Thursday, March 19, 2015

Digital Learning Day 2015....Just another day of learning in Edina

Last Friday, March 13, was the 2015 Digital Learning Day, an effort to promote innovation and technology integration. With our eLearning2 Digital Age Learning initiative, it felt like just another day of learning! To me, every day is "Digital Learning Day!" I asked staff to Tweet out pictures of their students accessing content, collaborating and creating using both the #DLDay and #eLearning2 hashtags. The result was a great mix of activities from all grade levels, K-12. 

In addition, Jackie Roehl and Rachel Hatten had their Pre-AP English 10 students create a "Twitter Tableaux" around themes in the book, Slaughterhouse Five. Here were their instructions for students:

   Twitter Tableaux

  • A tableau (tableaux is the plural form) is a group of motionless models representing a scene from a story.
  • As a group discuss your chapter to determine the three scenes that illustrate war themes and then create one tableau per scene for a total of three tableaux.
  • Have someone take photos of the tableaux and tweet them with two hashtags #DLDay #s5tab.  With the remaining characters write a theme statement for your tableau. What are you trying to say here about war?
  • You will present your images and explain your motivations to the class.  You have to be back here in 25 minutes to present or you get a 0.
  • Chapter 5 is split pp. 87-113 and pp. 114 to 135
This is what the students came up with!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

COSN15: Preparing Globally Competitive Students-Dallas Dance, Superintendent of Baltimore County Schools

Dallas Dance, Superintendent of Baltimore County Schools shared how his district is developing Globally Competitive Students at COSN15.

Baltimore County has a 87.6% graduation rate. It's mostly urban and diverse. 

  • 2nd Highest Grad rate umong large school districts
  • More than half of the schools are among the best in the nation 
  • 17 Blue Ribbon Schools
  • Multiple Wards
  • 91% of families say the school is effective or highly effective
Good is not Good enough! 12% of students not graduating, 18% of African American Males not graduating

ALL MEANS ALL is their Motto! 
Brainpower does not discriminate

How they began...
  • Reaching out to the community stakeholders
  • Previous Admin-Blueprint for Progress
  • Stagnant in academic approach
BluePrint 2.0 Developing their purpose
  • Prepare students to be globally competitive and globally prepared
  • Define what the diploma means when they leave the school system
  • Access to an equitable digital learning environment
  • 2nd Language prior to graduation starting in 4th grade (Leveraging Tech to do so)
68% of Building Administrators thought that the academic program was set up to meet the needs of all students.
1/3 didnt' think students had the instructional technology to succeed.
Conversations around equity and leveling the playing field took place.

  • Globally competitive
  • Rigorous
  • Relevant
  • Accessible
  • Responsive
What do we mean to get kids engaged?

Classrooms NEED to be Learning Centered!

Learner Centered Environments
  • Students have independent choice
  • Students develop responsibility to evaluate learning
  • Removes artificial barriers 
  • Teacher takes into account what they know and create responsive environment for students
  • Teacher has freedom to focus on students struggling
  • More student collaboration
  • Student "experts"
  • Technology now used as an integral part of learning rather than an add-on

Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow (Link to site)

Students owning the classroom, K-12
18 months focusing on Curriculum First
  • Curriculum created by and for BCPS educators
  • Digitally enhanced in Core content areas
  • Redefining delivery
  • Greater emphasis on Critical Thinking and Analytical Skills
STAT Transformation involved:
  1. Curriculum Conversion-Needs to happen first
  2. Instructional Conversion-Looking at transforming pedagogy
  3. Assessment Conversion-Moving away from pencil/paper, formative daily
  4. Organizational Conversion-About people, everyone needs to be on board (Buses, Food Service, School Board) Full Time STAT teachers in each building (lesson planning and student centered first, then Tech
  5. Infrastructure conversion-System level updates ($12 million)
  6. Policy Conversion-Responsible Use rather that Appropriate, Grading conversion
  7. Budget Conversion-85% of the budget is people, weekly fiscal issues meeting, 
  8. Communications Conversion
Principal Leadership and Teacher devices were the focus first
Decided that 1:1 would start with Elementary because learner centered is easier there. k-3 first, and then 4-5 next year. 

