Higgins ISD realizes that successful education must integrate technology. By using technology, the teachers will become more efficient and effective in achieving their educational goals. The students will be given the best education possible by taking advantage of todays technology and will leave Higgins Public School with a multitude of opportunities and experiences.
First, integrating technology into instructional approaches will increase student achievement by improving the quality of curriculum and instruction. Second, information technology allows the school to become a networked organization focused around student achievement. And thirdly, computers provide wide-spread availability to the expertise of other schools and professions, connecting the school to the community and the world-at-large.
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Higgins ISD currently has thirty-nine computers. Twenty-six Macintosh G3 computers and two Macintosh iBooks which are Internet accessible. Five Macintosh LC580 computers and four Macintosh iMacs that are not Internet accessible. Two PCs, located in the financial secretarys and the attendance secretarys offices, that are also Internet accessible. Additional computer equipment includes 3 HP1600CM printers, a HP LaserWriter printer, a Color StyleWriter 1500 printer and 2 Connectix Color Quickcams, one scanner and one casio digital camera. The three HP1600CM printers are located in the high school computer lab, the school library, and the elementary section of the school. The printers are connected to the main hub with drops and are located in the elementary, the computer lab, and the high school area. The remaining two printers are located in the K-5 lab and are not currently connected to the network. The Quickcams are located in the high school computer lab and the junior high/high school science lab. The scanner is located in the HS computer lab and the digital camera is in the JH/HS science lab.
Current hub room equipment consist of a Kentrox AAC-1 Data Only, Cisco 2501 Router, Superstack II Dual Speed Hub 500, SCII Switch 3000 10/100 12 Rpt, and a 33.6 External Modem with cable.
Eighty-eight percent of the classrooms have at least one Internet accessible computer. The Higgins ISD library is Internet accessible. The K-5 lab has eight Macs, 3 which are Internet accessible. The junior high/high school lab has nine Macs and two
iBooks which are all Internet capable. The superintendents office contains a Macintosh computer with Internet capabilities. The ratio of students to computers is 2.5:1.
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GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
The Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills specify knowledge and skills across all discipline areas and offer the opportunity to integrate technology into all aspects of teaching and learning.
In a technology-integrated classroom, teaching practices reflect regular use of technology to access remote information, to communicate with students and parents, and to complete administrative tasks such as student progress reports, assessment database and word processing. For the student, learning is facilitated by an increased access to information allowing the student the ability to evaluate, manipulate and synthesize new knowledge.
In the constructivist classroom, knowledge is not passively received, but actively constructed by learners. Technology provides students with a variety of information sources replacing the sole reliance on the textbook. The use of technology in the classroom not only assists the teacher with high interest material, but provides the students with the opportunity to check new information against old, thereby constructing new understandings. Technology as an instructional tool is a sound fit in the constructivist classroom.
Our plan is guided by our vision of establishing a community network which will connect all learners to the world. Through technology, the district is securing the technology resources need to realize the vision of linking all learners to the world. This vision is a blueprint for efficient connections between schools, homes, businesses, government, healthcare facilities, and institutions of higher education creating a community-wide network.
Goals for future equipment include the purchase of the following equipment by 2001-2002: (1) Additional drops to bring 100% of classroom to Internet accessibility, (2) Digital cameras for JH and elementary, (3) Scanner for the elementary/JH, (4) Additional Internet accessible iBooks with airports, and (5) 3 mini-hubs, (6) Software, (7) TVs to be used as a classroom monitor for each classroom, (8) Laser bar code reading pen, (9) 4 Airports, and (10) 2 hubs for wireless access in main campus building.
By 2002-2006: (1) Zip drive, (2) Rewritable CD Drive, (3) LCD Panel, and (4) Local access dial-up.
Hardware objectives are: (1)Acquire new or upgrade present hardware according to district standards to raise and improve the districts technology level and (2) Pilot and evaluate emerging technologies.
Software objectives are: (1) Establish standards for software purchasing, licensing, refreshment, and upgrading of obsolete software and (2) Complete and update a central catalog system of current software at all levels insuring equal access to all..
