Sylvia Martinez recently wrote the blog post Back to School 2012 – Start your “year of empowerment” now! Her post shared some great ideas, and many which are fairly easy to implement. I really liked her suggestion to start student technology leadership teams if they do not already exist.
I recently helped compile a similar list for participants in our Next Generation Leadership Academy. The hope was that the ideas we shared could be “quick wins” that schools could implement fairly easily. Each of the ideas described below align with the the critical attributes that are the focus of the Leadership Academy. Although the suggestions are not exclusive to 1:1 schools, they are very applicable in 1:1 schools. The list below was created by the faculty of the Next Generation Leadership Academy.
Quick Wins to Implement in Your District
Systems of Support: Assign an adult to be personally responsible for each child’s success in middle and high school every day he is in the school system.
Student Agency: Organize student focus groups and begin a discussion about how they would improve their school or classroom.
Performance Assessment: START THE YEAR WITH SUCCESS. Every teacher in every class in every school should ensure that every student begins the school year with a successful learning experience. If teachers use mastery learning techniques in only one instructional unit all year, use it in the first one. Develop a high quality formative assessment, use the results to guide students in correcting learning problems or difficulties, and offer students a second chance on a parallel formative assessment in order to experience learning success. Finally stress to students that with this success, they have established the foundation to ensure that other successes will follow.
Anytime, Anywhere Learning: Identify a willing and capable teacher, or team of teachers, to implement a pilot 1:1 program. If resources are available, you can provide school owned computing devices to each student. Another option would be to implement a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program where students are encouraged to bring their own computing device or smart phone. Your teachers should be encouraged to use the technology as a way to extend learning outside of the classroom walls during traditional school time.
Personalized Learning: Take stock of all the ways in which you are currently customizing learning for each child. Identify gaps and INITIATE plans to make connections between where you are and where you want to be in providing stronger support for each child.
World Class Knowledge and Skills: Identify a willing and able teacher(s) in each school to develop a project-based learning unit and implement it during the year. This project can be a group/department effort. Collect evidence of collaboration, critical thinking etc. in project materials, student logs and other ways
Photo credit Fort Wainwright Public Affairs office on Flickr