April 11 Notes

April 11, 2011 Notes


<<Note: A summary of the Morning Presentation is has been moved to the end of this document as our homework will focus on the Digital Learning Critical Element.  (Also see the flipchart notes)>>

In examining the comments, a sixth category has emerged that we are calling "Data and Information System." We have highlighted in red some of the comments that are relevant to data and information systems.


II.            Digital Learning Critical Elements-Key Issues: Group Discussion Highlights


A.    Infrastructure and Hardware

1.      Technology can leverage student learning for all.

2.      Are handhelds valued and accepted as learning tools?  They need to be utilized within the classroom instruction and learning.

3.      People are a critical part of successful digital virtual or blended learning along with the IT stuff.

4.      Technology does not stop with the stuff in a room it must encompus the people and ongoing systematic professional development.

5.      Equitable access primary importance.  “People Connectivness” and sufficient technology needs to be the same everywhere.

6.      Handhelds/cell phones are a valuable tool for learning when used correctly.

7.      Bring personal devices into the infrastructure.

8.      Need more access generally to use technology for both teachers AND students (blocking, firewalls, authentication).

1.      Need IT support but need to make IT know about needs of teachers.  Hard core IT staff should not drive what happens in the classroom.

2.      Need wireless to allow staff/students to bring their own devices.  Students can then download lessons onto their handheld.  (More schools are allowing students to bring their cell phones, and smart phones.)  How to schools manage this and turn it into a positive experience.  And not just uncontrolled texting.

3.      Need staffs who are instructional technology integrators.  These are just as important as hard core IT support staff.

4.      Not all school districts have the same equipment or staff.

5.      Assessment of school infrastructure, where are we, including the community? Fiber and WIFI minimums for each school.

6.      How do we reallocate/re-purpose current dollars to leverage these new technologies?

7.      Reinstate TEACH block-grant subsidizes to school.

8.      Be like Utah – every school district needs a one gig connection.

9.      New TEACH Wiring LOAN program (50/50) renewed - with minimum standards – shared services possibility with local government and or libraries.  Begin to think of/make use of Regional or Cloud data centers

10.  How can we create a platform or opportunities to really share curriculum and best practices at the regional levels in terms of changing curriculum and pedagogy in the classroom, professional development practices, etc?

11.  Really use the 1-1 as more than just productivity tool.

12.  Equity of professional development across the state in terms of teacher readiness.

13.  DPI and state level associations (CESA, WASBO, WASDA, AWSA, etc.) with standing work groups to look as if given infrastructure how can we drive down costs.

14.  Give school and district leaders the tools to be proactive.

15.  ITunes for Wisconsin, or a state library media specialist.

16.  Visual presentation for visual learners -- experience it! For some blogging/conversation about it, and the understand it.

17.  Ben Shapiro’s offer designing system.

18.  Tons of content available, because of infrastructure content is hard to find and access, so professional development needs are not being met.

19.  Technology needs to take a back seat to pedagogy.

20.  Hardware is available, but instructors don’t have the time to learn how to use it well.

21.  Mike Kerr explained that the state can leverage their tech contracts to demand more support from the hardware vendors and telecoms to maximize the value of your investments. Talk to your private sector counterparts, people you know in the community and you’ll hear that you want to buy for your future needs, not what you need now.

22.  All classrooms need to have basic/common 21st century digital learning tools

23.  A common framework for the student information system makes data processing and accessing better but doesn’t solve all issues.

24.  Handheld mobile devices present a unique and different scenario

25.  The platform should be driven by what is to be learned and delivered

26.  Data needs to be filtered for the teachers use – not pure data.  Use analytics to filter data so it is consumable by the classroom teacher.  Train lead teachers as peer mentors in the school.  Could be an Ed Stats online course.

27.  Set minimum state standards supported through funding like the TEACH funds in the past

28.  Need common standards for productivity tools to support student and educator collaboration.  One common function would be like “signing into Facebook”.

29.  Need real-time data for classroom teachers to develop relevant instruction and learning

30.  Need universal statewide broadband capacity

31.  Show committee and districts model 1-2-1 programs.

32.  Look into GoKnow.com for using old cell phones

B. Professional Learning

1.      Some are uneasy with learning outside of the classroom.

2.      What is the CESA role?

3.      How to use and connect through technology today and plan for the ever-changing future?

4.      Biggest disconnect is that you deliver professional development and then teachers get it, so professional development ends.  Teachers do not leave with a competency in using technology effectively.  They need systemic and sustained professional development, especially through ongoing peer leadership and mentoring.

