Wednesday, October 8, 2008

One to One Learning Leadership Institute: Session 3

During the last break there were a few kids sitting by the front door and one had his Macbook open. I asked them if they thought that the laptop had improved their learning? Here are their comments:

Oh, yeah! I don't lose my papers
Definitely-Keeps me more organized.

I then asked them about battery life, as I used similar models in my former job and had issues with them. They said that if you came to school with it charged over night, then you were OK. They had learned to optimize battery life, by dimming the screen and turning off the wireless access when it is not needed.

Laptop Learning at OJHS

(See the principals presentation here)

Oak Land has 1020 students and 94 total staff members. 7% minority, and 11% qualify for free and reduced lunch.

They believe:

1. The only way to prepare kids is by something very close to this 1:1 program.

2. What was adequate for us is not adequate for our kids.
3. Schools need to mirror the world in which our kids will live.

  • Relevant Learning and Relevant Teaching

  • Anytime Anywhere access

  • Our World is a different place

  • Increased Student Achievement

  • All subjects become more meaningful for students and more adequately prepare them for the world in which they will live and work

  • Technology is part of our lives and it is here to stay

Teacher quote: "Give me 30 kids per class with laptops rather than 26 kids without."

They have no computer labs anymore, and the kids "take the library with them".

  • Leadership is critical. They have visited and established a relationship with Westside District in Omaha

  • Help Desk is critical

  • Problems must be viewed as creative opportunities

  • Staff Training is essential-The KEY to success

  • Student care and appropriate use has been exceptional (Theft is low because each student has one)

Laptops are only tools to use...

The principal's perspective:

  • Hiring process is different

  • Teacher observations are different (Intentional with relationships, common assessments, technology to enhance student achievement)

  • Staff Development (Balanced-Initially it was all tech all the time. Must have balance)

  • Extension of the School Day

How do we measure progress? (NCREL, Technology Advisory Task-Force, U of M Evaluation)

If your purpose is only to increase test scores, probably not a good idea. If you are trying to teach students how to collaborate in an authentic learning environment, then it's a great idea.

They went with Apple, because they offered training with the computers.

Tech Coordinators Perspective

Matt Howe spoke about his experience as tech coordinator at Oak Land. He shared a video produced by Stillwater High School Students on the changing role of technology

He shared some findings from the national demonstration sites for one to one:

  • Improved attitude toward school

  • Improved student work-specifically homework completion, higher quality and more creative

  • Improved opportunities to communicate through multi-media

  • Improved student engagement in their progress

The professional development they have offered includes:

  • Basic Skills-The machine is a tool for teachers to use to make instruction better

  • Tech Integration and Enhancement

  • Lesson Makeovers

  • Classroom Management and Productivity

  • Using Online tools and resources

  • Project based learning

  • Initially Apple did training w/ pull outs and even weekends

  • Ongoing training

  • Peer mentorship

  • Learning Communities

  • Student Help (ICE)

  • Just in Time Training

Help Desk

Daily Operation



They have many resources for parents and also offer a Parent Boot Camp to train parents every fall. Internet Safety is included in this training.

Student Planner is a PHP portal tool for students, similar to Edline.

EasyGrade Pro is the staff grade book, and they use TIES SIS.

To those who want to just fix/upgrade the equipment we have now there is this quote to consider:

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.”
-Wayne Gretzky

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