Below are my notes on Lamar Consolidated ISD’s presentation on INTERACT – Integrating Technology Realistically Among Classroom Teachers

October Smith, Lamar Consolidated ISD, Tx

Equip teachers to provide an engaging learning environment through technology.

We start with group collaboration…(Activity: Discuss with your neighbor staff development in your school/district. What is your most memorable training? What trainings are most effective? Do you receive follow-up for trainings? How often? Who is the presenter at your trainings? Where do you find the resources for the trainings?)

The most effective trainings are the ones that are hands-on.

Located south of Houston in Richmond/Rosenberg

  • 21 elementary schools
  • 3 middle schools
  • 3 junior high schools
  • 3 high schools
  • 23,000+ students
  • 2000+ teachrs

How we got started:
Technology Director+Dell representative
Fall of 2007 – the superintendent put together a committee and INTERACT was born
No College classes

Academy Development:
The executive director of curriculum made sure we focused on researched based instructional strategies and not just the technology. We developed a week long academy that focuses on Marzano’s Classroom Instruction that Works with technology integration.

Focus on cooperative learning – informal group.
Were explicit about the use of Marzano’s strategies in the program

Activity: Take a moment and write a goal for staff development, either one that you will give or plan on attending.

We presented the idea to both Dell and Apple.
Dell agreed to provide us with the tools needed to put on the Academy if we purchased from them for the next 2 years.

INTERACT 2009 Application Form

  • They created a Google Form to receive applications for teachers to participate.
  • When a teacher submitted a form, principals were immediately contacted so that they could fill out a technology referral for them.
  • 130 applicants this year.
  • At the end of the week, each teacher got $10K for participating in the Academy [Wow!]. This money came out of the State Technology Allotment. Since teachers know what they need for the classroom, the Superintendent thought they should be the best ones to spend it.
  • $7000 was provided up front…make your wishlist.
  • $1000 was spent on the laptop
  • $2000 earned this by delivering professional development. The ones who were very shy, not tech-savvy…they were asked to just work with their team and show them activities. For the other ones, other training.
Purchasing Equipment
We use the majority of our tech allotment from the State to purchase the equipment. We know we are buying equal amounts of equipment for each campus THAT WILL BE USED. Teachers move their equipment with them if they change campuses–this is not the norm.

The Next Big Thing
All teachers are welcome to earn a laptop. You must attend the mini-camp and get your laptop before you are accepted into INTERACT. This has to be a classroom teacher.

After completing the Academy, participants have become leaders–even quiet ones–on their campus.

INTERACT is completely run through Moodle. Teachers have homework every night, participate and use the activities in the Moodle.

iPods are the number 1 item ordered. After that FLIP cameras…but the new iPod Nanos come with video camera. They are also buying interactive whiteboard ($3000 (unmounted) to $5000 (mounted)). Those are the main things. After that, it’s Student Response Systems. [Hodge-podge of equipment is being purchased].

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