Access on Demand Outline


Access On Demand Summary • Access on Demand Outline


Below is the outline for the Access on Demand proposal. The main purpose of the initial proposal is to raise awareness of possibilities for the short term among those on a technology committee in the middle school. The parts of the draft will be fleshed out and modified by interested members of the committee in late July and early August of 2002.

The benefit from having access on demand is collaboration and co-construction of knowledge in common virtual areas on an as-needed basis. The laptops will be incorporated into our programs so that they are working portals to information and information processing. The reasoning for doing this is to move away from word processing and to use the laptops as a means of communication, collaboration, and to gain access to information at all times. Our current system with labs requires that the lesson either be no technology or all technology.  It’s not practical to have students work together, discuss, record, research, work together, discuss, and so forth. Lessons in the lab realistically have to take the whole period and the labs are not conducive to class discussion or collaboration. It’s not feasible to put students around a machine to do joint research or for them to collaborate as a group. It also removes the students from the environment in the classroom that the teacher and students create as part of their community.

  1. Project Description
    1. Issue is access on-demand and laptops for teachers and students are the current best method.
    2. Laptops for students.
      1. Student Laptops to be provided by parents but create ways to help the self-payers.
      2. Informal surveys indicate that approximately 1/3 of students have their own laptops and this percentage will increase.
      3. Create fund to help the self-payers
    3. Eliminate all but one lab and drop-in area.
      1. Remaining lab to be used for high-end work and technology exploratories.
      2. It will be joined with a resource center so the Resource Center supervisor can oversee the lab.
      3. Band and Foreign Language to schedule their limited usage in a High School labs, unless the decision is made to install the software on the laptops of those students.
      4. Convert other rooms to classrooms.
    4. Eliminate several Technology classes
      1. Change the way keyboarding is taught. Options are:
        1. Have it taught to sixth graders in their current Language Art Social Studies class. (Drawback: infringes on existing class time)
        2. Don't teach it but require a certain proficiency level by the end of each grade. (Drawback: Self-study can be difficult for students in middle school)
        3. Test every student and have those who need help take it in small parts as a short after-school class or as part of their resource center time. (Drawback: It still requires instruction)
      2. Eliminate tech skills class and integrate content into existing courses
        1. High chance of success as most teachers are already doing projects that fit well with the technology.
        2. Would need to write it into the curriculum as we start
    5. Implement tech-support class and club where interested students learn how to help others
    6. Create 40% time position to oversee the project for first two years and to provide assistance when needed. Funds to come from eliminated courses.
  2. Success Criteria
    1. Reduces cost
    2. Acceptance by teachers and principal.
    3. Doesn't require additional staff
      1. Can remove 4 sections of tech and several of keyboarding, which is slightly under a half-time person
      2. Remove one clerical position (resource supervisor)
    4. Embraced by several champions/evangelists.
    5. Parent support, student support, teacher support
    6. Support for it to be the right thing to do.
    7. Have people think about 5 years from now
      1. Judge not by what we know, but what the kids can do.
      2. How will we be communicating
      3. What else will we be doing
    8. Driven by Educational objectives
  3. Politics and Parameters
    1. Be acceptable enough to the administration for them to take it to the parent community.
    2. Parents must be brought in early enough to be part of the process so that they can help define the final proposal.
    3. Corporate concerns must be addressed as some companies will pay for the laptops for their employees.
    4. Staffing suggestion redefines lab manager position so will need buy-in. (Although proposal is to eliminate one of the existing resource center positions, it is typically filled by a one year intern.)
    5. High School must be involves as the proposal suggest some cross-over scheduling in one of their twelve labs.
    6. Principal may be leaving so may not wish to start a major initiative.
    7. Concept of On-demand Access will be a hard sell
      1. Several schools we contacted are focused on access in the lab and at home by trying to give students access to their accounts from home.
      2. Current administration technology skills are still at the email and web surfing stage.
    8. Issues of carrying a laptop that need to be addressed:
      1. Weight of the laptop with all of their other backpack?
      2. Some view that sixth graders are not responsible enough to use laptops
      3. How to address issue of students accessing inappropriate sites.
      4. Address issues of software pirated by students or teachers installed on laptops.
      5. Address issue of student-installed software that makes their laptop unstable.
    9. Funding and Costs
      1. Must not require adding staff.
      2. Tuition cannot increase
      3. It must show economic value
      4. Must address issue of equity between self-payers and corporate parents.
      5. Operating costs
        1. Recharging batteries
        2. Plan for batteries that fail or can't hold a charge.
        3. Damaged laptop replacement
          1. Maybe laptop insurance?
          2. Maybe parent-funded insurance? (additional 10,000¥)
      6. Initial costs
        1. Installing wireless (will be doing anyway)
        2. Training teachers
        3. Spare parts
        4. Extra software? (Currently have site license for MS OS, Office, and Other products)
        5. Extra outlets for electricity?
        6. Reconfiguring dismantled labs
        7. Travel to see other schools.
  4. Software and Courseware
    1. Cost of additional software beyond the current license will have an impact.
      1. Teachers may find it difficult to use their favorite software
      2. Need to develop a method to select course specific software that is equitable and assure that the software is used.
  5. Networking Issues
    1. Installing, testing, and adjusting wireless access points
    2. Programming the MACs for the cards
    3. Testing and adjusting Wireless access points because they don't work.
    4. Time to set up numerous laptops to connect
      1. Windows XP makes this simple.
      2. Requiring a Novell Client on every machine complicates the issue tremendously.
        1. Novell client tends to make heavily-used machines unstable
        2. Upgrading to version 6 will eliminate that problem, but a major server software upgrade is labor intensive.
    5. Creating backup methodologies for laptops.
    6. Tech support
  6. Installation and obsolescence
    1. Number of years a laptop will be expected to be used.
    2. Training of tech support students.
    3. First year problems with installation and getting up to speed..
  7. Staff Development
    1. Provide training in staff development at the beginning.
    2. Create discussion opportunities for people to discuss their problems.
    3. Have existing teachers volunteer to be a resource a topic or area.
    4. Hands on training for working with laptops.
    5. In class support and handholding.

Access On Demand Summary • Access on Demand Outline


Created 07/06/2002

Last maintained 08/23/2003


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