My name is Joe Willmann and welcome to the LCSS Technology blog. I started working for the schools in July as the Director of Technology and eLearning Services. My overarching goal is to create the vision and plan the LCSS will implement to use technology to the fullest.
My background is as an educator. I taught for three years at Lowell Middle School in the Tri-Creek School Corporation. In my last year of teaching, I transformed my classroom by utilizing Project Based Learning as my instructional strategy.
My last two years at Tri-Creek were spent as a Technology Integration Specialist. I spent my time working with educators on lesson planning and training in the proper uses of technology in the classroom. By the last year of my tenure at Tri-Creek, all 2200 of our middle school and high school students carried a laptop with them during the school day, and we had a 1:1 environment for our faculty, staff, and students.
This blog will serve as the story of our school system’s journey into 21st Century Learning. I believe in being as transparent as possible in every step of our process.
The first step in our journey is to create a strong infrastructure that is reliable and can handle a large number of student devices. While this may be the least exciting part of the plan, if we don’t get a handle on this, it is impossible to see any vision where 1:1 can be a success. I want to highlight some things that are already happening.
Starting in July, I began researching how to best utilize the funds raised at the Blue Knight Auction to bring wireless service to our entire school system. It was decided to move with Meraki as our cloud based access points. This system will allow us to quickly view important information in a 1:1 learning environment. This data will be important as we make sure students and teachers are supported in their access to resources online.
Thank you to all of the supporters of the special project at the Blue Knight Auction who have given us the ability to tackle the above project. I am happy to report we are able to provide wireless at all of our buildings (and out to the football field) while staying under budget.
In August, I began sharing technology resources with our teachers in our transition to Google Apps for Education. Some examples you can see of these resources are the LCSS Google Training Center and a Google Tip of the Week.
We have also identified Technology Coaches for all of our buildings. These positions were created to help work with our teachers on the appropriate uses of technology in the classroom. They will be offering training sessions as well as sharing lots of resources with our faculty.
Along with the Technology Coaches, we have identified Building Techs for each of the elementary buildings. These individuals provide front line support in their buildings.
A great teacher highlight would be Toi Clark at CC. She has moved her language arts classes online by utilizing Google Docs. Her students now have the ability to collaborate with each other on their projects anywhere, anytime. They also are able to get feedback on their work much quicker than they could have before.
While this is just a small part of what we have accomplished in the last few months, it is an important step in our journey. I’m excited to share with you all of the steps in our journey. Check back here frequently for updates!