Patti Reynvaan is the technology lead for the Hoquiam School District. The Grizzly alum attended Grays Harbor College and Western Washington State College (when it was a state college). She and her husband, Keith, have five children — Shayne, Darci, Heather, Abbi and Zac — 13 Grandkids and still counting, and “one amazing dog, two crazy cats and six chickens that haven’t started laying eggs yet.”
As a technology teacher/coordinator at HHS, what are some of the basics you stress to your students, as well as administrators, about technology, its use and its place in high school academia? How much has technology changed over the last several years, in relation to the high school today? How much has it changed since you and Keith were both at Hoquiam?
Basics? Wow. I’m not so sure there is anything basic about technology today. Of course we emphasize proper use of equipment, keeping accounts secure and appropriate use of the Internet. But, for me, it needs to be fun and always available. It shouldn’t be a structured “means to an end” in a school environment.
Allowing the kids to enhance their learning experience by exploring ways to make the subject matter come to life or finding websites that will help them understand a subject better — that is what technology (I believe) should be used for. The Internet opens worlds to places many of our students will never have the chance to experience. It is such fun to watch the kids use a new ‘app’ or show me (or their teachers) what “cool piece of information” they found while working on a project. This encompasses all grade levels. The little ones take to using an iPad like they were born with one in their hands.
The middle school and high school students are discovering multi-media as a way to present projects or create reports. Many of the adults were much more apprehensive and tentative when we first started incorporating computers, and now iPads, into curriculum. Give the kids the reins, and they will happily lead the way. The administration is enjoying the ride. I silently thank them daily for giving us the opportunity for this to happen.
As for what technology was like or how it has changed when I was in high school???
What technology? Everything has changed. Then, the librarian rubber stamped the due date inside a book to check it out. Today, we scan it with a bar code reader. Then, the Hesperian (the HHS yearbook) was created by using a typewriter, developing pictures in a dark room and hand creating the book. Today, it is created with Adobe Indesign, enhanced with digital color pictures and published online. There were no wireless, cell phones, laptops or computers. It has gone from basically nothing to all encompassing.
iPads! The trend today is for school districts to hand out tablets and have them coordinated and integrated into the school curriculum and environment. What are some of the good things iPads/tablets can bring to education and what are some of the bad things? What do you think about bring them into the educational process? Is there a danger of having an entire class play Candy Crush, Angry Birds and Temple Run 2 while a teacher is teaching?
We decided four years ago to introduce iPads into our district. The plan was to start at fourth grade with a 1-1 integration, then move up through the grade levels a year at a time. We quickly realized that the K-3 classrooms would benefit from their use as much as 4-5 and above.
The board accepted Shannon Webster’s and the tech committee’s recommendation to move forward more quickly and freed the funding to purchase more carts and iPads. This school year we have a 1-1 iPad deployment for all fourth and fifth-grade classroom. Each of the K-1 classes have 6 to 10 iPads in each room which they use as ‘stations’. The second-third classes have a 1-2 iPad deployment. There is also a cart of 30 that the middle school 6th-7th grade classrooms share and a 1-1 deployment in the 8th grade science department (3 classrooms).
We will use only iPads in our district because of their manageability. We also want to stay consistent. Brian, our most recent hire and our iPad Guru, has done an incredible job with the integration, training and maintenance of the iPads in the classrooms. We have heard nothing but positives from the teachers.
The way we integrate is the teachers are asked to submit lists of applications that they feel will enhance their curriculum. They do this by grade level so everyone in each grade is working with the same apps. We also hope this gives them “ownership” of their devices.
One of your extra-curricular activities at Hoquiam is doing statistics for boys basketball and softball. Coincidentally, you have family members coaching in those sports. Why do you scorekeep and is it easier or harder to scorekeep games when you have family members coaching (and in the past, playing) in the games?
I have kept score in basketball for years and softball/baseball until a few years ago. Why do I do it? There is a very honest answer to this. When my kids were much younger and playing, I happened to see a video of one of their games. I was “that” parent in the stands yelling and honestly I was quite embarrassed. I found that keeping score made me focus on the entire game, not just on my kids and helped me keep my mouth shut. I needed to stay “neutral.”
Stats help the coaches analyze players’ performances. This is critical for making coaching decisions. As a side note, this is one thing I still do with paper and pencil, even though there are iPad apps that do it for you.
When you aren’t on the computer at work or scorekeeping/taking pictures at games, what do you do for hobbies to get away?
Nothing is more calming than a hike on some back trail with only a view finder capturing a moment that will be forever lost in time. If I could, I would go every weekend to some remote part of our area. Circumstances over the past few years have made it a little more difficult since I prefer not to hike too far from home alone.
Actually, taking pictures at sporting events is a hobby/challenge and I like giving my pictures to the kids. Making highlight films for a few of the teams has become a tradition. It’s very rewarding knowing they will have something to remember a moment in their life and they can show their own kids one day. I’m not so sure it’s a hobby or a way of life, but yoga is a very important part of my daily routine. It is also a stress reducer and something I have been practicing for almost seven years.
Family, amazing friends and a career I love. What more could I ask for!