Monday, June 14, 2004

Technology Integration at the Beacon School Portal

The Beacon School Portal has many positive aspects. One positive point made in the article was that the intention was not for their students to "use" technology but for their students to be "creators" of technological innovations. The article continued to list numerous areas where the students were playing an active role in the success of the web experiment. Incorporating student involvement through the Beacon Tech Squad was one such example. Students producing their own web pages was another example of student involvement.

Also, with the government push for communication between parents and school, the article explained how the website had improved communication for the Beacon School. Parents and students were able to access homework, attendance, and announcements from home. Looking at the financial side, a large amount of money could be saved in postage, paper, and ink by posting announcements rather than mailing them to parents.

Since September 11, a national concern for crisis planning in schools has risen to the forefront. Beacon School has taken care of the problem of notifying parents by phone. Often in crisis situations, phone lines are down.

With all the positive aspects of the website experiment, one must remember that the success of the experiment at Beacon School is truly based on the support and participation of the school, students, parents, and their entire community. All planning and set up aside, if there were no participants, the website would have been a success for Beacon School.

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