TIES 2008 – Tech Director Bootcamp – My Notes

Bootcamp for School District Technology Leaders/CTOs

Denise Atkinson-Shorey, Centennial Board of Coop Ed Svcs, COSN
Sunday, Dec 7 from 12:30 – 3:30

I thought it was probably beneficial to learn what kind of skills I should be strengthening in my current position.  It was very nice to network with individuals in the same positions  and to hear their trials and tribulations within their districts.    Here are my notes!

Who is the CTO?

  • Strategist
  • Relationship architect
  • Leader
  • Technology venture capitalists
  • Information steward
  • Integrator
  • Educator
  • Utility provider
  • Lobbyist
  • Advocate

Tech Director Perceptions – Narrow Foccus, Control Freak, 1 step lower than God, Indispensable, Powerful, Order taker, Good listener

Reporting Structure K12

  • Report directly to Superintendent
  • Cabinet-level position
  • Instruction Technology reporting to Curriculum
  • IT reporting to CFO
  • Other

5 key areas for Technology Directors

  • Leadership and Management Skills (up)
  • Fiscal management Skills (up)
  • Tech skills (down)
  • Business skills (up)
  • Cultural/organization management skills (up)

COSN Nine essential school district skills

  1. Leadership and Vision
  2. Planning and Budgeting
  3. Team Building and Staffing
  4. System Management
  5. Information Management
  6. Business Leadership
  7. Education and Training
  8. Ethics and Policies
  9. Communication Systems

TIES 2008 – Stillwater 1:1 Discussion – my notes

One-to-One Computing: Transforming Education
Mike Dronen- Stillwater Area Public Schools, Matt Howe- Stillwater Area Public Schools, Paul Musegades- Apple Computer
Sunday, Dec 7 from 8:30 – 11:30

This morning I chose to sit in a presentation from the tech folks from Stillwater school district.  They implemented a 1:1 program in one of their middle schools and discussed their successes and areas that needed improvement in their initial plan.  In the group were superintendents, principal, teachers, and technology coordinators.  We used Google docs to collaborate and extend our questions (which I have downloaded and attached to this blog)  It was a great discussion and I learned a tremendous amount!  I truly feel that Byron Public Schools could pull off a 1:1 initiative if we planned and played our cards right!

ISTE – Essential Conditions (pdf)
Necessary conditions to effectively leverage technology for learning

  • Shared Vision
  • Implementation Planning
  • Consistent and Adequate Funding
  • Equitable Access
  • Skilled Personnel
  • Ongoing Professional Learning
  • Technical Support
  • Curriculum Framework
  • Student-Centered Learning
  • Assessment and Evaluation
  • Engaged Communities
  • Support Policies
  • Supportive External Context


Create Vision

  • Why will we do this?
  • What if we don’t?
  • Who needs to be at the table?
    • Must have an administrator with strong “principal” skills to pull off a 1:1
    • Must have a willing and engaging teacher environment
  • What are our unique reasons to implement a 1:1 plan?
  • Who have been successful – Why?
  • Who has not been successful – Why

How /when will digital content be access /created/shared/collaborative/individualized/quality? (students – teachers)

Return of Investment – Less textbooks, less printing costs, power consumption, asset value,

Professional Development

  • Teacher buy-in and personal vision
  • Methods of PD
  • Classroom management
  • Rethinking curriculum and online resources and tools
  • Teacher 2 Teacher culture – teachers meeting after school to learn and brainstorm new ideas
  • 1 official Tech Day (Jan and teachers present)
  • 1:1 recommended start-up training
    • Level 1 – basic laptop
    • Level 2 – How to use apps
    • Level 3 – how to use with kids (4 days – staggered throughout the year)
      • Would be great to have an online component to this training.
    • 3 year plan?  21st Century Partnership, ISTE



  • Bandwidth? how much?
    • BANDWIDTH – Gig fiber WAN (20 mb), Proxy
  • Filtering
  • Available
  • Secure
  • Healthy
  • What kind of device(s)
  • What do you need to do with learning?
  • What will you need to do with learning?
  • Online tools: LMS, CMS, CMS, etc.
    • Studywhiz, Googledocs, email, opensource?
  • Net Restore (ASR)


  • 3400 systems – 1200 in the 1:1 school
  • District Level –
    • Director
    • Network Engineer – mostly servers, phones
    • Network Administrator –
    • Database Administrator
    • Server Technician  – 80 Server, 20% workstations
  • Workstation Techs (building)
  • Electronic Communications
  • Oakland Schools (1200 computers) 1 full time coordinator, 1 full time workstation tech, 2 help desk para’s – plus support from district level people.
  • Same SSID, coverage
  • 1GB Fiber to HS data center
  • VLAN staff/student/guest network
  • RADIUS and WEP authentication
  • AFP, HTTP and HTTPS through firewall
  • Suport
    • Web Helpdesk
    • GSX (global service exchange)and SSA (self servicing account)
    • APP (Apple Care)
    • Support people – see above
  • Software
    • Web Helpdesk
    • Apple Remote Desktop (ARD)
    • Screen Sharing
    • Casper (JAMF)
    • Net Restore (ASR)

Google Docs Notes (pdf)

Six Important Trends to Watch

As directed by our district technology committee, I have been doing research on what it would take to implement a 1:1 computing initiative in our school.  I stumbled on America’s Digital School report and the following are the top six trends in technology and education.

