and all science classrooms computer response pads (clickers), for
example—we decided to distribute it
according to how appropriate it is to
the curriculum and students’ interests.
You might find 10 science classrooms,
for example, with 10 different types
of technology. Some have computer
response pads, some have document
cameras, some have probes or interactive whiteboards, and some have multiple forms of technology. Each school
building has a library to house the
technology, which teachers can check
out for short-term or long-term use.
In the end, not focusing on any particular grade, content area, or building
in Glen Cove has led to positive collegial conversations, technology use that
supports our philosophy of instruction, effective use of funding dollars,
increased test and mastery scores, and
greater interest in learning.
Innovating with the NETS•S
We started with putting a new computer in every classroom. We soon
discovered that, even though the
teachers were frustrated with the
existing technology, they refused to
relinquish their old, often broken
computers. But when we showed them
what one brand-new computer could
do, they quickly realized what was
possible with technology that worked
and were able to let go of their broken
equipment to make room for the new.
Of course, new computers necessitated a new infrastructure. We
installed a fiber wire backbone district-wide. Then we refurbished the
servers and established, at long last, a
reliable, high-speed, wireless Internet
connection. We were then able to install a student-management system,
complete with a portal for parents to
check on their children’s attendance
and quarter grades.
With technical and administrative
functionality restored, the teachers
finally had a taste of the 21st century.
Now we were ready to feed their instructional appetite.
In 2009, Glen Cove teachers began incorporating ISTE’s NETS•S and Partnership for 21st
Century Skills into their curricula to ensure that all students master the technology skills
they need to be 21st-century learners while gaining a deeper understanding of content-area knowledge. Here are a few innovative examples of Glen Cove programs that meet the
Creativity and Innovation
Ninth graders at Glen Cove High School can take a new course this year called Innovations
that encourages them to identify a problem they can solve in an area that interests them.
They will learn and innovate through an ongoing creative process, and they will engage in
passionate inquiry, discussion, and investigations.
Communication and Collaboration
• Students use Elluminate, Safari Live, and VIDITalk to engage in conversations with students
around the world.
• Students in grades 3–12 use Moodle during and after school hours to engage in deep
conversations about literature, science, and social studies topics they are learning about in
• The high school launched a state-of-the-art radio station, BHRD (the instant messaging
acronym for “Be Heard”), on March 12, 2009. Students broadcast live sporting events,
music programs, and talk shows. The local journalism community has even involved Glen
Cove students in visits to their stations and on-air interviews.
Research and Information Fluency
Students from kindergarten through 12th grade are required to write research papers using
age-appropriate skills based on the American Library Association’s Big6 model. Students
have access to print resources and more than 50 electronic databases in the school
and community libraries. Librarians, in partnership with classroom teachers, teach about
plagiarism and the skills students need to research information, incorporate it into their own
knowledge, and reshape it into research they can call their own.
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
• Students use technology in every grade all of the time for these purposes. For example,
math students may use Geometer’s Sketchpad to explore mathematical models, then use
critical thinking and problem solving to understand and make conjectures and decisions
about mathematical concepts.
• Discovery Cove is a new multimedia learning center for grades K– 2 that encourages learning
that is inquiry based, linked to literacy and the arts, and rich in technology resources, such
as interactive touch tables.
Using curriculum and case studies developed through Project New Media Literacies, a
partnership with Harvard University and MIT, eighth grade students engage in activities that
surface, explore, and deepen understanding of the ethical and moral issues surrounding the
digital environments, including identity, privacy, ownership, authorship, credibility, participation,
and the responsibilities associated with the new roles youth assume online.
Technical Operations and Concepts
Students are required to take both computer and technology classes that explore and instruct
them in Web 2.0 tools, microworlds, building bridges, and other technology concepts,
systems, and operations.
Chastened by the lessons of other dis-
tricts that wasted millions of dollars
putting technology into classrooms
where teachers knew less about it
than their students, we decided to
make technology available only as the
teachers are trained in its appropri-
ate use. We already had a professional
development program in place that
was geared toward good pedagogi-
cal practice, but we supplemented
this with a new-teacher program for
the first three years of every teacher’s