Organizational Chart

Superintendent

Principal

MediaTechnology Specialist

System Technology Technicians

Resource Teacher Secondary Technology Specialist

Guidance Counselor

Media Center Paraprofessional

Teachers

Methods Several methods were used to gather the information for this report. I interviewed the media-technology specialist, the secondary technology specialist, the guidance counselor, and the media center paraprofessional. During the interview each of the employers were asked their job title and responsibilities. I also used the Maxwell Elementary School website to locate the media center webpage to view resources that were available for students and parents. I used the McDuffie County School System website to view the technology department. This is where I located the county technology plan for 2011-2014. In the technology plan were the technology goals for McDuffie County. These goals are consistent with the technology goals stated in the Maxwell Elementary School Action Plan for 2012-2013. The school’s action plan was located on the school website. The mission and vision statements for the center were located by both entrances. I used the media-technology specialist’s activity log and event calendar to record the number of activities and events held by the center for each month. During my time spent at the center I made several observations of the activities and daily responsibilities by those that work to keep things running smoothly. The duties of the technology for the school are spread among many employees. Each person takes on different responsibilities to make certain that all areas are covered efficiently. I also conducted walkthroughs in the classrooms, lunchroom, and gym to observe technology being used throughout the building. The lunchroom has an IPod and docking station that plays music throughout the students’ lunches. They have incorporated the music into their lunchroom discipline plan. When the music is on, the students may not talk. The personnel mentioned that they do this so that the noise level does not get too loud, and so that the students will take time to eat their lunch.

Center Context and Goals Maxwell Elementary School’s media and technology center caters to young readers and learners. The Accelerated Reader Program is a huge motivator to the beginner readers at this school; therefore the media center is designed to help the students select books on their current reading level. The routines and procedures are practiced daily to make checking in and out library books an independent activity for most of the children. The center has several centers for learning opportunities for the students. The science center has a glass case with real skins and skeletons of animals, informational facts about these animals, and some hands on activities that they students can do independently. The animals are changed monthly. Students participating in the Accelerated Reader program can take tests on the computers in the center. Once students reach a new level in the program they receive a certificate and a prize from the center, as well as signing their name on the display boards located on the outside wall of the center. The center also has resources for parents. Max’s Den is a center dedicated to providing free resources for parents to help their children with their learning. Mission: To provide teachers with the tools, skills, and motivation necessary to ensure that students completely understand and have the opportunity to master the defined objectives in the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards. Vision: To provide all of our students, regardless of their physical or mental limitations, a safe environment that maximizes learning potential. Goals:    Increase student learning and achievement through the use of technology. Increase administrative uses of technology. Increase parent/community uses of technology.

Stakeholders: Teachers, parents, and students Job titles/descriptions: Media/Technology Specialist Responsibilities include: providing professional development for teachers on software and new technology resources, assisting teachers with research for their

lesson plan topics, organizing, updating, and collecting materials in the teacher resource center, distributing and collecting of classroom technology materials for homeroom teachers, assisting teachers and students on research projects, updating the school website, taking inventory of media items, teacher resource items, parent resource items, and all media books, purchasing books and technology resources for the school, providing media/technology center orientation and internet safety class for all students, teaching whole or small group lessons on science and social studies topics, maintain and updating the science center, overseeing Max TV (studentfocused news show broadcasted live for the entire school daily), and organizing two book fairs each school year. Media Center Paraprofessional Responsibilities include: monitoring students at the circulation desk, assisting students in checking out books and taking Accelerated Reader tests in the center, assisting parents in checking out and returning materials from the parent resource center, and organizing media books that are returned. Secondary Media Specialist Responsibilities include: collecting and compiling student data from all homeroom classes on the software programs that are used for student assessments. This resource teacher also provides professional development and one-on-one assistance for the teachers on these assessment software programs when needed. The academic software that she manages include: Academy of Reading and Math, Advantage Learning Systems (ALS) English Language Arts and Math, Harcourt Math, Renzulli, and Discovery Education. The assessment software that she manages include: Online Assessment Systems (OAS), Star Reading, Star Math, Renaissance Accelerated Reader, and DataDirector. Guidance Counselor Responsibilities include: providing professional development and

managing software used for behavior and for the Response to Intervention program. These software programs are Classworks Math and English Language Arts, Lexia Reading, and Alternative Behavior Educator Intervention.

