Archive for December 2009

Visiting 1-to-1 Schools — What Are Your Goals?

If you’re think­ing about 1-to-1 or even hon­ing your pro­gram, it’s great to find out what other schools are doing.  Edu­ca­tors in gen­eral like to know what some­thing “looks like.”  Know­ing and under­stand­ing how 1-to-1 can poten­tially trans­form learn­ing at a school or dis­trict is facil­i­tated when you’ve seen some exam­ples.  Addi­tion­ally, it means rein­vent­ing fewer wheels — that is if you have cho­sen the right wheels.

Suc­cess­ful 1-to-1 schools, such as the one I over­saw for five years, attract vis­i­tors.  Schools would call and ask if they could spend the day to see 1-to-1 in oper­a­tion. We would wel­come them and ask some ques­tions such as what would you like to see?  Who will be vis­it­ing?  When will you arrive and leave?  Do you have goals for your visit? 

Some­times schools or dis­tricts would have goals and that made it much eas­ier to tai­lor the day.  But often there were only open-ended ideas and not many specifics.  So we would start with a meet­ing and intro­duce the tech­nol­ogy staff and teach­ers, stop in to see the Head of School, visit a num­ber of classes together, arrange lunch with stu­dents, see some more classes, have a technology/network tour, and end up with a debrief meet­ing. At the debrief meet­ing there would usu­ally be more spe­cific ques­tions which we would do our best to answer.  

School or dis­tricts with goals, how­ever, saw as much spe­cific to their pro­gram as we could offer and not just the luck of the draw.  We might arrange time with teach­ers accord­ing to their inter­ests away from the class­room, have stu­dents at lunch who could explain how the pro­gram fur­thered, say, their math skills, spend time with cur­ric­u­lar lead­ers, even split vis­i­tors up and have them shadow cer­tain staff mem­bers or teachers.  

If you are on the path to 1-to-1, it’s great to visit schools or dis­tricts.  It’s best to come up with a list of ques­tions for your visit so the time of every­one is max­i­mized and you’ll have fod­der for design­ing or improv­ing your pro­gram.  Here are a few starters to consider:

  1. What ini­tial work did you do before going 1-to-1 in terms of school or dis­trict cul­ture, stake­holder readi­ness, pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment, or other planning?
  2. What type of ongo­ing pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment is in place for your teach­ers and administrators?
  3. Do you have a learn­ing community/robust email system/learning man­age­ment system/portal in place and can you describe it?  How did you decide on this product?
  4. How has teach­ing and learn­ing changed with 1-to-1?
  5. Have you assessed your pro­gram and if so how?
  6. How did you decide on your com­puter plat­form?  (Mac/PC/tablets/netbooks)
  7. What did you do to pre­pare your net­work and infrastructure?
  8. How did you han­dle logis­tics such as bat­tery life, elec­tric­ity, car­ry­ing cases, lockers?
  9. Do you have insur­ance and how does that work?
  10. Do you or your par­ents own the com­put­ers and how did you decide on this?
  11. In hind­sight, what might you do the same?
  12. In hind­sight, what might you do differently?

There are likely many more ques­tions you have that can help you get the most from your visit.  Best of luck and Happy New Year!

What do Virtual Schools Look Like?

When I talk about vir­tual schools, many peo­ple have a pre­con­ceived image in their head.  This descrip­tion comes from a post by

A child sits at home in front of his com­puter screen, work­ing
through a virtual-school les­son by mind­lessly click­ing through the
mul­ti­ple choices, never talk­ing to a teacher or a fel­low stu­dent or
even glimps­ing the great out­doors and inter­act­ing with the real world.

This sta­tic, imper­sonal, anti-social school expe­ri­ence is the image
that many par­ents, teach­ers and school admin­is­tra­tors con­tinue to have
in mind when they pic­ture the world of online learn­ing, even as more
and more brick-and-mortar school dis­tricts explore full– or part-time
vir­tual education.”

This descrip­tion is far from the real­ity of vir­tual schools, but it may be the image many have of vir­tual schools.  Van Dusen’s arti­cle described var­i­ous types of vir­tual schools, and it is inter­est­ing to note how dif­fer­ent vir­tual schools may look.  I would strongly rec­om­mend that you take a look at her arti­cle.  Var­i­ous recent reports indi­cate that 50% of high school courses will be online by 2019.  With those star­tling num­bers, we can’t ignore, or be igno­rant of online learn­ing anymore.

