In attendance: Herb, Sue, Bruce, Frank, Denise, Nancy, Alan
E.O. Smith will privately host Moodle for the staff and administration to use. Moodle is an open source school and classroom administration tool that has gained popularity with a number of teachers at EO Smith who currently use it from a hosted site.
It is a superior alternative to our current eBoards and will allow teachers who take advantage of it to reuse and refactor their coursework from one semester to the next. For students it offers the ability to time-shift their assignments to convenient times to perform the lesson or to review assigned coursework as often as needed.
There is no roll-out time frame but the resources to support this software have been identified.
The BYOD conversation discussed the need for our teaching staff to describe the online and classroom activities an ideal device might support. This will be accomplished during faculty meetings in the coming weeks so that we can recommend a minimum set of requirements a parent or student can look for as the holiday sales season approaches should they decide to prepare for having a device that can be used in the classroom or study hall.
A key point is that we will not advocate specific brands and we are not proxy salespeople for any device or manufacturer. We will propose guidelines that are baseline recommendations only.
Bruce will be advocating for a budget item for purchasing a sufficient number of devices that the school can leverage toward either specific classes or for students who may need temporary lenders to fully participate in certain classroom activities.
A conversation about our website discussed the need to migrate to a newer Joomla version. It included the need for a designated webmaster and more timely updates of the site.
A survey will be distributed by Department Heads to teachers who are interested in helping this committee understand the scope and breadth of digital teaching activity already practiced at EO Smith.
We also discussed the potential to leverage Professional Development time toward having Technical Coaches provide Primers on technologies already available, soon to be available, or already in use at EO (Moodle, Smart Boards, Google Docs, Wikis, and more).
The promotion of preparing students for digital learning in the classroom will happen in three theaters of discussion; the PTA will receive a presentation that outlines what is becoming available, the website will announce to the community the fact that EO Smith is wireless and students and teachers can take advantage of it , and a Board of Education discussion will take place next week to ensure that there is consensus about our direction and handling of the many issues involved.
Our next meeting will be in January 2013.