Bruce Dixon: Founder & President, Anytime, Anywhere Learning Foundation

Anywhere Anytime Learning, nonprofit

the hardware is the easy part
– our mission really is about what happens next
– we are still struggling toward seeing that

I’ve been driven by a passion to see that these devices are in children’s hands
– OLPC and the work of many is moving that vision forward

PDFs of the slides will be available for later download

What has technology in schools taught us so far?
– in too many of our schools, the technology emperor has had no clothes! (I’ve been saying this for about 12 years)
– now is an image of this idea
– technology-driven ideals
– ill-defined expectations
– trivializing teacher competence
– access IS a major issue: 5:1, 4:1 are just better versions of teh same thing
– 59% spent less than 59 minutes in front of a computer at school each week (results of Australian survey)

we’ve spent billions of dollars on technology, but has it made a difference
– really it has had little impact on student achievement up to this point, and little impact on student experiences

We need to build a better understanding of the “Art of the Possible”
– till 3 or 4 years ago, we were talking about a $2000 or $2500 device to put in kids’ hands
– one of the biggest things we hadn’t done before what is possible
– what does on demand, just in time, computing access do for kids and their learning?
– a lot of people even today don’t understand that
– I am only going to touch on this today, Gary is one of the best people to address this “art of the possible”

For all the money and journalists columns worrying about computer ratios, all those ratios (except 1:1) are just the same thing

Where K-12 students spend their timme
– small percent of a child’s waking hours are spent at school
– John Bransford, “How People Learn”
– learning in formal and informal environments
– that is one of the planks we stand on when we look at 24/7 access
– learning does happen in all aspects of a child’s life

education has changed dramatically
education ≠ content
– if we can google it, should we teach it?
– that is a great discussion point

I’m not suggesting content doesn’t have a place
– but there are certainly many things we spend time doing with our children that we problably shouldn’t

How is our learning going?
– look at wikipedia
– distributed or collective cognition
– Jimmy Wales (founder of WikiPedia) talking about universal access to the sum of human knowledge

“Success in the slowly changing worlds of past centries came from being able to do well what you were taught to do. Success in the rapidly changing world of the future depends on begin able to do well what you were not taught to do.”

“see the computer as the instrument whose music is ideas”
– Seymour Papert and Alan Kay
– it is the instrument that all students around the world should have access to 24/7

Transformative teaching and learning
– we are trying to transform education
– not just about putting a computer in the hands of young people
– collaborative learning communities
– build compelling models for using technology to iprove the learning experiences of students
– explore new directions and more challenging….

Why consider one to one?
– equity: narrowing the digital divide
– economic-budge imperatives
– assessment (better individualized instruction)
– textbook replacement
– marketing-competitive advantage
– research on the impact on learning
– pedagogy

120,000 students in Marseilles in France about to receive laptops

has been emerging since 1990,

key is making this available to ALL kids
– in many districts across this country, many kids don’t have computers at home, or broadband Internet access

Angus King: economic-budget imperatives
– wanted Maine to take a different path

I think textbooks are still going to be around of awhile, gradually over the next 5 years we’ll see a departure from the textbook model

last 2 reasons to consider 1:1 are most important:
– to create compelling learning experiences for all students (has an impact on pedagogy)
– is a challenge we all face, we were all trained in a different medium
– it is hard for us to adapt/change our pedagogical practices

What the research tells us
– student attendance increases and students are more motivated and engaged (Russell, 2004, New Brunswick, 2004)
– students write more, more often, and better (Silvermail, 2004, Warschauer, 2005)
– overall improvement in test scores (Rockwell student: New Brunswick

Increase in 21st learning schools
– deeper investigation


– statistically significant change towards a constructivist teaching practice

This is the research we (very much) look forward to
– more evidence of how 21st century / digital pedagogy will improve learning outcomes for all students
– what attributes of leadership best enable the development of a contemporary learning culture within a school
– what is assessment 2.0? new metrics for learning taht better reflect the needs of the 21st century
– detail on the most effective programs that build significant change in teaching practice

above all: just how far student’s learning can go, when they are given the freedom to learn!!!
– like Alan said, we continue to be amazed by the kids and how far they can go
– we often underestimate the capabilities of students

A 1:1 idea
– Negroponte 2005 quotation: “One does not think of community pencils, kids have their own. They are tools to think with, sufficiently inexpensive to be used for work and play, drawing, writing, and mathematics…..”

“unlimited access to distant experts, collaboration, mentors, communities of practice, shared virtual environments
– Ubiquitous 1:1 computing: wireless devices interfaceing resources from the real world, smart objects, intelligent contexts
– not talking about replacing teachers, but an additive to the learning process…

We are rethinking what learning might be
– rethinking what learning in the digital age might mean
– how many hours have you or your staff wasted time on “how do you point and click” classes
– we have way overdone that
Digital Fluence and the fluency gap
– to be truly fluent in a foreign language, you must be able to articulate a complex idea or tell an engaging story: in other words, you must be able to “make things” with language….
– we need to focus on that magic that a teacher can bring, that curiosity, that imagination: how can I engage students and better engage them

we starting to think that learning can be anywhere, anytime, throughout their life
– whenever one has access to the web
– it is possible to deliver a personalized curriculum, that is one change

story of almost burning myself out trying to deliver a differentiated learning experience for all students by myself
– we are coming to the tip of that possiblity

Don’t even think about 1:1 unless you are thinking about: sustainable, replicable and scalable
– don’t just run out with a lump of money

– build a shared vision
– develop a coherent strategy to deliver on those goals
– set clear expectations for everyone
– monitor effective execution

so how might we fund it?
– that is what everyone has on the tip of their tongue?