Using technology in the Classroom

A recent arti­cle in eSchool News high­lighted a teach­ing model for using tech­nol­ogy in edu­ca­tion.  Although the arti­cle tar­geted higher edu­ca­tion, it may also be a very sim­ple guide for K-12 edu­ca­tors.  The arti­cle began with an inter­est­ing state­ment describ­ing how edu­ca­tors view tech­nol­ogy.  “Many view tech­nol­ogy as simul­ta­ne­ously a trans­for­ma­tive tool for
teach­ing and learn­ing and one that should be avoided where pos­si­ble.” 
The Read, Reflect, Dis­play, and Do (R2D2) model from the arti­cle is a tool that was designed to help edu­ca­tors faced with the dilemma of decid­ing how to use tech­nol­ogy in the classroom.

The arti­cle goes into more details about each phase, but I have included brief excerpts from each of them.

Phase One: Read

The web con­tains count­less resources for read­ing, research­ing, and
lis­ten­ing. You can have your stu­dents dis­cover and read online arti­cles
from open-access jour­nals, expert web sites, or online portals.

Phase Two: Reflect

A nat­ural next step is for stu­dents to blog about the con­cepts or
ideas that they learned from their read­ing or lis­ten­ing activ­i­ties.
Such blog­ging might be done indi­vid­u­ally or in teams. Crit­i­cal friends
within the class or experts out­side it might pro­vide feed­back on their
blog posts. Your stu­dents might also read or track the blog posts of
experts that relate to the topic of a class or pro­gram of studies.

Phase Three: Display

The third phase involves pic­tures, time­lines, flow charts, dia­grams,
and films. Such resources can now be found online in nearly any
discipline.

Phase Four: Do

The inter­net pro­vides many paths to try out course con­tent in a safe har­bor.  Beyond sim­ple reports or term papers, they might also com­pose
their own books in Wik­i­books or cre­ate class projects such as a
glos­sary in a wiki (e.g., PBworks or Wik­i­spaces). Stu­dents might also
pro­duce their own pod­casts or pod­cast series or YouTube-like videos
related to course con­tent. They can also solve prob­lems or sim­u­la­tions
online.

When I look at edu­ca­tion today, most edu­ca­tional sys­tems seem to do a very good job at phase one.  We do have our stu­dents read, although I ques­tion the qual­ity of many of the things that they read.  Tech­nol­ogy gives us the oppor­tu­nity to find resources that are much more rich than almost any text­book can offer. 

We don’t do quite as well with the other three phases of this model.  If stu­dents are asked to reflect, many times it is not very mean­ing­ful, deep, or rich.  They may write a reflec­tion in order to ful­fill a course require­ment, and they may receive a cou­ple of com­ments back from the teacher, but they don’t engage deeply with the topic.  This isn’t true reflec­tion for most students.

The arti­cle noted that in ten years visual con­tent may rep­re­sent the bulk of course resources.  The inter­net has amaz­ing visual resources that could help stu­dents learn.  Edu­ca­tors could really make their classes more excit­ing and pow­er­ful for stu­dents by doing some work on this phase. 

The final phase in this process is the “doing” stage.  This may be where edu­ca­tion strug­gles the most.  Nearly 85% of the tasks that stu­dents do in their classes are at the low­est end of Bloom’s Tax­on­omy.  We need to change that num­ber dras­ti­cally, and even­tu­ally we need to have stu­dents com­plet­ing more tasks toward the top of the pyra­mid.  Tech­nol­ogy is an extremely pow­er­ful tool that can do just that by allow­ing stu­dents to cre­ate in hun­dreds of dif­fer­ent ways.

You may want to take a look at the full arti­cle on this process for using tech­nol­ogy in edu­ca­tion.  It is fairly sim­ple, and may pro­vide schools with  a way to use a com­mon vocab­u­lary to use.

R2D2: A model for using tech­nol­ogy in edu­ca­tion ‘Read, Reflect, Dis­play, and Do’ can help instruc­tors lever­age the internet’s poten­tial to help stu­dents learn
By Cur­tis J. Bonk
 


Online Safety for Students

I post this with some appre­hen­sion because of all of the fear mon­gers involved with edu­ca­tion and soci­ety.  Many peo­ple I speak with cau­tion against bring­ing more tech­nol­ogy into schools because of all of the “hor­ri­ble” things that could hap­pen.  Sex­ting, cyber-bullying, and online preda­tors are just a few of the fears that exist with tech­nol­ogy.  Although these fears are rel­e­vant, they should not get in the way of using tech­nolo­gies in schools.

