Technology page

Last Updated: 7/13/2020 7:39 PM
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Amy Berth
Technology Coordinator
235 Grove Avenue
West Berlin, NJ 08091 
aberth@btwpschools.org 
(856)767-9480 ext 1265

 

Abigail Palen

Part-time PC Technician

apalen@btwpschools.org

 

What we do

Welcome to the technology page!

The Technology Coordinator, Mrs. Berth and PC Technician, Miss Palen, are responsible for keeping all technology in the district up and running. These include:

  • 1:1 (Internal) Chromebook upkeep in 2nd to 8th Grades
  • Servers
  • Switches, Routers, Firewalls
  • Backup data
  • Wireless APs
  • Printers
  • Teacher Desktops
  • SMART Boards, Panels and Epson Brightlinks

Not only do we maintain physical equipment, we also:

  • Keep kids safe with - BARK and Securly. **BARK scans all student G Suite docs and emails and alerts the tech department when it sees: cyber-bullying, inappropriate language, and self-harm items, even when not at school!  **Securly is a cloud based web filter that we use on the Chromebooks that allows us to block pages and it also detect bullying and self-harm terms and alerts the appropriate staff.
  • Provide teachers with Professional Development
  • Maintain the SIS, G Suite and Office 365 accounts
  • Almost all program data and logins. (Clever, Renaissance, Study Island, NewsELA, etc)
  • Lead the Technology Advancement Team
  • The Technology Coordinator is also responsible for: maintaining the website, ZippSlip, budget for tech, Technology Plan and FRS plan

    BERLIN TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT THREE YEAR TECH PLAN (excerpt) (CLICK FOR FULL PLAN HERE)

Introduction

District Mission Statement: The slogan of the Berlin Township School District of “Educating Today for Tomorrow’s Success” is meant to focus the educational community on the broad goal of giving ALL of our children the necessary skills to be successful in all future endeavors. Student achievement is the major priority; the district prides itself on its creative approach to learning and its emphasis upon helping each student to discover his or her potential. Teachers use a variety of teaching methods to reach students with a wide range of abilities. Student engagement as volunteers in the learning process is our primary focus. It is our responsibility to create structures and systems where students are totally engaged in the instruction, which will then lead to deeper learning and understanding.

The Berlin Township School District commits itself to all children by creating a standards-based school district in which all students receive the very best educational opportunities possible. Each and every student will surpass the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards.

To achieve this, the members of the district will focus on:

 Establishing high standards of excellence for both staff and students.

 Communicating openly and frequently within the district and with the community to foster a trusting relationship.

 Ensuring a safe and orderly environment for staff and students.

 Recognizing that a school district serves as a role model and has the responsibility to encourage high quality character behavior.

 

Technology Committee Mission and Vision

Mission: The mission of the Berlin Township School District’s Technology Committee is to research, recommend, and support the effective integration of both established and emerging technologies into the learning environment. Berlin Township School District is committed to fostering intellectual exploration, individual growth and social responsibility in our students' lifelong pursuit of excellence and honor. The district’s motto is “Educating Today for Tomorrow’s Success.” The Berlin Township School District envisions ALL of its students as successful global citizens and leaders in the 21st century. Teachers will use a variety of instructional methods to reach students with a wide range of abilities so that ALL students will receive the very best educational opportunities possible.

Vision: Technology is changing the way people across the globe communicate, learn and work. In order to create an engaging learning environment and effectively prepare students for the future, schools must embrace technology and thoughtfully integrate it into the learning process.

 

Technology Definition

The Berlin Township School District uses technology in both its instructional program and in the administration of the District. Technology is defined as the hardware, software applications, and virtual environments used to perform tasks more efficiently and provide the employees with ways to create things originally not possible. In education, the focus is on using the most appropriate technology and applications to support and supplement quality teaching and learning.

Such equipment includes, but is not limited to:

 Computers (desktops, laptops, 1:1 Chromebooks in 2nd - 8th grades)

 Mobile devices (iPad, iPod touch, cell phones)

 Digital cameras

 Interactive white boards and interactive projectors (like SMART Boards/Panels and Epson Bright Links)

 Video technologies (video conferencing, video streaming, broadcast video)

 Audio recording tools (USB microphones and mobile recorders)

 Student response systems (online response tools)

 Inter and intra-District network routers and servers

 Internet access and cloud-based e-mail

 Internet filters and firewalls

 Equipment to access telephone and voice services

 Printers and Copiers

 

Technology Plan Vision

The introduction of information technologies into virtually every aspect of our lives has led educational leaders, parents, and students to think differently about where and how learning takes place. Traditional concepts of schools, classrooms, and learning are being challenged as technologies introduce new ideas and capabilities into the system. Beyond the school walls, the global business market is demanding a new set of skills from college graduates and has an increasingly growing pool of workers from which to draw the best qualified employees. At the same time, the rate of change in both business models and related technologies makes identifying the specific skill-set difficult to articulate, let alone plan for.