Build a strategy around
– development of an effective implementation model
– sustaining broad community support
– re-imagining curriculum opportunities and promote innovative pedagogy (associated professional development, software issues, challenge us to look for more appropriate and effective means of assessment)
– project management: policies and procedures, finance options …

Implementation considerations
– don’t do a pilot program to decide if you are going to give all kids laptops
– do a pilot to decide HOW not IF

Equity support
– optional v mandatory
– everybody who wants their child to have a laptop should be able to
– build broad community support

Underpromise and overdeliver
– don’t say kids are going to use their laptops “most of the time” in school because most people think that means close to 100%
– when we are building a technology-rich learning environment, we want to:
— address learner diversity
— help teachers teach more, and administer less
— promote new dimensions of pedagogical innovation
— look for more appropriate and effective means of assessment
— allow us to re-imagine curriculum for the 21st century

Infrastructure planning should
– constantly refer to your learning objects

set a high bar for acceptable performance

in 2007 it is NOT acceptable to hear something like “the wireless network is not working”
– that may have been acceptable in 1995, but not today in a ubiquitous environment
– technology must work in all times

Which technology is prerequisite, what is preferred and what is optional
– a lot of things that should be required end up being considered optional

we should be doing better more often
– some of the best learning I’ve ever seen happened 10 years ago with training Gary Steger led with young girls, using laptops with no hard drives and CD ROM drives, monochrome monitors, and Logo software…

for what most kids want to do most of the time online, wireless networks are perfect
– make sure

don’t be distracted by the exceptions, make sure the technology matches it

at all times, it is about the LEARNING not the technology

picking a vendor: partnership, it is about much more than the cheapest devices delivered to your loading doc [I PARAPHRASED THIS]

service and support management considerations
– student helpers
– more….

software considerations
– build on your curriculum objectives
– tools, not ‘software de jour’
– keep it simple to start
– licensing, costing and compatibility
– backup, upgrades and the value of SoE

1:1 funding equity
– should ensure all students can participate
– everyone who benefits should make some contribution
– funding should be structured to ensure it can be sustained indefinitely
– laptop funding must be supported by a commitment to professional development

if a parent does not want a child to participate, you can’t do anything about that
– if they want to provide

Funding continuum
– Maine funding model, state pays $40 million, not very sustainable, at 1 extreme
– other extreme is a wealthy family sending their student to a private school

We are suggesting that these students have 24/7 access, 365
– have them on holidays, etc…
– when you do that, it is reasonable to consider the parents make a contribution

It is very, very unlikely we could have total gov’t supported initiatives in the immediate future (next 5-7 years)
– cost factors make make that change

Commit to professional development in the form I have discussed here
– find a unique funding option: district, school foundation, and the family: Shared Cost Model

Start with some assumptions
– student laptopL $850
– bag: $50
– 3 years of insurance: $150
– total cost: #1100
– over 3 years, $32/month

if you want a laptop that a child will live by, have 24/7, if you buy a $300 model it won’t last more than 3 years

You have to make a “smart car” like a car devised by Timex and Mercedes

Toshiba, Lenova, and Apple are looking now at building a durable laptop in that $850 range

I suggest you take a financing model
– cost flow and budeting analysis: costs about $32 per month
– district could pick up 50% of cost, shared foundation 1%, parent 45%
– that is really not a ton of money

An alternative
– the Intel Classmate at $450
– bag: $30
– 3 years insurance: $70
– software: $50
– total cost: $600, over 3 years $17/month

is in response to OLPC, at the moment has about 2 GB of flash RAM

these with a shared cost model are sustainable, replicable, and scalable, EVERY child can benefit…

AALF Shared Cost Model for one-to-one funding equity
– showing excel spreadsheet for how this could play out for an entire district

In Australia we don’t have school districts, the whole state is run as a central system
– example: New South Wales would be the 2nd largest school district in the United States
– the states in Australia are now looking at this model, they realize the benefits to the kids, the vision piece

This can all be monitored and run through a foundation structure or through the school
– not uncommon to get contributions from local industry

Components of a successful 1:1
– if you are thinking it will take 3-5 years, you’re in the wrong room/session

1- vision
2- infrastructure

Comment, on how they might be connected
– to each other
– to other classes
– to other schools
– to other countries

While at school, and beyond, formal and informal learning opportunities?

What if you could have district-wide broadband access
– Taiwan and Taipai
– City of Minneapolis, Philadelphia
– the business model for this hasn’t been defined

what does the unconnected classroom and learner look like (graphic)
– what the connected learner looks like

Creating district-wide broadband

Last 2 slides
– imagine if we could formatively assess students in a way that had immediate impact on their learning
– could build life-ong learning profiles
– intelligently search for best learning practices like an book search
– make learning in school as transparent as learning outside of school
– we could be

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One Response to Planning, Funding and Sustaining Strategies for Successful 1:1 Computing (K-12) by Bruce Dixon

  1. […] Why do so many people consider looking something up on the Internet “cheating?” As Bruce Dixon asked rhetorically in his presentation at EduComm2007 today, “If you can Google it, should schools be testing it?” My response would be, schools should not be wasting time testing fact recall for students on information which can be readily Googled. It is RIDICULOUS to claim that using an available tool and resource, the like the Internet, is “cheating.” Do the people holding this view think that people out here in the business world are considered “cheaters” for using the Internet to get their work done? Using the knowledge and information contained on the digital and personal networks accessible to individuals is called AN ESSENTIAL WORKFORCE SKILL, not an unwanted and unwelcome act of dishonesty. […]

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