Instructional Technology Presentation at “Leadership Round Rock ISD” (2/18/2014)

As part of the district’s efforts to engage members of the community and to develop interest in future Board of Trustees candidates, Round Rock ISD created “Leadership Round Rock ISD” which offers district stakeholders the opportunity to go “behind the scenes” of Round Rock ISD, meet the people who are responsible for programs and services, and see first-hand how the district creates a climate of success for our rapidly growing, diverse student population.
( http://www.roundrockisd.org/about_r_r_i_s_d/citizens__committees/leadership_round_rock_isd/)

Representatives from the RRISD Instructional Technology Department were invited to present a brief overview of how instructional technology is being implemented in the district at their February 18, 2014 meeting. Below are links to the presentation document and sample classroom learning experiences using technology.

Link to Presentation Document:
https://docs.google.com/a/roundrockisd.org/presentation/d/1DFoUr6wfWQzJPo1lETZBFYJQaM4x0WcqJ7KyQB8oXTY/edit

Sample Links from the campus Getting I.T. Right Blogs:
McNeil High School – Twitter in the classroom
Round Rock High School – Digital Learning with Apex
Deerpark Middle School – Engaging Girls in Engineering
Grisham – Texas History Digital Classroom
Spicewood Elementary – Digital Postcards to Read, Write, Think
Laurel Mountain – First Lego League
Bluebonnet Elementary – Technology in the Art Classroom
Purple Sage – Google Presentation and Science
Great Oaks – 3D Shapes with 1st Grade
Blackland Prairie – The Wilderness Classroom

“Homework” requested of the attendees: Please visit the various campus blogs, look for posts that you find particularly interesting, and leave a comment.

Video of ITS explaining her role on the campus:
ITS-Duties-Video-Mattingly

Article by Patrick Ledesma on October 23, 2012:
Technology Experts in Schools: Teacher Leaders or Technicians?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Be sure to click on your school in the side bar to see examples of how
technology is being integrated into the curriculum.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

RRISD Assistive Technology Department: Increased Independence and Opportunities

The use of technology in the classroom that makes learning happen at a level that would not have been possible had the technology not been present is an Instructional Technology goal for all students and teachers. However the realization of that goal is most evident for the RRISD Assistive Technology Department. Assistive technology increases a student’s opportunities for education, social interactions, and potential for meaningful employment. Most of all, it increases their level of independence.

Links to two previous postings regarding the RRISD Assistive Technology Department:
Part 1 (Posted on 2/26/2013): http://tinyurl.com/l7lar4z
Part 2 (Posted on 3/5/2013): http://tinyurl.com/lfdog8b

Technology Applications “Textbook” Adoption (Proclamation 2014)

Technology Applications is included in the current adoption process (Proclamation 2014) for instructional material that will be made available beginning the 2014-2015 school year.

Proclamation 2014 calls for instructional materials for the following subject areas:
– Mathematics, grades K-8
– Mathematics (Spanish), grades K-5
– Science, grades K-12
– Science (Spanish), grades K-5
– Technology Applications, grades K-12

Visit the Texas Education Agency (TEA) web site for additional information. http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=2147505402

Also, linked here is a September 17, 2013 news release from the TEA regarding “SBOE chair increases transparency in textbook adoption process”. http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=25769807416

Technology (and other) Training Opportunities for Parents: RRISD Resource Center for Parents

A new facility opened this week in RRISD. The State and Federal Programs and Special Education opened the district’s resource center for parents. The building houses three classroom areas – one for the early literacy classes, one for the computer lab, and one as a general classroom. This center is a one-stop place for RRISD families and parents seeking education or support to help their children become college and career ready. It will host adult ESL classes, Atomic Learning technology classes, early literacy skills for families, Rosetta Stone tutorials in a variety of languages, and many other workshops. In the future, the team plans to host SAT/ACT preparation classes, resume writing, interview skills and financial aid workshops. The resource center is located in Portable 020, across from the district’s Central Administration Building, 1311 Round Rock Ave.

For more information regarding the Family Resource Center, call (512) 464-5614. To register for classes, call (512) 464-5983. The center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Evening and Saturday classes will be scheduled to accommodate parent schedules.

