Case # 6addressing the technology needs of k-12 teachers By: Sarah Acker AIL 606
Current status (year 1) • Cunningham High School administration asked Jacci Joya and Brandon Stohl to serve as the technology coaches. • Jacci Joya was a veteran teacher of 25 years, her specific skills were in Language and Instruction but she has taken college courses to help her understand and interpret technology language. • Brandon Stohl was an officer in the Army Reserve and science teacher • Both were long time member of the technology committee. • The administration wanted to increase teachers’ use and satisfaction of the two newly installed programs QuickGrader School Manager
Current status (year 1) Cont… • Cunningham high school was located in a small rural community with just over 16,000 people • This area was not hurting for resources. They just built a new facility on 80 acres at the cost of 31 million. • Because of the new facility the administration made a strong commitment to the use of technology in the school. • There were approximately 575 computers in various locations around the school.
Thinking Back: February-April (year 1) • Teachers were very upset when the IT staff sent out a memo that 2 new programs had been installed on the network and that the teachers were to begin using them immediately. • Teachers were asked to take asked to take attendance using the School Manager program and to record their grades using the QuickGrader program. • Because of the timing of the installation, training had been difficult and the teachers were used to using another program and did not know how to use these programs.
Thinking Back (year 1) Cont… • The IT staff put together a “each-one-teach-one method of instruction which resulted in no instruction at all. • Neither the staff nor the one teacher who had been drafted to train teachers knew how to use either program effectively. • Further complication occurred when the QuickGrader 4.0 interface was not windows based so it made it very difficult for anyone to figure out the software. • There was only one copy of the 144 page user’s guide and it was kept on file in the technology office.
Developing Training: June-August (year 1) • The goal of the training was that the staff would be able to use QuickGrader for both attendance and exporting grades to School Manager. • Teachers were currently taking attendance with School Manager (but complaining that the program was slow). • Also they were using QuickGrader for their own record keeping but not exporting them to School Manager.
Developing Training: June-August (year 1) Cont… • Jacci began reading the user guide for the programs but she could not make much sense of it. • She could not access the program because it had not been set up properly for the network. • The customer service representative that had sold the school both programs had not been on-site to help staff during the school year.
Developing Training: June-August (year 1) Cont… • When the representative finally arrived in June she was not very familiar with QuickGrader.. • Jacci’s training amounted to 1 day with the representative where Jacci’s focus was QuickGrader, the customer service representative’s focus was School Manager. • Brandon was able to be there for that day but then he could not be there for the teacher training day due to army responsibilities.
Developing Training: June-August (year 1) Cont… • The administration expected the teachers to begin using these programs the first day of school. • The teachers had to be trained during their one-day in-service training day which occurred the day before school started. • Jacci invited 6 teachers and the service rep. to the school in July for one day training session. • These teachers would help Jacci during the in-service training session.
In-Service Training: August-December (year 2) • There were two training sessions: morning and afternoon. • The morning session had a problem because the IT staff had not attached some network cables in the lab that the teachers were using. • Teachers were unable to connect to the programs until 45 minutes into the instruction. • One of the teachers made this comment • “IT staff always seem to do something with the network yet never seem to remember to tell those of us who may be affected by their actions, then we try to work with the program and we can’t because the IT person is always unavailable and I don’t know about the rest of you but this does not increase my confidence in using these new programs.”
Unanticipated Problems: August-December (year 2) • During this time it became apparent that the QuickGrader was inadequate in one key area. • The high school attendance that reduced students grades for unexcused absences. • Student’s grades were dropped 3% for every unexcused absence. • In the past teachers would simply change the letter grade from a B+ to a B- but the QuickGrader keeps a numerical score and would not allow the teachers to override the grades for averaging purposes.
Unanticipated Problems: August-December (year 2) Cont… • The big problem was that the teachers had the flexibility to use their own grading scales. • The software would not all that kind of freedom and they knew if they went to a uniform grading scale there would be confrontation by the faculty. • The IT staff found a solution that would work for the time being while they searched for new programs. • Each teacher received a disk that had a spreadsheet on it, they were responsible for putting in their grades and giving the disk back to the sectary and they put the information into School Manager and printed report cards.
Teacher Feedback: April-June (year 2) • Jacci created and e-mailed a questionnaire to all the teachers. • About 12 teachers applied: • 9 checked: Although I have little difficulty with QuickGrader, I check myself with the e-mailed directions to make sure I fully understand.” • 8 teachers checked: “double bookkeeping” in order to send data to the administrative package was a serious flaw, they wanted to send grades through the grade book instead of the disk. • Brandon and Jocci’s goal was to find a simple grade package that the teachers could you easily with minimal training and assistance, but the administration was committed to using the School Manager.
Class Discussion • How could Brandon and Jacci help them colleagues work with these two programs? • What is the importance of timing when introducing a new software in a work environment? • How can the users of this new software be brought up to speed when implementation is expected immediately? • What are some limitations to having a K-12 technical support staff make decisions about software purchases for teacher use?