• Technology Department Update
    In addition to our daily responsibilities of providing assistance to users experiencing technology issues and keep our technology systems up to date and performing optimally, we have been busy working on several special projects. 

    Special projects normally consist of deploying new equipment and services to our teachers and students. Since our last update, we have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to deploy many new and exciting devices within the district.

    SMART Projectors

    Over the last few months we have installed four new SMART projectors in K-3 classrooms, and are currently expecting 7 additional units to arrive any day now. We are planning to have SMART technology in nearly every K-3 classroom for the beginning of the 2013-14 school year. This is an exciting advancement, considering that as we started the 2011-12 school year, we only had two classrooms with SMART technology in the elementary space. What a difference a year makes!
    Smart Library
    Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Gray & Mrs. Novicky work the new Smart Projector

    In addition to the new deployments at the K-3 level, we also installed one unit at the High School Library. This unit is pictured above and is identical to the SMART projectors that will be installed in all of the 7-12 classrooms in the new building. This unit in the Library will be used for training and to allow teachers to bring their students in to conduct lessons with the new technology. Instructional Technology Coaches: Dodi Zbuka and Andrea Novicky are very excited to begin working with the High School and Junior High staff to spread the excitement and begin training them so that they can begin using the SMART projectors with the start of the new school year. 

    Document Cameras

    Another special project has been the delivery of a number of document cameras. Document cameras, which are used in conjunction with a projector in the classroom, allow teachers and students to display any medium to the entire class. Gone are the days that a teacher would have to make a copy of a students work on a transparency to display to the class. Teachers can now take papers, books, 3-D objects, etc. and display them under the document camera to share with the class. The document camera features a bendable neck with camera attached so that you can display from any angle. The software that comes with the document camera allows teachers to record live lessons to view later or post to their website. Some great examples of this have been science teachers performing experiments under the document camera and recording them, allowing students not present in class to watch when they return. 

    According to averusa.com and confirmed by our very own teachers, some of the ways that document cameras are being utilized in the classroom are: 

      Modeling the use of manipulatives for math, language arts and science 

      Demonstration of highlighting, finding key words or phrases in reading and to model the writing process (editing revising, etc.) 

      Student sharing of journals, writing samples and math solutions with the class 

      Demonstration of animal dissections, while capturing photos of different specimens for future reference and comparison 

      Capturing images of lessons and demonstrations to post online for absent or struggling students that need re-teaching 

      Modeling of other technology pieces (calculators, GPS units, Class Response clickers, MP3 players, etc.) 

      Displaying journal/magazine articles for students to read aloud or in groups, rather than making grainy black/white copies or having to order several subscriptions 

      Displaying fragile or detailed artifacts for social studies (documents, maps, fossils, etc) to avoid handling damage.

    Student with Doc Camera
    Classroom iPads

    As we work diligently to support and enhance our students’ education through the use of technology, grades K-3 have been to each receive a set of 5 classroom iPads. These iPads will be used to support reading through audio books on the devices, allowing students to see and hear the words of the book. The iPads will also support interactive books which allow students to identify problem words and have them spoken to them.  We hope to be able to expand the numbers available to each classroom in the coming years, hopefully getting 10 units in each classroom. Teachers will be going through training on best practices when utilizing the devices in the classroom. Part of the training will focus on what apps are best to use and what activities will most engage students. The teachers are enthusiastic about the addition to their classrooms and are eager to get them installed and begin using them.
    Graduation Pictures

    The technology department has recently begun a project to digitize all of the graduation pictures formerly hung in the halls of Springfield High School. The digitization of these important pieces of history will meet two primary needs:
    1. 1) Long term safety and archival of these images. 
      1. a. By digitizing these pictures, we can ensure that they are never lost to the community. The digital archives can be securely stored in various locations and on media guaranteed not to deteriorate over time, something that the printed pictures could not ensure. 
      2. 2) Provide increased accessibly to the portraits.
      3. a. Through digitization of the portraits and displays through a kiosk, or multiple kiosks, and possibly the web, more people can have access to viewing these pieces of history. The centralization of the pictures will also help keep our school facilities safer, by eliminating the need of community members to be in the education areas of the building to enjoy these pictures. 

    Our goal is to have the digitization complete by the end of this school year and have the project ready to unveil at the opening of the new Springfield Junior and Senior High School.

    Ohio Educational Technology Conference

    February 11 – 13 will find more than 6,500 educators around the state of Ohio participating on the statewide Educational Technology conference. This year’s conference theme is “Equip • Engage • Empower”. The theme on the opening day of the conference will center on Blended Learning. Springfield will be sending several staff members to learn about innovative new technology equipment and integration techniques. These staff members will then return to the district and share their experiences and new skills with their peers. You can learn more about the conference by visiting: https://www.etech.ohio.gov/conference

    Check back in the Spring release of “Spotlight on Springfield” to learn more about what we learned while at the conference.