Center Activities Teacher Center Orientation: This meeting is held during pre-planning. Both the technology specialists in the building introduce new media resources to the teachers. These new resources can be for the teacher resource center, parent resource center, resources for the students, or new technology items purchased with grants. During this time teachers are asked what else they would like to see in the center or other ways they would like the center to be utilized that they may not be doing already. The teachers are also asked for input on the curriculum or subject areas that they feel need to be taught the most during story time. The faculty also takes time to review the media policy and any changes that they see fit for the upcoming school year. The audience for this activity includes the teachers and administration. The location of this activity is the media/technology center. Media/Technology Center Student Orientation: At the beginning of the school year each homeroom class has to participate in the center student orientation prior to checking out books or other resources. The orientation introduces the center to the students by walking them through each center. They are taught the rules and procedures they are expected to follow each time they are in the center. They are also guided through the location of all of the resources available to them throughout the year. The students learn how to locate books on their reading level, check the books out, and how to check the books back in the following day. Internet Safety Class: At the beginning of the school year each homeroom teacher signs their class up for the internet safety class. During this class the media/technology specialists reviews how to use the internet and different reasons for using the internet. The students also learn the dangers of the internet and what kind of information should never be shared on the internet. The students learn how to access the school website, the center’s webpage, and their teacher’s webpage. On these sights they are introduced to several learning games that they can play and access at home safely.

By the end of the class the goal is for each child to only use the internet with an adult. The location of this class is in the story time center. Max TV: Max TV the morning show that is broadcasted live throughout the whole school. The morning show is managed by the employees in the center, but the students do the “real” work. First grade students are selected from each first grade homeroom to be news anchors. The news anchors gather important information every morning to share on the news show. The students research the weather for the day, provide announcements, upcoming events for the school, and the lunch menu. Kindergarten and pre-kindergarten students are selected from each homeroom to be the flag holders during the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem. The morning show takes place in the studio located in a separate room inside the center. The morning show is viewed by the whole school every day. Story time: Teachers can sign up for story time twice a month. Story time is taught by the media/technology specialist. Teachers can select a topic by grade level that they would like their students to learn about. Each lesson incorporates literature and technology focusing on a science or social studies standard addressed in the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards. Bedtime Stories: Bedtime Stories is an event that is held every year at Maxwell Elementary School. The purpose of the event is to create excitement in the students about reading. It also gives the students’ and their families the opportunity to engage in a school activity together. The event is held in the evening. Teachers and administrators volunteer to read a book or story for the event. This year’s Bedtime Stories included: a book read by the superintendent, several stories read by teachers, The Three Little Pigs acted out by the principals and other teachers, a reading teacher using her I Pad to show a digital story with music, one teacher acting out Pete the Cat to music, several teachers dressed up as characters from stories. The students came dressed in their pajamas, received cookies and milk, and watched show with their families. This event took

place in the lunchroom because it is a bigger location and because of concerns about spilling milk on the carpet and resources in the center. Guest Speaker: Vicki Graf Local meteorologist Vicki Graf visited the center to give a presentation to the first graders on types of weather, tools used to measure the weather, safety tips to survive severe weather. During this presentation she used a powerpoint displayed by the document camera. She also explained how her job works. She showed them pictures of the crew that she works with and the technology they use in the studio. She explained the green screen to the students and how they are able to change the maps and background on the screen behind them. This presentation was at the center for all first grade students at Maxwell.

