While Caesar Rodney students are lounging at the beach or off on vacation, the Caesar Rodney School District technology department will be hard at work making sure the district’s computers, mobile devices, smart boards and wireless Internet are all ready for the following school year.
The technology department made a presentation regarding the state and future of technology in the district at the June 18 board of education meeting.
One of the areas the technology department will be working on over the summer is in wireless Internet capacity, said Director of Support Services Dan Farley. The technology department will be working to double the wireless capacity at the high school and middle schools, which will allow twice as many computers as last year to utilize the Internet at the same time.
One of the biggest projects looming over the technology department is converting the districts computer from Windows XP to Windows 7. This conversion has to be made because Windows XP expires in April 2014.
“We have almost 1,000 machines that aren’t capable [of running Windows 7],” Farley said. “There are quite a few, probably 300 to 400, that will run it but we’ll have to put more memory in them.”
Over the past three years, 457 smart boards have been integrated into classrooms across the district. Instruction Technology Resource Teachers Carrie Bush and Shari Galgano have been responsible for training teachers on how to use this technology.
“A lot of schools didn’t do that training,” said Galgano. “They hung them up and said, ‘here’s how you hook your computer up. Have fun. Go to it,’ and they’re hanging up as glorified projectors. They were expensive so we wanted to maximize that instructional use.”
One of the ways that Bush and Galgano intend to maximize on that use is by pairing the smart boards with responders, which are handheld remotes that students can use in conjunction with the smart board to answer true/false and multiple choice questions that their teacher presents on the smart board.
Each student will have a personalized clicker assigned to them; this will allow the teacher to monitor which students are understanding the lesson and which students need more help based on whether or not they give correct answers.
The clickers can also help shy students get credit for answering, without having to speak up in a public manner, Galgano said.
Bush and Galgano are currently in a race against time to insure that the clickers are up and running and ready for the first day of school.
“This is going to be a really big priority for us,” Bush said. “We want to make sure that everyone is set up for the beginning of school.”
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