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Frequently-Asked Questions

  • Am I on my own to learn all this new technology stuff?
    • Of course not!  What this model does is help you identify and put in place the resources that you need in order to meet your learning goal.  As stated in the plan, resources can be both tech resources, in the form of websites and video tutorials, and human resources, being other teachers, myself, etc.  The goal of coming up with a plan like this is to ensure that staff who might need some additional help can get it, while staff who are able to learn more independently can do so without me holding them back.  Think about it as differentiated instruction, but for teachers!
  • Can I use this toward my certification?
    • Yes!  Check with the PLCSS folks about filling out a goldenrod-colored sheet so that you can revise your recertification plans.  A signature from a PLCSS member is required to proceed past step 1 of the project if you are completing a plan for recertification credit, and ensures that everything is order for making this project count.  After that, make sure that you are tracking the time you are spending towards completing your plan.  Upon completion, when I or an administrator sign off on it, you will be rewarded the corresponding credit hours that you put into the project.
  • When do I need to use this form?
    • Ideally, anytime you have an idea for something that you would like to learn to use in your classroom and want credit for the time you put into it, you should fill out a plan.  When I say "anytime," of course, common sense should be applied.  I'm not signing off on a plan where you learn the keyboard shortcuts for cut, copy, and paste, for example.  See the next question below about what kinds of plans will qualify.
  • What types of projects can I do with this form?
    • Generally, I will be looking for plans to have two components before I sign them off as being complete.  First, I will want to see that you've learned how to use the technology, or how to use the technology better or more efficiently than what you knew before.  Second, I will want to see that you have a plan for applying that knowledge to something you are doing in your context.  It is okay if you don't have both components polished at the very beginning of the plan.  When you submit the first step of the plan, generally speaking, I will either meet with you and/or provide feedback by email, and revisions will take place if necessary before we proceed to step 2.  As the saying goes, you don't know what you don't know, and the goal is to get you to having both components by the end of the project, not the beginning.  If you already knew how to do what you want to do and how to apply it, then why do we need to fill out a plan in the first place?
  • I'm not a classroom teacher.  What do I do?
    • Given that there are a wide variety of contexts within our school that do not involve classroom teaching, it is entirely possible that you will be learning about technologies with no ability to use them in a classroom with students.  I understand this, and we should talk about how to make the plan work for you before you finish filling it out.  Even so, I believe that the process I've created provides enough flexibility for staff regardless of their work status, so long as the goal is to learn something new and find a way to use it.
  • Do I haaaave to complete a plan in order to receive a new staff laptop?
    • Yes.
  • But... but...
    • You need to complete a plan in order to receive a new staff laptop.
  • What will I do without a laptop?  Aren't you denying me the ability to do my job?
    • All staff are entitled to and will receive a laptop regardless of whether they complete a plan.  Staff completing a plan will receive a new 13" MacBook Air sometime after completing the plan (see the questions below about timing).  Staff not completing a plan before the end of summer will continue on with the MacBook laptops they had last year, running a Linux OS.
It should be noted, by the way, that I am holding myself and Mr. Clement to the same standards that I am holding you to.  I will not provision myself a 13" MacBook Air until I've completed my own plan, and I will be releasing my own plan on this page as a template as I complete each step.
  • What happens if I wait until the school year starts to complete a plan?
    • Staff completing a plan will receive a new 13" MacBook Air upon completion of a plan.  If you complete it over the summer, you'll get it by the beginning of the new school year.  If you complete it in January, you'll get it then, so on and so forth.
  • What additional components are needed to receive my new laptop?
    • In addition to completing your summer learning plan, you must also turn in your old laptop before receiving a new one (preferably before the August 12 deadline; see Step 1 of End of Year Laptop Collection for more details).  This also means turning in your charger cable and your carrying case.  A laptop is not considered "turned in" until all three of those pieces are in my hands.
  • Are there any staff who won't be receiving a new laptop?
    • Generally, staff who will be eligible for receiving a new laptop are those who currently have a white plastic MacBook and had their laptop issued from SES.  Staff who currently have an MLTI MacBook Air, or otherwise receive their laptop from SDMHS, will continue to receive their laptops from that building.  If you have any questions, contact me.  We have a pretty good idea of where everyone's laptops are coming from, but may need to check in a few situations.
  • If I complete my plan in the summer, can I get my new laptop when I turn in my old one?
    • Maybe.  There are a lot of factors that will influence how quickly we can turn out new computers for next year, including how soon we can begin creating purchase orders in the new SY, how quickly the image can be prepared, and how much time I have to image them over the summer, among other things.  While I would like to be able to hand you your new laptop the moment you turn your old one in after completing a plan, that just might not be possible, and might be on a case-by-case basis.  We'll do the best we can.  For more details on new laptop deployment, see Step 2 on my End of Year Collection page.

Anything I missed?  Email me at gcyr@rsu20.org with your questions!