Friday, January 13th was a lucky day for students using our new/old lab of Dell Minis . . . they’ve been recycled and now run Chromium OS. This project is a great example of teaching staff identifying a need and LISD finding a tool that fit it. In the process, we found a way to make these original minis last a bit longer. Good techs and good teachers.
Big things are coming! Next week we’ll be handing out the first mobile devices for staff members meant to be customized. Our existing GoogleApps accounts make it easy to do this. Although we don’t have all of the kinks worked out, we’re still diving in because we know it’s time and we know it’s important.
Some of the thinking behind this move comes from Inevitable by Charles Schwahn and Beatrice McGarvey. In a chapter entitled “Facing Reality,” they ask, “What might these teachers accomplish if their beliefs about individualizing learning were openly and intentionally encouraged and supported by the organization’s structure?” Well, we think it’s going to be a good thing all around. If we give our teachers and administrators the tools to customize their own learning and collaborate in meaningful ways, we know it’s going to happen for students too. One doesn’t experience the power of personal learning and then seek to restrict it for others.
We’re starting with some strategic groups: Learning Improvement Team (LIT), our multi-age teachers, library media specialists, Journeys coordinators, and administrators. This fall we’ll add our new staff members. Each of these groups will move through the learning process in a different fashion, but all will be sharing their journeys throughout the coming school year. GoogleDocs, Moodle, and Twitter (#xlgdasd) will be our primary vehicles, but who knows what else we’ll come up with–that’s kind of the point.
Two “events” next week will kick off our journey. From there we’ll be embarking on a series of learning challenges . . . last fall we did a version of “Battle of the Network Stars“. This season will be similar, but with a watery twist.
Stay tuned to #xlgdasd.
- Thinkfinity interactives on virtually every subject.
- Google Earth (available from the Start menu.)
- Mindmapping tools (such as Inspiration or these.)
- Here’s a link to the Projector Resources on our website and on the LISD Blog.
I’ve had an interesting week–three conferences. Starting last Monday, I attended my state professional organization’s (WEMTA) annual conference. Tuesday afternoon WEMTA merged with the annual Wiscnet conference, our internet access provider. Later in the week, I had the great opportunity to attend ASCD. Needless to say my head is swimming with ideas. Here are a few ideas sticking with me:
- Punya Mishra: It’s not the stuff, it’s how we use the stuff . . . how we “repurpose” technology for education. Learning before technology. His talk reminded me of Richard Clark’s idea that media will never influence learning.
- David Jakes & Ryan Bretag: Pay closer attention to the learning spaces. How do they promote or demote your vision of learning?
- How could we make broadband internet access available for all of our community?
- Googledocs for assessment . . . I saw three great teachers talk about simple, yet elegant ways they use Googledocs to improve their assessment practices and reduce their paper load. For example, using the scanner/copier to scan first grader work. Put the resulting documents into a Google presentation and share. Or how about using a tablet or netbook to record anecdotal observations? Using a form means you now have a spreadsheet that can be sorted and shared. Since each of these teachers was working with others, more than one person could access the information. Check out Jenny Orr’s blog for her presentation.
- From Gary Stager: If you do a 1:1 program, it must be about creation, computation, and programming. Kids need to be able to personalize and dig into their laptops.
- Google offers an approachable Android programming tool like Scratch. Turning that on first thing tomorrow morning!
My flight is boarding, so that wraps it up for now.
We’ll be meeting with custodians on Tuesday, August 17 and Thursday, August 19. Here are a few files that might be helpful:
- Groupwise Tips
- Changing a Groupwise Password
- Creating Address Lists
- Time Sheet (Download and File >> Save As)