We know that stu­dents spend a great deal of time out­side of class con­nected to tech­nol­ogy.  This is just another rea­son that, as schools, we need to take respon­si­bil­ity teach­ing our stu­dents about online safety.  If we fail to do that, we will be doing our stu­dents a big dis­ser­vice.  Can we truly expect stu­dents to behave appro­pri­ately on the most pow­er­ful tool in the world with­out any guid­ance or training?

Like any sound ini­tia­tive in edu­ca­tion, we need to involve par­ents and teach­ers in this effort.  By devel­op­ing that rela­tion­ship, we may be bet­ter able to com­mu­ni­cate and work with fam­i­lies on this tough topic.

A new book­let released by the Fed­eral Trade Com­mis­sion (FTC), along with
other gov­ern­ment agen­cies, helps par­ents and teach­ers steer stu­dents safely
through the online and mobile-phone worlds.  This book­let may be one resource to help both teach­ers and par­ents, and enable schools to develop a com­mon lan­guage and cur­ricu­lum on the topic.

Schools can­not ignore this topic any longer.  Cur­ricu­lum and resources must be devel­oped so that, as edu­ca­tors, we can take a sys­tem­atic approach to teach­ing online safety.  We can’t hope that it hap­pens by chance in class­rooms or at home by fam­i­lies with­out any guid­ance from schools.

1-to-1 and Teachers — Getting Buyin

When under­tak­ing any major school change ini­tia­tive, the research is
clear that the teach­ers — and what hap­pens in the class­room – are key to
suc­cess.  If teach­ers are not
onboard, change is a nice idea that won’t get trac­tion. This means con­sid­er­ing
their needs and views, and devel­op­ing Pro­fes­sional Devel­op­ment that helps their
prac­tice and is not just about tech­nol­ogy. Here are some ideas on get­ting
teacher buy-in.

Giv­ing teach­ers lap­tops
or tablets first means teach­ers have an oppor­tu­nity to explore, research,
exper­i­ment and get com­fort­able with the pos­si­bil­i­ties before stu­dents have the
resource:

Peck [School] knew that for tech­nol­ogy to be inte­grated suc­cess­fully
into the class­room, teach­ers had to be on board with the pro­gram first.  To facil­i­tate this, teach­ers were given
lap­tops a full year before stu­dents.”
Liv­ingston,
P., “1-to-1 Learn­ing: Lap­top Pro­grams That Work”, ISTE 2009, pg. 31

“Teach­ers at The Urban
School [San Fran­cisco] were first given lap­tops in 2000, and lap­tops for stu­dents were pro­vided on mobile carts”
Liv­ingston,
P., “1-to-1 Learn­ing: Lap­top Pro­grams That Work”, ISTE 2009, pg. 41

“The pro­gram [Whit­field School] was launched in the 2004–2005 school
year, when lap­tops were    pro­vided to all Whit­field teach­ers and a lim­ited num­ber
of stu­dents.” 
- Liv­ingston, P., “1-to-1    Learn­ing: Lap­top Pro­grams
That Work”, ISTE 2009, pg. 43

Remem­ber­ing
that your teach­ers are adult learn­ers as you plan Pro­fes­sional Devel­op­ment is
impor­tant as adult learn­ers have a wealth of pre­vi­ous knowl­edge, want time to
reflect and con­sider pos­si­bil­i­ties, are self-motivated and self-directed:                       

“To
adapt to the needs of adult stu­dents, these def­i­n­i­tions of technology-based
learn­ing must be   uti­lized to make its design inter­ac­tive, learner-centered and
to facil­i­tate self-direction in learn­ers.”

– Andr­a­gogy and Tech­nol­ogy: Inte­grat­ing Adult Learn­ing 
The­ory As We Teach With Tech­nol­ogy — Dolores Fidishun, Ed.D. Head Librar­ian, Penn State Great Val­ley
School of Grad­u­ate Pro­fes­sional Stud­ies http://frank.mtsu.edu/~itconf/proceed00/fidishun.htm down­loaded 11/27/09

Mak­ing Pro­fes­sional
Devel­op­ment rel­e­vant to every­day teach­ing is key to ensur­ing 1-to-1 learn­ing is
not an occa­sional add-in but is real class­room infra­struc­ture as basic and
rel­e­vant as elec­tric­ity. 