Lighthouse Schools started this year.
Start slow to go fast.
10 Laboratory Schools, so teachers can see what it looks like
Maryland chose 5, the District chose 5

Dance shared a video highlighting the shifts that have been made 1/2 way through the year. Teachers see the transformation and how equity is being addressed. Students and teachers are exhibiting more passion for their learning.

Expansion in 2015
Schoolwide at current Lighthouse Schools
All elementary schools, grades K-3
7 Lighthouse schools, Grade 6 only
Ensuring support

They have single sign on, BCPS One, that ties Digital Resources (Discovery, Brainpop, NBCone, Learning Management, Student Information, etc...

Students log in and see calendar and see progress. 
Assessment taken goes into gradebook and teacher than customizes the learning plan for that student.

Todos Adelante-Middlebury Interactive is what they are using for 2nd Language in Grade 4.


Dance, who started with Mark Edwards in Henrico County, VA,  notes that they are changing classrooms, but they are also changing the community. 

Never underestimate culture! People need to be valued, and work as a team to make things work.

Engrade is their single signon vendor, and Infinite Campus will be their Student Information System.

Maryland has become a competency based state, so seat time is no longer an issue. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

COSN15: Dr. Alison Powell-A Blended Learning Roadmap: 6 Essential Elements

Dr. Alison Powell, Vice-President for State and District Services of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) spoke at the CoSN 15 conference on A Blended Learning Roadmap: 6 Essential Elements.

iNACOL focuses on blended, online, and competency-based learning. They "ensure that every student has access to a world-class education, regardless of geography, income or background." 

What comes to mind when you hear the term, "blended learning?" In the room there were many who hadn't implemented it at all. She shared some pictures and asked the participants whether they were examples of blended. Some looked like lecture, class discussion, group projects, small group instruction.

iNACOL's Definition: A formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online learning, with some element of student control over time, place, path or pace.

Christensen Institute defines four models:

1. Rotation

  • Station Rotation
  • Lab Rotation
  • Flipped Classroom
  • Individual Rotation

2. Flex

  • Online platform with Face-to-Face support and fluid schedules

3. Self-Blended

  • Students attend physical school and take 1 or more courses online

4. Enriched Virtual

  • Students learn sometimes at school and sometimes online remotely

Tech Rich does NOT equal Blended! Blended is NOT about the technology! 
It's about changing the instructional practice, how time is used, how resources are allocated, personalized for all students to increase engagement, student centric, and teachers using data daily to customize learning for students.

iNACOL has identified Four Models:

  1. Technology Platforms (LMS, devices, infrastructure)
  2. People/Pedagogy and PD (Most importnt to Powell)
  3. Assessment (Online/Adaptive, Personalization engines, Performance Based)
  4. Online Content (Online resources, Tech Support, Registration, Counseling)
iNACOL worked on blended learning with a few schools in New York City and developed a Road map.

Successful Blended Learning Involves Six Elements:

1. Leadership
  • Clear goals need to be established and written.
  • Leadership determines sustainability and success
  • Collaborative leadership Style is essential
  • School culture of support and innovation
  • Ongoing Professional Development

School Implementation
Identified administrator/leader and teachers at each school
Ongoing interactions
Administrators, teachers and leaders work together towards the learning goals
Teachers need to feel safe!

Promissing Practice
  1. School Culture of innovation and empowerment
  2. Start Small and Build
  3. Communication w/ all stakeholders, parents

Leadership Questions:
  • What are the measurable goals?
  • What student needs are being fulfilled?
  • What support systems need to be built into the program?
  • What funding support needs to be there to sustain?
2. Professional Development

School Implementation
  • Both Formal and Informal PD (Schedule trainings 1:1 and customized, common release time)
  • Modeling, webinars, small conferences, workshops and cohort meetings
  • Implementation managers are key

PD Questions
  • What PD is needed for school leadership and blended learning teachers?
  • How will PD be delivered and who will provide?
  • How will ongoing PD be developed?

