EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT & TECHNOLOGY SERVICES (John P. Branson, Director)
A. Technology Leadership Council
The Chester County Technology Leadership Council met on January 21, 2010. The agenda included
a demonstration of the PDE Standards Aligned Systems Portal (SAS), information about the new
Harrisburg University Masters of Science in Learning Technologies program, new resources available
through E-Fund grants and updates on numerous new online programs available to Chester County
schools at no cost. The meeting was followed by a presentation by Joe Harford from Reclamere
entitled Computer Forensics 101.
B. Distance Learning and Internet 2
On January 20, a fourth grade classroom from Lionville Elementary School, Downingtown Area
School District participated in a videoconference with three other schools from across Pennsylvania.
The classrooms had previously participated in a virtual field trip to the San Diego Zoo and were able
to share their knowledge with each other during this second videoconference.
A series of videoconference meetings were held with Tuscarora IU 11, Bucks County IU 22,
Northeastern Educational IU 19 and Intermediate Unit 1 to develop a statewide videoconferencing
planning committee. Kim Breuninger shared the model that Internet2 developed specifically to create
collaborative student centered programs. It was decided to follow the Internet2 “best practice”
examples and begin development of international, national and state programs.
C. PAIUnet Project Management
John Branson assisted in coordinating a statewide videoconference for the Pennsylvania Department
of Education held on January 5, 2010. The topic of the conference was the Race to the Top grant
ERDTS staff members coordinated the purchase and distribution of 1,074 PAIUnet branded flash
drives and 490 Flip video cameras on behalf of PAIUnet. The flash drives and Flip cameras were
purchased with the money from the PAIUnet E-Fund grant. The flash drives, to be given to
superintendents around the state, contained a multimedia presentation about PAIUnet. The Flip
video cameras were provided in conjunction with a special project to encourage educators and
students to produce short videos with tips for teachers and students that can be uploaded to
John Branson met with representatives from PDE and several IUs to begin planning the migration of
the Standards Aligned Systems Portal (SAS) to PAIUnet. John subsequently assembled a technical
planning team to review technical specifications and to begin planning the move.
John represented PAIUnet at the E-Fund Summit held in State College on January 28, 2010. The
purpose of the summit was to acquire updated information with regard to budget revisions for the
upcoming grant year.
D. PAIUnet Program Development
1. NewWorlds - A multi-user virtual environment:
The first Orientation training took place on January 14, 2010 with participants from intermediate
units around the state. Laura Mikowychok, Sarah Vone and Thomas Haines developed an
extensive Orientation trail. The Orientation trails provided participants with the opportunity to
learn important skills to navigate and interact in the virtual world. Two additional trainings were
held on January 22 and 27 with a total of 36 participants.
John Branson and Laura Mikowychok presented the NewWorlds virtual education grid to the
PAIUnet Management Team at their meeting at Capital Area Intermediate Unit on January 22.
The presentation introduced basic skills and involved a discussion of applications for the
2. Keystone Commons:
There are currently 736 active members involved with the social networking site. A wide variety
of new groups have joined including administrative teams, content specific groups and a Regional
Facilities Management team.
3. Pennsylvania Instructional Media Services (PAIMS)
Internet Safety and Digital Citizenship Resources:
The Educational Technology Outreach Committee of PAIMS has begun development of an
online repository and course for educators, students and parents to address the challenges of
educating students on the digital responsibilities of 21 century citizens.
E. Online Course Development
Two new courses, Teaching an Online Course and Creating an Online Course, are now being offered
through the Continuing Professional Education program. Teaching an Online Course is a six-week
course designed to prepare teachers to facilitate an online course. Creating an Online Course is a
fifteen-week course focusing on best online course design practices.
Kim Breuninger and Stefani Hite (Teaching & Learning) met on January 5, 2010 to develop a plan for
training T&L consultants and support staff to create blended and online workshops and courses. Kim
and Stefani agreed to focus on Moodle and appropriate Online Course development strategies and
In order to share online courses and content across the state, Tuscarora IU and CCIU are currently
working together to develop a protocol for federating Moodle clusters. The purpose of connecting
these remote servers and instituting a single sign-on system is to provide students and educators
from across the state with the ability to take courses not currently offered.
F. Standards Aligned Systems Portal SAS
Vernice Mulcahy presented the Standards Aligned System (SAS) to the Technology Leadership
Council on Thursday, January 21. The SAS program was designed to align efforts and resources in
six areas: Standards, Assessment, Curriculum, Instruction, Materials & Resources, and Interventions.