5.      Need face time to keep staff trained up regularly because so many tech platforms have an 18 month life cycle.

6.      LMS have skills but don’t have enough face time with teachers or admin to share their expertise.

7.      Educators need to understand that the focus should be on teaching people how to learn to use tools, not how to use a specific tool, i.e., PowerPoint.

8.      Good professional development leads to better pedagogy.

9.      Faculty motivation suffers because instructors may not believe they have time to learn how to use anything new.

10.  Teachers need to feel they’re compensated to learn new tools.

11.  Create a way to share with school district administrators periodically learning tools or a learning repository or a top 10 list of the most important new tools

12.  All teachers need to learn to access, review data for driving the focus of instruction

13.  Build teacher skills in project-based learning and facilitators of learning


C. Curriculum and Instruction

1.      Needs to impact students in the physical classroom, as well as beyond the classroom walls.

2.      Reach optimum student learning through digital tools.

3.      Is there a minimum “seat time”, Carnegie unit etc. or does the time on learning task change in the virtual learning environment?

4.      We ask the staff for what are the barriers but need to ask the students

5.      Need eCivics for students, need to build a learning network beyond the classroom, beyond the school district and into the global learning community.

6.      Need to teach creative and critical thinking.  Need to facilitate the learning of 21st century skills.

7.      Students are not motivated by the need to memorize content to pass tests and do well in the assessment process.

8.      Revise 21st Century Skills list so they can be used as part of an assessment metric.

9.      Complete the crosswalk between Common Core Standards AASL21st Century Learning Outcome and ISTDE standards.

10.  Standards for standards sake aren’t good enough, we need ways to develop instructional standards to teach those skills to meet those standards.

11.  We need more robust and systematic portfolio process to augment the information available through formal assessments

12.  I’m worried about the ability of students in rural schools to continue to succeed given the dramatic cuts we are experiencing.

13.  Chicago used discretionary $ to meet the immigrant family issues through Saturday classes 


D.    Policies and Procedures

1.      Districts need to refresh policies to meet the student learning needs today, especially using 21st century global tools, like handhelds, collaborative web 2.0 spaces and devices.

2.      Need to update CIPA policies.

3.      Need policies to address bring personal devices unto the school network.

4.      We need to explore ways to train students on how to use social networking tools responsibly.  Especially because CIPA (Children’s Internet Protection Act) Requires filtering if school district receives CIPA funds.

5.      There is not enough time for classroom instructors to learn new technology and policies needed to support flexibility around time for teacher’s learning.

6.      Policies that support conference attendance are helpful because educators have the time and mental bandwidth to learn in that environment.

7.      Policies that will help connect educators to a rich learning environment are important.  Some existing policies that block technology learning opportunities should be eliminated.

8.      Teachers need top level support and funding to support tech learning.

9.      Get rid of policies that prohibit social networking or mobile devices.

10.  School boards often need to be educated about the broader technology needs in their schools.

11.  Additional collaboration among institutions could facilitate greater awareness of teachers’ technology learning needs.

12.  Policies that encourage more flexibility are core.

13.  Cell phone policies need to be revised to make it possible for students to use cell phones for learning purposes.

14.  There’s a breakdown in communication, teachers on front end often don’t get the word on new tech and tools.  There’s a lack of buy-in by teachers even after administrators may agree that new tools are important.

15.  A peer-to-peer showcase can be helpful in breaking down barriers.

16.  Rewards and recognition need to be made available to support educators who incorporate technology into their classroom use.

17.  Getting teacher buy-in to process of learning new tech and using it in the classroom is crucial.

18.  Human Resource policies need to consider human infrastructure to encourage teachers to collaborate around new technology/common core standards and learning plans and assessments.

19.  There’s a dichotomy between the Common Core Standards and creation of learning activities.

20.  Focus on desired outcomes, not forcing teachers to follow a blueprint in the classroom.

21.  Minutes of instruction guidelines tie instructor’s hands so that they have no flexibility to incorporate new tools.

22.  Instructional technology, difficult to with all the other priorities in this current budget climate. 

23.  Appropriate use of technology, concerned about blocking social networking like Facebook, or do we educate students and parents about the proper ways to use technology.

24.  Need to break out of model of rigid 7 or 8 period days.   Digital learning can help breakdown time and space barrier.  (Charter schools are good at looking at alternatives to conventional classrooms.)  Different school schedules can be an issue, especially for families with several kids in different schools. 

25.  Many archaic policies that districts need to review.  Too many policies are based on how it was done in the past, etc.

26.  Education is birth to grade 16 – make the resources that as well.  Public School building resources should be Cradle to Grave operation.

