CT Ed Tech: Minutes for August 22, 2000

Minutes of the Commission for Educational Technology

Tuesday, August 22, 2000
9 AM - 11:30 AM
Legislative Office Bulding Room 1-A

Members Present:
Judith B. Greiman;Louis Hernandez; Paul Picard; Asish Desphande;George Selmont; Denise Moynihan;Jack Goldberg; William Cibes;Paul Gagliarducci; Barbara Gibson; Ken Wiggin;Valerie Lewis; Paul Kobulnicky; Rock Regan; Marc Herzog; Theodore Sergi;Cal Heminway;Pamela Law;Merle Harris

Others Present:
M. Jodi Rell; Karen Kaplan; Edward Klonoski


The Lieutenant Governor thanked everyone for their hard work, dedication and support, and stated she was pleased that the Commission was to begin its work. She remarked that this is a new journey that holds untold promise for Connecticutís teachers and students. The Lieutenant Governor stated that Connecticut will be a leader in preparing teachers, parents and students in the use of technology and will bridge the digital divide through this initiative. She urged the Commission to debate and focus on what is best for children and for the state. She stated that the first order of business was the selection of a Chair for the Commission. Rock Regan motioned to appoint Judy Greiman as Chair. Seconded by Valerie Lewis, the motion was approve unanimously. Ms. Greiman thanked the Lieutenant Governor for her support and trust as well as for her vision and hard work that were key to ensuring the creation of the Commission.

Ms. Greiman outlined the meeting packet and pointed out the report from the Joint Committee on Educational Technology (JCET), the predecessor organization to the Commission. JCET had developed this report in an effort to provide guidance to the Commission as it began its work. One of the first recommendations in the report, she noted, was that the Commission appoint an Interim Executive Director to make sure that the initiative got off the ground as soon as possible. JCET further recommended that a broad search for a permanent Executive Director be undertaken. Mr. Sergi moved the selection of Karen Kaplan as Interim Executive Director. Second by Mr. Selmont, the motion was approved unanimously. The Lt. Governor remarked that Ms. Kaplan had worked with her on a technology project and was both technically skilled as well as being a good educator and project manager. Ms. Greiman stated that she had checked Ms. Kaplanís references and had received wonderful reports about Ms. Kaplanís abilities. She proposed that the appointment be for one year and noted that the state Department of Information Technology would handle all requisite paperwork.

Ms. Greiman asked Dr. Harris to give a presentation on the history of educational technology in Connecticut. Dr. Harris remarked that she was honored to be the first JCET chair beginning in 1991. As established by the legislature, JCETís role was to establish and coordinate a plan to make education technology work in the state. Dr. Harris gave a presentation entitled "Where We Were and Where We Are Going". She made reference to the ten original goals of JCET and addressed progress made to date and work yet to be done in each goal area.

Ms. Greiman noted that much of the data used by Dr. Harris in her presentation is available at the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education website, www.cabe.org.

Commission for Educational Technology

Board Meeting, August 22, 2000

Ms. Greiman asked each commissioner responsible for a component of the initiative to report on progress to date. Kenneth Wiggin, Chief State Librarian, indicated that he and Val Lewis, Interim Commissioner of the Department of Higher Education, have been working on developing an RFP and a plan for the digital library. He noted that this digital library will serve as a gateway for resources to be available for all library users and that some components are already in place. Mr. Wiggin stated that the RFP will seek vendors who are able to provide digital library resources and that it would be going out soon. He further indicated that existing legislation that calls for the Connecticut library network may be redundant and may need to be changed so that this group serves as an advisory committee to the Commission. Ms. Lewis mentioned that the strength of the libraryís quality is critical. She noted that equity is at the heart of digital libraries and that Connecticutís digital library will enable an expansion of resources as well as the further development of specialty collections. She thanked Mr. Wiggin for his work this summer in moving this component of the initiative along.

Dr. Ted Sergi, Commissioner of the State Department of Education, discussed the many components of the initiative on which his agency is working. He also discussed the various technology grants that schools in the state may use to fund technology purchases. He further outlined the data that his agency has collected regarding what technology is in Connecticut schools. He noted that, on average, the number of students per computer has gone down from ten to five. It still remains difficult, however, to collect data regarding the existing technology in schools. He mentioned that the training of teachers is most critical and that his agency will be paying for professional development for teachers. Dr. Cibes asked the Departmentís plans for the development of a web site for teachers as specified in the legislation creating the Commission. Dr Sergi stated that his department is considering various options regarding this web site.

Mr. Rock Regan, Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology, gave an update on network planning. His agency is responsible for developing the network that he sees as the foundation of the initiative. He also discussed the role his agency will play in supporting the work of the Commission.

Mr. Ed Klonoski, Executive Director of the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium, gave a report on Consortium efforts to date. He mentioned that the goals of the Consortium are equity, economy and excellence. He noted that much of the Consortium funding would be used for expanding online services to students as well as additional technical support for both students and faculty. Some money will be used to develop training programs online for teachers and faculty members.

Ms. Greiman mentioned that the Commission in October would need to consider the kinds of advisory structures. She also noted that while the Commission is charged with reviewing agency budget requests related to educational technology, there may be some timing issues in this first year as agencies may need to submit requests to OPM, the state budget agency, before the commission has an opportunity to review them. She told agency heads to expect to present their relevant budget requests to the commission at its October meeting. There was some discussion as to whether the legislature understood that this effort will require continued funding. Commission members noted that they believe that funders do understand this and saw the creation of the Commission as evidence of this. Ms. Greiman noted that all Commission members would need to remind funders of the continual nature of the activities encompassed in the initiative.

The meeting adjourned at 1:30 p.m.



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