Prior to that, there was discussion about staff development, and how implementation is happening. In South Dakota, they gave core staff tablet PC's a few years ago, and have phased in to everyone. Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau had a tech academy this summer, and also uses Atomic Learning. They admitted that some lessons are not suited to tech integration, and that's ok!
The Apple Learning Interchange has resources for staff on specific subject areas, and the new Thinkfinity (Formerly Marco Polo) has a lot of resources for integration with one to one.
Oakland's principal mentioned that he is working with staff during observations this year on how they will teach differently with one to one.
Laptops in the English 8 Classroom
Jesse Fredrickson, who teaches both regular and honors english at the 8th grade level spoke about her experience.
She started by telling us how laptops have changed her teaching:
- No more "automatic pilot", she's a much more creative teacher
- She can quickly modify, add or delete assignments, responding to the needs of the students
- Differentiating instruction is much easier (Electronically alter assignments and quickly distribute to students)
- Instructional time is much more effectively (No collecting and distributing papers, posting instructional video clips, rather than show in class)
- Grading is faster! (For daily assignments, they utilize "The planner", which makes it easy to add comments and provide feedback)
She has seen changes in students as well:
- Students are more organized. Less lost assignments
- Students have more pride in their work when they know it will be published, they spend more time with the English content.
- Higher order thinking skills happen naturally and frequently. What type of project will they create? Which Art? What audience?
- Changes assignments from something they "have" to do, to something they "get" to do!
In the English classroom:
- Online Textbook with classroom copies (One time online license purchased with the classroom set)
- Online notebook (Comes w/Text) All accessed from student planner
- Students without Internet access at home can check out a classroom text.
- Tech Coordinator said online texts get updated more often.
- Grammar: Individualized assignments and authentic practice
- Literature: seeking out information about authors, topics, etc.
- Public speaking
- Pre-writing: Inspiration
- Revising/Editing: The difference is amazing!
- Publishing: book reports were written on the teacher blog, quality of writing improved
- Student Web sites
- Teacher's site includes exemplary student work and ideas
What about books?
- They don't go away if kids have laptops
Very few management issues. Most of the time when lids are up, they are on task. Teachers do not have remote desktop or Syncronize, she feels that she has become more accountable with student behavior.
Seventh Grade Life Science
Todd Rau, a seventeen year veteran, shared his experience in his 7th Grade Life Science classroom.
He feels that his job is to create well rounded students who will be prepared for the 21st Century. Students need:
- The Ability to efficiently use technology
- Communication skills-The ability to make a point visually and verbally
- Guide on the side as opposed to sage on the stage
- Self starters-Drive to go beyond the minimum
- Real World Application
- Cross Curricular/ Multi-disciplinary
One of his projects is to have students compete for grant money for solving problems in the National Parks.
Another project challenges students to create a digital brochure on topics involving genetic engineering.
A third project involves the students creating a podcast on a topic from a plant's perspective.
He still has students who just want to "get it done", but not as many...
It's a great tool, and if you use it well, the kids will flourish, but if you rely on it... they'll stagnate.
Robin Vought shared her experience with her band students using Smartmusic and GarageBand on her laptop. She has been involved in the one-to-one program from day one, and has had great success.
Technology is a part of their future, and they focussed on how the technology could be used to help students achieve at higher levels in music.
She uses Smart Music as a warm up, the Internet for research on composers, Keynote, iPhoto and iMovie, for presentations, and iTunes to create a library of recordings that are used in class for demonstrations. She also uses Finale and Finale notepad, which are music industry standards.
She has found that the laptop has extended the student day, by giving students the metronome and tuner tools, the same way they do it in class. Students can do scale and rhythm excersizes and solo accompaniments at home, and are learning the rhythm's correctly.
She collaborates with the Literature teacher on the poetry of music for a group project. She feels that project based learning has had a great impact on forging connections for her students.
She said this has increased student achievement greatly in her discipline, but she admits there have been challenges.
Up front, it takes time looking for resources that will apply. Don't add on the computers to what you're doing: embed.
The Help Desk is the key!
She said that kids are taking responsibility for their learning, and she doesn't hear "Why do we have to know this?" as often.