What Principals Want and Value from the Campus ITS

Linked to this posting is a Wordle that was created using principal comments regarding job performance and expectations of the campus Instructional Technology Specialists. The more times a word is repeated within a text, the larger it is displayed on the Wordle. Based on the product that resulted, it is clear that the principals show greater appreciation for the efforts of the ITS on teacher training, curriculum, and classroom instructional support more than they do of the “fix-it” efforts. This is right in line with the Vision, Mission, Goals, and personal beliefs of the Instructional Technology Department.

Principal-Input-Wordle

Instructional Technology Specialists Making a Difference at Every Campus

Recently, when asked what they thought about the ITS assigned to their campus, this is what they said:
(A simple video of these quotes is at the bottom of this posting.)

1. Teachers adore him, administration admires him, and kids rely on him. He is the best!!!
2. Cannot imagine doing this without him.
3. All stake holders have benefited from her work at making us all technology users.
4. He has a vision for our campus and I leave rejuvenated after every conversation with him!
5. He is much more than the “fix it man” and teachers come to him for ideas on effectively implementing technology strategies in the classroom.
6. He is always looking for ways to improve and I can only imagine what he could do if he was full time on my campus!
7. She is seen as an “instructional” leader on campus and while she may assist with tech requests, this is not her main role. People come to her for ideas and help implementing new strategies in their classroom.
8. She has calmed fears about letting students use technology in the classroom by showing teachers how to use it for learning.
9. I love working with her and never feel uncomfortable asking for assistance. She brings new ideas to me to increase efficiency of campus operations.
10. Our staff looks to her for leadership and direction. This is easy since she has proven her knowledge and established trust. She ‘s never lets us down!
11. She is extremely good about collaborating with administration to discuss and plan the next steps for the campus in technology.
12. She considers the skills of each teacher and plans accordingly.
13. She collaborates about budget, alternatives and suggestions to save money and use money the best way.
14. She involves herself in all aspects of school life. She drops everything to help staff, students, and parents without hesitation. We couldn’t do a third of what we do without her!!
15. She is not only needed here but has become a part of our educational team
16. She is truly the best ITS in the district. She is a valuable asset to our school. I depend on her for instructional leadership as well as her technology genius. She is amazing, and I adore her!
17. He is an essential part of our leadership team and our administrative team. He is viewed by staff as willing to go the extra mile.
18. I see more teachers taking risks to try new technology because they know that they have him as a support.
19. I cannot express enough the positive impact he has on our campus. I will throw a fit if he is ever reassigned somewhere else!
20. I am absolutely certain she has helped our overall campus performance!
21. She is brilliant at moving teachers from ordinary to extraordinary!
22. Combining instructional excellence with powerful technology integration has been excellent and only limited by the amount of technology available on our campus.
23. She is an integral part of ALL our staff development and is extraordinary in differentiating our professional development sessions.
24. She is a gift. She is an outstanding leader and a invaluable resource at *our school*.
25. He is the most OUTSTANDING ITS I have had the pleasure to work with in RRISD! Our campus teachers LOVE him. He is patient, respectful, knows the staff as learners, and is encouraging. He advocates for our campus, and the teachers know it.
26. He also reviews the STAAR chart results in great detail with the tech team each year to determine next steps for campus growth.
27. Our campus is full of eager technology learners and this is LARGELY due to his style.
28. We have a long way to go and I’m confident that she will help get us there!
29. He does help with the repairs and maintenance, but his larger role is to build capacity among the teachers so that they can move the campus forward and provide authentic learning opportunities for our students with technology naturally embedded as part of daily instruction and learning.
30. She is wonderful, fabulous, amazing, helpful, professional, supportive, and knowledgeable. I hope she never leaves *our campus*!
31. All learning on our campus is positively impacted by her work as our ITS
32. She is seen as an instructional resource and not just as a technology resource.
33. She is an indispensable member of the *campus* team. What would we do without her?!