“Offer train­ing for both curriculum-specific and cross-curricular
appli­ca­tions. At the same time that teach­ers are learn­ing about tech­nol­ogy
inte­gra­tion, tech­nol­ogy coor­di­na­tors need staff devel­op­ment about school change
processes that sup­port the key goals of the lap­top pro­gram.”    
Free­dom to Learn Pro­gram, Michi­gan 2005–2006
Eval­u­a­tion Report, Pre­pared  for Free­dom to Learn and the One-to-One Insti­tute, Cen­ter
for Research in Edu­ca­tional Pol­icy, The Uni­ver­sity of Mem­phis, 325 Brown­ing
Hall, Mem­phis, Ten­nessee 38152  http://www.projectred.org/uploads/2005-    2006_Evaluatio_Results.pdf
down­loaded 11/22/09

”Finally, like teach­ers in this study, school admin­is­tra­tors and
pol­i­cy­mak­ers would need to adapt “
dif­fer­ent mind­set” about teacher
pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment, which would com­pel them to put more 
empha­sis than
they cur­rently do on ped­a­gogy before tech­nol­ogy, rather than tech­nol­ogy before 
ped­a­gogy, to help these teach­ers con­struc­tively re-envision both mate­r­ial and
social spaces around 
lap­top tech­nol­ogy in their class­rooms.”http://mitesol.elc.msu.edu/dmdocuments/call_sig/McGrail.pdf
– Lan­guage Arts Class­room, Ewa MCGrail, Geor­gia State Uni­ver­sity, Atlanta,
GA  in JI. of Tech­nol­ogy and
Teacher Edu­ca­tion
(2007), 15(1), 59–85
down­loaded 11/22/09

Some schools have found
great suc­cess involv­ing stu­dents in pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment with teach­ers:
 
Stu­dents were hired as tutors and paired with teach­ers, shad­ow­ing
them and help­ing them com­plete projects. 
The only thing these stu­dent tutors were told, says Levin, was ‘don’t
touch the key­board or mouse, just be the guide’”
Liv­ingston, P., “1-to-1 Learn­ing: Lap­top Pro­grams That Work”, ISTE
2009, pg. 45

“Stu­dent tech teams called iTeams help teach­ers with tech­ni­cal sup­port
and lend a stu­dent voice to
the project” Liv­ingston, P., “1-to-1 Learn­ing:
Lap­top Pro­grams That Work”, ISTE 2009, pg. 51

Stu­dents can plan
and deliver train­ing on many top­ics that new lap­top users will find invalu­able.
You        can have stu­dents do some teacher train­ing as well. Teach­ers will see that
stu­dents have skills and        pas­sion about the lap­tops and you may find that they
actu­ally respond bet­ter to stu­dents as        tech­nol­ogy men­tors than tra­di­tional
pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment.”
        http://genyes.org/media/freeresources/student_support_of_laptops.pdf down­loaded 11/22/09 © 2009        Gen­er­a­tion YES Corp.
Gen­er­a­tion YES, GenYES, and TechYES are trade­marks or reg­is­tered        trade­marks of
Gen­er­a­tion YES

 
Some 1-to-1 schools have
found suc­cess set­ting up men­tor­ships with teach­ers help­ing one another:  

“In the pilot schools, one teacher was
des­ig­nated as a RIM (Regional Inte­gra­tion Men­tor), and was        respon­si­ble for
pro­vid­ing sup­port and pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment to teach­ers in the pilot school
as well        as in other mid­dle schools in the RIM’s super­in­ten­dent region.” Pg. 28 
http://www.usm.maine.edu/cepare/pdf/mlti/MLTI%20Phase%20One%20Evaluation%20Report%203.pdfdown­loaded 11/22/09 Trad­ing Roles: Teach­ers and Stu­dents
Learn with Tech­nol­ogy, Maine Learn­ing Tech­nol­ogy Ini­tia­tive, Research Report #3
Report pre­pared by Janet Fair­man, Assis­tant Research
Pro­fes­sor, Maine Edu­ca­tion Pol­icy Research Insti­tute, The Uni­ver­sity of Maine
Office, May 2004 –Pg. 28     

Penn­syl­va­nia
required all their Class­rooms for the Future PA’s Class­rooms for the Future
schools to       have an onsite coach. 
Coaches attended boot camps and other state-sponsored “train the
trainer” activ­i­ties.    http://www.edportal.ed.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/classrooms_for_the_future/475/about_cff/202788down­loaded 11/22/09 — And all about
coaches
http://www.edportal.ed.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/coaches/482 down­loaded 11/22/09

To para­phrase Lance
Arm­strong, it’s not about the tech­nol­ogy. 
Help­ing teach­ers embrace 1-to-1 in their every­day prac­tice takes
mul­ti­ple lev­els of plan­ning and sup­port, but is the key fac­tor to mak­ing 1-to-1
work.

