[Skip to Content]


Lisa More
GED and CTE Teachers Use Interactive Whiteboards
Year One

Description: She is a young, pretty woman with shoulder-length light brown hair. She is wearing a light blue top with a white sweater. She is standing at a microphone, looking frequently at the screen as she gives her presentation.

Lisa Moore: Okay, good morning. I'm happy to be here. I am from the California Department of Corrections. This is, of course, my first year in OTAN, and boy, you guys are incredible. I can't do half of what OTAN does. We're so restricted within the Department of Corrections. It's so much information. I'm so happy to learn it, but I go oh that's great, but I can't use it. Oh, that's great but I can't use it. So some of the things I have been able to use are modified to be able to use unfortunately, a lot of it I just store up for later.

Description: The first slide is entitled California State Prison – Solano, Level II and Level III Programming. It shows an aerial photo of the prison, divided into four quadrants, each with five buildings.

Lisa: Our prison is the California State Prison, Solano. Our school is the Vaca Valley Adult School. I left that off. I apologize. We do have 16 vocational programs, 30 academic programs, 800 students, roughly, enrolled in our academic and vocational programs within just our institution. We also offer a bridging program which is sort of distance learning, sort of, independent study program. Our prison is designed to hold 2,610 inmates and we currently have 6,047 and only 800 are programmed in education right now. We are trying to evolve and do more distance learning, use our cable network. So we are working through prison reform.

Description: Lisa points to the slide, smiling, and shows the pods, yard, and hill.

Lisa: That's our place. And just real quickly, we have an education program in every one of those four pods. We have academic just on the yard and voc up on the hill. We have some academic on the hill as well. We say hill but that's cuz we're out in the back forty.

Description: Next slide show a photo of Jenny Casner. She is young with look blonde hair and is wearing a white t-shirt, pink sweater, and black slacks. She is standing in front of her whiteboard. The slide says:
My Mentee - Jenny Casner

  • GED Instructor
  • Motivated
  • Formal instruction
  • Reluctantly convinced

Lisa: So the mentee I chose was Miss Jenny Casner. I was lucky enough to get to bring her.

Description: There is audience applause and Lisa continues her presentation.

Lisa: We're nice and close. We're only 40 miles, so I have more options. She's a GED instructor and she is one of our more motivated teachers. Every time I'm in her classroom, she's doing formal instruction. She's right up there in the front. She's excited about teaching them in different ways. She's always wanted to do more in her classroom, so, and I know her really well, so I was able to reluctantly convince her to help me out in OTAN. With all of our academic programs, I did ask one other person to participate in OTAN with me and he didn't want to and I'll tell you now that we have all the technology in her classroom he's like, "Dang, I wish I would'a done that."

Description: Stone Age slide is shown. Jenny is standing at the front of a traditional classroom with the students sitting in traditional desks. There is a colorful world map posted on the board. The slide says, "Formal instruction with minimal student interaction". Lisa continues her presentation.

Lisa: So Department of Corrections is notorious for being in the Stone Age. Vocational and academic both, have sort of been forgotten. We've sort of been the stepchild in education programs. Although, prison reform is helping us to come around a little bit; we are getting some money funneled through; some legislation that's gonna help us, you know, to get with the program a little bit more.

So her classroom we looked at as being more in the Stone Age because she does more formal instruction, standing up and sort of like, you know. She does interact, have them interact with the whiteboard, just the regular writing on whiteboard but, you know, it seemed like you don't get a lot of buy in like that, you know, you still have the same doornails that sit there everyday and don't want to participate. So, that seemed like that was her biggest hurdle.

This is her classroom and, you know, she's very, very creative. She has a lot of things in her classroom that she uses as part of her formal instruction so that's kind of why I picked her because I thought she's already got the creativity so let's just expand on that and give some more tools to be able to get them involved and get them learning.

Description: New Age slide shows students out of their seats working on the SmartBoard and the teacher circulating among the students. The slide says, "Independent, self-paced, assessment, and instruction". Lisa continues.

Lisa: So, this is the New Age. This is now what her classroom looks like. We were able to order a SmartBoard for her and a classroom computer. We actually, I'll expand on that a little bit. We did order classroom computers for all of our academic classrooms. But several weeks after we got them installed, I walked through a classroom and one of them was locked in a cabinet so some of our teachers aren't gonna be easy to come around to.