3. Teaching and Instructional Practices

School Implementation
  • Created Resources
  • Support for new Blended Learning Teachers-modeling and mentoring
  • Analizing real-time data to personalize learning

Promising Practices
  • Classroom Setup
  • Data Analysis (iNACOL: New tool coming)
  • Individualized Instruction
  • Student Engagement
  • Digital Content
4. Operations Management Systems and Policy
How does this change the school day?
Which state, district, and or local policies foster or inhibit accountability?
What data should be collected?

5. Content

School Implementation
  • Common Platform
  • Content providers to choose from
  • Professional development and teacher sharing about content provider and platform use
Promising Practices
  • Content Decision Making (Purchase or build your own?)
  • Customizable Platform-Many teachers using base curriculum and supplementing
  • Customizable for individual student needs.
Content Questions
  • Is content aligned to instructional goals?
  • How will content be aquired?

6. Technology

School Implementation
School leadership ensures its in place
(Others she skipped over)

Tech Questions
What tech is currently available? Including Infrastructure.

Powell says this is a 3-5 year implementation plan, with ongoing meetings needed to insure planning.
The roadmap includes observation forms and yearly benchmarks to ensure people are ready. It also includes a rubric on leadership, teacher and student roles and other topics.

The New York team developed this wiki to assist with blended. Looks like a good resource.

Powell concluded with this:
Erase what you think school looks like, start from scratch and do what is best for kids!

CoSN 2015: Chris Dede and Julie Evans on 8 Essentials for Success in Mobile Learning

Dr. Chris Dede from Harvard University and Julie Evans from Project Tomorrow shared information from a paper they wrote for Qualcomm on 8 Essentials for Mobile Learning Success.

Part 1: Quick Overview of 4 Essentials

Purposeful Planning for Mobile Device Usage
1976 the "Little Professor Calculator" was introduced. Today's mobile devices have much more power and capabilities obviously
3 Contexts for Learning
1. Classrooms
     -Presentation and Discussion
2. Richly Contextualized Real World Learning
     -Internships, apprenticeships
     -Anyplace, Anytime
3. Learning Communities
     -Interpretation and Transfer
     -Tweeting, or in a game interacting with others
Face to Face, Virtual and Blended conceptualizations of learning environments. Mobile devices allow us to inter-relate these concepts

Community-Social Media

  • Sharing
  • Thinking
  • Co-Creating

Dede showed that the "Conversation Prism is hard to keep up with. 

Evans then talked about the 4 essentials

1. Purposeful Planning for Device Usage
Are we asking the right questions?
Example: Key Goals from Onslow County Schools
     -Improve Math Literacy
     -Change Student perceptions around math abilities
     -Increase out of school access
     -Stimulate changes in teacher practice
2. Teacher Preparation for Mobile Learning
Increase recognition of value of Connected Learning, but change process is challenging
Year 1: Awareness
Year 2: Adoption
Year 3: Adaptation
This is based on the individual teacher and some may move faster/slower than others.
Example: Making Learning Mobile in Chicago
Year 2 and Year 3 Strategies

