Thursday, October 9, 2008

One to One Learning Leadership Institute: Session 6

Superintendent's Perspective
We finished with Stillwater superintendent, Keith R. Ryskoski , who began by sharing the "Beloit College Mindset", facts about the class of 2012.
He spoke about the analogy of a box, and how we limit our thinking by traditional things that define our "box". We need to think of all the possibilities, and be like the amoeba, constantly changing.
Other thoughts:
  • In 1907 if someone said we'd be traveling around on roads in machines that drove around, they'd have said you were crazy.
  • Are the children of today going to learn and do school the way that we did?
  • If you were starting this from scratch...Start at the middle school. Plan how you will grow.
  • If AP courses are College Board certified, and colleges are requiring students to have laptops, what would cause a High school teacher to say that students can't have a laptop in that course?
  • Laptop carts do not change teaching and learning in the classroom the way that one to one does.
  • A two week window for when you can sign up for a lab or a mobile cart defines the box and lowers authenticity. It's too much work to change the way you teach for 2 weeks, and then go back.
  • It's not a tool, it's how students learn and people are instructing today.
  • It's an information source that goes both ways at an individual personalized level.
  • Where are you going to make an investment that will have the biggest impact for students future, lower class size, or give kids a laptop? He advocates for the latter.
  • We never require teachers to use the technology, but this is what we do here.
  • Textbook replacement-As much as possible! Always up to date. Publishers are now allowing them to just buy the subscription.
  • Students entering school today are now like travellers at an airport. Powering down prior to entering the plane.
  • In the next ten years, the University of North Carolina will have more online graduates than face to face.
  • iTunes U is a great resource.
  • Look at the book Disrupting class!
  • In my mind, Smart Boards are great, but here, every kid has a smart board!
  • Teachers must embrace change in the role of teacher, and of students!
  • Must have parents/community members involved in the planning process. Split the work up regarding investigating different issues.
  • Publicize more rather than less on the front end.
  • Should have had a broader communication to the entire district.
  • Maximize training on curricular aspects that will make a difference.
  • You need to make the first experience very positive. Make it an event.
  • Equipment pick up, 100 people at a time in less than an hour. Celebrate it!
  • Let students personalize the computer case (Appropriately). Contest! Give kids ownership.
  • Don't worry about the kids using it...
  • Communicate how things are going.
  • Do lots of testing prior to system updates.
  • Involve staff in the image.
  • Get it to teachers first, looking at curriculum prior to students.
  • Planning for re-imaging: Do the kids really need to turn them in for the whole summer?
  • Connect teachers in like subject areas with teachers in programs that are using this effectively.
  • It's not about the laptop, it's about access to individualized tools for accessing and producing information.

The politics

Why was it political? We talked about it in 5 board meetings in August-November. Board wanted a 5 year commitment. Pioneer Press front page article had an impact. More people from outside the district came to the meeting rather than inside! All 3 board members who lost their seat said it was the right thing to do and they'd do it again, because it is good for kids. What matters is what the kids are doing.

Cost Benefit Analysis

Will be provided later.

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