iMiller Reflections on February 22, 2012

iMiller UPDATE: Thank-you iMiller for your excellent work and leadership.  75% of the iMiller team was able to meet on Wednesday night (2/22) at Mazatlan to reflect on the iPad Integration project.  All team members reported the project was going well.  We all agreed that there are issues to resolve and the benefits FAR out weighed the concerns.  We had a conversation about how we can invite the high school to be a part of this journey we are on with kids.  Mark will send a specific invitation to the high school leadership and perhaps in the district collaboration meeting next week Judy, Lynn and the Miller collaborative leaders can extend the invitation.  The team discussed the high school making a site visit and that perhaps at Miller we could use the high school visit as a model for other schools to visit.  We also discussed that perhaps we should consider opening up our school sooner to site visits.  Certainly we would benefit from Apple in “backend support”, meaning our technology department would be working with the best engineers and technicians, which will help our staff and students.  If we were to obtain an Apple Distinguished School and Educator label, we could certainly use that to leverage other relationships with vendors, which is already happening. The iMiller team was mixed in their opinions on opening up our school to visits.  Certainly some staff are ready and other staff are more hesitant.  We need to keep our focus on getting better everyday with the technology, staying positive about our intent on learning and recognize that it is a shift in our teaching as we move towards flipping the classroom.  Perhaps having an audience can increase our own performance levels?   iMiller asked me to build a simple survey and find out who is ready.  I am wanting to be very respectful of what I have promised the staff  that we would wait for visits until next year.  My concern is that we have momentum and honestly I am so pleased with what I am seeing in the classrooms that I truly believe most are ready for the experience of having visitors and a few who don’t want visitors, I can accommodate.  It might be important for us to “strike while the iron is hot.”  Finally, bandwidth is a major issue right now.  The following link below and graph shows you our concerns.  Since Week 5 (Feb 1) we are seeing our bandwidth resources being overextended above the 50M line below.  We have applied for more bandwidth from the K20 network and it has been approved.  It is taking time for those clearances to take place.  The use of YouTube is vital for our staff and students, but if you are trying access YouTube between 10:45 - 1:00, it is not very user friendly.  Also we need take a hard look at the amount of apps that we are using, as the iPad device only has 16GB of space. Speaking of apps, we recently submitted most

likely our last app order for 2011-12.  Technology is going to test a “new” push out model for five free apps on Monday, February 27, 2012 beginning at 2 pm.  After that test push out the remaining 45 apps will be pushed out depending on how the test goes.  We say goodbye and good luck to Adam Johnson.  Adam was incredible through the iPad integration project.  He has been offered a job at the hospital and we wish him the best and thank him for his work.  Ron Francisco is stepping in to be our new IOS 5 expert.  Ron assisted Adam on many portions of the iPad project, as he split his time between ASD5 and Cosi schools.   Welcome Ron!  Dr. Opstad and Mike Williams are working on personnel solutions for technology and both have been made aware of our concerns here at Miller as we will continue to need tech support and with the high schools coming online, certainly a need for additional dedicated and experienced personnel is inevitable.
Principal Mark Decker
Miller Junior High