Saturday, May 23, 2009

Title 2 Director, Barbara Moody, Visits the Literacy and Technology Team!

On May 22, Barbara Moody, joined the literacy and technology committee for an afternoon of celebration and planning. The committee was formed during the summer of 2008, due to the generous funding Barbara provided. It is a joint project between WMEC and BPI. Mona Baker, WMEC Executive Director, and Darlene Bassett, Educational Consultant, BPI created the pilot. Members of the committee were selected from teachers who have completed intensive literacy training.

The goal of the committee for the school year 2008-2009, was to explore avenues for enhancing literacy through technology. The team met 4 times throughout the year to review current research and share classroom use of technology.
During Barbara's visit on Friday, we shared these experiences as well as several projects and began plans for the coming school year.

Those present were:

  • Cathi Howell, Livermore Falls High School Librarian. Cathi shared her Bagel and Books project. A review of this project can be found at:
  • Megan Packard, Special Education Teacher at Livermore Falls High School.
  • Carol Hardy, Title 1 teacher at Jay Middle School.
  • James Danala, science teacher at Mt. Abram High School discussed his plans for using NING in his science program.
  • Polly MacMichal, English teacher at Mt. Abram High School. Polly shared her use of NING with her students as well as a site she had built for her English class.
  • Hattie Deraps, Alternative Education teacher at Mt. Blue, sent several blogs for us to share - one for student use and one for teacher networking.
The afternoon was spent enjoying these projects and discussing trends the committee has explored throughout the year - ranging from planning time for developing these materials to challenges presented by availablity of technology - teachers speaking for teachers.

Next year will be an exciting year.

Our complete membership will represent grades 3-12 as well as various levels of technology implementation. We are excited about this diversity because it will help us create projects teachers can use in their buildings specific to their grade levels as well as their opportunities for using technology in their classrooms - ranging from every child having his/her own laptop, classrooms with 3 or 4 computers to share, computer labs that can be used once a week, to classrooms where the only laptop in the room is owned by the teacher.

Following are the next steps we discussed.

  1. During the fall meeting formulate a study for the school year 2009-210. The purpose of the study will be to measure the correlation between the level of technology and student achievement. Those areas you have suggested we consider will include: student engagement, completion of assignments, and scores (perhaps NWEA). We explored the possibility of creating control groups in each school.
  2. Each teacher will create at least one project for student use, to be shared with teachers at a later date.
  3. The team will work on expanding the teacher networks we have begun to develop - blogs, ning, sites, etc.
  4. In addition to the time line we have created (piloting projects this fall followed by staff development this spring), teachers have agreed to participate in a webinar sometime in March to be broadcast from the department of education. We discussed the possibility of providing two sessions for teachers throughout the state.
  5. We will continue to compile a list of resources available to teachers. We will continue to publish these resources on the blog we have created.

Stay tuned! Some topics coming up next year: pod casts, marvel and differentiation, audio visual resources for content, creating a blog for your classroom, protected e-mail systems for schools, useful resources for teachers - FREE! - and much, much more:)

Once again, many thanks to Barbara and the committee for all of their efforts to support Maine teachers in order to make a difference for the students we serve.

Together we make a difference,
Darlene Bassett, Educational Consultant

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