Sunday, October 27, 2013

School Visits

Preparing for a 1:1 school visit

by Nick Sauers

A good friend and col­league is cur­rently part of a com­mit­tee that is prepar­ing for her schools tran­si­tion to a 1:1 envi­ron­ment.  Part of that process includes vis­its to vet­eran 1:1 schools.  In prepa­ra­tion for those vis­its, she has asked how she can pre­pare for that visit.  Here are some of my thoughts and rec­om­men­da­tions for her vis­its.  I also want to men­tion that vet­eran 1:1 schools should also con­sider mak­ing vis­its to other schools to share and gather great ideas.

Who should go on the visit?

Of course, you should include all of the reg­u­lar stake­hold­ers in your visit. That should include stu­dents! 

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Project-Based Learning Ideas

4 Ways to Ensure Students Learn While Creating

This post was originally published on Edudemic you can click here to view the original.

When was the last time your students said “Wow, that worksheet changed my life”?  Can you even remember a similar cookie cutter classroom activity or assignment from your days as a student? Yet they were a popular tool because they were structured and efficient in getting the class to a set finish point.

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Other resources from the above mentioned blog:

Avoiding mistakes in digital device initiatives

Ed-tech leaders offer key advice to help schools avoid tech mistakes

There is no question that technology, when used the right way, can be a valuable tool to enhance teaching and learning. But each year, many schools and districts make mistakes when they implement digital deployments–and these mistakes use valuable school dollars and can cause student learning to stagnate.

Three school administrators and technology leaders who have led successful ed-tech initiatives and deployments gathered during an Alliance for Excellent Education and Project 24 webinar to review key factors to avoiding mistakes and ensuring a digital initiative’s success.

Patrick Larkin, the assistant superintendent for learning in Burlington Public Schools (Mass.), Lenny Schad, chief information technology officer for the Houston Independent School District, and Scott Smith, chief technology officer in the Mooresville Graded School District, offered advice to help other ed-tech leaders avoid mistakes and ensure the success of their digital initiatives.

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Looking in our Own Backyard

This year we are going to look at the Kent School District to learn how they got their 1:1 initiative off the ground and how they are keeping it a success.

Here's the part of the KSD website on their Technology Plan.

Share any ideas or cool things you find on their website that we can use here in our district by leaving a comment.

More on BYOD

BYOD – How to Walk Before You Run

by Chris Kennedy

In some ways, this is a follow-up or companion piece to my post last week when teachers have mobile devices in the classroom, on our findings and efforts to ensure digital access for all of our teachers.
While this has proven to be very powerful for teachers, our next step is around finding access for all students.  In a previous post, I shared some thoughts around BYOD and Equity (an issue I think is crucial when looking at getting devices into students’ hands).

In West Vancouver, student access is growing; in some elementary schools students have regular access mainly from devices they bring from home.  In other schools it is less consistent with pockets of classrooms having students on devices.  One key piece of learning we have realized over the last three years is if students don’t have purposeful reasons to use their device in class they will often stop bringing it.

So, before one announces that “everyone will bring a laptop on Monday” there are ways to work toward changing and improving that experience.  The challenges around the recent iPad rollout in Los Angeles schools are a good reminder of the complexity of these kinds of initiatives.

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Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

BYOD, Communities — and a 1-to-1 Webinar

by Pamela Livingston

When invited to visit 1-to-1 schools, I pose two over­ar­ch­ing ques­tions – How are stu­dents involved in 1-to-1 here? How is 1-to-1 grow­ing your learn­ing community?
These ques­tions become impor­tant with a pro­gram with school-supplied or school-recommended dig­i­tal devices – and even more so with BYOD pro­grams. Because if you are expect­ing every­one to sup­ply their own device for learn­ing, you need to:
  1. Make sure stu­dents are fully involved and onboard right away. Bring stu­dents into com­mit­tees and have them part of sur­veys and the plan­ning, ask their opin­ions as experts.  They reside in the dig­i­tal world and are your most impacted stake­hold­ers in terms of their cur­rent and future aca­d­e­mic, career, pro­fes­sional and per­sonal lives. And keep ask­ing them, many times – for­mally and infor­mally. Fol­low up on their ideas and sug­ges­tions. If BYOD is bought in as a strat­egy by the stu­dents who under­stand your respect and under­stand­ing of them and who real­ize the entire pro­gram was built with their buy-in and feed­back — you will have tee’ed up your pro­gram for success.

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One-to-One Tips

Tips for launching a one-to-one initiative

By Kevin Schwartz on eSchool News

The Clear Creek Independent School District in Texas truly puts the public in public education. I cannot think of a more profound example of this statement than what is occurring today in our Houston-suburb school district of 40,000 students.

We are leading our teachers, students, parents, and community on a journey to refine teaching and learning in the 21st century as we deploy 30,000 Dell Latitude 10 tablets to students over the next three years. The Latitude to Learn initiative is unique to our community because it is deeply rooted in our district beliefs and mission, and perhaps most compelling, it is being designed by students, educators, technology specialists, and parents. Because it is our customized plan, I don’t have the magic formula for success—but I can offer some advice to school districts considering a one-to-one computing initiative.

First, go slow to go fast! For years, this school district knew that classrooms needed a boost and that our students deserved uninterrupted access to the world. However, funding and finding the right device always seemed to stump progress. In 2012, we stopped and took the time to capture the aspirations of teachers, technology specialists, parents, and students.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

One-to-One Lessons Learned

iPads in the Classroom: How Did Lewisville Independent School District Get It So Right and Los Angeles Unified Get It So Wrong?

