Friday, June 21, 2013

Minnesota 1:1 Summit: Ryan Cox-Rethinking Professional Development

Ryan Cox at the Minnesota 1:1 Summit
Ryan Cox, Director of Instructional Technology for Becker Public Schools, presented on "Rethinking Professional Development." His presentation notes are here.
Cox shared his experience with his district becoming an Apple Distinguished School. 
-Just because we're 1:1 and an Apple Distinguished School doesn't mean that we don't have problems/naysayers!
Ryan shared an iTunes U course How to Lead Innovation: The Three Carriage Train

"Focus and Simplify" is the montra he has followed, focusing on the "middle car" of those who are willing, but need some assistance to move foward.
For him, that was Edmodo, Socrative, Showbe.

They used the Apple Professional Development survey to see where their activities seem to be. For Cox, 90% were still at the substitution level of SAMR.
He ran an Administrative Retreat looking at "starting with why," from Simon Sinek, looking at the vision. Ultimately, they got to the ISTE NETS-S as a framework. They are mapping out by grade-level, to create Digital Age work and learning that ultimately will lead to transformational teaching.

One of the problems with SAMR is that most staff don't understand what true transformation looks like.

What are our largest obstacles?
Time, Distraction, Infrastructure, Resources

He is using for online meetings.
Like WebEx, but free, and 200 people can be on at once!

Becker is using iTunes U for different subject areas as well as Technology. 

Student Technology Advisory Council (STAC) to empower students and allow them to give feedback. They are keeping their devices over the summer and sharing thoughts on different tools.

Develop a Professional Learning Network-
Twitter, Google+, Edmodo 

It's been awhile since I looked at Edmodo. Cox shared some of the communities in Edmodo that may be appealing to educators for anytime, anywhere learning. They are also using Edmodo to share their PLC work. Staff are leaving notes, resources, etc. The groups are open to the members of the group, the principal, and the curriculum staff. 
The key I think for most is to pick ONE thing. 

Cox finished by noting the importance of finding ways for staff to connect in ways that work for them to expand anytime/anywhere professional development. He's finishing just his first year, but is making great strides in his district, and has a plan in place that all of us can benefit from!

Minnesota 1:1 Summit: Tami Brass-10 years of 1:1 Lessons Learned

Tami Brass, Director of Instructional Technology at the St. Paul Academy, shared some of her lessons learned in her experience with 1:1 Learning at the Minnesota 1:1 Summit.

The devil is in the details...
Don't be afraid to over-prepare
Always have a Plan B ready to roll and be ready to implement Plan C if necessary
Being prepared makes winging it easier!

She started talking about device selection.

  • The first question you need to ask, "What are your instructional goals?"
  • What integration is already in place?
  • What tools can't you live without?
  • What CAN you live without?
  • How much training and PD is realistic?
Brass said that writing on the screen is important, thus they went with tablets. They are a PC school and do a lot of "inking" so having those devices made the most sense. They use the Classmate PC for Middle School, and tablet PC's at the high school. Based on the amount of writing their students do, they needed a keyboard. 
"When I see a tool, I ask what can I do with it?"

Ownership Models
Their tablet at the high school level includes a 4 year no-fault warranty and runs $1,900. 
Influences for ownership models include:
  • Budget
  • Classroom Management
  • Family
  • Curriculum
Content Management
  • Kids under 13...
  • What is your process for...
  • Teacher Sharing
  • Student to Student Collaboration
  • Student to Teacher (Handing In)
  • Feedback Loop
  • Longterm Storage
  • How much space is needed?
  • Where do parents fit in?
Software, Apps, Subscriptions
Kids under 13
Free or paid?
Alternative To-

What if it breaks? (Loaners, warranty, repair, tolerable downtime, access...)
Helpdesk Models

Wiring and Wireless
Filtering and Firewalls-

Parent Training-What to Expect When You're Expecting...
  • Prior to roll out
  • Laptop Handbook
  • Home tech needs-printing
  • Wireless
  • Social Networking-13 year old limit
  • Device Capabilities
  • Device Care/Management
  • Online Grade Access
  • Sibling Jealousy/Curiosity
  • Digital Parenting Strategies-How to parent in an environment 
Wellnology-Taking Care of the machine and yourself!
  • Skills training for kids
  • Survival Skills
  • Hardware Care
  • Responsible use
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Ergonomics
  • Keyboarding (or not)
  • Balance
  • Responding to Digital Parenting...
AUP or RUP in Kidspeak-Be respectful, ethical, lawful, responsible, safe.
Developmental Design in their Middle School.