G. Professional Development and Videoconferences
Date Topic School District Location
1/5/10 TRIC: Math Resources Various CCIU-ESC-TRIC
1/7/10 TRIC: SMARTBoard Various CCIU-ESC-TRIC
1/12/10 Beginner Moodle (8:30-10:30 AM) CAT-Brandywine CAT-Brandywine
1/12/10 Beginner Moodle (12:15-2:45 PM) CAT-Brandywine CAT-Brandywine
1/12/10 Open Forum CAT-Brandywine CAT-Brandywine
1/13/10 Creating SMARTBoard Lessons Various CCIU-ESC
1/14/10 TRIC: Social Studies Resources Various CCIU-ESC-TRIC
1/15/10 Using a Promethean Board-Beginner Coatesville School District Scott Middle School
1/15/10 Creating Promethean Board Lessons Coatesville School District Scott Middle School
1/15/10 Intermediate Moodle CAT-Brandywine CAT-Brandywine
How to Add Audio & Video to
1/19/10 CAT-Brandywine CAT-Brandywine
Date Topic School District Location
1/19/10 Advanced Moodle CAT-Brandywine CAT-Brandywine
1/19/10 Open Forum CAT-Brandywine CAT-Brandywine
1/19/10 TRIC: K-2 Resources Various CCIU-ESC-TRIC
1/20/10 CCDC Professional Development CCDC CCIU-CCDC
1/25/10 Teaching Online Elluminate (CPE) Various On-line in Elluminate
1/26/10 Google Doc's * Moodle- POS CAT-Brandywine CAT-Brandywine
1/26/10 Learning to use iMovie CAT-Brandywine CAT-Brandywine
1/26/10 Open Forum CAT-Brandywine CAT-Brandywine
Creating an Online Face-to-Face
1/26/10 Various On-line in Elluminate
1/26/10 TRIC: Science Resources Various CCIU-ESC-TRIC
1/28/10 Various CCIU-ESC
January Enhanced Elluminate Moderator
Various On-line in Elluminate
1/5/10 Race to the Top Various CCIU-ESC
1/12/10 2010 PASA Train the Training Various CCIU-ESC
PAIU Public Relations
1/12/10 Various CCIU-ESC
H. Web/Database Development
This month ERDTS rolled out a new website for the PDE Webinars program. The new site included
many improvements over the old one: a more efficient design to accommodate heavy loads,
efficiency and improved normalization in the database design, real time webinar availability
information, and a cleaner interface for management of the data.
The NewWorlds Open Sim program was migrated to a temporary new system in an attempt to
increase reliability. The NewWorlds development team determined that the new platform offered
greater stability so the migration was made permanent.
A new customized Oxford Area School District video portal, developed and hosted by CCIU, provides
the Oxford Area School District community with the ability to watch videos over the web at no charge.
Viewers are able to watch videos related to school board meetings; special student video
productions; and district-interest videos, concerts and assemblies. The portal can be found at
I. Student Update
Episode 18 of the Student Update is available for viewing at CCiTV. This episode features new cast
members, Marlee-Padmore Schultz from Phoenixville Area High School and Cassidy Lannen from
Downingtown Middle School. The episode features segments on Children’s Health Insurance from
CAT-Pickering students; Heating Tips for Your Home from Chester County Technical College High
School (CCTCHS) students; How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions; and Rene Harris, a student
from Oxford Area High School, who was one of three winners of the nationwide U.S. Department of
Education’s “I Am What I Learn” video contest.
J. Video Production
Production of the CHAAMP video continued through January. Footage was taken of a CHAAMP
student washing dishes and performing kitchen duties at the West Chester Senior Center.
K. CCiTV Viewership Statistics:
Total Page Views: 275
Total Unique Visitors: 129
Total Video Streams: 109
AVOD Act-48 views: 1,405
L. Online Events
In January there were 74 public Elluminate sessions with 5,048 attendees. Elluminate was used for
various statewide roll-outs and training sessions such as Keystone Commons, Early Childhood
Standards, PIMS Professional Staff Training and Race to the Top information sessions.
M. Innovation Institute
Temple University and the S.A.V.E. Science project team hosted a dinner presentation for 14 Chester
County middle school science teachers on January 12. The teachers had the opportunity to hear in-
depth information about the pilot program and engage in some hands-on exploration of the virtual
South Brandywine Middle School, Coatesville Area School District; Lionville Middle School,
Downingtown Area School District; and Hopewell Elementary School and Penn’s Grove Middle
School, Oxford Area School District, plan to begin implementation of the S.A.V.E. Science project in
late February and early spring.
