Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Iowa 1:1 Institute: Principal and Superintendent discuss their 1:1 Initiative

Superintendent Jeff Dicks and High School Principal Alynn Coppock from Newell-Fonda School District in Iowa presented on their 1:1 program. I was extremely impressed with the fact that these leaders understood and had bought in to the work their district is doing!

They showed their Twitter ID's on the title slide. They use it to connect, network and learn with/from their peers.
They are in the second year of their 1:1 initiative.

There are problems, most small, every day.
In 1996, President Clinton had this to say about technology in education. We're still not close!
  • All teachers in the nation will have the training and support they need to help students learn using computers and the information superhighway. Upgrading teacher training is key to integrating technology into the classroom and to increasing student learning.
  • All teachers and students will have modern multi-media computers in their classrooms. Computers become effective instructional tools only if they are readily accessible by students and teachers.
  • Every classroom will be connected to the information superhighway. Connections to networks, especially the Internet, multiply the power and usefulness of computers as learning tools by putting the best libraries, museums, and other research and cultural resources at our students’ and teachers’ fingertips.
  • Effective software and on-line learning resources will be an integral part of every school’s curriculum. Software and on-line learning resources can increase students’ learning opportunities, but they must be high quality, engaging, and directly related to the school’s curriculum.
They then showed this video :
He then had us go to Wallwisher to post questions during the session! Great tool for 1:1!
They are currently 1:1 9-12, next year, they will be 1:1 5-12.
They focussed on these key elements:
  • Communicating with parents and community members in 21st century themes.
  • The learning environment, policy and classroom management: Handing the kids a computer will not
  • Life and Career Skills-Not just about the content anymore. (Hmmm.. Wonder what the AFT would say!)
  • Learning and Innovation
  • Information Media and Technology Skills
  • All staff here today! 12-13 days of district PD to make it happen! Modified the calendar to do this!
Who's ready to teach with the iPad right now? No one.
We need PD time, but at the same time, teachers need to start figuring this stuff out!

Communication
  • TNT night-Kindergardeners demonstrated the itouch. Took 5 minutes for the kid to figure it out!
  • HS student commercial on Redwall! (My son would love that!)
  • They're usiung ClassJump Blogs for digital learning space
  • Student E-mail-How many kids are sending e-mail to the superintendent on a weekend?
Sometimes you need to think outside of the box to creatively implement. For examle, today it's community clean-up day in their district so that teachers could be here at the conference!
Equal access one of the main reasons they went 1:1.

Policy
  • Continually Evolving
  • Empowering vs. Restriction How are we teaching students to use their global voice, use as teachable moments rather than just taking away rights.
  • Teachable Moments
  • Managing a Global Voice
Order of Implementation
  • Esperimental Phase
  • Reflection
  • Refinement
  • Repeat revised lesson
When things go wrong, the first response is to revert back to the old ways. It's safe and comfortable. We need to avoid doing that!-J. Dicks

Instructional Practices
  • Less about being "computer literate" more about "information literate"
  • Focus on the learning and less on the technology-are students just learning the same thing in a flashy new way?
  • Reverse mentoring-"managing student brainpower" Find the kids who are experts and have conversations about how they are using it as a learning tool and then sharing with the rest of the class.
  • Becomes a classroom management tool
Essential Skills and Concepts
  • Communication
  • Confidence
  • Critical Thinking
  • Collaboration
  • Organization
  • These skills cannot be assessed with traditional methods of assessment
The Iowa Core Curriculum
  • Enacted Curriculum
  • Essentials and Inquiry based learning
  • Authentic audience
  • Assessment-Student Work
They shared the Background Knowledge: The Global Achievement Gap book review as a way to get staff thinking about this in a new way.

They developed a wiki, Newell-Fonda 2.0 to share thoughts on the book and used it to link their PLC's together. You need time to allow for those activities!
Dicks then discussed the implications of other methods of learning, such as gaming.
The Florida Virtual School created Conspiracy Code-A course in History. Students take the course over 36 weeks, interacting with the teacher at various times.




They are a fairly small district and Dicks said that they are using about 25% of their budget for the 1:1 project. They use a 2-year lease and roll over from Apple.
And then the wireless network crashed at the conference...

I was very impressed by these two educational leaders.

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