Video:

 

Career & Technical Education Department

Career & Technical Education Programs in Round Rock ISD are designed to prepare students for life-long success in high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand occupations and career fields. They:
– Reinforce state and national academic standards;
– Provide students with instruction and training in career areas of interest;
– Link to business and industry in the region;
– Offer career development activities;
– Provide ability to earn certifications;
– Prepare students for challenges on higher education and a global, competitive workplace;
– Provide rigorous instruction through hands-on problem solving and projects; and,
– Allow students to receive college credit for courses taken through Tech Prep.

RRISD CATE Webpage = http://www.roundrockisd.org/Index.aspx?page=60 

Visit their website which contains examples of activities, events, and learning opportunities:
https://sites.google.com/a/roundrockisd.org/cte-tecnology/

RRISD Assistive Technology Department (Part 2)

What kinds of assistive technology are there?
There are thousands of items that can be classified as assistive technology and many ways to think about assistive technology. Examples of some of the assistive technology RRISD currently uses may include:

• Computer Access
o Keyboard with built in computer accessibility features
o Word prediction, abbreviation/expansion to reduce keystrokes
o Key guard
o Track ball/track pad/ joystick with on-screen keyboard
o Alternate keyboard (e.g., IntelliKeys®, Discover Board®, TASH Mini keyboard))
o Switch with scanning

• Motor Aspects of Writing
o Pencil or pen with adaptive grip
o Adapted paper (e.g., raised line, highlighted lines)
o Slant board
o Portable word processor Computer with word processing software
o Electronic/talking electronic dictionary/thesaurus/spell checker
o Word processing with spell checker/grammar checker
o Talking word processor – text to speech software
o Word prediction software
o Voice recognition software

• Communication (Augmentative, Alternative, Communication)
o Communication board/book with pictures/objects/letters/words
o Eye gaze board/frame
o Simple voice output device (e.g., BIGmack®, Step by Step Communicator®,
o Voice output device with levels (e.g., Tech Speak®, Tech Talk®)
o Voice output device with dynamic display
o Text to speech software

• Reading
o Changes in text size, spacing, color, background color
o Book adapted for page turning (e.g., page fluffers, 3-ring binder)
o Use of pictures/symbols with text
o Electronic books
o Low tech aids to find materials (e.g., index tabs, colored folders)
o Highlighted text (e.g., markers, Highlight Tape, ruler)
o Recorded material (e.g., books on tape, taped lectures with number coded index)
o Software for organization of ideas and studying (e.g., Inspiration®, Draft Builder®)

• Math
o Abacus/ Math Line
o Enlarged math worksheets
o Money calculator
o Talking calculator
o Alternative keyboard (e.g., IntelliKeys®)

• Recreation/Leisure/Self-Help
o Toys adapted for single switch operation
o Adaptive sporting equipment
o Universal cuff or strap to hold crayons, markers, eating utensils
o Modified utensils ( rubber stamps, rollers, brushes)
o Computer software
o Electronic Aids for Daily Living
o Adaptive eating devices
o Adaptive drinking devices (e.g., cup with cut out rim)
o Adaptive dressing equipment (e.g., button hook, elastic shoe laces, Velcro™ instead of
buttons, etc.)
o Adaptive devices for hygiene (e.g., adapted toothbrushes, raised toilet seat.)

• Mobility
o Walker
o Grab bars and rails
o Manual wheelchair
o Powered wheelchair
o Gait trainer

• Vision
o Eyeglasses
o Magnifier
o Large print books
o Screen magnification software
o Screen color contrast
o Screen reader, text reader
o Braille materials
o Braille translation software
o Enlarged or Braille/tactile labels for keyboard
o Alternate keyboard with enlarged keys
o Braille keyboard and note taker

• Hearing
o Computer/portable word processor
o Signaling device (e.g., flashing light or vibrating pager)
o Closed Captioning
o Computer aided note taking
o Personal amplification system/Hearing aid
o FM system

SOLO6 Software Suite is available on every campus in the Round Rock School District. This software suite may provide support to students who are struggling with reading, writing and spelling and contains four components:
o Read:OutLoud 6 is a text reader (Description/Demonstration)
o Co:Writer 6 is word prediction software (Description/Demonstration)
o Write:OutLoud 6 provides text to speech word processing (Description/Demonstration)
o Draft:Builder 6 is a graphic organizer (Description/Demonstration)

RRISD Assistive Technology Department (Part 1)

What is Assistive Technology?
Assistive technology is any tool or device that a student with a disability uses to perform a task that they could not do otherwise, or any tool or device the student uses to perform a task more easily, faster, or in a better way. It can be a commercial product or something someone makes. It can be a simple “low tech” device such as a pencil grip or an expensive “high tech” device such as a computer.

