information for parents

Instructional Technology - Technology Initiatives

Technology Professional Development
In order to effectively integrate technology as a teaching and learning tool,  teachers need to have access to a wide-range of professional development opportunities. The goal of the Technology Services department is to provide a variety of experiences for teachers to build their instructional technology capacity and to ensure that all educators and students master the Technology Application Standards.

 

District Technology Professional Development:  Instructional Technology courses integrate content and technology standards. Each class is structured into two parts, coursework or actual “seat” time, and classroom application or “follow-up”. Participants receive credit based on instructional implementation.

Campus-Based Staff Development: 
The Campus-Based Staff Development (CBSD) program focuses on providing on-site technology professional development taught by campus technology leaders. The campus- based courses are scheduled through ATrain and are available to all North East teachers.

Technology Courseware (Independent Study): 
Online Consulting Courseware is designed for independent study by teachers. Courseware includes manuals and accompanying CD's. Teachers can use ATrain to search for and request existing courseware titles.
 

Elementary Keyboarding
In order to address keyboarding skills included in the State Technology Applications TEKS and to assist students in becoming more proficient in the use of technology, a district-wide keyboarding program has been undertaken for elementary campuses. First and second grade students use the Kid Keys program for the first ten minutes of computer lab time. Fourth and fifth grade students follow a typing tutorial called “KeyWords” using the AlphaSmart units for approximately six weeks. Pre and post-test scores of fourth and fifth grade students show increased speed and accuracy in keyboarding, with an improvement in overall computer skills by way of increasing access to technology.
 
GradeSpeed
GradeSpeed™, an electronic grading system provided by Campusware, was purchased by the District at the end of the 2001-2002 school year. GradeSpeed™ allows K-12 teachers to easily record, manage, and submit grades for printed progress reports and report cards. Teachers are able to access and modify their grade books from any computer on the campus, or from home over the Internet. In the near future, GradeSpeed™ will also manage student attendance data, and eventually provide parents with access to real-time progress report information any time of the day or night from any computer with Internet access.
 
Individual Teacher Websites
NEISD TeacherWeb has been implemented as part of the NEISD District Plan in the Fall of 2002. All NEISD teachers are expected to update web pages with essential classroom information to enhance communication with students and parents. Teachers are able to create and edit web pages from within their browser from home or from work (Internet Explorer or Netscape.) In addition, teachers are able to upload web pages created in other programs.
 
Multimedia Computers in Every Classroom

Classrooms across the District are equipped with at least one multimedia computer in addition to standard student computers. These multimedia computers provide teachers and students with the ability to produce video presentations and other multimedia projects, which can then be stored on CD’s for future presentation or modification. The Technology Services Department provides staff development on the use of these computers. Eventually, teachers and students will have the skills needed to produce class video projects, multimedia slideshows, and electronic portfolios on which student work can be appropriately stored and viewed.
 

Student Technology Application Standards

NEISD has taken the TEKS and created North East Technology Application Standards. The North East Standards represent a course of study that incorporate and expands upon the TEKS to ensure that all North East students receive an excellent education.

Students in grades K-2 gain basic skills such as inputting information, beginning touch keyboarding and becoming familiar with the computer. Using technology, students access information that can include text, audio, video, and graphics. They use computers and related technology to make presentations and prepare projects for foundation curriculum areas. In addition, pre-kindergarten guidelines for Technology Applications were made available to schools in December 1999. They articulate what three- and four- year old students should know and be able to do using technology.

Students in grades 3-5 use proper keyboarding techniques and acquire information by selecting the most appropriate search strategies. Students use word processing, graphics, databases, spreadsheets, simulations, multimedia, and telecommunications. They solve problems, communicate information in various formats to a variety of audiences, and evaluate their results.

Students in grades 6-12 become fluent in using multiple software applications and applying them across the curriculum. They build on the knowledge and skills mastered at the elementary school level. The students continue to demonstrate keyboarding proficiency in technique and posture while building speed. Students are introduced to increasingly complex skills and integration activities as they progress through elementary and middle school. These skills will provide a foundation for life-long learning in the information age.
 

Technology Standards for Educators
The State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC) has approved educator certification standards in Technology Applications for all beginning educators. These new standards are part of the new ExCET test frameworks in Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities and are scheduled for implementation in fall 2002. The new standards address what all teachers should know and be able to do as applied to the Technology Application Student Standards.

The Texas Education Agency recommends that all educators strive to meet these SBEC standards. To support this recommendation, and to assist all North East educators in meeting these standards, a committee of central office support staff, teachers, librarians, administrators, and community members are developing the North East Technology Applications Standards for Educators that address the standards through integration in order to improve teaching and learning.
 

Wireless Labs

Wireless technology increases the ratio of computers to students. Wireless labs give teachers the ability to move computers into the classroom instead of moving students to the computer lab. This provides teachers with more flexibility in time and space so that they can arrange their schedule and classroom as needed to maximize student learning. Wireless technology provides increased access and  versatility so students, administrators, teachers, librarians, and other staff members can use technology in a variety of learning environments.