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NHEON > ICT Literacy Toolkit

III. ACTION PLAN:    A. Technology Access    B. ICT Literacy    C. Professional Development    D. Community Involvement     [Data]

ICT Literacy Toolkit
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Introduction
1. Standards
2. Research
3. Case Studies
4. ePortfolio Support
5. Presentations
6. More Resources

Effective Projects Case Study

 

Digital Tools at Seabrook School District

www.sau21.org/seabrook

 

This is a story about a project that started 12/15/2006.

For more information, please contact: Stan Shupe at sshupe@sau21.org.

 

Seabrook School District's goal was to engage and motivate student learning by introducing new technology into the classroom with the purchase of two complete SmartBoard interactive whiteboard systems including boards, projectors, mobile carts, and laptop computers.Additionally, money was budgeted to provide schoolwide training in the use of SmartBoards, NWEA analysis training, and attendance for 4 staff members at the Christa McAulliffe Technology Conference giving teachers an opportunity to learn the latest strategies, hardware, and software for integrating technology in the learning experience.

 

Funding: This project was supported by $10,000 from NCLB Title II-D (Educational Technology) and $1,500 in local funds. The project illustrates how federal funding supports Access - Enhancing existing technology and acquiring new technology to support education reforms and improve student achievement (includes servers, desktops, laptops, peripherals). The project addressed the following grades and content areas:

Gr6-8 EngLangArts Math Science SocSt TheArts

 

The Setting: Seabrook Middle school has a population of approximately 375 students dispersed in grades 5-8 with four core subject teachers in grades 6-8, and 4 self contained classrooms in grade 5. Seabrook is a low income community of just over 8,000 residents undergoing a transition from a long standing fishing community to a more populated urban area. Seabrook youth face extreme challenges regarding personal, social, and community risk factors. Two such factors that are directly linked to a young persons current and future well being identify Seabrook with its lowest rankings NH Child Potential Index finds Seabrook in the lowest quartile and Kids Count NH ranks Seabrook among the poorest fifth of all school clusters.The cycle of poverty presents high risk to the lives of many Seabrook families: 7 percent unemployment, 25% single female households, average income of $20,000, 17% of children living in poverty,and only 14.8% of residents aquiring a bachelors degree or higher. Seabrook suffers from the infliction of perceived lower community status through urban legend stereotyping and the resultant phenomena of a self-fulfilling prophecy that limits individual growth.Many Seabrook students do not have computer access in the home, so it is essential to take advantage of opportunities created by information technologies at school and to provide opportunities for integrating 21st century skills to motivate learning and make progress towards state performance targets.

 

The plot: The biggest challenge to integrating any new technology into the classroom, particularly in a core subject, is overcoming the reluctance of the teaching staff to learn about and use a technology they are unfamiliar with.Training was offered to the entire staff during an in-service day, with 3-4 staff members becoming "experts" available for trouble shooting. Initially, the plan was to have the SmartBoards available to all staff from a loaner pool. As the project progressed, the same teachers were using the SmartBoards which were ultimately assigned to their rooms exclusively. As the teachers and students became more familiar with and adept at SmartBoard use, they became ambassadors for their implementation in other classrooms.

 

The teachers: 35 teachers were directly involved. Initially the entire staff was involved in training, but ultimately 4 teachers took a dominant role - The computer teacher, media specialist, 8th grade science teacher, and the music teacher all had SmartBoards placed permantly in their classrooms. All but the science teacher service the entire student population so all middle school students were exposed to SmartBoards in three curriculum areas.

 

The students: While staff members who had SmartBoards in their classrooms collaborated on usage ideas and tips, the students also became experts and began sharing with their teachers some idea or concept that they learned in another class. The project implemetation became a team effort.

 

The data: Student and Teacher assessment surveys were created to provide feedback specifically on the effectiveness of the SMARTBoards in the classroom from the teaching and learning point of view. Five survey questions asked students and teachers to rate the SMARTBoard on an agree/disagree scale as well as two open ended response questions.The results were overwhelmingly positive.81% percent of students strongly agreed or agreed that SMARTBoard presentations were interesting to them, 82% of students strongly agreed or agreed that it is easier to pay attention in class when their teacher uses the SMARTBoard, and 59% of students strongly agreed or agreed that they remember more when their teacher uses the SMARTBoard presenting a lesson.All teachers surveyed strongly agreed or agreed that a SMARTBoard in their classroom created greater class participation, engaged students, and allowed them to create lessons that motivated their students.

 

The difference: Our primary goal was to engage students and motivate learning - the results of our teacher and student surveys clearly indicate success.Student achievement in assessment scores such as NWEA at Seabrook Middle School did show an overall improvement in the last year, however, we have instituted many new programs and initiatives in the last year that contributed to improvement, not specifically the SmartBoard project. At the Collaborative Evaluation session Seabrook attended in January (for Title IID grant awardees), it was suggested that attendance could be an area impacted by the use of digital tools.We are looking at ways to measure if classrooms that use digital tools have better attendance than those that don't and may look at office and nurse's logs during specific periods for use in future evaluations.

 

Essential conditions: Project funding, teacher and student participation and enthusiasm for new technology.

 

Changes for the future: SmartBoard training was offered in the mechanical use of the product. We would expand the training to include software available and subject specific usage. Our evaluation worked well - wouldn't change anything.

 

Recommendations: Our pre and post, teacher and student surveys were extremely helpful in providing a project evaluation, and future needs assessment. Would also recommend training in the usage possibilites as well as mechanics of the systems. It would be great to have a math teacher who uses the technology speak to our math teachers about how they use it specific to their subject.

 

Telling our story: Our project will close on March 31st and notification to the School Board and general public will be made at that time.

 

Documents to share: none at this time