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Showing posts from September, 2014

Troubleshooting In a BYOD-Google Apps Classroom: Lessons From the Fire Swamp!

Yesterday, I had a chance to help some of our 6th grade students set up folders in Google Drive and share those folders with their teacher. It took a bit longer than I expected, but for the most part, the kids did a great job. Still, when I was done, I felt like I had survived this scene from one of my favorite movies!

In The Princess Bride, Wesley and Buttercup learned three lessons on how to survive in "The Fire Swamp." Hopefully, surviving in a classroom isn't like surviving the Fire Swamp, but here were the lessons I learned that may help you when teaching in a BYOD classroom with Google Apps for Education!
Lesson 1: Students Didn't Bring Their Device Fortunately, we have a supply of laptops and Chromebooks available for students to check out for the day if they come unprepared. Our goal is to help students come prepared every day with a fully charged device, but some days, they forget. Having extras allows them to still take part in Digital Age Learning.
Lesson 2: P…

Out of the Mouths of Eighth Graders....A Student Shares Her Insights on Our eLearning2 Initiative

Earlier this week I sent out a survey to our students, getting feedback on our eLearning2 Digital Age Learning initiative. As outlined my post from yesterday, we have moved to 1:1 this year through a hybrid BYOD system, where students are encouraged to bring a device from home, or check one out from the district.
One of the questions I asked in the survey was:
How has using your device impacted your learning this year?Most students responded positively, with stories of "being more organized," appreciating accessing content in our Moodle learning management system, collaborating on Google Docs, and creating projects for a global audience. I was pleased to see all aspects of our digital age learning framework being addressed. 

There was one response, from an 8th grade student named Annika, that stood out from the rest. She graciously gave me permission to share it in this post.She began by mentioning things that most of her peers had said:


I find it helpful in some ways, like the …

eLearning2: Impacting Learning and Living in Beta

Edina Public Schools is now starting year three of our eLearning2 Digital Age Learning initiative.  We began giving students the option to bring their own device for their learning during the 2010 school year; we saw slow growth the first two years. At that time, the program was called "Go Wireless," and I chronicled our progress in posts here and here

In December of 2012 the district joined a partnership with Best Buy to provide the services of a Web store for families, and Geek Squad support for student devices two days a week in each of the three secondary schools. In return, families would see a significant discount on the price of the device when they checked out. For the last two years, we saw roughly 60% of our families in the grade levels eligible take advantage of this opportunity, and students would then bring a device for their learning. In addition, the district provided a Chromebook computer to all families of need. This partnership was the first of it's kin…