Hello out there!  I feel I have dropped off the face of the earth here at H I T, but I have been quite busy establishing several tools for our district and putting together an equipment deployment to keep us busy over the summer months as we prepare for the return of students and staff in the coming weeks.  It has been an exciting time amidst trying times in education with budget cuts, staff layoffs, and a generally not so good economy.  I have also witnessed the high school graduation of my oldest child and her plans to move into higher education.  That has kept me busy enough!

Our district has been the beneficiary of helpful stimulus funds that have allowed the purchase of several pieces of equipment that will provide learning tools for students and staff.  We will see projection devices in all K-12 classrooms by the fall be it a projector and document camera and/or a new Epson Brightlink system in K-5 classrooms that don’t already have a SMART Board.  We infused over 1200 netbooks into various schools over the past year and after my first three years here at this district I feel we are making progress in providing 21 Century devices that can enhance the learning process.

New tools we are adding to the educational process include Moodle (a content management system), Mahara (an ePortfolio system), and we have established our own WordPress server.  These open source tools are key in assisting teachers and students as they learn, grow, and show what they know in our educational endeavors.  We are determining whether or not to continue utilizing Gaggle for student email or to try Microsoft’s Live@edu.  That decision will come soon, and I believe cost will be the deciding factor.  A robust wireless network has been established over the past three years enabling the use of these tools across the district in our 13 school buildings.

I have plans to attend the ISTE conference in Denver in the coming days and look forward to meeting several of you I have met over the years via this blog and through efforts such as Quest Atlantis.  Denver is a four-hour drive from my neck of the woods, and I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity.  I hope to learn many new and exciting things on the trip to bring back to our community.

Busy times require focus, and I just can’t seem to find the time to share here.  Reflection is an important part of the learning process, and this blog has enabled that for me in the past.  I know I learn so much from the many out there that put forth their efforts, trials, errors, and accomplishments, and I need to give back so much more.  Here’s hoping that I can do just that has time marches forward.

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