27.  Connect student owned cell phones and other handheld devices to district network.


E.     Pedagogy

1.      Need to support evidence-based intervention and instruction.

2.      Educators need to learn to work together as a team, to collaborate and to teacher together

3.      Virtual does not eliminate the importance and critical piece of teacher in the classroom.  The role of the teacher changes from provider of information to facilitator and guide for learning.

4.      Take a look at update the roles of the instructional support educators.

5.      Outreach to students is key, finding the methods that are most accessible to students is key.

6.      What are the pedagogical challenges in the classroom?

7.      Technology has to be tied in to pedagogical goals.

8.      Identify pedagogical benefits that technology can address.

9.      Common core standards don’t currently have 21st century skills woven throughout.

10.  Rather than having a discrete lesson on math it should be a lesson that incorporates math using new technology.

11.  Too much focus on content, the focus should be on how students can learn, and the learning process.

12.  A consistent amount of time needs to be carved out to focus on pedagogy and incorporation of the latest tools.


F.     Resources

1.      Concerns about purchasing the stuff, getting the stuff – and then the “stuff” is not getting used, or getting used inappropriately.

2.      Free resources.  How do we share them?  Flexbooks – Free resources.  How relevant are our textbooks?

3.      Carolyn – new tools every day, find specific targeted at the school/system level.

4.      Vicki – what works well at individual level doesn’t work on system and vice versa (wikis, for example). Ben when developing a program doesn’t do multiple interfaces for a number of different situations

5.      Carolyn – Spanish immigrants in/out, don’t have at home…can get Open Office OR Google Docs either will work. However, must pick tool that works where ever student is. When talk about web 2.0 tools have common…teachers need to be able to coach students on effective use.

6.      Jim – Let’s make a distinction between instructional tools versus productivity tools (Google docs), for example. State RPF might help establish a common base.

7.      Jim –Leased lines, T1 (schools and libraries) NEED state broadband initiative for all to create level playing field.

8.      Vicki – State spending money on a variety of resources for teachers, teachers (BadgerLink, WEMTA, ECB). But teachers don’t know what they are!!! Need to bring together to make easier to find and use. Now need to go to multiple sites, etc.
Ben – Netflix recommends functionality to recommend “in schools’ like yours…”

9.       Information literacy skills need to be connected with home life

G.    Important Issues

1.      Digital learning, importance of integration.  Cannot be viewed in isolation.

2.      How do you bring in and get support of administrators?  They have time pressure but know they need to do this and have a better understanding of it.

3.      What happens if the technology fails?  Learning cannot stop, there has to be a backup plan.

4.      BadgerLink, ECB, Ideas…pull together Netflix recommender systems across. Middle school refresh, gave each laptops to change whole storage system changes and turns them ito a 21st century. PCs with some amount of administrative privileges to give so ownership felt by kids and empowered to different things.  Jim – Agree BUT how to manage “unacceptable use” district-wide? There are laws that must be followed.

5.       “I can’t get there, I can get there” types of situations (depending on IP range, passwords, etc.) cause frustration.  Blocking, need quick process to get clear. Twitter and way around social connection when Facebook blocked.

6.      US is behind other G20 countries.  Our 10th graders rank 25th in the world.  This is a major problem for future economy.

H.    Road Blocks

1.      Harder for teachers to deal with students at so many different learning levels.  Technology can exacerbate this.  Example:  Teacher doing podcast weekly of important concepts taught that past week and then also review what important concepts are coming up in the next week.

2.      Blended learning concepts:  How to incorporate classroom and online courses? (Less face-to-face classroom time).  By using a blended learning concept, online courses doesn’t really free up teachers time, since all students can be asking different questions online that the teacher needs to answer in a timely fashion.  Example:  Imagine 30 students online all asking questions to one teacher.  Wisconsin Virtual School does a great job of this, can it be replicated? 


III.            Miscellaneous

In some cases high schools are ahead of higher education as far as technology integration.  As a result, some students may be frustrated by their college experience.   Administrators concern about the security of data and the technology used to collect that data.


Investment of Utilization – How and When?


Shared Curriculum, Shared Operations


IV.            Recommendations/Suggestions:

1.      Look at what other states are doing, like Massachusetts?

2.      Look at the Federal Technology Plan.

3.      School district goals: getting all teachers on board with the integration of technology in the classroom.

4.      Empowered Use of Technology – Check out Scott McCleod.

5.      Query state that are leaders (Utah for 1 gig, etc…) and get pros and cons. Inventory of lighthouse state and how did they get funding, and show ROI/results more than just number of teachers doing X, Y, Z.

6.      GWETC reborn? How can we create a critical opportunity that people in the state can’t miss? SLATE as the go TO CONF?