This technological change is being driven by four factors:

1. The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based and access is decentralized. Information is accessible at any time from almost anywhere.

2. There is a growing shift in the way education is viewed; moving from a focus on the transmission of knowledge (teacher-centric) to the process of learning (student-centric).

3. The abundance of and ease of access to resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is driving questions regarding the definition of teacher, class, and textbook.

4. People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever/wherever they want to and are increasingly resistant to arbitrarily established restrictions relating to time and place.

These new realities have produced calls from political and business leaders for schools transform themselves, in order to create learning environments that promote an emerging set of 21st Century learning skills that include active learning, critical thinking, collaborative learning, and knowledge creation. The role of the teacher in this process and the transmission of academic skills and knowledge become even more critical. Teachers will need to use multiple teaching and learning tools and technologies to ensure that students have the academic background necessary to provide the foundation needed for effective use of the technology tools outlined in this plan.

In the Berlin Township School District, we have acknowledged this changing environment and expanded the process of transformation that reaches across the organization and into the homes of our teachers and students. These changes are being given impetus by two simple facts and based upon three basic assumptions. We acknowledge (Fact #1) that the world economy is struggling and we simply cannot do what we have always done and must find ways to become more efficient while increasing our effectiveness in raising student achievement. We also accept (Fact #2) that we must adapt to this changing environment and consider the implications for the district and schools, our staff, and most importantly, our students.

The goals, objectives, and activities outlined in this plan are based on the understanding that we live in a different world (i.e., reality, era, environment) than we grew up in (assumption #1); one in which digital natives rely on digital immigrants to understand their emerging learning style and personal academic needs. We also recognize that business is seeking graduates with a set of skills (e.g., global awareness, complex problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, active learning, and intellectual curiosity), which challenge school and district standardization efforts (assumption #2). Finally, we acknowledge that our students are currently picking up many of these requisite skills using personal learning and social networks outside of school (assumption #3).

Our vision shaping activities included review and consideration of the five goals articulated in the 2010 National Technology Plan:

1. All learners will have engaging and empowering learning experiences both inside and outside of school that prepare them to be active, creative, knowledgeable, and ethical participants in our globally networked society.

2. Our education system, at all levels, will leverage the power of technology to measure what matters and use assessment data for continuous improvement.

3. Professional educators will be supported individually and in teams by technology that connects them to data, content, resources, expertise, and learning experiences that enable and inspire more effective teaching for all learners.

4. All students and educators will have access to a comprehensive infrastructure for learning where and when they need it.

5. Our education system, at all levels, will redesign processes and structures to take advantage of the power of technology to improve learning outcomes while making more efficient use of time, money, and staff.

This plan describes a shift in focus of the organization from standardization and compliance to innovation and experimentation; from value attached to "presence" (attendance) to one based on outputs in which value is placed on growth as measured against student learning goals. The plan promotes personalized learning in which instruction is paced to learning needs (individualized), tailored to learning preferences (differentiated), and tailored to the specific interests of different learners. Learning objectives focus on creating environments and activities that support engagement and motivation as determined solely from the learner's perspective. Each teacher is continually guided by student-specific learning data that is gathered on a daily basis (if not more frequently) and used to inform instructional decision making at the student level. We have initiated a system redesign in which connected learning replaces learning in isolation for both teachers and students. By leveraging the ubiquitous nature of blended and hybrid learning spaces, we have promoted an environment where learning is the constant and time and space are the variables. By promoting learning as borderless (time, place, resources, opportunity) schools and structures are defined only by student learning and productivity – by where the learning takes place. All learners will have 24x7x365 access to learning (resources, opportunities, experiences). The plan outlines processes for finding the optimal teacher, learning environment, and learning resources matched to each student's need.

By focusing on the learning – and therefore the learner – our plan redefines the role of the teacher as a facilitator of student-directed inquiry and learning. This represents a shift from teachers as “solo practitioners” to educators as well-connected lead learners. While there is a need for certificated, professional teachers; learning is not bounded by teacher certification. The plan defines how virtual learning environments will engage experts from the field and supports a means for their voices to be delivered into the learning process. The same will be true for engaging and incorporating voices of students and educators across the globe. The activities within learning environments (both traditional and virtual) are moving from a transmission or passive learning model to a transaction or active model of learning – one that supports global awareness and connectedness at both the adult and student levels across the organization