Recently, issues surrounding the rollout of iPads to students in LAUSD have lead to media reports of breaches in security, missing iPads and indecisiveness as to the iPads take-home policy. Rollouts of iPads in other school districts may bring clarity to a developing set of best practices for implementing initial phases of pilot programs. Pre-planning includes school and community collaboration and a careful analysis of expected outcomes, both educationally and financially.

Below are links to information publicly available on the LISD website which outline major aspects of their iPad program and a chart specifically created for this post contrasting LISD with LAUSD.

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Project-Based Learning

Response: The Best Advice On Doing Project-Based Learning

By Larry Ferlazzo on October 14, 2013 11:53 PM

Last week's question was:

What's your best advice on doing project-based learning?

This post is a Part Two to last year's popular one by Suzie Boss (and readers!) on Do's and Don'ts for Better Project-Based Learning. Suzie agreed to share additional ideas this year, as did many readers. 

You might also be interested in resources I've collected at The Best Sites For Cooperative Learning Ideas.

Response From Suzie Boss
Suzie Boss is an education writer and consultant who focuses on project-based learning (PBL) and social change. She is the author of four books about PBL and innovative learning strategies, including Bringing Innovation to School: Empowering Students to Thrive in a Changing World and Thinking Through Project-Based Learning: Guiding Deeper Inquiry, co-authored by Jane Krauss. She is a regular contributor to Edutopia and the Stanford Social Innovation Review, and is on the national faculty of the Buck Institute for Education:

(More) Do's and Don'ts for Better Project-Based Learning
The start of the new school year offers an opportunity to get off to a strong start with project-based learning. As we discussed in an earlier post, many schools are adopting PBL as a strategy to help students meet the higher expectations of the Common Core State Standards. Others are shifting to the project approach to get students more engaged. By connecting classroom activities with real-world problem solving, you bring relevance to the learning experience. Students will be less inclined to ask, "When will we need to know this?", and more apt to dig in to an inquiry experience that matters to them.

Here are six do's and don'ts to help you build a strong foundation for PBL in the coming academic year.

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Managed a Techno Classroom

For Teachers, Wired Classrooms Pose New Management Concerns

In a growing number of K-12 schools, the use of 1-to-1 computing devices—including iPads, laptops, and Chromebooks—is becoming a central part of instruction. For teachers making the digital leap, one of the greatest hurdles can be figuring out how to manage the tech-infused classroom. How do you keep kids, who suddenly have the Internet at their fingertips, on task? How do you ensure the devices are safe and well-maintained? And how do you compete with your most tech-savvy students?

“I think this is the new frontier frankly with classroom management. We’ve never confronted this,” said Kyle Redford, a 5th grade teacher at Marin Country Day School in Corte Madera, Calif.
Redford’s school introduced iPads in the middle grades three years ago. “I think we were a little wide-eyed and na├»ve initially. We were letting students guide the exploration into technology,” she said.

Since then, she and her colleagues have had detailed discussions about expectations and appropriate use. “Everyone really does need to have these conversations because these tensions are real,” she said.
For many teachers, decisions about how to manage the 1-to-1 classroom stem from conversations they have with more experienced peers and, of course, from trial and error. And as more schools introduce personal devices into the classroom, some common solutions to the attendant management problems are emerging.

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The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards posted the following on their website:

October is Connected Educator Month!

October is Connected Educator Month, sponsored by the Department of Education. A particular focus for this year is the integration of online, social learning into teacher's formal professional development. Check out this list of Connected Education Month webinars and sign up today!

Here are Chimacum staff staying connected using Twitter!

Monday, October 14, 2013

One-to-One Implementation Ideas

Don't Implement One-to-One Devices in the Classroom Unless...

Posted by Paul Barnwell on Sunday, 10/13/2013

Driving to work a few weeks ago, I listened to a completely unsurprising story on NPR. The story, titled “Students Find Ways To Hack School-Issues iPads Within A Week,” highlights the Los Angeles Unified School District’s early challenges in attempting to provide devices to 600,000 students.
Students quickly discovered ways to get around software meant to block Facebook and other sites, with some entrepreneurial students even charging classmates two dollars to hack the iPads. Think students were trying to hack their way into access for better educational apps, games, and websites?  Heck, no!
"Most students employ a deeply ingrained practice of using digital devices primarily for entertainment, and this is the paradigm we must chip away at."
The alluring qualities of social media interaction, on-demand YouTube music videos, and taking instagram photos will continue to attract students.  The entertainment factor isn’t going anywhere with mobile devices. In fact, it only seems to become more individualized by the minute.  
With that said, I’m still a proponent of thoughtfully integrating a healthy dose of digital devices and open internet access in as many classrooms as possible. But don’t implement one-to-one policies or open cell phone access unless…

1.  All teachers are trained and comfortable with resources, tools, and classroom strategies for using digital tools instructionally. I still have my own struggles in my classes--I have to deal with students seemingly addicted to instagram and Twitter--but I’m trying to encourage their use of cell phones to create reminders and lists, access our classroom Schoology site, and use Google Drive if computers are unavailable. The digitally connected world forces individuals to make constant choices about how to use devices, and I’m trying to provide students with an arsenal of tools.

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