John Marshall International Baccalaureate High School is in the fifth year of its technology plan. Extensive plans have been made to create a society that is technologically literate; this includes a curriculum that is being redesigned to fulfill this goal. All departments are integrated with the technology department and are devoted to maximizing technological experiences for staff, students, and community.
Technology Goals for JMIBHS
At the present time, John Marshall International Baccalaureate High School has an extensive collection of technology that is available to staff, students, and community. To date the building houses the following:
- A computer in every classroom that is interfaced for accessing the internet and various software programs necessary for teacher record keeping.
- Two computer labs, a total of 64 Gateway computers, that are interfaced for accessing the internet and various software programs designed for research, word-processing, and educational instruction.
- A math/science computer lab containing 28 Power Mac computers. Each has educational software loaded on to them that enhances learning in math and science. Computers also may be interfaced with a variety of probes for scientific investigations in a laboratory setting.
- A English/Business computer lab containing 32 Lap Top computers for keyboarding and word-processing.
- 8 computers in the Library Media center complete with software to connect to the Internet as well as do research work and word-processing.
- A broadcasting studio complete with computerized master boards and mixers.
- Two digital cameras to assist staff and students in creating meaningful web pages and projects on computer.
- Power point ability on all computers
John Marshall continues to have funding from the following sources:
- Title 1 fund
- Local School Budget
- Wisconsin Advanced Telecommunications Foundations (satellite)
- Perkins fund
- Johnson Wax (Graphics and Eagle's Wing remodeling)
Support is available from the following:
- One full-time technology coordinator.
- Two part-time technology assistants.
- Two student-in-training technology technicians.
- 10 teachers who are proficient in training others in all aspects of computer literacy.
- Business area partners committed to improving educational opportunities for Marshall students.
Staff development includes:
- Continual training of staff to learn computer basics.
- Up-grading skills and knowledge of the Internet.
- Release time for staff to gather and bring back cutting edge technological knowledge from experts in the field.
- Release time for staff to develop curriculum to support technology integration in the classroom.
Staff will be encouraged/enticed to participate in an Engaged Learning workshop by promotional advertisement offering solutions to teacher burnout. Since Ms. Wittig doesn't often sing the praises of any pedagogical methodology what she has to say will carry more validity than others who are offering educational workshops.
Prior to the workshop teachers will be surveyed as to their technological skills, interests, and goals. Pain staking efforts will be made to gear the content of the workshop toward the interests and goals of the staff. Sessions will be arranged in groupings of computer expertise; novice, intermediate, and advanced.
Prior to any meetings, the teachers will complete a self-evaluation survey (staff assessment) as well as a form requesting training needs. This survey was developed from Bellingham Public Schools who based it upon the Mankato Scale first developed by the Mankato (Minnesota) Public Schools to measure the growth of student technology skills. Although it was developed for schools in Minnesota it will fit our needs as well.
The initial workshop will be offered on a banking day. (A day set aside for meetings and in service.) Interest needs to be cultivated before an entire program is offered. Staff will participate in activities that are designed to meet their needs. Surveys will be handed out toward the end of this year to assess individual starting points for technology experience and individual needs. From this information sessions will be divided up by ability and need. not everyone will want to do the entire course until they see the goods that it can produce.
Over the summer the facilitator will create an engaged learning project that will branch off into individual interest after the main objective is achieved. The main objective is to have participants understand what engaged learning is, how it works, how it will benefit them. Participants will be asked to identify what parts of the project design help to maintain student interest, collaboration, authentic work, independence, responsibility, and discipline. Participants will be linking on to a web page that will contain topics of interest that match those from the surveys submitted before the course. Each interest will be linked with at least three good web sites available for that topic. Included in the lesson will be various examples of educational web sites that already exist and the disciplines that each web site covers.
Once the staff members have a taste for the idea of engaged learning and the experience the ease at which students can function at the task, an assessment will be handed out as to the value of such an engaged leaning activity. A question and answer session would follow the activity to help participants identify how they could manipulate the task to fit their situation. Participants will be probed as to days and times that would best fit their schedule to finish a complete course on developing an engaged learning activity.
Participants will be asked to brain storm and return with at least two proposals for lessons they would like to develop as engaged learning projects. Each department would ideally work on one project to develop, that way each person in the department would learn about web page design and creation, and the burden of the work load would be shared.
Incentive to participate in this course will be to excuse participants from other banking day activities and offer refreshments. The possibility of clock hours does exist and will be looked into further.
Surveys will be handed out in late May of 1999 and collected by the end of the first week of June. Facilitator will develop curriculum pertinent to needs over the summer of 1999. During the first banking day of the year with follow up course work set for the next banking day (4 weeks later). At that point, participants desiring to develop an engaged learning unit in their discipline will meet once a week for six weeks. Any banking days that fall within this period will be used for working sessions in which personal assistance will be available.
Success of workshop will be determined by the number of individuals who sign on to complete a project in engaged learning. Time will also be taken to re-evaluate the participants to see if their knowledge base has changed from the initial survey.