Saturday, October 2, 2010

Help Jefferson Middle School move from the 19th to 21st Century!

Brent Atkinson, our School Improvement Team leader and 8th science teacher is a guest writer on the blog this week.  Brent does a fantastic job describing the challenging technology situation we are in at Jefferson Middle School:  Brent:

"You may have noticed walking around our school, we are quite technologically defunct compared to nearly all other middle schools. Our teachers (according to the working conditions survey) feel they do not have access to the technology they need to foster 21st century learning. The district student to computer ratio is 2.36 while ours is 4.03!  Nearly twice the number of students for every computer!

Mr. Martin left our school with a great "gift" in that we have a large reserve of cash from previous year's magazine sales. Apparently, the district may take the money to fill gaps in the budget for next school year.

We have been meeting to discuss how this money could be best spent for our students, and  we agreed on the following proposal:

  • The staff at TJMS has set a GOAL,  with the PTA and corporate sponsors, to acquire 30 laptops per grade level and encore (120 total: Dell minis) and fit 20 classrooms using Department of technology's "classroom solution."

  • We propose to use the money available now to plant a seed of excitement for staff, students ,parents and our community by purchasing 20 Dell minis per grade level/encore (80 total at a cost of ~ $40,000) and completing 5 classroom transformations under the "classroom solution" guidelines (one per grade level/encore and one open space, such as the media center at a cost of ~$30,000).

The district will be installing their 1000th classroom solution by the end of the school year. Jefferson currently has none."

Thanks Brent for being a leader in this movement! 
 This is a tenative outline of our ACTION PLAN
  1. Downs and Atkinson  presented our need to the PTA Board on October 7th:
    • Downs and Atkinosn presented an Overview of the Classroom Solution and a short video outlining the needs here at Jefferson and also showed what life could be like under the "classroom solution".
    • We will also outline the costs of the classroom solution and suggest we outfit rooms with pretty much everything except the response systems for now--instead purchasing a set or two to be shared for the time being.

  2. Jennifer Holland, Cindy Dietrich and Mark Schnably are working on a flyer/brochure outlining our needs and goals.

  3. Elizabeth Hobson and Mike McDowell will be working with Dan Kornelis (Vice President of our PTA) to act as liaisons with corporate sponsors to help us raise funds to achieve our overall goal of 20 classroom solutions and 30 laptops per grade level and encore.

  4. A PTA grant sub-committee will also be creating a "grant proposal" type of document that we can use to apply for larger grants and other documentation for corporate sponsorship.
If you would like to help us, please e-mail me at: or contact our school at 336-774-4630 and we will happy to discuss our plans with you.

Resources on the Classroom Solution:

The following are the main components of the "Classroom Solution" with links to more information on each of them:
  1. 55" LCD TV (The standard for Middle and High School in WS/FCS is the LCD TV as opposed to Smart Boards)
  2. Document Camera --Lumens from CSI
  3. Mobi-Pro Teacher Pad from E-instruction
  4. Sound System for the classroom from Light Speed Technologies 
  5. AV Cart (looking for links)
  6.  Response System:
    • (We are looking at purhcasing a few of these for the school to share among the classrooms that Are equipped with the Classroom Solution).

Links to Research on Classroom Solution Components:

Sound System
Classroom Response Systems:
Document Cameras:

Mobi Tablet Research:

What the research says...

General research on the Use of technology in Classrooms:

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