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 access.

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 MeetingBoard.

   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 saved.

   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.


  • 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

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