  • JIT Mentoring and Coaching-Lucy Gray working  on this
  • In Class Activities and Support
  • Targeted Applications
  • Traditional Conferences and Skill Development
Indicator of maturation at work: migration from passive approach to PD to active, self-directed learning. 
Dede mentioned his work on connected learning through the 2010 National Educational Technology Plan.
He discussed "Deeper Learning" and his work with
  • Case-Based Learning
  • Collaborative Learning
  • Apprenticeships
  • Self-Directed, Life-Wide Learning
  • Learning for Transfer
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
Teachers teach as they were taught. If we want teachers to use mobile devices and social media in their instruction, they need to do it in their PD. 
Professional Development Communities of "Unlearning!" 
  • Develop fluency in interactive media
  • Complement presentational instruction with self-directed
Evans talked about the Kajeet study with Speak-Up Survey data.
Teachers are self-directing their PD by:
  • Watching video and listening to podcasts
  • Sourcing ideas in Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • Reading Blogs
  • Attending Webinars
3. Leadership Buy-In
Leaders enable conditions of success by:
  • Envisioning applications for mobile
  • Displacing cherrished misconceptions
  • Inspiring others to act on faith
  • Support new ideas
#1 Mobile Learning Failure is due to lack of leadership buy-in.
Example: Boston Schools EDC Mobile Online PD for Educators
Aha moments:
  • School Leaders are catalyst for change
  • Self-expectations and lead by example
  • Be personally familiar with tools and adoption processes.
Speak Up: District Administrators 40% say administrators leadership skills is a key component in driving student acheivement. 86% of school principals today now think it is essential for students to have access to a device.

Cognitive, Interpersonal and Intrapersonal skills.
He noted that when looking at our curriculum, it is interesting to see which concepts get emphasized and assessed, and which don't! 

4. Metrics for Evaluation
What metrics are you using to evaluate?
  • Student engagement
  • Teacher Buy-In
  • Student Feedback
  • Teacher Feedback
  • Student Achievement
  • Student Skill Development
  • Teacher interest in more PD

Part 2: Essentials in Action

Dede then shared data from the EcoMobile Augmented Reality Project to look at the essentials in action.

5. Leveraging Mobile Enabled Content and Curriculum
Augmented Reality Real World Ecosystems

The potential is in TRANSFER of learning in academics to the real world!
How can we use the Internet to help students gather data in the real world and then analyze it back in the classroom. They have been strapping GoPro cameras on the student heads to see what students are thinking.
When you are in the world, you will have a device with you that knows who you are, how you like to learn, who you like to learn with, and when you like to learn.

Evans talked about how you are then able to address mulitiple learning objectives while bringing the world to the student. 

6. Power of Internet Access
This is a "Social Justice Issue!" 
Value of anytime anywhere access
Home access challenges
Power of PERSONAL Internet Access-Not just mom and dad's device, their own

7. Creating Self-Directed Learners
Goal to create more personalized learning

8. Creating sustainable and scalable ecosystems
Dede and Evans then opened up to a group discussion around the scaling and sustainability of mobile learning.
I noted that we moved from optional BYOD to "required," where we provide a device if they don't have one, and when teachers see that all students have access, they have a tendency to transform pedagogy. 
It's not enough to give students access, but it also requires that all students have home Internet access. 
Dede is working with North Carolina on home access for all students

Evans then shared some of the Speak-up data on scalability.
Scaling-value of pilots vs. instant school/district wide implementation
Shared Vision-students are leading, but teachers and administrators are moving forward.

COSN 2015 The Power of Distributed Leadership for Digital Conversion-Mark Edwards

Mark Edwards, Superintendent from Mooresville, North Carolina spoke about Digital Conversion and how his district has transformed learning at COSN15 . They have done this and maintained a #1 ranking in academic results in the state.
His book, Thank You For Your Leadership, details more.
Here are my notes:

Why Digital Conversion?
Moral imperative
No textbook in 6 years
Equity-All students need access


  • Precision-Detailed Intervention
Teachers and students have more information about their own learning
  • Competency is evolutional
Teachers that were star teachers 5 years ago, if they haven't grown are not as relevant.
  • Creativity and relevance drive productivity
Students are making things to demonstrate learning
Mashing up
  • Connectivity and collaboration "hum"
Teachers are "Learning Conductors!" 
  • Personalization
  • Students understand it is about them
Second Order Leadership
  • Abundant-Custodians and bus drivers can be great leaders, students, too!
  • Fractals-Leadership is popping up all over the place, students/teachers
  • Situational
  • Distributed
  • Inculcated-A clear communication that everyone has the capacity and ability to lead
Aligned Leaders
  • Cultural-buying the devices and setting up the infrastructure is easy, aligning culture is the hard part
  • Collaboration
  • Connecting the work
  • Social and emotional
  • Sharing success and failure-embrace the learning
  • Flexible and adaptable

