- Executive Director of Technology and Information, Anne-Marie Fiore takes you on a tour of the people and technologies behind Dr. Frank Tiano's White House visit.
- Dr. Frank Tiano has served as Superintendent of the Chelmsford Public Schools, Massachusetts’s forty third largest school district, since 2010. In 2014, Dr. Frank Tiano was selected by the U.S. Department of Education as one of 100 top school leaders from across America to participate in the first-ever National Connected Superintendents Summit at the White House. Superintendent Tiano is among exemplary school superintendents who were recognized for their leadership in helping transition their districts to digital learning.
- According to Executive Director of Technology and Information, Anne-Marie Fiore; "technology supports our mission to cultivate inspired, creative, and well-rounded lifelong learners who possess the integrity and self-direction necessary to be contributing community members".
- Students in all levels learn effective Internet search practices for accessing information needed in their classroom projects along with ethical use of materials found on the Internet. Technology classes positively impact student achievement and are major contributors to student learning by encouraging inquiry-based learning and promoting the acquisition of information literacy skills.
- We empower educators with professional learning opportunities, and the Chelmsford Public Schools is fortunate enough to have four technology integration specialists (Eileen Young, John O’Sullivan, Marie Tada and Devi Venugopal, led by Dr. Marilyn Sweeney) that deliver professional development to staff during, before, and after the school day. We estimate that technology integration specialists deliver 450 hours of professional development to staff on a variety of topics from our student information system, technology integration, to training on hardware and software in a given school year.
The Technology Staff Development Lab (TSDL) manned by Dr. Marilyn Sweeney and John O’Sullivan, at Chelmsford High School provides faculty with a one-stop-shop for training related to technology, and teaching and learning; collaborative opportunities to discuss current technology research and theory; innovative and practical teaching strategies; and knowledge of resources to support technology-enhanced/driven course development.
- The Technology Integration Specialists routinely share best practices at local conferences such as the Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference in Nashua, New Hampshire and the Tech and Learning Conference in Burlington, Massachusetts. In addition, Dr. Sweeney hosted the Wakefield Public Schools and the White Mountains Regional School District (NH) in reviewing our implementation of Project Lead the Way. Anne-Marie Fiore provides advice on best practice for school website design, budget creation, and other initiatives. Anne-Marie was recently featured in EdTech Magazine in an article called How to Find Success By Networking with 21st-Century Learning - Learn why Chelmsford Public Schools in Massachusetts opted for Extreme Networks hardware.
- Another way Chelmsford Public Schools uses technology to help student succeed and grow academically is through concepts of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL is a framework that provides educators with a structure to develop their instruction to meet the wide range of diversity among all learners. UDL is a research-based framework that suggests that a one-size-fits-all approach to curricula is not effective. Many of the concepts of UDL are delivered through technology whether it is through the use of SMART boards, iPads and apps, Nspire Calculators, and Light Scribe Pens. Universal Design for Learning is assisting CPS in accelerating progress toward universal access to quality devices for all students. In addition, Chelmsford has invested into providing online practice and testing with programs such as: Study Island and IXL for English, math and science. Students are benchmarked using district assessments to monitor student growth. Chelmsford’s commitment to providing a 21st century learning environment to support student growth shows in both our internal benchmarking and state testing.
- Programming at Chelmsford High School High School programming continues with classes in “C” and Java programming taught by Betsy Nahas and Nancy Kiernan-Bell. Students have the opportunity to program our humanoid NAO robot, Leo with instructor Katherine Doulamis. Architecture and engineering courses, use of Texas Instruments calculators in math and science, and robotics afford opportunities for high school students to continue developing their technology skills, which are in high demand in the workplace. Positions for computer programmers and engineers outstrip current supply of highly skilled professionals. In Chelmsford, we are actively addressing this critical national need.
- The Chelmsford Public Schools is committed to the use of data to inform all instructional practices. The capabilities of technology have caught up with demands of data analysis. In addition, Chelmsford Public Schools connects all curricula to standards that can be analyzed using technology. Ways in which we use technology to analyze data include the use of shared drives to store and capture data, the use of visual spreadsheets that provide charts, graphs and diagrams to understand where children have been and where they need to go. Joanne Salomaa, educational data coordinatorcustomizes data reported for each subject and grade. For examples, please go to chelmsford.k12.ma.us/edudata
- Computer Programming is an important component from elementary through high school. Instruction in the Logo computer programming language starts in elementary school. The four elementary computer teachers (Ms. Dillman, Ms. Buckley, Ms. Warren and Ms. Lamson) enhance computer programming with Bee Bots and Pro Bots are used in grades 3 and 4 for 3D hands-on programming and robotics opportunities. Scratch, an object-oriented program starts in elementary and continues in a more advanced use in the middle schools. Devi Venugopal and Marie Tada, McCarthy and Parker Technology Integration Specialists (respectively) continue instruction with Lego Mindstorms in the Middle Schools.
- One of the ways we get the “word out” to the community about the good works in the school department is by the use of cable access television station, Chelmsford Telemedia. As a member of the Chelmsford TeleMedia Board of Directors, Anne-Marie Fiore has created a close working relationship with CTM. In the 2013-2014 school year, Dr. Matthew Beyranevand, Dr. Linda Hirsch, and Anne-Marie Fiore produced a television show called Eye On PARCC. The purpose of the show was to prepare for the community for the upcoming PARCC testing. Eye on PARCC aired on other cable stations including the Allegheny County Schools in Maryland. In addition, we currently produce 7 shows including; Inside CPS, Math with Matthew, Spotlight on Fine Arts, Lions Pride, Walking thru Wellness, Strictly Business and The Wright Stuff. For more information on the use of television at CPS, please visit chelmsford.k12.ma.us/tv
- Chelmsford has registered to be a Code.org school system for the 15-16 school year, and will participate in online programming activities throughout the 14-15 school year. Technology Integration Specialist, Eileen Young and Dr. Marilyn Sweeney, Department Coordinator for Technology, Technology Engineering and Business attended professional development for Code.org in the fall of 2014.
- Students also receive continual instruction in Internet safety and cyber bullying prevention, in grades K-6. We use the NetSmartz curriculum, as well as resources from NetSafe Kids.
Keyboarding has taken a front seat in the last two years due to the need for students to take a variety of online assessments. Assuring our students have mastery of the keyboard allows them to concentrate on the assessment content, and not the input process.
- Students at all levels receive instruction in Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and email and instruction is embedded in lessons using the classroom curriculum. Students learn to create and integrate charts, graphs, and images in reports and presentations.
Students in all levels learn effective Internet search practices for accessing information needed in their classroom projects along with ethical use of materials found on the Internet. Technology classes positively impact student achievement and are major contributors to student learning by encouraging inquiry-based learning and promoting the acquisition of information literacy skills.