Networking objectives are: (1) Evaluate current connectivity requirements within the district and community and make recommendations for increased access, (2) Provide access to two-way video for every learner, (3) Provide connectivity resources within the community through local dial-up access, and (4) Pilot and evaluate innovative uses of connectivity to insure access for all.
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The enrollment for Higgins ISD, Prekindergarten through twelfth grade is 96 students. Demographic information for Higgins ISD is illustrated in the following three criteria:
Three percent are minority students.
Sixty-four percent are designated as disadvantaged students.
Twenty-three percent are designated as at-risk students.
Forty-nine percent are female students.
Higgins is located in Lipscomb County, which is the very northeastern most county in the Texas panhandle. Higgins is a rural, ranching community. Amarillo, which is located 125 miles southwest of Higgins, is the nearest metro area.
Higgins remoteness is demonstrated by the fact that it only has one Internet server through a non-local business providing local dial-up service. However, through the 1997 TIF grant, Higgins ISD has acquired a direct connect T1 line for the school system. Yet the community members still do not have easy or affordable access.
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PAST COST $20.160.00
PIN Membership Fees 250.00
PIN Internet Service Provider 7,200.00
ESC XVI Filtering 710.00
ESC XVI E-mail Accounts 300.00
Staff Development 3,500.00
Repairs and Maintenance 200.00
CURRENT COST.................................................. $23,187.00
ESC XVI E-mail and
Internet Service Provider. 2,400.00
ESC XVI Filtering 262.00
Region XVI Business and
Student Services 7,525.00
Staff Development 3,500.00
Repairs and Maintenance 500.00
FUTURE COST.................................................... $30,000.00
Fees Internet Service Provider 2,400.00
Fees Filtering Service 300.00
Fees Business and Student Serv. 7,800.00
Staff Development 4,500.00
Repairs and Maintenance 1,000.00
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EDUCATOR TECHNOLOGY TRAINING
Professional development is not a one-time event but is instead an ongoing activity in a strong support group of other learners who help and learn from each other. Teachers and administrators must be involved in the planning and implementation of the professional development. Professional development is provided at times when teachers and administrators are able to focus on the task at hand.
The World Wide Web is the most advanced and user friendly interface to the Internet, which allows more benefit to be gained without a lot of technical hurdles to be overcome. Technical training was introduced to the teachers by offering short half-day workshops on using the Internet. The goal of theses workshops was to introduce the faculty to the Internet, giving them an idea of what it is and what is available, so they could make a decision as to whether it was something they wished to put further time and energy into. At the end of these workshops the teachers were enthused and full of ideas about how to use this resource in their individual classrooms.
Phase I (2001-2002) - Basic operations of G3 computer system and Macintosh iBook laptops OS 8.2 - proper procedure for startup and shut-down, mouse maneuvers, identify parts of a computer, opening and closing applications, and setup and selection of printer. Using ClarisWorks word processing and AppleWorks word processing - type text, basic use of text fonts, size, and styles, save and retrieve files, print files, add graphics to text, use basic shortcut keys, and use basic grade book on a spreadsheet. Airport Wireless Connection - turn airport on, enter password and turn off airport. Netscape Navigator - enter URL, use hyperlinks, print, bookmark, and beginning search techniques. E-mail - address and compose, forward and reply, create address book, and set preferences.
Phase II (2002-2003) - G3 computer system and Macintosh iBook system - use control panel, chooser, system extensions, copy files, create folders, delete files/folders, desktop navigation, changing desktop settings, and install new system software when appropriate. ClarisWorks and AppleWorks - text formatting, renaming files, headers and footers, manipulate graphics by sizing, moving and copying, use spreadsheets including entering data, edit cells, add/delete rows or columns, moving blocks of data, use and edit formulas, and lock/unlock cells, use database including enter data, search and sort, and delete data and fields. Netscape Navigator - set preferences, download, use menus and functions, advanced search engines, refined searches, use cut, paste and attachments, download/copy photographs and setup personal bookmarks. E-mail - subscribe to listservs or newsgroups, attach files to e-mail, and create group in address book. Networking - file sharing. Webpage construction - organize outline, design basic HTML pages, edit, link, create multiple pages, use Claris Home Page. Technology Tools - use Quickcam, scanner and digital camera.