The One-To-One To Do List

From Flickr by ebbyThis post fol­lows up on Nick’s post enti­tled, Get­ting Started. I know that as a school leader I would love to have access to a to-do list that would help with the plan­ning and imple­men­ta­tion. I’ve done quite a bit of research but have not found a sim­ple nuts and bolts list. If you know of an orga­ni­za­tion that has a list like this, please share it with the rest of us.

If not, why not con­tribute to this list in Google Docs.
I have cho­sen to orga­nize my cat­e­gories by:

  • Vision and Shared Leadership
  • Cur­ricu­lum
  • Ongo­ing Pro­fes­sional Development
  • Financ­ing
  • Infra­struc­ture and Support  

Plus, feel free to share this link with any­one who may con­tribute. We need all the help that we can get. 

What Happens to Our Students?

I spent time this after­noon at my niece’s kinder­garten win­ter pro­gram.  This is the first year that I haven’t been involved with a win­ter pro­gram as a teacher or prin­ci­pal for a very long time.  It was refresh­ing to see all of the stu­dents and their fam­i­lies extremely excited about school.  My niece talked to me about how great her teacher is, and from my dis­cus­sion with him, I’d agree that he is an excel­lent teacher.

As I walked out of the school, I thought about how dif­fer­ent these stu­dents are than our high school stu­dents.  What hap­pens to stu­dents between the time they enter school and leave schools?  When do they lose their excite­ment for school?  Engage­ment?  Creativity? 

Scott McLeod posted a chart on Dan­ger­ously Irrel­e­vant that dis­played his belief of what hap­pens to stu­dent engage­ment as stu­dents progress through school.  Most who have observed our edu­ca­tion sys­tem could con­nect their expe­ri­ences to this display.

http://www.dangerouslyirrelevant.org/Slide2_1.PNG

Tech­nol­ogy may be one way to increase stu­dent engage­ment.  It is extremely impor­tant to note that tech­nol­ogy is only a tool to help with this change.  If we inte­grate tech­nol­ogy but fail to change teach­ing, we can’t expect to truly trans­form the sys­tem.  Schools that make the move to one to one need to be extremely cog­nizant of the teach­ing prac­tices that they will need to incor­po­rate to dras­ti­cally impact this chart!

For those of you who need to get in the hol­i­day spirit, check out the video of my niece and her class singing a song.  (My niece is the one who does the best job with the performance.….she is also the cutest and smartest stu­dent in the class:)

The Basics: Brainstorming Leadership Team Responsibilities

What are the main respon­si­bil­i­ties of your lead­er­ship team as it works to plan and imple­ment at 1-to-1 lap­top initiative?

Leadership Wordle article

Getting Started

Once schools make the com­mit­ment to move to one to one, lots of ques­tions arise about how to make that trans­for­ma­tion.  Within the past week, I have received mul­ti­ple emails request­ing my rec­om­men­da­tions about what steps to take when mov­ing to one to one.

First of all, I must say I am extremely excited to receive these requests.  Cur­rently, less than ten per­cent of schools nation­wide have one to one, and I think that is a sad sta­tis­tic. Lead­ers of one to one schools and those cur­rently mak­ing that tran­si­tion are the trail­blaz­ers in edu­ca­tion today. Their work has the poten­tial to trans­form edu­ca­tion in a way that hasn’t hap­pened in the past 100 years.

My rec­om­men­da­tions around imple­men­ta­tion of one to one focus around two major themes.  The first theme is address­ing all of the issues that arise with such a major change.  The sec­ond theme deals with  the infra­struc­ture and pol­icy issues that arise with the move to one to one.