Gracious Dispositions-students need to live in an environment like this

  • When everyone lifts, we are all lifted
  • Encouragement
  • Mentoring
  • Loving and Sharing
  • Today is the day! (Carpe Diem!)
Every Child, Every Day is their motto. (Like Edina's "All for All")
Conversations and nomenclature matter a lot!

Daily Leadership
  • Formative Data Analysis-They now call it information rather than data, teachers are really good at analyzing
  • Professional Development
  • Mentoring
  • Collaborating
  • Content Arrangement-50-60 content providers, constantly looking at alignment
  • Grade Level and Department Chairs
  • Coaches, Performing Arts Clubs
  • Spontaneous need
Spontaneous Leadership-70% of what students learn is from each other!
  • Content Knowledge
  • Digital Functionality
  • Collaborative Design
  • Realignment and Calibration
  • Trouble Shooting-Community of Problem Solvers!, students trouble shoot innately
  • Fluid Design
Grow the Garden
  • Graduate Cohorts-All principals and central office administrators will have their Doctoral Degree next year.
  • Leadership Academy
  • Summer Institute
  • Release Day PD-12 per year!
  • Summer Connection
  • Visitors-Tell the students that these people want to come and listen to you!
  • Pull Weeds
Drive Hard with a "soft touch!"

Tough Stuff-"This will require personnel action."
Sometimes things don't work or people don't work out. When we see an outlier, a colleague noted that sometimes, even after working with a teacher, they are not able to meet the challenge. Sometimes you have to pull some weeds.
Always deal with these situations with kindness, but deal with it!

Directional Nurturance-Foundationally important qualities of Leadership
  • Acknowledgement-Visited every classroom, every school for 10 years-Just to say, "Thank you!"
  • Reflective Discussion
  • Morale and Well-Being
  • Celebrating the Work
  • Follow up and through-"Loop Back" 
  • Organizational discipline-Great districts have a discipline to stay focused on the tasks and work
Good Things Newsletter that shares positive messages of what people are doing!

Fluid Instructional Design-School needs to be part of the student's life
  • Project Teams
  • Personalized Work
  • Utilizing Formative Flow
  • Research Design-Constantly looking at the work they are doing-students, too!
  • Presentation
  • Gateway Projects-3rd, 6th, 8th and 12th grade there is a semester long research, authentic project with presentations and panels
Brilliant Consistency
Every day, Every hour, Every Minute and Everyone Matters!

They are in the process of a "Big Refresh!"
  • New Leadership
  • New machines
  • New Staff
  • New Ideas
  • New ITF's 
  • New LMS
The Refresh Model
  • Refocus
  • Engage
  • Flexible
  • Reinvigorate
  • Extend
  • Student leadership
  • Helpful
Keep Learning...because it's refreshing!
If you're not learning as a leader, if you're not hip deep in the learning, you're not the type of instructional leader your students need.-Cuban

Monday, March 16, 2015

COSN 2015 Open Plenary Session with Michael Fullan

Michael Fullan on Rethinking Pedagogy
Michael Fullan, was the kickoff speaker at the 2015 Consortium for School Networking Conference in Atlanta. His talk was on, "The Stratosphere Agenda: Rethinking Pedagogy for Deeper Learning." Fullan believes that we need a new pedagogy to leverage the opportunities digital technologies present.

Here are some of my notes from the session. 

2015 will be a breakout year, and we are in a three year window where the transformational change is moving and won't go back. It is an "unplanned digital revolution!"

