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DOC-322281A2

PRESENTATIONBY
DR.JOHNWORD
PRINCIPAL,KENMOREMIDDLESCHOOL
ARLINGTON,VIRGINIA
BEFORETHE
FEDERALCOMMUNICATIONSCOMMISSION
OPENCOMMISSIONMEETING
FRIDAY,JULY19,2013,10:30A.M.

Goodmorning.IamJohnWord,principalofKenmoreMiddleSchoolwhichis
justacrossthebridgeinArlington,VA.KenmoreisArlington'sArtsand
CommunicationsTechnologyFocusSchool.Iamdelightedtobehereto
contributetothediscussiononhowandwhytheFCCshouldcontinueto
supportallschools andlibrariesintheirquesttoincreaseconnectivityand
technologyintegration.
IbeganmycareerineducationasasocialstudiesteacheratThomasStone
HighSchoolinWaldorf,Maryland.Iworkedasateacher,Instructional
supervisor,assistantprincipalandprincipalwiththeDistrictofColumbia
PublicSchoolspriortoservinginmycurrentcapacity.Iwanttoacknowledge
theworkofthiscommissionanditsongoingadvocacyfortechnology
integrationinschoolsandspecificallyitsroleingettingschoolsconnected.If
mymemoryservesmewelltherewasnotmuchifanynoticeabletechnology
inclassroomsandschoolswhenIbeganteachingin1979.Myfirst
appointmentasprincipalwasin1993atGarnet-PattersonMiddleSchoolhere
inWashington,DC.WhenIwasappointedprincipalweembracedatheme,
"CommunicationsTechnologytheLinktothe21stCentury".Duringthose
timestherewasagreatdealofexcitementaboutthechangeofthe
millennium.Therewasafairamountofanxietyabouttechnologyandour
readinesstoharnessitspowerandstaycompetitiveglobally.WhileatGarnet-
PattersonIhadtheexperienceofbeingapartofsomeexcitingprojects.In
thosedaystherewereteamsof"techies"thatwouldcometoschoolsoncall
andassistwithinstallationofInternetcable.In1993,weconvertedatyping
classroomtoacomputerlab,installedcomputerlabsoneachofthreefloors
andaddedadistancelearningclassroom.Wewereoneofthefirstschoolsto
haveInternetaccess.

