Problem Based Learning Activity

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Presentation of my Problem Based Learning Activity for Graduate School Seminar Class in Principalship Certification.
Creating a Parent Night for Orientation to the NC Online Test of Computer Skills.

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Problem Based Learning Activity

  1. 1. Problem Based Learning Activity Eric Cole Semesters Fall 2008-Spring 2009 Culminates in a Parent Night for Orientation to NC Online Test of Computer Skills on May 21, 2009.
  2. 2. Initial Problem <ul><li>My quest for a PBLA began in early fall of 2008 after a disastrous multimedia failure during a presentation by the Superintendent Ira Trollinger before the entire McDowell County Public Schools teaching staff. </li></ul><ul><li>Our local complaints about the antiquated condition of the multimedia infrastructure finally affected a meeting, and Principal Greg Hughes was instructed to prepare a plan for various levels of affordable multimedia upgrades. </li></ul><ul><li>With my involvement in the ultimate process and having me as an Intern, Mr. Hughes allowed me to take the lead on this activity. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Initial Bad Omens <ul><li>My ability to meet and discuss the plan with the Technology Director went nowhere. Shortly after this project began, the Director announced he had taken a job with NC DPI. I was told to put any activity or questions on hold until a new Director was in place. </li></ul><ul><li>In March I met with the new Director and discussed the upgrades. He was in agreement that it was a consideration and agreed to keep me “in the loop” on the next step after he met with the Associate Superintendent. </li></ul><ul><li>A week later I was told the project was scrubbed indefinitely due to Budget constraints. </li></ul>
  4. 4. A New Plan <ul><li>In March I undertook a new project for Mr. Hughes. Our scores on the 2007-2008 School Report Card reflected a 71.4 % passing rate for the NC Online Test of Computer Skills: a score well below the local and State average. </li></ul><ul><li>I began planning a Parent Night Orientation meeting to provide parents with information about the NCOToCS and how to access preparation for it. </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Need Established <ul><li>Traditionally the score reported on this test has been in the low 70% passing. My data form the actual number of students passing the test by May 2008, versus the total number tested reflects a passing rate of 83% of the 8 th Grade tested so I am not certain about the State data and where it was gathered. </li></ul><ul><li>Regardless of the actual number, a large portion of students were very close to passing and did not. I feel that with some information and practice up front, they possibly would pass. </li></ul><ul><li>Our Band students get no exposure to Computer Skills Elective classes in the 7 th or 8 th Grades. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Framework for my Plan of Action <ul><li>Establish need for orientation </li></ul><ul><li>Survey students for computer and Internet access. </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate information to the Parents and Teachers in Elementary and Junior High School about the test through a public orientation and forum. </li></ul><ul><li>Continue Open Lab Hours from 7-7:45 AM and 2:45-3:30 PM to allow access to computers and tutoring. </li></ul><ul><li>Include the Public Library in the orientation of information and request that they download and install the NC Desk program and Practice Files on their computers to allow practice from that community location. </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage teachers at both the Elementary and Junior High School level to integrate NC Desk into their lesson designs </li></ul>
  7. 7. Student Computer Survey Data <ul><li>Of 596 7 th , 8 th and 9 th grade students surveyed: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Number of students with access to computers at home - 444 or 75% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Number of students with access to the Internet at home - 398 or 67% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Of those with Internet Access, the number with High Speed Access (Cable / DSL / Satellite) – 293 or 49% </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. The Orientation Program <ul><li>Thursday May 21, 2009 6:30 PM Welcome to all parents and faculty. </li></ul><ul><li>A PowerPoint presentation providing an overview of the test will be presented. </li></ul><ul><li>This overview will include information regarding the K-8 Cumulative nature of the test. </li></ul><ul><li>Standard Course of Study Technology Strands will be presented as an overview, and information for finding them will be presented; however, examination of each grade level strand will not take place. </li></ul><ul><li>Handouts will be made available, questions from the floor will be addressed. </li></ul><ul><li>Adjournment </li></ul>
  9. 9. Invitations <ul><li>May 1 st , invitations will be sent out to ALL McDowell County Public School Staff with a description of the program </li></ul><ul><li>Letters will be sent home with rising 8 th Grade students inviting parent participation. </li></ul><ul><li>An initial “Connect Ed” will be sent describing the event, with later follow up “Connect Ed” calls. </li></ul><ul><li>Subsequent email reminders to MCPS faculty and staff. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Handouts
  11. 11. North Carolina Online Test of Computer Skills <ul><li>The test is a Graduation Requirement </li></ul><ul><li>The test is a test of Computer Skills accumulated K-7 th Grades </li></ul><ul><li>The State allows the test to be administered as early as 6 th Grade depending on a student’s readiness </li></ul>
  12. 12. What is the North Carolina Online Test of Computer Skills? <ul><li>“ Beginning at grade eight, all students must meet the computer skills graduation requirement based on the competencies of the K–8 computer skills curriculum as defined in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study.” </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.ncpublicschools.org/accountability/testing/computerskills/ </li></ul><ul><li>The test combines both multiple choice and performance skills into one, comprehensive, online Computer Skills test. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Strands and Percent of Test Items <ul><li>Societal/Ethical Issues 12-14% </li></ul><ul><li>Database 22-25% </li></ul><ul><li>Spreadsheet 22-25% </li></ul><ul><li>Keyboard Utilization/WP/DTP 18-20% </li></ul><ul><li>Multimedia/Presentation 10-12% </li></ul><ul><li>Telecommunications/Internet 10-12% </li></ul>NC Standard Course of Study for Computer Skills by Grade Level. Download complete descriptions and detail.
  14. 14. NC STANDARD COURSE OF STUDY <ul><li>Kindergarten </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Parts of the computer and how to operate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keyboard familiarity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grouping and sequencing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Respect for the work of others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsible care of resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploring multimedia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Observing online resources </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. NC STANDARD COURSE OF STUDY <ul><li>Grade 1 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Respecting computer work of others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using technology at home and school </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gathering, organizing, and displaying data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using word processing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploring multimedia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsible care of resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Observing