Professional Development
  • Skills Development
  • Naysayers vs. Early Adopters-Work w/ the naysayers. Get them to buy in.
  • Mentorship
  • Curriculum Development
  • Other Curriculum Demands
  • Just in Time Training
  • Skills mapping in curriculum maps
  • How much troubleshooting is realistic?
  • Integration Support Models
How will you deal with...
  • Subs
  • Outside of school/summer
  • Misbehavior
  • Families who want to opt out
  • Financial Concerns
  • Special Needs
  • Naysayers
  • Reluctant adopters
  • Early adopters
  • Loss/Theft/Abuse of hardware
  • Support needs
  • Bullying, Porn
  • Lockers & Locks
  • Building Security

Minnesota 1:1 Learning Summit Keynote-Aaron Doering

Aaron Doering
Aaron Doering, Associate professor of Learning Technologies at the University of Minnesota, and co-director of the Learning Technologies Media Lab, gave the keynote address at the first Minnesota 1:1 Learning Summit.

The Media Lab is looking at ways technology can have an impact on the learning environment. One of their latest products is FlipGrid.

As a former Geography teacher, he wanted to find a platform to engage and excite students in the classroom. His "Arctic Transect: 2004" is considered by many the first MOOC. 

Many believe this can't happen in education...
Rather than try to do something new and transformative, we often try to pigeon-hole technology into what we are already doing.

Today, we're looking at creating an esthetic learning environment. 

His Adventure Learning project writes curriculum based on an adventure/problem that students can help solve. Components include:

  • Find the Issue
  • Design inquiry based curriculum
  • Adventure Based
  • Collaboration
  • Synched learning
  • Media Artifacts
  • Pedagogical Guidelines for teachers
He shared his "Go North" experience, where he visited areas of the arctic over a 6 year period, and delivered an online educational experience.

He next shared Earthducation, where he is traveling around the world 

Why Does This Work?
1. Trust-Building trust, and teachers trusting students. When students come to your environment, especially online, need to have some trust built.
2. Experiences not Products
3. When they design a learning experience, they focus on TPACK, Technological, Pedagogical and Content Knowledge. 
How do we move teachers to the center? They are developing an App at the Media Lab to help staff assess where they are at.

4. Learners as Experts-The Power of the Story-Students want to become part of a story that they can follow. 
5. Learners as Designers-How can we engage learners to design based on the tools that are available to them?
6. Collaboration-Using tools like Flipgrid, Google Docs, to collaborate and interact.
7. Aesthetics-Design environments that look good and WORK! (Doering-"I hate Moodle!")
8. Self-Narrative-students were part of the transformation and experience. Students need to be motivated to share their learning.
"Community is built where our stories intersect."
9. Innovative Pedagogy-Look at new ways to utilize the tools in the classroom. "Is it pedagogy, or is it media?" The more we work on design, they are having more of an impact.
9.5 Design as A Learner! When you sit in front of an environment you design, would you want to be there? If the answer is no, don't use it! 

He shared video of these different experiences which transform through collaboration.
"Real-world issues in real-time are motivating learners to get involved."-Doering
"It's a miracle curiousity survives formal education!"
-Albert Einstein 
 How do we get curiosity into the classroom?
In adventure learning there are affordances to the work:

His latest project is "North of Sixty," where he built a tapestry of arctic voices, by giving students living in the arctic tools to gather data and stories to interview elders and learn about their people and culture. Students are building this tapestry together collaboratively. He found that the students were able to get the elders to talk/share in ways they never have before. He shared this example:

Billy Arnaquq, Qikiqtarjuaq, NU, Canada from N60° ᕿᑭᖅᑕᕐᔪᐊᖅ on Vimeo.

Doering presented some interesting examples of how students using their devices can learn and interact with students around the world. The key is designing the activities around passions and structure to motivate the learner.  I see some great interdisciplinary activities here, that could tap in to an inquiry based learning environment. 

Ultimately, it comes down to Passion! if you're not motivated, try something new, collaborate with someone new, or get out!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Parenting in a Digital World: A Course for Parents

In response to requests from parents for resources to assist them in parenting in today's day and age, we have created an online course titled, "Parenting in a Digital World." 

This course contains links to resources from a variety of Websites, which hopefully will provide parents options based on their parenting style and their families needs. We have also added a section on managing devices in the home, which we hope will be beneficial for our eLearning2 parents and guardians.
Attempts have been made to find resources for parents of primary, intermediate, middle and high school age students. Parents and guardians should not feel obligated to look at every resource, but can pick ones that look appealing.
At the end of each unit, there is a reflection opportunity, to write down key concepts to remember, and questions to spark dialog with your child. 

To access the course, go to or use the QR code.

Then click Log in as guest.

I would appreciate your feedback in how we can make the course better. Take a look, and give us your in the course evaluation at the bottom of the page.