County Schools Plan Technology Facilitators To Help With Flood Of New Devices

Thursday, March 20, 2014

County school officials gave a presentation on Thursday to the School Board's technology committee, laying  out its goals for the next three years, including hiring technology facilitators to help teachers give their curriculum a technology upgrade.

One committee member said, "We don't currently have the structure in place to adequately train everybody with access to all the devices that are flooding in."

But all of the new technology available to students has brought other issues as well.

Teachers must keep students from using their phones during class as well as determine which sites students can access when they are allowed to use devices on school Internet.

Superintendent Rick Smith said, "It's a behavior problem, not a device problem. We have to decide how we hold people accountable to that." He said some teachers had a "parking lot" for cell phones as soon as students walked into the classroom.

However, it was pointed out that even though social media can be a distraction, it also holds much untapped potential as far as education goes. Committee members said some teachers were using Twitter to allow students to interact and share information pertaining to the lesson.

While some schools have yet to be upgraded, some teachers have already "flipped" their classrooms. These teachers film their lesson, allowing their students to watch it on their own time. This allows them to use their class time in a more hands-on manner. Students no longer spend lengthy amounts of time listening to lectures only to struggle with homework problems later. Instead, they do the practice work in class where they are able to receive help from their teacher.

Superintendent Smith said, "The more we engage the student, the less discipline we'll have to have."

In the Technology Implementation Plan, six specific goals were set.

The first is targeted professional development, providing teacher support and training on technology integration. To accomplish this, the Board seeks to create a Professional Learning Department and hire 25 technology facilitators.

The second goal is upgrading infrastructure such as wireless internet connections and bandwidth.

Third is equal device access for all students through leasing options and providing devices for students who can't afford their own.

The fourth goal is PARCC preparation and assuring there will be available tech support during testing times.

Fifth is the development of electronic media. This goal includes teaching students to use social media appropriately as well as making digital lessons available to teachers. The Board also wants to take greater advantage of Cloud Computing.

The sixth goal is to improve internal and external communication channels between all stakeholders.

The last goal is to find more technology funding sources, such as grants.

 

 

 


New Communications Arts Building Nearing Completion At Lee University

Main Street Cleveland members got a preview tour of Lee University's nearly-finished Communications Arts Building Monday. "We wanted it to look great all the way around," Dr. Jerome Hammond, vice president for university relations, told those touring the 41,000 square foot building. The structure will be a prominent part of downtown. One foyer opens onto the Ocoee St. and Central ... (click for more)

UTC College Of Business Hosts Veterans Entrepreneurship Program

For the third consecutive year, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Veterans Entrepreneurship Program is offering free training and mentoring in entrepreneurship and small business management to our nation’s disabled and service distinguished veterans.   Participants in this year’s VEP are attending an eight-day boot camp at UTC through Saturday, July ... (click for more)

EPB Files With FCC To Expand TV, Phone, Internet Offerings Outside Electric Service Area

 EPB announced Thursday that it has filed a petition to the FCC "in an effort to respond to neighboring communities’ requests for access to the company’s gigabit enabled high-speed Internet service." Officials said, "EPB offers high-speed Internet access, video programming and voice services using a fiber optic communications network that allows the company to deliver these ... (click for more)

Black Creek Developers Say They "Followed The Rules" On $9 Million TIF: To Continue Project

The developers of the Black Creek project at Aetna Mountain said Thursday they "complied precisely by the rules when we applied for and received approval of the TIF district." Doug Stein said the group plans to continue on with the project, which he said earlier would include the creation of a small town on a huge undeveloped tract on the mountain above Black Creek (formerly ... (click for more)

Cell Phones And Roundabouts

I read the article written by Chris Morgan about the use of cell phones in vehicles and the Chattanooga Roundabouts. Cell phone use in vehicles especially in crisis intersection situations is extremely dangerous. I also agree with his assessment about the roundabouts. One problem I see with roundabouts is that on the two-lane roundabouts where they are coming in from ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The NCAA’s “Division IV”

Jonathan Jensen and Brian Turner are two very smart guys. Not long ago the two sports researchers at Ohio State authored a story that appeared in the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports that focused on the most successful college football teams in the country and, earlier this week, a writer named Ben Cohen broke it down in understandable terms for a fascinating Wall Street ... (click for more)