In 2011, he wrote an article on the "wrong drivers" of policy:
Right Drivers                 Wrong Drivers
Internal                        External Accountability
Collaboration                 Individualism
Pedagogy                      Digital
Systemness                   Ad Hoc Policies

Push and Pull Factors
Traditional School is boring for students and boring for teachers
These three things are changing that:

  1. Pedagogical partnerships
  2. Digital Allure 
  3. Collective Efficacy

If you want change, you must build trust with a social agenda.

A new strategy:
Leadership from the Middle, where districts are working together in collaboration
The system gets stronger when the middle grows

New Pedagogies for Deeper Learning (See Link for more detail)

  • Clusters
  • Countries
  • Action Learning

700 of 1000 districts are part of the study are producing video demonstrating this

The New Pedagogy is a learning partnership between students, teachers and families.

New Learning: 
Irresistibly engaging for students and teachers
Elegantly Efficient to Use

Teachers and Students as Pedagogical Partners

  • Teacher as Facilitator only .17 impact 
  • Simulations, gaming, small sizes, individual instruction, Cuban notes this
  • "Guide on the side is a poor pedagog. Need to be teacher as ACTIVATOR!"
  • Teacher as Activator has .72 impact!
  • Reciprocal teaching, feedback, teacher-student self-verbalization, meta-cognition 

Student Agency
My learning, My Belonging, My Aspirations a nice model for "Personalized Learning!"

Ethical Enterprenurialism is very similar to Edina's Educational Competencies!

Change Leadership-Effective Change processes shape and reshape the quality of ideas as they build capacity and ownership. Being "right," is not a reason to change! Voluntary but inevitable change is the best.

Principals role needs to be the "Lead Learner," participating as a learner with the staff to move the school forward!

Technology cannot do everything! Being judgmental is not a motivator!

The SWAMP Index
System Change

Positive change can happen when...
Instead of thinking only of the kids in my class, think of all kids in the school. Instead of thinking of only the kids in my district, think of partner districts as well...

After Fullan spoke, Jhone Ebert from Clark County Schools and Dr. Terry Grier from Houston Independent School District shared the practical application of Fullan's work.

Ebert mentioned the importance of trust in the process to affect change. She talked about her district of over 300,000 people where changing their LMS was going to impact 1,000,000 people! They had 125 people working on the project gathering input from all stakeholders. She uses students as "reverse mentors" to get input. 

Grier worked with Fullan when he was in North Carolina from 2003-2006. Houston is an open enrollment district, where site based decision making is the norm. Much like the "wild west!" The challenge, especially in big districts is bringing it to scale. He identifies a "highly effective" teacher as someone who can get 1 1/2 years of growth out of a class of students sometimes 3-4 years behind. We can't just put content on the computer and say we're good with digital! 

Fullan notes that the first half of the solution is to get the devices and infrastructure in place, but there is a point when we need to switch horses to the "pedagogical horse," to move the system forward. People in the system need to be driven by deep learning and pedagogy in order to keep things going.
We know more about school improvement than network improvement. Garden Grove, Sanger, and Long Beach in California have seen growth without digital. By marrying digital with pedagogy, we can accelerate the process. Schools are joining his networks in clusters to grow together. Use the group to change the group. If you don't get combinations of districts and combinations of schools working together, you won't see transformational growth. You can read more about his work here on his blog.

To wrap up, they each gave a piece of advice to school leaders:
Fullan: No more one school at a time, no more one district at a time!
Grier: Go slow or go fast, but JUST GO! You need a critical mass in order to affect change. Pilots need to be at least 1/3 to 1/2 of the district.
Ebert: Organized abandonment! What is coming off the plate? Have people in and around your district and world to connect and support you!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

2015 eLearning2 Survey Results

In December of 2012, Edina Public Schools launched a partnership with Best Buy for the services of a Webstore for our families, along with Geek Squad support for student devices in our schools. This allowed our families to purchase a device for student use at a significant discount, and helped jumpstart our Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiative. We rolled things out after the first semester that year, and had 373 families participate in the optional program. 
Last year, we rolled the program to both 6th and 9th grade families, still keeping access to a device optional. 62% of the families participated in the Webstore, and we continued our march toward 1:1 computing.