N. Harrisburg University Partnership
Members of the Innovation Institute project team met with Harrisburg University staff to organize the
upcoming Masters of Science in Learning Technology cohort. The project team began planning for
several Harrisburg University technology clinics to be offered this summer. Marketing efforts have
begun for the Learning Technology Master’s degree program planned for the fall semester.
On January 11, 2010, Kim Breuninger met with Charles Palmer from Harrisburg University to explore
internship opportunities at CCIU for junior, senior and graduate level students. Potential areas of
interest included virtual worlds, Moodle module development and open source programming specific
to K-12 education.
O. Hosted Services
During the month of January, Linda Morgandale and Tim Currie migrated the current server
monitoring system from IPcheck to open source Nagios, a Linux-based software program. The
Nagios monitoring system was chosen because it allows more flexibility both in customized alert
notifications and in events that can be monitored.
Linda and Tim applied security updates to the Elluminate servers. They also performed software
application upgrades. All updates and upgrades were completed within the scheduled time frames
and without issue.
Tim worked with technical staff from Education Management Solutions to help them host three
servers on the Hosted Services network and Linda troubleshot mailing list issues for
In January, Tim Currie and Larry Konig worked with technical staff from Downingtown Area School
District (DASD) and Owen J. Roberts School District (OJRSD) to evaluate their Internet usage. In
both instances the districts were doing more with the Internet than they had in the past. Larry and
Tim recommended bandwidth increases. DASD put its increase in effect immediately; OJRSD
indicated that they would wait until July 1.
Larry provided revised pricing to Capital Area IU 15 and Colonial IU 20 for Internet2 access via the
Chesonet MAGPI connection. Using PAIUnet for transport, the proposal eliminated the cost of
dedicated transport circuits. The proposal also offered bandwidth at less expensive per-megabit
rates than if they were purchasing directly from MAGPI.
Larry is assisting Sting Communications to establish IP multicasting on PAIUnet. Multicasting allows
high-definition real time and prerecorded video to be distributed across PAIUnet with minimal
Larry and Tim looked into problems reported by a Riverview IU 6 school district unable to register for
access to Keystone Commons over PAIUnet. They determined that Clarion Area School District's
junior-senior high school was on PAIUnet, while its elementary school was not. The matter was
referred to Sting Communications, which provides Internet service for both schools and is the WAN
service provider for IU 6 and PAIUnet.
Larry began work with Jason Lynn of Bucks County IU 22 to get BCIU's thirteen school districts and
three vocational/technical schools onto PAIUnet. This action was prompted by two school districts
(Council Rock and Pennsbury) that wanted to connect to Keystone Commons but needed access to
PAIUnet in order to register.
Q. Phone Support Activities
Verizon continues to make corrections for the past incorrect billings and 183 invoices have been
verified for accuracy with 12 correction requests sent to Verizon in December. Approximately 15-
20% of the invoices remain to be verified.
Bob Rice installed a new phone for Sharon Freemont, IU Purchasing Manager at the Educational
Service Center (ESC); and new cordless telephones for the CAT-Brandywine (CAT-B) and
Chester County Technical College High School (CCTCHS) receptionists, allowing them to travel
around the buildings while answering calls.
Bob verified the programming and operation of the Child Care door intercom system at CCTCHS
and provided moves and rearrangements for STEPS teachers at the Downingtown Educational
Bob completed the relocation of the PBX and voice mail systems to the new telecommunications
room and moved all phones to new cabling in the Stanley K. Landis Building (SKL Building).
R. Teacher Resource & Innovation Center (TRIC)
Fourteen science teachers from throughout the county attended a "Meet and Greet" at the TRIC prior
to a S.A.V.E. Science demonstration conducted by Temple University on January 12. During the
"Meet and Greet" the educators were given the opportunity to tour the TRIC and explore the various
resources that are available to them. The science teachers were from the following school districts:
Coatesville Area, Downingtown Area, Oxford Area, Great Valley, Tredyffrin/Easttown, and West
On January 29, eight teachers from the ESL Teacher Network attended a workshop at the Teacher
Resource & Innovation Center. Attendees were able to work on projects and collaborate with regard
to current ESL education topics.
At the TRIC Lunch 'N Learn session on January 22, Vernice Mulcahy demonstrated Keystone
Commons, a social networking site developed for educators in Pennsylvania. Lunch 'N Learn
sessions were designed to serve as an informal discussion group focusing on new technologies.
S. Fingerprinting & Teacher Center Visitors
Jan 09 Jan 10 July 08 – Jan 09 July 09 – Jan 10
Fingerprinting 1,145 1,222 8,406 8,777
Teacher Center Visits 232 445 3,101 3,262