On Monday I hosted a webinar for the University of Kentucky’s Next Generation Leadership Academy. Tracy Watanabe led the one hour session which was titled Using Technology to Transform Learning. You can view the entire session here. I had the opportunity to meet and work with Tracy and her colleague Jon Castelhano a few years ago prior to their implementation of a 1:1 program. Since that time, I’ve monitored their transition from afar and have been very impressed with the changes that have taken place. The webinar was a great way for me to learn about many of the things they have put in place to maximize the results of their 1:1 program. Below I’ve described some of the major things that stood out from Tracy’s presentation. However, I’d still encourage you to take the time to listen and learn from the webinar yourself.
Leadership: Tracy was part of a very strong leadership team who were very committed to transforming the learning experience for their school. However, this doesn’t necessarily set their school apart from other schools. What did make them different is that they also created a formal network for developing other leaders. They created a team of collaborative coaches (teachers) based on a Peer-Ed model. The training for the coaches was very systematic. By creating this much larger leadership team, it appears that true changes could reach a “critical mass” much easier.
Pedagogy: Rather than focusing just on the technology, Tracy’s school really focused on effective instruction. It appeared that even their PD was very integrated. Tracy talked about how they would first talk about pedagogy and then think about ways technology could enhance or enrich teacher’s methods. Although this may seem apparent to many of us, few schools seem to be doing this well. Does all PD in your school consider ways technology can enhance a teaching strategy?
Modeling: Tracy has truly been a model learner for others in her school. She has created a blog that goes beyond just technology. She also has used technology to enhance learning groups with tools such as diigo where she has created multiple groups. Groups then share valuable resources with other group members.
It is certainly worth your time to watch this webinar. You can also view resources from the webinar at this link. There are take-aways that can help impact 1:1 schools at various levels of implementation. Happy viewing!