Some edu­ca­tors I have spo­ken with have made the move to one to one with lit­tle input from other stake­hold­ers.  They have also failed to rec­og­nize all of the issues that arise with major change.  This is a major mis­take, and I believe it will cause some unnec­es­sary dif­fi­cul­ties with the roll out of one to one.  The move to one to one is pos­si­bly the biggest transition/change a school will ever make.  It is imper­a­tive that schools rec­og­nize this and take steps to address all of the issues sur­round­ing change.  The two best resources for lead­ers deal­ing with change that I have found are Kotter’s Lead­ing Change and the McREL resources on change.  Kot­ter lays out an eight stage process that is a great guide for any orga­ni­za­tion deal­ing with change.  I recently posted a series in my blog on Kotter’s change process in rela­tion to one to one schools.  McREL’s research has tar­geted change and the rela­tion­ship between change and lead­er­ship.  It will be worth your time to take a look at this research regard­less of what the change going on in your orga­ni­za­tion is.

The sec­ond major theme that schools need to address as they make the move to one to one cen­ters around all of the phys­i­cal changes that are fun­da­men­tal in this tran­si­tion process..  Those needs include all of the infra­struc­ture changes that must be in place in order to sup­port one to one.  They include con­tracts with ven­dors, pol­icy changes, phys­i­cal build­ing changes, rules, reg­u­la­tions, and pro­ce­dures to name just a few.  Pamela Livingston’s  book  1–1 Learn­ing is one resource that may be help­ful for lead­ers with the tran­si­tion.  Her book includes cau­tion­ary tales, lessons learned,  and expert advice from edu­ca­tors who have made the move to one to one.

Lead­ers need to be sure to address both of these themes as they move to one to one.  Most of you will unques­tion­ably address the sec­ond theme because it is an absolute neces­sity.  It would be a huge mis­take for you not to address the first theme also. Every­one real­izes the dif­fi­culty and chal­lenges that arise with change, and mov­ing to one to one  will cer­tainly be the biggest change any school will face.  It will be worth your time to do lots of work up front in order to make this change as smooth as possible.

A Day with Will Richardson

On Fri­day I attended a work­shop in Ames with Will Richard­son along with other edu­ca­tional and busi­ness lead­ers.  Sev­eral good dis­cus­sions occurred through­out the day focus­ing around a cou­ple of com­mon themes.  You can check out our notes and thoughts from the day at Chat­ter­ous.

How do we change schools?

Through­out the day, Will chal­lenged us to think about why schools haven’t changed.  He com­mented that there are cur­rently only pock­ets or islands of great­ness in today’s schools.  He went on to say that even many of the tech­nol­ogy rich schools have not really changed.  This is because the tech­nol­ogy hasn’t been used to change teach­ing, but instead to maybe add a lit­tle extra media to the classroom. 

Many con­ver­sa­tions cen­tered around how our schools have failed to edu­cate stu­dents about tech­nolo­gies that stu­dents use on a reg­u­lar basis.  Eighty per­cent of stu­dents inter­act with social net­works, but most schools have failed to edu­cate stu­dents about how to effec­tively use these net­works or con­nect with oth­ers.  Con­trary to the belief of many, there are valu­able edu­ca­tional expe­ri­ences that can occur with social net­works.  Will also encour­aged us to think about other skills that are nec­es­sary that we aren’t teach­ing in schools.  Schools must look crit­i­cally at what is being taught and how it is taught.  This is a huge take away from the day.  Devel­op­ing cur­ricu­lum that focus on chang­ing the ways we teach and stu­dents learn will be the most pow­er­ful way that we can change schools.  Obvi­ously the use of tech­nol­ogy will be a huge part of that cur­ricu­lum change, but the trans­for­ma­tion in edu­ca­tion isn’t so much about the tech­nol­ogy as it is about chang­ing the ways that teach­ers and schools operate.

How con­nected are we?

Lead­ers were given the task to think about how con­nected we are to oth­ers around the world.  He made a great point that we need to con­nect with one another and share our expe­ri­ences and resources. This point is extremely impor­tant for one to one schools.  Because there are so few schools involved with this ini­tia­tive, we need to use all of the tech­nolo­gies that we have to share our knowl­edge.  Hope­fully, this blog serves as one way to con­nect those involved with one to one (for­give the self advertisement:).

At the end of the day, I was exhausted from the con­ver­sa­tions that had taken place.  It was def­i­nitely a day that stretched the think­ing of most of us in atten­dance.  Hope­fully, more edu­ca­tors take the time to engage in these dif­fi­cult con­ver­sa­tions that really scru­ti­nize the future of schools.  A very sober­ing ques­tion was posed at the end of the day.  I will leave you with this ques­tion, which I para­phrased, and chal­lenge you to dis­cuss it with others.

Can our schools actu­ally meet the needs of stu­dents in this new dig­i­tal era, or is the cur­rent sys­tem of schools at the end of its lifespan? 

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