In1998,IwasappointedprincipalofKenmore.Oneofmyresponsibilitieswas
tocontinuetherelativelynewmissionofintegratingtechnology.Most
educatorsagreethatintegratingtechnologyisapowerfulenhancementto
teachingandlearning.Sometimesschoolsdon'thavethetraining,hardware,
softwareandaccessibilitynecessarytorealizethedesiredoutcomes.During
mytenureatKenmorewemovedfroma50yearoldbuildingtoonethatwas
designedwithtechnologyintegrationatitscore.Weareawirelessschool
communitywitha3to1studenttocomputerratio.Allofourclassroomsare
equippedwithsmartboards,scannersand1/3withaudioenhancement
systems.Thegoalofthedistrictistobeat1to1by2017.Wehavesix
computerlabs,atleasttwocomputersineveryclassroom,fourclassrooms
designedtofacilitatetheRead180program,5laptopcarts,4iPadcarts,TV
Productionstudio,technologyeducationlab,businesseducationlab,family
andconsumerscienceslab,andadistancelearninglab.Lastyearweprovided
everyinstructionalstaffmemberwithaniPad.Forthepasttwoyears,we
participatedinastatefunded"iPadsinalgebraproject". Ouralgebrapassrate
improvedfrom79%passingin2012to94%passratein2013.
InArlington,eRatemoneyhasbeenusedtosupportschoolinfrastructure
whichincludescablingforcomputers,wireless,mobiledevices,and
telecommunications. Forexample,forthepasttwoyearswehaveprovided
anyfamilyinneedwithalaptop.TheeRatemoneyhelpedtoprovidethe
infrastructurethatallowsthesefamiliestohaveafterschoolhoursInternet
accesswirelesslyatanyAPSschoolfacilitiesincludingourlibrariesand
recreationcenters. WearehopefulthateRatefundswillhelpusmakeour
schoolsreadytosupportourexpected1to1studentratiointhecomingyears
andthegrowingnumbersoffacultyandstudentsbringingtheowndeviceson
campus.
ManyofourstudentsutilizeInternetbasedenrichmentprogramslikeRead
180andThinkThroughMath.Moststudentswhoinvesttheprescribed
numberofhoursontheScholasticRead180programhaveshownremarkable
gainsintheirreadingscoresasmeasuredbylexilegrowthontheScholastic
ReadingInventoryorSRI. Read180isaprogramthatisdesignedforstudents
whoarereadingtwoormoreyearsbelowgradelevel.Therearefive
componentstothedailyinstruction,oneofwhichisdrivenbyinstructional
software.Theclassistaughtinadaily90minuteblockwithabout12
students.Weusetheprogramforidentifiedstudentswithdisabilities.Most
studentswhoareenrolledintheprogramin6th gradeareabletoreturnto
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fullyintegratedclassby8th grade.Thiskindofsuccessbuildsastudent's
academicconfidence.Likewise,wehaveacohortofstudentswhocometo
schoolearlyandspendtimeworkingontheThinkThroughMathenrichment
program.Thesestudentsareabletoworkontheprogramawayfromschoolif
theyhaveinternetconnectivity.WeareabletoofferChinese,Arabic,andLatin
inadistancelearningformatusingourdistancelearninglab.Itisveryunlikely
thatwewouldbeabletooffertheseclassesifwewerenotabletousethe
distancelearningprocess.Ourenrollmentinforeignlanguages,whicharehigh
schoolcreditbearingclasses,hasincreasedandIseeapatternofstudents
studyingnativelanguageswhichheretoforewerenotavailable.
Theuseandintegrationoftechnologyhashadatremendouspositiveimpact
onourstudentsandstaff.Oneofourstudentscametoourschoolfrom
Bangladeshin6th grade.Bythetimehecompletedthisschoolyearhewas
designingwebpagesasahobbyandhadbeeninvitedtoserveonthe
Superintendent'sCouncilfortheAdvancementofTechnology.Lastyear
KenmorepioneeredaprogramcalledKidWind;aninitiativetoencourage
"green"energysolutionsthroughthedesignandconstructionofafunctional
scalewindmill. Studentsprintedover50differentcomponentsusingthefour
3Dprintersinthelabandassembledtheentirewindmillwithsnap-fit
precision. FivestudentstraveleddowntoJamesMadisonUniversityto
competeagainstmanyotherteamsinthemiddleandhighschool
divisions. Studentsfinishedsecondoverallinthestateandlookforwardto
multipleentriesnextyear. Thisprojectwasfeaturedonthechannel9news.
Someofthesestudentshadshownthattheywereacademicallystrongbuthad
notfoundtheconnectionatschooltobringoutthebestoftheirtalent.
TwoyearsagowelaunchedaLaptopLoanerprogramthattargetedagroupof
boyswhohadtoearntheirlaptopbyconductingcommunityserviceor
earninggoodgrades.Over50studentsearnedtheircomputersinalmostno
time. Additionally,anystudentwhohadademonstratedneedwasableto
earnalaptop.
8thGradeGeographyusedartsandtechnologyintegrationtocreate"Geo-
Jingles"thatwerestudent-createdsongsaboutregionsoftheworld. Ihearda
studentcommentthat bydoingthisprojectshefeltincludedandimportantin
thelearningprocess.
WehavetwoteacherswhohavebeennamedSMARTExemplaryeducators.
ThisentitlesthemtoanarrayofsupportmaterialssuchasSmartboards,
studentresponsesystemsandtheopportunitiestoshowcasetheirskillswith
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colleagueslocallyandnationally.Theseexperienceshavetransformedtheir
teaching.Oneisontracktobecomeamathcoach;theotherisslatedtoleada
revolutionary"collaborativeclassroom"thisyear.Ourtechnologyeducation
teacherinspiresandleavesmostwhowatchhisworkwithstudentsinawe.
Thisyearourdistrictisintheprocessofmakingachangeinthestudent
informationmanagementsystem.Oneofthehighlightsofthenewsystemis
itsaccessibilityforparentsandstudentstoconnectdigitally.Parentsand
studentswillbeabletoseeupcominglessonsandgradesinlivetime.
UnliketheclassroomthatIinheritedatthestartofmycareerwehavejust
installeda"CollaborativeClassroom"thathasfoursmartboardsanda50inch
touchscreenTV.Asaresultoftheconnectivitythatweenjoytodayourschool
isaplacewhereourteachersandstudentsareinteractingwithlimitless
constituents,withendlesspossibilitiesandalwaysdisplaythejoyoflearning.
Iwanttothankyouforalloftheworkthatyou'vedoneonbehalfofschools
andlibrariesacrossthecountryandfororganizingthisprogramsothatall
schoolsandlibrariescanbenefitfromyourinsightandworktoincrease
broadbandaccessandtechnologyintegration. Thisispowerfuland
transformativeworkandIcommendyouforyourcommitmentthusfar.
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