AND ITS IMPORTANCE IN TEACHING H.S. STUDENTS
HOW TO DESIGN PRESENTATIONS
Eleanor Kohnen and Joyce R. Blueford
As we started this 6 month study we were expecting to work more with the students and teachers
in the science department at a local high school. However, technological access to this area was
not as promised. Although we had thought the network would allow access, this was not the
case. Teachers who would use the technology were very frustrated in the promises that they
always seem to be given by the technology personnel. Teachers cannot work on technology nor
have their students, if the access and equipment is not there.
We can easily conclude that teachers would use the technology successful if they had the right
tools. Most can see the need for technology like the LiveBoard and internet access. However,
their needs are not given much weight when decisions were being made.
It is obvious that people who buy the technology and those who would use it have almost
conflicting agendas. The grand plan versus a plan that impacts students immediately. We have
seen this at other school districts, and working with the high school in this study allowed us to
ask the real hard questions about the flow of information within school sites.
OBJECTIVE: Six month study to see how to integrate information on the Internet with the
shared surface ability of the LiveBoard. The 6 month trial using the LiveBoard and IPS-168
Internet Server at a local high school in the San Francisco Bay area, was to observe the use and
interaction between students, teachers, Internet, and the computer.
SET UP: A preliminary meeting held between the high school and the Math/Science Nucleus
resulted in the set up of an XGA LiveBoard in the Science Department and 2 IPS-168 units, one
in the Science Department and the other in the library. This set up was based on the
understanding that the high school was technologically suited to accommodate the many uses,
technical support, and electrical support that modern technological equipment such as the
LiveBoard and IPS would need.
The high school maintains a science computer lab, library computer lab, 2 desktop
computers for librarian use, internal administration computers and a math computer lab, as well
as, individual computers for every teacher noted as "teacher work stations." These computers
are currently internally (within each work area) networked, however, previously set up on 3
different networking cards. Only one (1) computer in the library has Internet access via one (1)
modem. The high school does have internal e-mail in Administration via Novell. Because of
an outdated networking card set up, 3 different cards per work area, and accessibility through
only one modem, the I-Planet server was called in to help facilitate a network setup for Internet
1. How many students use the LiveBoard as a daily class?
Three students were using the LiveBoard to design science presentations to certain
science classes. Their direction was mainly given by 2 teachers. They used any programs to
help design the materials, but then would display the materials either using Power Point or
Students on campus are aware of the presence of the
LiveBoard, but have either not seen
it or have no reason or access to it.
Students in the classes in which the machine physically sits have only observe the use by
their instructor. The LiveBoard is only used when the specific topic that the template has been
created for is in need. This would suggest that the LiveBoard has been used only once or twice.
2. How are the teachers using the LiveBoard?
The teachers have experimented with the functionality of the LiveBoard and it's
interaction with Windows 95' functions. There has been creation of templates for chemistry and
physics-using LiveBoard functions such as, font, wipe and move. These lesson are digitally
There has not been any development of templates using video, sound, graphics or
Internet snap pictures. The Science Department does not have access to a microphone (or have
not used the sound recorder internally), they do not have a video capturing station via desk top.
They lack a compatible scanner and their Internet provider goes down on occasion.
In the preliminary meeting, discussion regarding use of video, sound, and Internet files
were considered part of the LiveBoard use, however, because of Internet down time (Internet
access was not accessible for a long time due to service problems), development of templates
using such files is not possible or easy for teachers.
3. What is the response to the I-Planet, IPS box?
Three IPS units were placed in the high school, to achieve partial internet access by
teachers. There is one located in the Science Department, one in the library and one in
Administration. The response by faculty and staff has been gratitude and excitement. Faculty
and Staff are very impressed with the capabilities of the units and the overwhelming technical
support that the I-Planet company has provided at no charge. This support was for computer,
Internet and electrical set-up, not for IPS maintenance!
The internal technical support was unable to maintain the numerous demands and
computer problems that the school has been developing as they strive to keep up with modern
standards for computer use and Internet accessability.
4. Who has access to computer equipment?
Everyone has access to all computers on campus. There is limited use by students on
teacher workstations. These stations are currently accessing the Internet via the IPS units-which
were routed through to the library modem. The computers that are regularly used by students are
"drive less." This is to prevent students from internally accessing the system and control
functions of the computer. There is only one computer accessible to the Internet for use by the
students located in the library. However, because there is a long waiting list of student names
and numerous Internet service problems, students are unenthusiastic towards computer use.
Also, in order to use the Internet computer in the library, a librarian must always be present to
access the Internet.
The technical support group at the high school has access to the computers. Only the
Technology Coordinator and student help know the passwords and codes for internal system and
control access. There is a 5 time use of passwords for every computer-meaning that the same
password can only be used 5 times, and then a new one is issued. This is to prevent the
discovery of passwords and limits the access to computers for students.
OBSTACLES THAT WERE FOUND:
- The electrical needs have not been adequately addressed-too many "power surges" have
constantly been occurring that can be detrimental to the equipment. Surge protectors are non-existent in the Science Department computer lab.
- Insufficient training of staff. All internal technical support and any one using the machines.
- Students need to take a class on how to use equipment, too many students are asked to
be the "experts" and student unknowingly change settings.
- Student technical support must be supervised and restricted from areas that can be accessed which could cause system and configuration changes.
- Network needs should reflect how teachers and students will use the technology to
make them "a cut above."
- Purchase equipment that can be later "added," realizing that technology will always
improve. There is no state of the art system.
- Technology training for teachers.
- Focus on a solution to help easily access the Internet and provides the necessary resources for teachers, students, and parents