7.      Results of current technology survey.


VI.     Questions:

1.      What is the ultimate goal of the committee?

2.      Are we asking the right questions?

3.      Trend identification?

4.      Which ones are we focusing on?  Should we be split into smaller groups?

5.      Need to narrow focus, have specific action items.  Need to go through a priority setting exercise.  Of all the ideas, which are most important, etc.?

6.      Professional development a big issue.  It never ends.  It is an ongoing process throughout a teacher’s career.  Maybe stress peer relationships or mentors.

7.      Bring together the different groups.   If you get to priorities, then where the priorities fit into the categories will be more apparent.  Do not let categories necessarily drive priorities.

8.      How do you design a learning activity that emphasizes tech and student engagement?

9.      Can digital tools be used to help keep rural students from falling behind now?

10.  Should we flush out detail for the 4 areas in smaller groups – council people sign up by interest?

11.  Do teacher’s evaluations include goals that focus on technology?

12.  BIG GROUP – what are current assets in the state that we know about that we can build on? What does it look like/make it concrete?

13.  What does good 21st century look like and taking the time to learn it?

14.  Mutual support on regional level to move forward in tech, etc.  What could we regionalize to leverage numbers?

15.  From Tony - what are his big priorities system wide in terms of Every Child a Graduate?

16.  What does the Council charge look like in terms of Every Child a Graduate?

17.  Any states with new initiatives? Design feedback topics, questions to take back to specific groups?

18.  What is the real problem?  Do problems have common means to cut across the groups? What is the problem and what are the concerns? Understand the groups that are involved and doing the same things. Information systems of a school district – what are best practices? SIS information technologies conversation. Information technologies –information systems to support digital learning. Longitudinal data systems.

19.  Look at criteria on which each of the key themes would be evaluated – financial constraints and HR constraints need to be considered. 

20.  Need to create smaller working groups to develop recommendations which can then be reviewed by the larger group.

21.  We need to have a vision that is broad enough to be amenable to everyone.

22.  Get feedback from classroom teachers and students early in the process (before recommendations are made) – could be as simple as “what is the one thing you would change in your classroom from a technology perspective?”

23.  (Higher education, universities and colleges, need to be kept aware of recommendations that come out of this group)


VII.   Next Steps:

1.      Embedded into district Information and Technology Plans.

2.      Formulate what needs to be defined by October 1, 2011.

3.      Break the large group into sub-work groups according to their special interests and expertise.

4.      Set-up these focus groups the work of these groups would be posted and open for comment by the other groups to avoid silos.

5.      Make sure that the work groups have diverse representation from all walk of lives

6.      The planning process needs to be ongoing and continuous improvement and change

7.      Mechanism for maintain as a living document and for keeping current and futurist

8.      Provide templates for planning and for policy – work with WASB

9.      Review other state plans

10.  Evaluate PD around the state and leverage what is working

11.  Define a 21st century digital classroom/learning environment.  Then establish partnerships with business and industry to build these classrooms equitably across the state.

12.  Define the composite of the group that drives the standards for the 21st century classroom.

13.  Look at other states professional development plans and programs and resources.

14.  Where do we need to go next in the planning process? What are your suggestions for next steps?

15.  Subcommittee groups to really delve into each one of these areas – get outside our own areas

16.  Talk concretely about what we want to do

17.  Empower subcommittees – will the subcommittees be knowledgeable of laws, polices, etc.: expertise in the groups; need the right mix of people; rules you need to keep in mind.

18.  What’s involved in infrastructure, laws, etc.; know what the technical limitations are; know about networks – technical and innovation; invite a couple key vendors or consultants

19.  Be really problem focused – i.e. How do we deal with mobility? The task force needs to be adequately informed? Question about infrastructure – make sure it’s scalable. Best practices in each area – people who know it and are open

20.  Subcommittees that are informed about the rules

21.  On Google Docs – accessible doc for each group

22.  Committee put together draft document – best practices and protocols for everyone to vet.  Research, recommendations, data, etc.

23.  Planning group comes up with a structure for how the groups look at each issue. Guiding principles – vision for each group. Action steps.

24.  What other research models are working?

25.  State superintendent talking about what are the main issues facing Wisconsin.

26.  Profile of digital classroom/learning environment.

27.  Bring people in who know more about the infrastructure.

28.  Creating repository of where we are with other plans and other initiatives, more context benchmarking.

29.  Share the Google Site so everyone can review what we have.

30.  DPI also has some next steps to share documents.

31.  Folks would want to break off into interest/expertise groups – folks will be asked to assign themselves to a group.

32.  ID Questions to get feedback on.  Multiple methods to provide feedback.

33.  Share points on the posters with all participants and gather more feedback. Incorporate feedback to flesh out each of the key themes then summarize each of the 5 categories.

