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Technology Investments

The CDM Foundation funds technology initiatives to help CDM Middle and High School keep up with the rapidly changing ways that technology is improving education. Schools across the country are struggling to keep current with modern technologies. Providing students (and teachers) with the tools they are accustomed to using outside the classroom allows them to be more efficient while at school, and prepares them for post-high school where using technology is part of learning and working. Through the support of the Foundation, several initiatives have been implemented and will continue to grow as Foundation support continues:

Enclave Tech Room: A newly designed room located in the Enclave that is utilized by both middle and high school students. Technologies that are accessible to all of our CDM students include: robotics, 3-D printing, programmable production, graphic design software and other computer programming technologies. The Tech room will be used by students, teachers, classes and emerging clubs participating in technology competitions. The Foundation also provides funds for a part-time Tech Room assistant.

iPads for Instructors: An initial set of 30 iPad Airs were purchased and distributed to teachers that attended training sessions funded by the Foundation and additional training by the District. These iPads, used in conjunction with streaming software and the overhead LCD Projectors, allow teachers to broadcast lessons, videos, images and instructional materials found on the internet to their entire classroom. These tools allow instructors to bring the full interactive richness of the internet into the classroom lecture.

LCD Projectors: As in previous years, the Foundation has funded the replacement of aging LCD projectors which allow teachers to project study and example materials onto a big screen for the entire class. Fourteen projectors were purchased and installed into the new Middle School enclave.

Roaming Computer Labs: In the past, when a class needed to use a computer for research or other class assignment, the instructor would have to reserve the “computer lab” and bring the entire class to the lab (and back to class again). This causes disruption and loss of valuable instruction time. By funding the purchase of 120 laptop computers contained within 6 roving carts, the computer lab can now be brought to the classroom!

Tablets: Science and Math classes now have access to tablets. These class sets of iPads allowed each student to utilize the device to do research and create projects while in the classroom setting. It also allowed students to demonstrate their work to the entire class using the overhead LCD projectors. This initial program has laid a foundation further integration with personal computing devices in the hands of students to allow them to maximize their educational experience.

The support by the CDM Foundation for the technology program on campus is critical due to state and district budget cuts. The goal is to be able to continue to refresh, upgrade and enhance the major technology initiatives to ensure that the installed equipment remains functional and within district guidelines.

The most recent Technology Investment includes a newly designed tech lab located in the Enclave that is utilized by both middle and high school students. Cutting edge technologies that are accessible to all of our CDM students include: robotics, 3-D printing, 3-D scanning, telepresence robots, automation workshops, application development tools, graphic design software and other computer programming technologies. The Tech Lab will be used by students, teachers, classes and emerging clubs participating in technology competitions. The Foundation also provides funds for a part-time Tech Lab Assistant.

Additionally, in recent years, the Foundation mounted over 95 LCD Projectors on the ceilings and integrated enhanced speaker systems. In addition to safety and aesthetics, the benefits of this effort are the opening of classrooms to all types of technology multimedia instruction, document cameras, and SmartBoards.

The new technology enhancements recently implemented that many of the teachers use effectively every day are the over 80 high-definition multimedia document cameras. Document cameras use digital camera technology which allows the projection of any object from a rock to an exhibit from a book to be projected onto the big screen for easy viewing by all in a classroom. The lesson audio and the projects viewed can be digitally saved for playback at a later time.
As part of the ongoing technology refresh, during the past five years, the Foundation has installed over 160 new computers for use by the classroom teachers, the two computers labs, and the language lab. The math and science department also received Quizdoms for most of their classrooms. Quizdoms are a wireless interactive classroom tool that enables teacher and students to engage and interact with the materials being presented.

Laptops are the essential tool for today’s university student. Virtually every college student uses a personal laptop or notebook. University students use their computers for research, communication, writing, note-taking, and presentations. Furthermore, universities are increasingly providing digital content instead of text books. Whether your child is a middle performer or a top performer, you need to prepare her or him for the new college environment.

Studies show small learning environments to be one of the most successful models for elevating academic achievement. Interest-specific academies have been shown to dramatically increase student engagement by tapping into real-world subjects. Interest-specific academies are particularly successful for mid-performing students who have not performed at their full potential in the traditional high school model. CdM introduced a Performing Arts and Multi-media Academy (PAMA) in the fall of 2007 specifically for students interested in careers in technology, performing arts, fine arts and media. This is an internationally renowned and highly challenging curriculum designed for students who want to study at the university level while in high school. The first PAMA class graduated in 2011. In 2010 CdM PAMA students won the Hurley Walk-the-Walk design competion. Future academies will be identified based on student, teacher, and parent interest surveys.

No. The passage of Measure F created an opportunity to sell bonds to cover many of the deferred maintenance items for the school district. Several infrastructure projects are slated for CdM High School and Middle School. These include some new technology infrastructure as well as other electrical, plumbing, lighting and painting types of projects as well as a Middle School Enclave and 350 seat Theatre. These funds do not cover purchase of computers or discipline-specific software of other items for the Technology Plan. The Foundation’s funds are totally supplemental to and compatible with any funding from Measure F. Foundation members are involved in the Measure F site committee for the Middel School Enclave and Theatre. Measure F improvements are slated for some time in the future.

The total Tech Plan, including equipment, furnishings and infrastructure is estimated to cost $600,000. Almost half of that money has already been raised.

From the outset, principals of both CdM High School and Middle School have been the visionaries behind this strategic plan. Our administrators and teachers have been involved in drafting every step of the strategic plan and support and wholeheartedly endorse all the elements of this plan. The Administration has asked the Foundation to lead the effort to raise the money to put the plan in place. They are committed to seeing this plan through to completion.

The District has developed a technology certification program. The Administration is in the process of having each of the teachers become Level I certified, with a goal to have all teachers Level II certified. Level I certification requires proficient use of technology (Spreadsheet, Presentation, Database, Video Editing, Teacher, Web Builder System, Easy Grade Pro, Podcasting, Blogging) and Level II requires the ability to implement technology-based teaching techniques. Our Administration believes nearly all CdM teachers have reached Level I proficiency and they must now pass the certification test to prove it. Level I certification requires greater technology proficiency than many parents have. Some teachers have reached Level III proficiency which means they are capable of teaching computer skills to other teachers. In addition, the District is developing a program that will tie a schools’ district funded technology to the proficiency of their teachers. So there is plenty of incentive for teachers to perform and improve their proficiency.

The Administration plans to use filters at all internet café sites that will prevent students from accessing unauthorized sites including certain social media websites, and other sites deemed to be inappropriate. Teachers will monitor students’ computers for inappropriate uses in the classroom. This will keep students focused on appropriate school academic activities.