Friday, December 14, 2007

Who wants to be an expert Mac user? "Pick me!" says Mr. Loecker!

Teacher "Boot Camp" v. 2.0
This is the 2nd and 3rd groups of teachers to go through a half-day "Boot Camp" training session. Covered were the basics of operating a Mac including terminology, familiarity with the Leopard operating system, tips for converting for Windows users, and a general overview of getting in and out of programs and around on your machine.

Apple Employee #3

We have our own Apple expert right here on staff! Mrs. Dean has been a pro at helping out and taking on new challenges... she's hoping for an iPromotion soon!

Pilot Students...BETA Group!

Ten O'Neill High School students were issued the first 10 student MacBooks for a week of piloting our first student image. A Google doc was created to keep track of the problems and issues collaboratively as a group. Also, Apple Remote Desktop is being used to troubleshoot and view the students' use throughout the school. After this first week of student piloting is up, the Tech Team will collect the MacBooks and view the Spector Screen Captures as we have that software set to save for 7 days. This will help us reevaluate and decide on some policies, procedures, and settings before deployment.

The 'Big Mac' is up and running

Our server is set up and running. Named the "Big Mac" by Trevor D., this powerful machine will be the " central brain" of O'Neill's 24-7 Learning. Apple Professional Services spent three days setting up the Big Mac, as well as the rest of the infrastructure, and we are ready to start imaging machines.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Un-boxing and Inventory

To organize and inventory our new MacBooks we used a label creator and a bar code scanner. All MacBooks have a school ID# that is displayed on three labels-- the backside of the laptop itself, the underside of the battery, and the powercord "brick." The ID is scanned into our FileMaker Pro Inventory database, along with the MacBook serial number, Airport ID, Ethernet ID, and student name. As we continue with student use, our hope is that our maintainance log coincides with our inventory database, providing thorough records on each MacBook's history and use. Our MacBooks are currently being stored like books on a bookshelf, in numerical order to ease our cataloging process.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Our MacBooks are here!

What an exciting day! From the first signs of the FedEx truck, through the unloading of 420 individual boxes, through the un-boxing of 420 individual boxes, through the breaking down and trashing of 420 individual boxes (are you beginning to see a pattern here?), the excitement was seeping up and down the hallways and outside in the dumpster! Not too long now, kids... 24-7 learning is almost ready to ROLL OUT!

APD: Apple Professional Development

Sixteen teachers spent two days on Nov. 2- Nov. 3 in Apple Professional Development. Our Apple trainer, Jim Webber, presented a multitude of learning experiences on Technology-Infused Learning. Everything from great educational shortcuts with the Mac Operating system, to educational websites and project ideas, to classroom management in a 1:1 learning environment, to creating our own podcasts tied around a curricular question. These teachers are ready to lead the way in transforming their classrooms and beyond into high quality 24-7 learning experiences for our students.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Photo Web Gallery

Check out our iPhoto WebGallery of photos thus far in our 24-7 Learning Initiative.

Visit it here and check back often for updates!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Logo Design Contest

Attention all budding graphics designers! We need your creative and artistic ideas!

Logo Contest
We need your creative designs for a logo for our upcoming 24-7 Learning Initiative! The chosen logo could be used on a variety of print and publication materials including, brochures, websites, T-shirts, etc. Attention should be paid towards creating an eye-appealing, clean graphic which communicates the ideas driving the 24-7 Learning Project. (These vision statements can be viewed on Include the name of our school as well as 24-7 Learning for text. The logo design can be any shape and any color, but it must be editable to serve a variety of purposes and formats. (Therefore, submit your entry in the program you created it in.)
What: Create a logo for O’Neill Public School’s 24-7 Learning Initiative
When: Entries due: November 9, 2007
Where: Turn in your entries via Mrs. Morrow’s iDisk by clicking:
Other User’s Public Folder
Type in: mrsmorrow
Drop in your entry into the 24-7 Logo Contest Folder
PRIZE: $15.00 iTunes Gift Card + USB Flash drive

Westside Visit

Omaha Westside played host to Mrs. Morrow, Mr Peterson, Mr. Buller, and Mrs. Brown last week on our OPS Staff Development Day. The day was informative and educational; the knowledge and insight gained into all aspects of a fully-functioning 1:1 environment will prove beneficial as we progress forward in ours.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Getting the most out of your Mac

Two very helpful links to bookmark:

1. Switch 101: "The former PC user's guide to getting the most out of your Mac."

2. Troubleshooting Quick Assist: Quick Assist help on basic Mac troubleshooting topics.

Mark Billington from Apple visits O'Neill

O'Neill Public School was visited by Mark Billington of Apple Computers yesterday. As our new Apple rep, he will work with us to successfully implement our 24/7 Learning initiative.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Official "Yes!"