See my post from last year on results of our surveys.

Based on those survey results, this year, we made a few changes that have yielded big results. 

  1. We declared that all students are required to have a device for their learning
  2. We set a minimum standard that the device run the Chrome Browser and have a keyboard
  3. We declared that Moodle and Google Apps were our "ecosystem."
  4. We opened up the Webstore to all secondary grades that had not yet had the opportunity to access it. In all, 3 grades participated, and purchased 1233 devices.
  5. For those families who chose not to purchase a device, we provided a Chromebook.
  6. We declared that a cell phone is may not be used as the primary device, and that cell phones would only be used at teacher discretion. (Let's face it, it is hard to have students take pictures/video with a Chromebook!)

This took away the barrier where teachers felt they didn't need to incorporate devices because not all students had one, and the one where students felt they didn't need to bring a device, because not all teachers were incorporating them. 

Survey Highlights

In our survey, we asked students how has access to a device impacted their learning? 81% responded with a positive comment, including that it was faster, easier, more efficient, more fun AND they used the word, "personalized." Those who responded with a negative comment primarily talked about how the device could be a distraction at times. While these numbers are down from the previous year, remember that last year, bringing a device was optional, and now it is required. Many students commented that their grades were higher than they had ever been. 
We are excited that a majority of students feel positive about how the program is impacting their learning, however some students talked about liking to take notes on paper and being told they had to do it online, while others discussed being told they HAD to take notes on paper, and how frustrating it was. As Pernille Ripp notes in this excellent post, students need to have some say in the tools that will work best for their learning, and teachers need to give them that freedom to personalize their experience.

The majority of staff have found ways to incorporate student devices in their instruction daily or weekly. Staff also noted shifts in pedagogy:

I spend a lot of time creating learning experiences that use technology in new ways instead of just linking pdf copies of worksheets to Moodle. I have attempted to give students more opportunities to CREATE with the use of their devices.
I am able to collect formative data much more readily than I was prior to the one-to-one initiative. I regularly have students using their devices to access assignments, interact with simulations, contribute to class discussions/learning, etc.
It allows me to plan lessons without worrying about the computer lab schedule. Technology is something that we use on a daily basis. Sometimes we use it for 5 minutes, and sometimes we use it for 50 minutes.
But not everyone is happy:
I now spend significantly less time on teaching, and much more time responding to students' heroin level addiction to the dopamine surges they experience from constantly being glued to digital addiction. I am a less effective educator because we have sold our souls to the new sexy thing.
We have encouraged staff to have students get devices out when they need them, and put them away when they don't, but sometimes finding that balance between classroom management needs and the needs of the student get in the way. While the data on the right says that the majority of staff have a positive attitude about the program, we have some work to do to support all staff as we move forward.

Our parent survey notes that 77% of parents feel that we should continue eLearning2. Many talked about how their family computer wasn't being fought over, that their student was more organized, and they saw them creating content to demonstrate their learning. For the 23% who were opposed, some felt it had become a distraction for their child, that the district should just provide a device for each student, or that using the Chromebook and Google Apps for Education was not preparing their child for the "real world!" In many ways, this reminds me of the folks who complained that schools were using Apple products in the 1990's. Google notes that 66 of the top 100 colleges and universities on US News and World Report's list use Apps for Education.

This data gives us good feedback as we move forward with the program. It was rewarding to see so many students talk about the positive impact eLearning2 has had on their learning experience, and hear them point out ways that they are accessing content, collaborating, and creating. Still, we also know that we have work ahead to insure that ALL students and staff are incorporating digital age learning when it makes sense to do so, in a way that enhances the learning experience, and mitigates the negative aspects of technology.

Stay tuned!