Phase III ( 2003-2006) - G3 computer systems and Macintosh iBook systems - Memory allocation and advanced System 8.2 operations. ClarisWorks and AppleWorks - advance word processing, spreadsheets and databases. Netscape Navigator - download audio and video and use network conferencing. Website Development - producing and maintaining webpages and advanced Claris Home Page.
Future goals for staff development is: (1) Provide a part- or full-time instructional technologist, (2) Unlimited opportunities for teachers to attend Region XVI workshops, (3) To increase collaboration and integration of innovative technologies into the curriculum, (4) Provide the necessary staff development to bring up and maintain a high technology level, (5) Pilot and evaluate emerging technologies.
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GOALS FOR STUDENT DEVELOPMENT
Integrate Internet and computer resources into daily curriculum to help raise scores in the targeted TAAS/TEKS objectives.
Higgins ISD plans to incorporate technology as a means of meeting TEKS. In mathematics, reading, and writing the following objective areas show trends for improvement
TEKS objectives for use of problem solving using estimation and problem solving using a solution strategy are addressed in the seventh grade coursework. All math teachers will focus on all TEKS objectives pertaining to: 1) problem solving using mathematical representation and 2) evaluating the reasonableness of a solution. Teachers can obtain supplemental review problems to enhance teaching strategies for increasing comprehension and application of TEKS.
Reading TEKS for summarization will be addressed throughout the curriculum. Emphasis is placed on TEKS objectives correlating to summarization and inferences and generalizations for 9th grade.
Internet access will allow students to locate book reviews for comparison of summarizations, as well as access to the Texas Library Commissions Gale Literature.. Students will read articles, located on websites, to interpret word meanings and outcomes, as well as, inference and generalization at all grade levels.
Writing TEKS objectives for spelling, capitalization, and punctuation will continue to be stressed at all grade levels across the curriculum.
Technology usage will promote comprehension and application of skills by locating and correcting grammar errors in Internet publications (newspapers, journal articles, etc.). Student based compositions containing errors will be posted on listserv for peer grammatical review with corrections obtained by e-mail.
The following is a list of technology skills that Higgins ISD will incorporate into the curriculum: Word Processing Skills - type text, use spell checker, save files, print, format text, use headers/footers, insert date/time/page number, insert graphic, manipulate objects and graphics by resizing, moving and copying, learn shortcut keys, and import data, graphic and photographs from Internet. Spreadsheet Skills - construct simple spreadsheet, enter data, add/delete/resize rows and columns, highlight and manipulate blocks of data, use formulas, change data to ask what if?, print, make charts and graphs. Database Skills - construct a simple database, enter data, distinguish between file, record and field, search and sort, add/delete a field/record, and print. Operating System Skills - demonstrate correct startup and shutdown procedures, open/close/activate windows, manipulate desktop and icons, use control panels, fileshare, create folders, format and copy disk, and copy files/folders from hard drive to disk and back again . Netscape Navigator Skills - enter URL, use hyperlinks, use directory buttons, use toolbar and menubar, print, save, bookmark, and perform a search. E-mail Skills - compose, reply, forward, save and print. Listserv Skills - compose and reply.
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In order to acclimate our students to this rapid flow of information we must bring it into the school environment. Textbooks which are eight years out of date and simplified subsets of real information do not create an environment where the student feels that their learning is being taken seriously. We must supply real data and up to date information on which the students can practice their processing and assimilation skills. At the same time we need excellent teachers to model these new learning skills.
Computer and networks are a necessity for all aspects of commerce and academic study in our modern world. There is no other place where this information is available in a timely manner. For this reason the Internet and other information technologies are rapidly becoming the new source for information in the classroom. This is a very different source and requires different skills to manipulate and digest than older sources. It is necessary to allow both teachers and students time to discover how to best use these resources in the classroom.
One important component of the students being able to acquire new computer skills is our philosophy of not limiting their knowledge or access to the computers. We do not have tightly controlled systems that determine exactly what a student can and can not use. We do not keep the kids out of the operating systems or the network. If a student is interested they are taught as much about the computer as they wish.