The Assistive Technology Act of 2004 defines an assistive technology device in the following way: “…any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.” (29 U.S.C. Sec 2202(2))

What is the school district’s responsibility in regard to assistive technology?
The school district is mandated by state and federal law (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) to provide assistive technology to all students with disabilities if it is required for them to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

The law says:
Each public agency shall ensure that assistive technology devices or assistive technology services, or both, as those terms are defined in §§300.5-300.6, are made available to a child with a disability if required as a part of the child’s –
(1) Special education;
(2) Related services; or
(3) Supplementary aids and services.

Who benefits from assistive technology?
Any student with a disability from mild to severe may benefit from the use of assistive technology. There is assistive technology to help an individual with reading, writing, remembering, walking, sitting, seeing, hearing, and communicating. Any student who needs help with any of these life functions may benefit significantly from the use of assistive technology.

For more information about assistive technology in RRISD, contact:
Lesa Rue Cearley, OTR, ATP
Hannah Markowitz, SLP
RRISD Assistive Technology Team
512/464-5688

Instructional Technology Presentation at “Leadership Round Rock ISD”

As part of the district’s efforts to engage members of the community and to develop interest in future Board of Trustees candidates, Round Rock ISD created “Leadership Round Rock ISD” which offers district stakeholders the opportunity to go “behind the scenes” of Round Rock ISD, meet the people who are responsible for programs and services, and see first-hand how the district creates a climate of success for our rapidly growing, diverse student population.
( https://www.roundrockisd.org/index.aspx?page=3858 )

Representatives from the RRISD Instructional Technology Department were invited to present a brief overview of how instructional technology is being implemented in the district at their February 19, 2013 meeting. Below are links to the presentation document and sample classroom learning experiences using technology.

Link to Presentation Document:
https://docs.google.com/a/roundrockisd.org/file/d/0B5yBjHR-1VLgYU9KSk4tenRMeDQ/edit

Sample Links from the campus Getting I.T. Right Blogs:
– McNeil High School – BYOD
http://mcneil-technology.blogspot.com/?view=sidebar#!/2012/10/last-friday-students-were-using.html
– Round Rock High School – Laptop initiative
http://rrhsits.blogspot.com/2013/01/9th-grade-students-receive-laptops-at.html
– Deerpark Middle School – Robotics
http://deerparkits.blogspot.com/2012/12/gracious-professionalism-and-robotics.html
– Grisham – PSA
http://grishamtechnology.blogspot.com/2012/12/gtv-grisham-tv-video-production.html
– Bluebonnet Elementary – Video Learning
http://bluebonnetelementary.blogspot.com/2013/01/ms.html
– Chandler Oaks Elementary – Paper Slides (Kinder)
http://chandleroakselementary.blogspot.com/2012/12/kindergarten-paperslides.html
– Brushy Creek Elementary – Science Collaboration
http://teachingitbces.edublogs.org/2013/02/11/around-the-world/
– Callison Elementary – Robotics
http://callisontechnology.blogspot.com/2013/02/junior-lego-league.html

“Homework” requested of the attendees: Please visit the various campus blogs, look for posts that you find particularly interesting, and leave a comment.

Video of ITS explaining her role on the campus:
ITS-Duties-Video-Mattingly

Article by Patrick Ledesma on October 23, 2012:
Technology Experts in Schools: Teacher Leaders or Technicians?
http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/leading_from_the_classroom/2011/10/technology_experts_in_schools_teacher_leaders_or_technicians.html

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Be sure to click on your school in the side bar to see examples of how
technology is being integrated into the curriculum.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –