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Case Study: K-12  
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Creative Business Solutions is working with a number of K-12 Schools to provide web-based collaborative solutions for teachers, students, and interaction with parents.

The premise of collaboration is to provide an online, shared environment that provides a supplement to classrooms, meetings, and ongoing communication.
The collaborative sites provide places for students, teachers, parents, and administrative personnel to “meet” whenever it is convenient for each group member. All members have access to the materials needed at any time, from any computer.

Ease of Use
Traditional web tools require that users learn basic HTML, and typically require that existing content be modified to fit the requirements of the toolkit. Typical online solutions place a burden on the user, meaning that they must spend time dealing with technology issues instead of spending time teaching or working with students.

Types of Collaborative Sites

The collaborative environment can be used by teachers for the creation of class-oriented websites. A teacher may place their syllabus, classroom rules and expectations, contact information, and helpful resources on the site. The QuickPlace provides an area for the students to have online discussions, submit homework, and receive additional help. Teachers in any size or type of school could use QuickPlace to make their class website.

A student group collaborative site is a website where students can collaborate on a group project. High school students especially are becoming more active all of the time, with extracurricular activities like sports or part-time jobs. The site provides a place for them to “meet” whenever it is convenient for each group member, and all members have access to the materials needed at any time.

Our collaborative tool can be used to create the school’s entire website. Due to it’s ease of use, the site may be managed by an administrator, IT professional, secretary, or parent volunteer. Sections of the site can be available to the general public, while other sections may be secured. “Rooms” or secure areas can be created for administration, teachers, support staff, etc. The site can have all the general information about the school, links to teacher websites, school lunch menus, weekly newsletters from the principal, bus routes, and a school-wide calendar.

Special Education Team
The collaborative tool can be used to help track information and progress for a special education student. These students normally have a tremendous paper trail that follows them through their education, and a team of teachers is responsible for keeping up-to-date on the student’s progress and needs. Along with the teachers, others that are involved in the team are the guardians, including the school nurse, psychologist, and other specialists.

Curriculum Planning
The collaborative environment may be used to plan curriculum for an entire district, or within a single school site. The coordinator would manage the collaborative site, and all the people involved in the curriculum development would be able to contribute to it. Any group member could update materials, and these materials are then accessible to any group member.

Team of Teachers
A team of teachers, whether in the same grade level or subject area, could use the collaborative environment as a website where they may meet online and share information and ideas. The site may be managed by the team leader or by an administrative user. This is particularly useful for school districts in which teachers are spread throughout several sites, or whose schedules make it difficult to have regularly scheduled meetings. The environment may be divided into specific sections for special issues, subject areas, etc.

If you are interested in evaluating these solutions, please contact us. We can provide you with an evaluation environment, and assist you through the process of discovering what these tools can do for your school.
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