Miss Casner was very excited to get her computer in use and her SmartBoard. Now she's providing independent, self-paced assessment and instruction. They sit down at the computer. It has some grammar and spelling software on it. She's able to get them set up with some libraries. They start working on it. They get immediate feedback on how they're doing. Also the SmartBoard; they're getting up there. They're part of the instruction. She's standing back leading the instruction but they're doing it. They're actually applying what they're learning and they're very excited about it.

Description: Slide showing purchasing obstacles – administrators, technology team but-in, funding for SmartBoard purchase, classroom student-use computers. There is a photo of a very small graduation ceremony with administrators and students. There is a man standing at the podium and there are flowers on the floor in front of the podium. Lisa continues.

Lisa: So because we're Department of Corrections, we have some different purchasing obstacles. I was talking to someone earlier and I was telling them that usually its money, ours is not money; not most of the time. Ours is mindset. Ours is security. We are a prison first, first and foremost. So, education's sort of low, very low on the food chain.

So one of our biggest hurdles, and I put this picture up because this is our graduation and this is everybody that is, who's sort of our biggest hurdle. Although, Mr. Bertain, he's our vice principal, he's here, and he has come around. He's done a 180 so I asked him to chair our technology committee and he's been great. So our administrators are one of our biggest problems. Also our technology team, our I T people, one of our, the highest one who's the supervisor, the staff analyst, he has actually said to me before that he would rather back a truck up and dump everything off into the truck than have inmates using computers so we've had to really work with them to come around to the new age of thinking. It's taken some root canals and torture but…

Funding for the Smart Board

We did use for Miss Casner's funding, we used WIA money. We had CASAS money that we were able to use and we've since used that again and again to order more SmartBoards, but that's next year's project. And the classroom student use computers – we also had to get creative with the funding. We sort of ordered those at the end of the year, so we had to do a little fancy footwork to get enough money out of our WIA money

Description: Slide showing installation Obstacles and asking the question: Now that we have the equipment, how do we get past the obstacle of installation? – Strict security policies, limited space, teacher training. There is a photo of Lisa with her mentee, Jenny, in the classroom. Lisa continues.

Installation Obstacles

Lisa: We have, you know, we're notorious for getting stuff in the warehouse and it just sitting there, year after year after year. I know there's a lot of people who have that problem. Corrections is one of the biggest areas that has the problem because again we're a prison first and education last. We've had to work with that. We have very strict security policies in place for inmates using computers. There are very, very strict rules in our regulations handbook on things that they can and can not do, so we've had to purchase very creative software to help us with those. Limited space – we are very limited on space in some of our classrooms. And teacher training – we've had to get creative for funding for teacher training as well.

Description: Putting It To Use slide shows a photo Jenny in her "new age" classroom and makes these points:

  • Introducing the students to the new technology
  • Overcome the limitations of the population
    • Time in class
    • Absence from class
    • Students are excited
    • Scuttle bug

Lisa continues her presentation.

Lisa: So now we're;

Putting It to Use

The students are learning it. They're very, very, excited. They don't mind sitting down and taking the time to learn it. We do have a lot of limitations with our populations. They're absent from class a lot. Because we are a prison, we're locked down a lot. We have late chow alarms, those kinds of things. So student absences; but the students are excited and the staff are getting excited now. They're seeing what she's doing. They're seeing what, you know I'm an office services teacher; so what I bought for her, I bought for myself and they're getting excited about it. So next year's gonna bring a lot of new changes.

Description: Description: Lesson Learned slide

  • More time available to help while instructor is using technology
  • Adapting equipment fo the environment
    • i.e., projector installation

There is a photo of a projector, sitting on top of two cardboard boxes, all strapped to a wheeled cart. Lisa concludes her presentation.

Lisa: This is my last slide, but real quickly, the lessons that I've learned is to make more time for the teacher that you're implementing the technology in their classroom. To be able to sit down and watch them use it so that I'm on board with what she's doing. I wasn't able to do that as much as I would have liked to. And adapting equipment to the environment; this is how we use our projector every day, every day because our facility does not have a way for us to mount it to the ceiling; so she's got tape on the floor and on the stand. She got creative and mounted her own SmartBoard.

That's it.