SUPERNet IT Summit


Photo Credit: Michael Gras

I had the opportunity to speak with directors of technology, curriculum directors, and other school leaders at Chapel Hill High School. The event was sponsored by SUPERNet Consortium. SUPERNet is a collaborative of twenty-six rural schools that originally banded together to share technology resources, evolved into one of the most successful virtual high schools in Texas, and is now poised to become technology integration leaders for our portion of Texas.

They are on the cusp of getting it. Many of them have, but now most of them are. They realize that the curriculum drives the technology. That is part of what this meeting was about. I was sharing my experiences of working through the process in White Oak ISD as well as what we feel that we still have ahead of us.  Feel free to give it a listen (if you have 1:45 to spare). I am always open to criticism and other comments. I also added the PDF of the Keynote presentation as well. You will get the gist of when I move on to the next slide, I think.

One of the questions asked was about how we handle copyright. If you have read my blog before now, you have seen a post or two about this. We have not had ANY issues with this in our district. We are blessed with a very professional staff. So, that is where my response went. We train our staff on utilizing Creative Commons Share Alike images, video, audio, and other items. We ask our campus administrators to make sure to inform us if additional training is needed. If a situation comes up, we would handle it with that person on a one to one basis. If it is a repeated event, we would handle it however the campus administrator and superintendent prefers. The ultimate responsibility is on the teacher. When a copyright question came up during a presentation at TCEA last year, I called ATPE and got my response. Those are the folks covering my rear in court. The school district would not be responsible for that if they have tried to show me the light. I must repeat again, our staff is very professional. I cannot tell you how much easier that makes my job.

There was an interesting question that came up after the mic was off and I was packing up. An IT from Tyler ISD approached me with the question of how we handle public information requests concerning the blogs. I have to say, I did not have a clear cut answer. The simple, honest response is that the information is already public, so they can just print it off if they want it. There really is no need to put in paperwork to get it. We do not hide our teacher blogs. The other side of my mind is wondering about a post that creates an issue (which I hope never happens), so the teacher deletes it. Then a parent shows up wanting a copy of it. How is that handled? That is the question that has me stumped. I know we will have regular backups of our WPMU site, but what are the chances we catch it while an offending post is live? Feel free to comment below.

I would also like to thank my PLN for all of the PD you give me on a daily basis. Sometimes you feed my current beliefs. Sometimes you smack me down and change my mind. Other times, you challenge my thinking, and who knows where that will go. In my presentation I used material from Chris Lehmann, Dean Shareski, Dr. Scott McLeod, Miguel Guhlin, Kim Estes, Dr. Helen Barrett, and Darren Draper (who still has iTunes U K-12 while Texas doesn’t). There is no telling who I drew ideas from over the years, but I assure you this. If you are in my PLN, you are making a difference. Not only for me, but for every kid that ends up being affected by what I say through the people that hear it. Thanks to you. Stop by when you are in Texas and I’ll buy you some BBQ. Or Mexican.

2 thoughts on “SUPERNet IT Summit

  1. Scott,

    I, for one, am glad to be a part of your PLN. I’ve learned a lot from you as you’ve shared your views as well.

    It sure is interesting how hesitant so many teachers are to acquiring new techniques. In considering our situation, I wonder why they are so skeptical. For some I think it is fear. For others, lack of confidence (and often with just cause for such insecurity). And even some – likely fewer than I want to suppose – I guess it boils down to fatigue.

    We can’t force teachers to do anything they don’t want to, which leads us to the real trick: motivating teachers toward more effective practice.

  2. All of that is true, Darren. If there was a magic wand to do away with apathy, sleep deprivation, etc. we would be well on our way to Education Utopia.

    I think that is why it is important for all of us as a collective to keep on keepin’ on. I know I have seen a number of teachers in my district make a change toward more engaging activities once they have seen what is out there for them and the students. While I would like to take credit for that, it is more the fact that they have just started looking into ways to make their classes more exciting and have found some great tools to utilize. That, as much as anything, has re-energized them into another gear in their educational careers. It is almost like starting over again with the original enthusiasm.

    As long as I have great folks that are working toward the same high expectations that I can learn from, I can continue to share with my staff. Thanks for being one of those.

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