  • Large-Scale 1:1 Implementations Are Alive and Well
  • Learning Management Systems Go Mainstream
  • Online Assessment Is Replacing the No. 2 Pencil
  • The Student Computing “Race to Mobility” Accelerates
  • Interactive Whiteboards Come Into Their Own
  • Awareness of the Internet Bandwidth Crisis Reveals New Concerns

I would say that currently in Byron, all of the above areas have been discussed or started to implement over the last several years.  I have begun to collect my 1:1 resources – http://delicious.com/jenhegna/1to1 and would appreciate any feedback OR useful research you have found.  I am also looking for 1:1 research regarding the infrastructure, training, and support needed to have a successful 1:1 program.

Thanks MUCH!

Technology Visioning – 2012

I feel our district is in a pretty good place when it comes to educational technology.  We are completely wireless in our schools and all of our teachers and administrators have mobile laptops.  We are near the end of a 3 year high tech multimedia classroom integration plan that includes installing SMART Boards, projectors, classroom amplification systems, DVD/VCR, etc.  Our high school is currently investigating online learning and we have integrated our first high def video conference classroom so that we could offer our students mandarin Chinese.  We also recently adopted the Project Lead the Way curriculum so that we could begin offering pre-engineering courses for our students.

Four years in the technology world is a very long time and somewhat unpredictable.  However, I think it is important to imagine where we should be moving as a district in technology.  I have posted some key questions that we will be discussing with our District Technology Committee in October.   Your feedback is also appreciated!

  • What is the next hot ticket technology/web innovations our district should be addressing?
  • What does the learning environment of the future look like?
  • What technologies can help our district become more efficient and effective in our work/learning processes?
  • What technologies will prepare our students be successful in a global economy? (higher education and/or workforce)
  • What other questions should I be asking?

e-Learning from NASA

The Space Agency is making available a free Web-based educational product to learners of all ages across the country. NASA eClips consists of more than 55 short, 5-10 minute video segments, which are available on-demand via the Internet.  NASA eClips features many of the agency’s missions and engages learners in the excitement of science and engineering. Check it out at: http://www.nasa.gov/education/nasaeclips

Welcome Back – Games wanted

Welcome back teachers and students!  I hope to utilize this blog a bit more regular this year to let you in on some happenings in our school and out on the web!  One of my goals is to get feedback on games you would like to see utilized in your classrooms or labs.  I am open to suggestions as long as they do not entail blood, guts, and blowing people up.  If you can tell me the educational value – I am for it.  Simply reply to this blog or send me an email!

1 down 4 to go

Today was the start of our Bears Professional Growth AcademyDoug Johnson, Blue Skunk blogger, kicked of the academy with an excellent keynote on Schools and Libraries for the Net generation.  The presentation helped our district leaders (school board, administrators, teachers, staff) understand the characteristics of the millenial generation and gave us ideas/suggestions on how to adjust our learning environments.  I hope the conversations do not stop here!  We also had AIMSweb training, Advanced SMART Board training, Technology orientation for New Teachers, Intro to PowerPoint 2007, Office 2007, Designing Research Projects that Kids (and Teachers) Love, and Getting What You Ask For: Creating Effective Assessment Tools for Projects, People and Programs.  What do you plan on doing to keep the momentum going?

Resource mentioned in Doug’s presentation – http://www.educause.edu/educatingthenetgen/5989

I LOVE my new laptop!

I am going to have to guess that I am not alone when I say that I LOVE my new laptop.  Its performance is awesome in comparison to my 3 year old Thinkpad R51.  This Thinkpad T61 has Core2 Duo processor, 160 Gb Hard drive, and 2 Gb of memory.  I (along with the 120 other teachers, admin, and media/tech support) am thankful that I did not have to go another year with the old Thinkpad R51!

Summer Happenings 2008

Memories of Summer - by Micky (Flickr)

While most staff in k12 are out enjoying their summer off… At Byron Public Schools, summer is the perfect time to get work done that is near impossible to do during the regular school day. Here are the projects we will be working on!

  • Teacher Laptop Deployment – our district’s teachers will be receiving their 2nd refresh of laptops in 6 years. The laptops will come with built in web cams, 2 Gb memory, 160 gb HD’s, and DVD burners.
  • Prep room for Hybrid Chinese course from District 287. We will be running our first virtual classroom next year that utilizes video conferencing as well as an online learning lab.
  • Continue district’s 3 year SMART Board integration plan. We will be installing 8 SMART Boards classrooms in the elementary school and 8 in the middle school. All classrooms are retrofitted with SB’s, 4 ceiling/wall mounted speakers, projectors, DVD/VCR, and voice amplification systems.
  • Install 2 new labs at the high school. One mobile science cart and a new Industrial Arts lab for Project Lead the Way curriculum.
  • Reimage all labs (11) and upgrade district to Office 2007.
  • Install district storage (9tb) system as well as new disk to disk backup system.
  • Gear up for Bears Professional Growth Academy (Aug 4-8)
  • Work with online learning committee to look at how we can begin to develop/deliver online coursework at BPS.
  • Begin the implementation process (6 mos) of integrating Infinite Campus into our school.

Being a Minnesotan and looking at the list above, all I can say is UFTA! Enjoy your summer… September is right around the corner.