Evaluation Based on my observations, walkthroughs, and interviews the technology center is currently fulfilling their mission, vision, and goals. Goal 1: Increase student learning and achievement through technology. The center meets this goal by providing their teachers with technology resources, software programs, and professional development for these resources. All classrooms are equipped with five computers, document cameras, and interactive ENO boards. All teachers have access to Renaissance Responder Clickers, listening centers, I pods, digital cameras, computer headphones with built in microphone, and digital camcorders. The school also has software program packages that assist students that are performing below grade level in reading and mathematics. The story time lessons provide a learning environment in which the students are exposed to a variety of media resources. The media-technology specialist assists teachers with integrating new technology resources in their lesson plans. She is even available to assist groups of students in their research for projects and writing assignments. The Max TV show gives the students the opportunity to learn and share their learning using technology. The students use the news webpages and newspapers to research topics and weather for the morning news. They share the news by recording the show and broadcasting it live for the school. The reading resource-technology specialist shares websites and online books that correlate with our CCGPS ELA standards. Goal 2: Increase administrative uses of technology. This goal is met by the administrators utilizing the document camera to share information and web documents during faculty meetings. The administrators use I Pads to complete classroom observations and walkthroughs. The I Pad allows them to fill out the observation forms and upload the observation directly to the PD360 program. The PD360 program is used throughout the McDuffie County School System to upload and store teacher observations. Teachers and administrators have the ability to watch videos and webinars on any topic involved in education. Administrators can suggest videos and resources for teachers to view to assist them in areas that need improvement.

Goal 3: Increase parent/community uses of technology. This goal is met by the McDuffie Board of Education website, the Maxwell Elementary School website, the media center’s webpage, and the teachers’ webpages. All teachers in the school system are required to have an updated, working class webpage.

Recommendations I think a list of technology resources and materials in the teacher resource center that are available for check-out by teachers would be useful. I think some of the resources are not being utilized because some teachers forget what is available for them. Teachers receive a hardcopy of tip sheets on software programs; I think it would be useful to upload these documents on the technology center webpage for teachers to locate the information quickly and easily. I think more web 2.0 tools could be utilized in instruction and presentations both by students and by faculty members.

Monthly Report August Activity/Event Teacher Orientation Media-Technology Student Orientation Internet Safety Class Story Time Pre-Kindergarten Topics: I am special Starting school All about me Kindergarten Topics: Physical properties Common materials Five senses School rules First Grade Topics: Weather America Geography (my city, state, country) 16 visits 11 visits 1 visit Participants 46 participants All students All students

September Activity/Event Max TV (daily) Book Fair Orientation Bedtime Stories Participants students All students 200 participants (including students, parents, faculty)

Story Time Pre-Kindergarten Topics: I can discover Opposites Apples Fall Fire safety Kindergarten Topics: Gravity and motion People in our neighborhood Labor Day Holiday First Grade Topics: Weather Presidents Continents/oceans/maps and globes Accelerated Reader (only tests taken in the center) 23 first grade students 14 visits 11 visits 4 visits

Appendix Interviews with media-technology specialist, resource teacher/technology specialist, guidance counselor, and media center paraprofessional.     What is your job title? What are your responsibilities? What role do you have in technology at Maxwell Elementary School? What support do you provide with technology resources?

McDuffie County School Website Maxwell Elementary School Website Media Center webpage Balanced Score Card (document) The balanced score card provides data for each goal of the school. The data is tracked for multiple years, with each year setting a higher goal in each area. Action Plan 2011-2012 (document) The Maxwell Elementary School Action Plan is a document that was created after the 2011-2012 school year focusing on each area of the school. The document states the goals of the school, the data from the school year, how the data is measured, and goals for the following year. Strategies and resources are provided explaining how the school will reach their goals for the next year. Media-technology specialist’s activity log-calendar of events The activity log is where teachers can sign-up for story time. The technology specialist keeps track of activities and events that take place in the center.

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