34.  Survey the advisory council  (either first or after the smaller work groups have been able to assess)  get feedback on each of the  cores subjects and report back – then the whole group can review  - there may be other ideas and thoughts that have not been shared yet.  Only about 20% of participants haven’t spoken up.

35.  We can prioritize the feedback of everyone and break out key themes rather than sending a laundry list to shareholders – determine the top 5 or 10 points under each of the key themes.


VIII.    MPS Specific Needs

1.      Ben - idea human development versus technology development, lots of technology in Milwaukee schools but need something more.

2.      Jim – I am concerned about mobility of kids and teachers. Need to provide a foundation suite common to each school to create a common technology platform(s)--Microsoft Suite, Discovery ED, etc. …then deal with special needs, of course.  NEED to recognize mobility and plan for that. Creates failure without common infrastructure.

3.      Jim – Problem in Milwaukee schools that many different technology tools in play with no coordinated focus.  Jim wanted to get handle on this situation and so asked for a chart of all instructional technology in use.  Became obvious there was a lot of “impulse buying.” Not research based! Many pieces of software serving only a very small population in a class or school, but not across MPS. District needed to be wiser for MPS district AND state to focus. Don’t want classroom teacher to re-invent over and over.  MPS Central portal attempts to focus around common set. List common tools for district licensed resource. This change toward common tools eliminated most impulse buying for MPS.

4.      Jim – new teachers blind to policies and procedures. The reality of teaching in classroom with technology. Also need to be trained how to use technology not simply use facebook.  Need to differentiate between rural and urban education needs. Different culture, diversity, family life, homelessness. Teachers unprepared about obstacles that kids will face in these particular circumstances.  Some states have state stamp of approval for urban education and prepared to handle. Lessen that stock…why have so many dropouts in first year teachers.

5.      Jim – Milwaukee schools use books to create common base-level of instructional tools and software.

IX.           Other Stakeholders

1.      Identify stakeholders to get feedback from-students need to be at the table (diverse groups of students)

2.      County,  Local government & UW Extension

a.       Expanded broadband

b.      Benefits of working together

c.       WCAN leverage

3.      ID key tech companies to ID skills/Tech College

4.      Embed Ben and his team into the Curriculum & Assessment team

5.      PTO/PTA groups to engage parents

6.      Identify which companies benefit from the students we graduate?


X.               Things to Think About for Next Meeting

1.      Homework assignment – resource place to go so the next meeting everyone is informed

2.      Break off naturally into interest/expertise groups.

3.      Guiding principles and core values for one homework assignment.



Parking Lot


1.      What is valued?  Is risk-taking acceptable and encourage by/in higher education

2.      There is a leadership gap.  Administration need to be the leaders and facilitators.

3.      Students believe that learning in the classroom does not happen – especially for boys.  Students view the school and the classroom as a place to endure and then engage in true relevant learning after school hours.  How do we think about learning for all and in all places?

4.      Need to prepare students for learning beyond high school – including the tech college.

5.      Teach the student how best to learn and how they learn best.


I.            RtI, Balanced Assessment and Common Core State Standards: Presentation Notes


A.    What do we expect all students to learn?

·         RrI: collaboration, balanced assessment,

·         Impetus for the Common Core State Standards

o   Uniting all state standards

o   All students prepared to compete

o   Key elements: consistency, student ownership, equity, accountability

o   Portrait of 21st century student

§  Demonstrate independence

§  Build strong content k and knowledge

§  Respond to varying audience, task, purpose, and discipline

§  Comprehend and critique

§  Value evidence

§  Think creatively and critically

o   Leverage technology for…


B.     What do students need to know and be able to do?

·         Balanced Assessment: RtI relationship with assessment: SMARTER Balanced Assessments

o    30 state consortium

o   Bring states together to understanding student performance

o   Principals:

§  Grounded in a thoughtful standards-based curriculum

§  Student Performance

o   Elements:

§  Summative test grades 3-8

§  Adaptive test platform allow indicators of student actually performance

§  Balance with Common Core Standards

§  Formative and Benchmark Assessments

·         Online clearinghouse

·         Online adaptive resources


C.    How will we respond when some haven’t learned …?

·         RtI vision reach all students through analysis of  Progress Monitoring data

·         All learning levels of not meeting benchmarks and exceeding benchmarks

·         Benchmarks for : Instruction, Collaboration/Results Monitoring and Balanced Assessments

·         Meet needs of students through asynchronous and synchronous learning environments