Parent seeking educator as a mentor. Need help bringing technology and web 2.0 to our school district.

Our County School District is far below the curve when it comes to utilizing technology in the classroom. I believe that policies would have to be revised before any online collaborative or other 2.0 tools could be used by the students and teachers. I guess what I need is someone who knows things from the inside.

Who do I need to present my ideas to? The director of schools, the school board, the tech department?

Where do we begin?

What about obtaining grants to help equip the school and students with technology tools?

I have a son in second grade who uses a computer for AR.

I have a son in 7th grade who in computer class gets to take tests and learn typing. This is the extent of their tech use in school.

The school prohibits tech devices, PIM, Cell Phones, Laptops.. etc.

My children are pretty tech savvy because my husband and I are both geeks but I would love to see the school system here step into this century and embrace technology. I have two other children ages 2 years and almost 3 months so I have many years to go with this school system as a parent.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Tina D. Shang

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Hi Tina You might find it helpful to listen to some of the Parents as Partners web casts at Edtechtalk. You will find some good conversations by teachers and parents discussing how to encourage schools to embrace the web 2.0 tools. Please visit www.ourschool.ca and join in the discussions.
Thank you Lorna. I will do as you suggest.
There are many issues that you will need to address to make this a reality. My recommendation is for you to develop a committee of stakeholders to explore the purpose behind moving towards web 2.0. Your school is behind only because education as a whole is behind when it comes to technology. However, if you develop a team of individuals (users and non-users of technology) with the focus of developing a strong technology program you will get there.

Also be okay with baby steps.

Antwon L.
Thank you for the advice Antwon. I have already asked a couple of parents and the local tech/computer shop owner to join me and have been well received. Hopefully together we will get there.
Do you have district personell on your team ?
Hi, Tina,

Just so happens that Educational Synthesis has just added a forum so that we can help teachers and parents more easily. Educational Synthesis is a website at http://www.educationalsynthesis.org that I have been building since I retired from the classroom. I enjoy building web resources for kids and teachers. If you go to the above address, and click on the link for "forums", you will be able to login and exchange ideas with a team of us who are retired or still teaching, but have worked with the technology together online for two decades. If a teacher has a computer in the class, and knows how to type in a URL, she can begin using the technology for instruction!

I'd love to be your mentor, but think you can do better with the four of us!! See you there!!!
Thank you Anne. See you there.
Tina,

I see you logged into the ES Forums last night, but didn't see any post from you. It is a new forum, so let me know if it was because you were unable to post? Or, just that you would prefer to post in a Parent Center. I haven't set up a Parent Center, but if you want one, I will do it. For your present situation, I thought you would prefer to use the subject forums, or post your situation on "Educations in the 21st Century".
Another way to approach this is from the students up, in addition to your parent/community committee.

Start a student tech club and offer students experience with computers outside of the school day. This eliminates any problems trying to fit in new classes or extra stuff in an already crowded day.

You can do this on your own, or use curriculum and tools from a number of organizations, including mine: Generation YES. The additional spin to GenYES is that the computer club teaches students not just technology, but how to help teachers use technology. So you get a great computer club for kids, and a stealth way to introduce computers into classroom activities. GenYES includes curriculum to teach the kids, and and online help desk so that teachers can request student help, and generate reports about what the students do for teachers. It's really useful if you are going after grants to have proof of what they kids do.

We've done 12 years of research showing that this works. Seriously, check the website, there are lots of free resources.

Students can do incredible things with just one caring adult leading the program, even a parent volunteer. They not only can help teachers, or build a school website, or run a school podcast, but they can do community service -- helping local non-profits make websites, refurbish computers for needy families, build address databases for organizations and more.

But helping teachers is a great way to add an authentic purpose to a computer club. Teachers are very open to students coming into the class to help them with the technology you already have. Some teachers will NEVER "get" technology until they see it in their own classroom, with their own curriculum. Believe me, the solution to teachers using technology is not buying new stuff. Get the kids to inspire teachers and you have a win win for both your students and teachers.
I think instead of paying too much attention towards the existing teaching practices, it is better to consider alternative proven ways to give supplementary help to your children. Online tutoring may also be good option. There is a strong need to train the children for getting the maximum return out of each teaching session. http://tutorskingdom.com/ like companies offer such training programs and guides the students and parents both free of costs.

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