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Showing posts from March, 2013

Me and My Students are Getting iPads! Now What?

"Now what do I do?" is a common question from some of our teachers.  They recently learned that all of the teachers in our district (1000), and just over 1/2 of our students (7000) are getting iPads at the beginning of the school year 2013-2014.  I have been supplying strategies and resources to help teachers and students adjust to life as a connected learner. But as +George Couros stated in his recent blog post ("Just give me the fish"), rather than learning how to catch fish, some people just want the fish. I am taking off my Technology Coordinator's hat and putting on my teacher's cape and jumpsuit to list the steps that I would take in preparing for a 1:1 learning environment. I entered this 1:1 program voluntarily. WHY? What are my best hopes for me and my students? I want to be the lead learner in our classroom learning community. I want my students to take responsibility for their personalized learning. I want to model and reinforce "dispositions…

1:1 Digital Workflow

The most frequently asked professional development question from educators embarking on a 1:1 adventure is, "How do I handle assignment workflow in a digital environment?" As many teachers have discovered, this is not a one step, single-app process. However, here is how it can be done on the iPad by connecting the following applications; Google Drive, Notability, and Schoology.

** I recommend that the teacher create an instructor account, a test student account, and if applicable, a test parent account to check the workflow process, as well as, experience what the students will encounter during your workflow process.
Each student needs to create an email address for creating app accounts and for backup communication. (Google / Gmail)The instructor needs to create a cloud-based repository for class documents and files. Students will need to create an account with the same service in order to access learning materials. Working, or collaborative, documents can be shared and modif…

1:1 Is Not Enough

There is a positive buzz in our school about our 1:1 iPad pilot expanding to program phase. This will bring another twenty teachers and another 1300 students into our 1:1 program. Our students and their parents are excited, our teachers are excited, and our administrative team is excited. I have been wishing and preparing for this time during the past several years suspecting that tremendous learning opportunities await all of us. However, there is one significant problem...it's not enough.

Start With Why - Shelley Wright
Learning, Learning, Learning, not apps, apps, apps+Daniel Edwards
Why Schools Must Move Beyond 1:1 - @NLearning  +Alan November
Why 1:1?
Too many posts, discussions, and tweets are identifying connected mobile devices as the silver bullets that will eliminate student apathy and low achievement. Transformational learning will occur when we give students and educators the freedom and resources to become individually responsible for their learning. Ubiquitous Interne…

How to Put Every Student in the Front Row

When purchasing tickets to a concert or sporting event, I purchase seats near the action, or at least with an unobstructed view. I prefer to sit in the first row of a section if I am unable to sit near the stage. I want to be close to the action, fully engaged, and if possible, actively participating in the performance. When taking grad classes that are less than stimulating, I will sit in the front row. Once again, to force focus and engagement - and to keep from dozing off. We have all heard of research suggesting that those students who sit closer to the front of the room (the traditional location of the instructor) will have a greater likelihood of higher academic achievement than those who sit towards the back. Knowing personal preference, and knowing what the proximity research suggests prompted the question - "How can we put every student in a front row seat to learning?"







My answers aren't universal, nor scientific at this point. They are merely suggestions based u…

Conference Buzz - Reflections from ICE

These past few days were spent attending the ICE (Illinois Computing Educators) conference in St. Charles. 'Twas nice to meet some folks in-person that I had latched onto as part of my personal learning network (PLN).  +Keith Sorensen and I presented a full-day workshop on preparing for your 1:1 classroom. We also presented a breakout session for +Schoology. In between, we visited with vendors, attended poster sessions, and took time to answer email and keep up with social media. 

Like most conferences, there was some good, some not-as-good, and some things that were inspiring.


Tom Whitby's (Educator's PLN) description of the ICE 2013 PLN Plaza - my favorite part of the conference.
This brings me to the "conference buzz". While trying to reach a colleague about a lost iPad, I came across +Tom Whitby and +Daniel Rezac hosting a discussion about connected educators and their PLNs. During the group discussion, Tom shared some rough statistical information about connect…