After another night of respectful and supportive consideration, the School Board voted 'yes' to laptops for students grades 7-12 starting next year. Juniors and seniors will "pilot" the laptops starting second semester and all high school teachers who don't currently have a Macbook will get one issued to them as soon as they come in and Greg gets the infrastructure set up. We know that this initiative will be a big undertaking and that it will take a lot of dedication and hard work to make it successful, but we are all very excited about the potential for improvement to student learning that the added technology access can bring. Don't worry about changing everything overnight... as Mrs. Gotschall says, "Rome wasn't built in a day!" And do know that we will try to support you, the teacher, as best we can in this change. But we are excited to start on this journey together.

We will definitely need to do more planning and decision-making now that we have the official go-ahead from the board. As always, we welcome any input from any staff member who wants to try and make this a successful venture for all involved.

We will try to keep information about the initiative posted on the 24/7 Learning link off the school website or by clicking here:

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Look out for some great OHS student-created podcasts coming your way in the near future!

Biology classes with Mrs. Paris and Mrs. Fernau have been or soon will be podcasting about biomes, while Mr. Corkle's classes have produced podcasts as a "layered curriculum" choice for 8th graders. Spanish students with Mrs. Brown will soon be creating their own podcast productions, as well. Look at the smiles, here!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

September School Board Meeting

Thanks so much for all the enthusiasm for laptops that the teachers at last night's School Board meeting showed! We also had a handful of students and parents who also shared wonderful points and ideas. Although the Board did not approve the purchase of 7-12 laptops, they didn't vote it down, either. They want us to research a little more on a few things... skeptical teachers, parent opinions, Internet at home, student safety, management, etc. So please keep helping things progress forward by sharing any ideas on implementation as well as things other districts are doing to make their initiatives successful. In my opinion, if we can predict some of our biggest obstacles now, we can more successfully solve problems as they come. So, onward, for now...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September Teacher Pilot Group meeting

Steve Przymus from South Sioux City High School visited us this past Sunday afternoon. Steve did a great job of demonstrating how he creates web content out of his Spanish I course. Some students take his course in person while some take the same course entirely online independently and he feels it is a way to reach more learners with the Spanish content and course offerings. His district uses Angel from My eLearning as their course management software and O'Neill will be attending some training on Angel at the ESU next week as well. Many of our pilot teachers are interested in enhancing their course by creating content and projects available for student access via the web. We all thought that what we learned from Mr. Przymus will mesh well with our objectives and goals of a 24/7 Laptop Learning initiative. paz.htm

Viewpoints on 24/7 Learning... from the Students

You have been introduced to the power and potential for learning with a MacBook computer. Now, imagine the possibility of having this tool in your backpack 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. What benefits to your learning would this create? What problems, if any, would arise if every student had their own school-issued MacBook. Brainstorm possible projects, learning opportunities, and things that would change if O'Neill adopted a 24/7 Learning Initiative.

For more student responses, read the blog posts on Mr. Peterson's Class Blog as well:

Friday, August 24, 2007

Site Survey by our Apple Team

Scott G. and Jeff O. from Apple visited O'Neill Public School yesterday to do a site survey and infrastructure analysis to determine next steps for the initiative.

"Get a Mac!"

Students started their technology courses in Mr. Peterson's Business lab with exposure to and exploration of the Mac operating system. Pictured here is Mr. Peterson teaching the differences between a Mac and PC as well as the smiles on the faces of students who are getting to learn with Macs this year!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

1st Teacher Pilot Group attends mini "Boot Camp"

Fifteen teachers attended four fun-filled hours in preparation to pilot the MacBook laptops in their classrooms this year. Our vision for the initiative was discussed as well as overview, set-up, and training for the Mac operating system and iLife software. All were excited to start infusing the technology into their educational outcomes to improve learning for students. So much to do, so little time!

Leadership Team attends Apple Briefing

A quick trip to an executive briefing in Chicago was a great start to the 07-08 school year as well as the 24/7 Learning Initiative for O'Neill Public Schools.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Our Initiative has begun!

Officially we can now say that O'Neill Public School is on its way to 24/7 access to learning via technology. Throughout this school year and beyond, I will utilize this blog to open communication and offer resources to teachers, students, and staff involved in the OPS learning community. Get ready for some incredible learning opportunities by all involved!