The majority of the students view technology as a tool that they use to accomplish the tasks assigned to them by their teachers. Our goal is to not hide the underlaying operating system, in fact we force the students to learn such things as: copying files and managing backups, moving files from one Mac to another and back, running all manner of applications; e-mail, word processing, graphing, spreadsheets and the Internet. There is some resistance and frustration to this requirement that they learn skills that dont directly relate to getting an assignment completed, but by the time a student has had this presented by all of their teachers, they begin to realize that they will really have to apply these skills to survive in our environment. Once this basic knowledge is mastered then acquiring new skills on the computers comes easily. We end up with students who are computer literate and have the skills to extend their knowledge beyond what they had to learn to get through high school.
All classes have included on-line resources as a part of the class. Throughout the curriculum students are using computers to write paragraphs and learning proofreading skills, practice and take spelling test, write reports, and make up their own review sheets. The students use the Internet to communicate with students from other schools through e-mail and post to student listservs. In addition, the students are learning to supplement their text material by searching the web for additional materials on their subject topics. The are keeping journals of current event projects, science projects and daily/weekly weather developments and data.
The teachers are using computers as an aid to individualize instruction. CD ROMs, that accompany their text, are used to supplement their teaching materials. Computers are being used as a reinforcement tool for weekly spelling test. The teachers are reinforcing writing skills by having students compose paragraphs at the word processor. The skills being addressed are correct sentence construction, proper English usage, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.
SCE teachers and students are using the computers to develop skills which have been targeted by the TAAS test. Chapter 1 teachers/students are using computers to raise their comprehension and retention while raising TAAS mathematics scores. The Gifted and Talented classes have been very successful on the Internet while searching for information for their independent study topics, such as famous trials.
The mathematics classes are using the graphing calculator application to better understand linear and quadratic equations and their solutions in high school as well as to achieve passing scores on the End-Of-Year Algebra test. Computers and software are being utilized to develop problem solving and higher level thinking skills across the curriculum.
The economics classes do a stock market simulation where each student is given imaginary money to invest. They track their investments over a period of one semester, keeping a record on a spreadsheet showing their gain or loss of money through their investment and graphically show this data at any time. This class uses a free on-line resource provided by one of the large investment companies that gives current stock quotes to track the companies in which they have invested.
Science classes use the internet to read scientific journals pertaining to individual research projects. Students are also taught to use the scanner, digital camera, import/export images into word processing programs, digital probes, and graphing calculators. This gives students an opportunity to increase their skills for constructing and interpreting graphical data. Students use the Texas Library Connections Gale Literature on-line link to search for scientific experimentation and evaluate journal articles.
Finally, as teachers become more aware of the potential of the Internet, they usually include it in the assignments they give their students along with the following comment, And you might want to check the Internet for sources for this project. This is probably the most powerful use of the Internet as it leads the students to explore and discover resources beyond what teachers could be expected to know. When this is coupled with the student sharing their knowledge with the class, everyone benefits.
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The growing use of technology in the classroom results in viewing learning as qualitively different. Advances in telecommunications technologies (Internet, e-mail, distance-learning, etc. ) allow students to have access to new and different types of information worldwide. When properly used, technology can enhance the achievement of students.
The ongoing evaluation of this plan will examine the impact of integrated technology in the classroom by examining the following research questions:
1. Basic Skills Instruction - Is technology being used to individualize instruction? Is technology serving as an effective tutor for students learning basic reading, writing, and math skill?
2. Advanced Skills Instruction - Is interactive technology used in moving all students beyond the basic skills? Are computer-generated simulations, distance learning, CD-ROMS, and the Internet being used so that students learn how to organize complex information, draw inferences, recognize patterns, and communicate finding? Is technology helping students develop advanced problem-solving skills?
3. Student Motivation - Is the use of technology impacting students motivation and attitudes about themselves and about learning? Is technology having an impact on student attendance or dropout rates?
4. Student Assessment - Is multimedia technology expanding the possibilities for more comprehensive student assessment requiring the students active participation and application of knowledge? Is technologys storage capacity used to develop electronic portfolios of students work?
5. Improved Teachers Skills - Is access to learning providing the teacher with improved content knowledge and enhanced methods of delivering the content to students?
