Thursday, October 9, 2008

One to One Learning Leadership Institute: Session 4

Panel Discussion
On Thursday morning, students and staff participated in a panel discussion on their experience with the one to one program. Here are their comments:
  • Everyone has a laptop, so there isn't the temptation to steal-Student
  • I have more problems with teachers losing laptops (500 staff have laptops in the district) than students.-District Tech Coordinator
  • We have a separate network for students who bring in laptops from home, that is locked down -District Tech Coordinator
  • I'm worried when I go to the high school over the ammount of note writing I will have to do.-Student
  • The laptop doesn't do everything for us...We still need to use our brains!
  • Genius program is used for flash card notes for memorization
  • We type more fluently, "10 Thumbs Typing" is on the computer, but no keyboarding course.
  • My dad tells me I know more about technology than the people at his work!-Student
  • Our parents ask us for help, even if it's Windows. (Mac District)-Student
  • Data within our school is that it doesn't matter what type of computer platform it is.-Principal

How did the veteran staff handle this change in pedagogy?

  • -It was a lot of work, but we went in with an open mind, because we knew it was going to be best for kids. We knew that we would get staff development. The big thing is we felt supported
  • -What an opportunity! At the time I was at the other school with desktop PC's and there was some push back on the platform. I was too excited about the possibilities...but to look at what we've been able to do and where we've been able to go, it's been great!
  • -We do a lot of informal staff development (Hey, stop by after school and I'll show you...)
  • The students teach us
  • We have many long time experienced teachers who are among our biggest users
  • If you're a good teacher who wants to do what's best for kids, you'll want to try this.

How has curriculum changed with this program?

  • I use a textbook, but it is just one of my resources, not the entire curriculum. I suppliment with Webquests and other projects.
  • One of my students found 5 different Web sites with 5 different birthdays for a founding father. What a great opportunity to talk about reliable sources.
  • It's nice as a special ed teacher to pull an assignment off, modify it and have it up for the kids right away
  • Our kids aren't just consumers of technology and learning, their producers. They are actively involved in producing, and as digital natives, it's a natural fit for them.
  • The Minnesota State Standards are Broad and specific... To find a textbook that addresses all of them is near impossible. By having the computers in the kids hands with access to multiple sources, we have the ability to hit more of the curriculum.

How are assessments delivered?

  • I still use paper and pencil
  • I use Quia online tests.
  • We team quite a bit.
  • All of one teacher's tests are on the computer, cause all the assignments are on as well.
  • I teach 350 kids, so having all quizes and tests online makes my life so much easier, and it gives kids immediate feedback. In my opinion, it's a much more superior system. I wouldn't use 100% online testing for Math, cause you want to see the work. I use Quizstar, which has some limitations. Quizstar let's you take the quiz multiple times and gives you your best score.
  • Foriegn Language teachers use Quia a lot, and students think it helps especially with special characters.

Homework

  • I have a good amount of homework, like last week we had a political convention. I did a lot of work at home, and since the text book was written in the 90's, it was outdated.
  • It varies with the different grades, but on the plus side, it is faster than writing in a notebook. I try to get my work done quickly so I can play something with my 5 year old sister.

Some staff do a bit of cross curricular projects, but mostly it is pared with like subject teachers.

The typing course on the computer helped me improve my touch typing. Others had keyboarding in elementary school.

Principal says that they don't emphasize keyboarding, and don't plan to. They can text faster than I can type!

Students do not have access to e-mail.

See here for an answer to question #2 on our wiki.

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