online resources </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. NC STANDARD COURSE OF STUDY <ul><li>Grade 2 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Using technology in the community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Respecting the computer work of others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Observing online resource </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using electronic database to locate information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsible care of resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Building word processing skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collecting, sorting, and displaying data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploring multimedia tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using drawing tools </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. NC STANDARD COURSE OF STUDY <ul><li>Grade 3 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Awareness of Copyright Law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsible and safe use of resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploring information technologies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Building word processing techniques </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using multimedia tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploring spreadsheets </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. NC STANDARD COURSE OF STUDY <ul><li>Grade 4 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Using databases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using spreadsheets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsible and safe use of online resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Locating information on the Internet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluating information found through telecommunications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing word processing documents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploring e-mail </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifying ways technology has changed North Carolina </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. NC STANDARD COURSE OF STUDY <ul><li>Grade 5 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Using search strategies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsible and safe use of online resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Awareness of Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploring the need for protection against viruses and vandalism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participating in curriculum-based telecommunication projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing word processing document using proper keyboarding techniques </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing multimedia presentation citing sources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing a product using a database </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluating resources and information for accuracy and usefulness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Selecting and using a variety of technology tools </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. NC STANDARD COURSE OF STUDY <ul><li>Grade 6 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsible and safe use of online resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using Copyright and Fair Use guidelines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Refining application skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using formulas in a spreadsheet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using search strategy two or more criteria in a database </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing productivity and accuracy in keyboarding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using word processing, spreadsheet, database, and multimedia for assignments in all subject areas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Locating and retrieving information using telecommunications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluating resources and information for accuracy and usefulness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Selecting and using a variety of technology tools </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. NC STANDARD COURSE OF STUDY <ul><li>Grade 7 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsible and safe use of online resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Refining application skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using formulas in a spreadsheet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using search strategy with two or more criteria in a database </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing productivity and accuracy in keyboarding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using word processing, spreadsheet, database, and multimedia for assignments in all subject areas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Locating and retrieving information using telecommunications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluating resources and information for accuracy and usefulness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Selecting and using a variety of technology tools </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. NC STANDARD COURSE OF STUDY <ul><li>Grade 8 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsible and safe use of online resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using spreadsheets and databases relevant to classroom assignments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Choosing charts/tables or graphs to best represent data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conducting online research and evaluating the information found </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using word processing/desktop publishing for classroom assignments/projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Selecting and using a variety of technological tools to develop projects in content areas </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. When Do Students Test? <ul><li>The test is currently administered in McDowell County in the Fall (mid October – mid November) to all 8 th Grade students. </li></ul><ul><li>Students who do not pass this administration will be allowed to retake the test in the Spring (mid March – early April.) </li></ul><ul><li>Students retake the test each year until they reach the passing score. </li></ul>
  24. 24. PREPARATION <ul><li>Open Lab Hours – Check your school to see when labs are open for tutoring and practice. East Junior High is open from 7-7:45 AM and 2:45-3:30 PM. </li></ul><ul><li>STUDY ISLAND – Log in from home or school and do the Computer Skills exercises. </li></ul><ul><li>Download the NCDESK program and practice the test simulation. The answers are not provided, but with a little research you can discover them. </li></ul><ul><li>Google “North Carolina Online Test of Computer Skills” on the Internet. Many school systems have put great efforts into guides and practice for the test. </li></ul><ul><li>Learn the Vocabulary! Many questions on the test can be answered by being familiar with computer terms. </li></ul><ul><li>RELAX! This test, while somewhat difficult, is not impossible to master. If you fail the Fall administration, seek remediation and study hard for the Spring. </li></ul>
  25. 25. HANDOUTS & LINKS <ul><li>Please take handouts. </li></ul><ul><li>This presentation will be posted on Eric Cole’s Technology Facilitator page at East Junior High’s Webpage. </li></ul><ul><li>Links: </li></ul><ul><li>Download NCDESK </li></ul><ul><li>Online Study Guide </li></ul><ul><li>Downloadable Study Guide (PDF file) </li></ul><ul><li>Spanish version of the study guide. </li></ul><ul><li>Test Simulation Demonstration Movie </li></ul><ul><li>An excellent source for practice and links HERE . </li></ul>

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