6. Increased Family Involvement - Is connectivity with the family providing a positive link between the family and the school resulting in open dialogue with the teacher and continued learning for the family?
7. Improved School Management - Are advances in management information systems reducing the paperwork burden on all staff members and improving data collection to enhance quality instruction?
8. Increased Communications - Is the community connected in such a way that all community members have access to each other and the school?
There is a need to develop measurement tools to describe the effect of technology on learning. The ongoing evaluation of technology integration will provide schools with accurate information on how to allocate resources as well as on sound instructional decision making.
Higgins Public Schools
Parent Permission Letter
Internet and Electronic Mail Permission Form
We are pleased to offer students of the Higgins Public Schools access to the district computer network for electronic mail and the Internet. to gain access to e-mail and the Internet, all students under the age of 18 must obtain parental permission and must sign and return this form to the computer technologist. Students 18 and over may sign their own forms.
Access to e-mail and the Internet will enable students to explore thousands of libraries, databases, and bulletin boards while exchanging messages with Internet users throughout the world. Families should be warned that some material accessible via the Internet may contain items that are illegal, defamatory, inaccurate or potentially offensive to some people. While our intent is to make Internet access available to further educational goals and objectives, students may find ways to access other materials as well. We believe that the benefits to students from access to the Internet, in the form of information resources and opportunities for collaboration, exceed any disadvantages. But ultimately, parents and guardians of minors are responsible for setting and conveying the standards that their children should follow when using media and information sources. To that end, the Higgins Public Schools support and respect each familys right to decide whether or not to apply for access.
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District Internet and E-Mail Rules
Students are responsible for good behavior on school computer networks just as they are in a classroom or a school hallway. Communications on the network are often public in nature. General school rules for behavior and communications apply.
The network is provided for students to conduct research and communicate with others. Access to network services is given to students who agree to act in a considerate and responsible manner. Parent permission is required. Access is a privilege - not a right. Access entails responsibility.
Individual users of the district computer networks are responsible for their behavior and communications over those networks. It is presumed that users will comply with district standards and will honor the agreements they have signed. Beyond the clarification of such standards, the district is not responsible for restricting, monitoring or controlling the communications of individuals utilizing the network.
Network storage areas may be treated like school lockers. Network administrators may review files and communications to maintain system integrity and insure that users are using the system responsibly. Users should not expect that files stored on district servers will always be private.
Within reason, freedom of speech and access to information will be honored. During school, teachers of younger students will guide them toward appropriate materials. Outside of school, families bear the same responsibility for such guidance as they exercise with information sources such as television, telephones, movies, radio and other potentially offensive media.
As outlined in Board policy and procedures on student rights and responsibilities, copies of which are available in the school office, the following are not permitted:
Sending or displaying offensive messages or pictures
Using obscene language
Harassing, insulting or attacking others
Damaging computers, computer systems or computer networks
Violating copyright laws
Using anothers password
Trespassing in anothers folder, work or files
Intentionally wasting limited resources
Employing the network for commercial purposes
Violations may result in a loss of access as well as other disciplinary or legal action.
User Agreement and Parent Permission Form
As a user of the Higgins Public Schools computer network, I hereby agree to comply with the above stated rules - communicating over the network in a reliable fashion while honoring all relevant laws and restrictions.
Student Signature __________________________
As the parent or legal guardian of the minor student signing above, I grant permission for my son or daughter to access networked computer services such as electronic mail and the Internet. I understand that individuals and families may be held liable for violations. I understand that some materials on the Internet may be objectionable, but I accept responsibility for guidance of Internet use - setting and conveying standards for my daughter or son to follow when selecting, sharing or exploring information and media.
Parent Signature ____________________________ Date __________________
Higgins Public Schools
Employee Account Agreement
I have read the District Acceptable Use Policy. I agree to follow the rules contained in this Policy, I understand that if I violate the rules, I may face disciplinary action in accord with * (collective bargaining agreement).
I hereby release the district, its personnel, and any institutions with which it is affiliated, from any and all claims and damages of any nature arising from my use of, or inability to use, the District system, including, but not limited to claims that may arise from the unauthorized use of the system to purchase products or services.
Signature _______________________________ Date ________________
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