THESE ARE MY NOTES FROM MARTIN LEVIN’S PRESENTATION AT EDUCOMM 2007. MARTIN IS THE TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR OF THE ARMIDALE SCHOOL IN AUSTRALIA.

This preso is NC-17
- bare facts, course language, and textual references, extreme violence

We live between Brisbane and Sydney in Australia

We were seeing kids doing all kinds of interesting things: example of lego stopmotion movie of the history of Charlemagne
- found kids in year 7 were spending tons of time doing this, even working on their history projects during lunch

teachers saw this, and realized we didn’t have enough laptops to help themselves use laptops to express themselves

another example: Using Cahoots software by the Children Television’s Network in Australia
- a kid created a virtual environment to show off his artwork

Australian Remembrance Day example of video students created, demonstrating that former graduates of their school died on Flanders fields in WWI

this video is really pivotal to what we are working to achieve
- we have
- for them to be able to give voice to the obvious emotions they feld
- the students demonstrated remarkable power of the media to express what they wanted to communicate

in many cases, students are being denied their voice, the ability to communicate
- some of the students to helped create this

our school is about 125 years old
- some of our teachers viewed education like this image: student loading a CD into their brain
- some teachers didn’t want to change till hell freezes over

schools prepares you for life (which also sucks)

we’re changing but also staying the same
- we are keeping essential values that are important to our children
- but we have to maximize the learning opportunities for students

We had to come up with a plan of attack

Levin’s first rule of computers: When attempting any project involving a computer, the first thing to do is to turn it off

many times the creativity of people is limited by what they already know (kids will first just say, “oh we’ll use MS Word for that”
- instead we spend time functionally looking at what we want to do
- took a double lesson to discuss what software can do, what we can put together

Our project is called: knowLedge: if you know how to learn you have an edge
- a learning consequence (we went to a 1:1 environment because it is a natural consequence of the types of learning we want to have)
- years 3-12 receive wireless laptops
- data projectors to all rooms
- full wireless coverage

We didn’t do this lightly, since 1990 we’ve been working on this
- Bruce Dixon has had a lot of involvement with us
- started a teaching and learning committee (not an ICT committe)
- read books like bob johnson: nevermind the laptops
- extensive timeline…..

Came up with:
- we want something construtivist, collaborative, creative, and complementary (we are changing, but we are styaing the same)
- evidence from Pleasanton, CA whether students actually gained (writing assessment)
- it’s very difficult to find the “toothpaste ad” style results for laptops, since tests don’t reflect all the things our kids are learning

Asked our teachers to assess impact on engagement, interest, provision of teaching and learning
- these survey results gave us the support we need

There were lots of issues wee identified, but we decided “It’s Time”
- we wanted kids to really enjoy learning, to collaborate, to do things that really excite them

About $500 per student per year, and we got parents to pay part in the shared model that
- 2 year turnaround
- why? because it’s cheaper
- you have battery and replacement issues
- a leasing company can sell them easier after 2 years b/c they still have 1 year of warranty left
- we buy about $2500 of software
- set up a loan pool of laptops
- we carried external insurance in past years, this year we are going to cover our own insurance
- we also bought additional support

1 person supports 600 laptops at our school
- the reason we spent so much time making sure the infrastructure was right
- we are setup using the GenYes program

Kids have THEIR webpage on our school website, including SITES for html
- currently this is on our school intranet
- we are having an internal debate about whether student work

We have not blocked myspace and bebo at school, but have stopped kids from playing Halo because of legal problems due to the age of kids and the rating of that game

Publishing in Moodle
- external: text, pictures, movies, podcasts, links
- internal: same but a different person has responsibility: text, pictures, movies, podcasts, links

Moodle: class, course, tasks, links, marks, feedback
- links everything together
- forms our teacher chronicle, record of work

If you use the internal tools, we know immediately how to have accountability for work

making it simple for kids, teachers, and parents to get to stuff is very important
- advantage of using internal systems too is that we can take all of students’ work and burn it to DVD

Using iWeb software for web publishing
- enables kids to publish to the Internet
- we have some issues with it, but after iWeb gets a revision later this year we think most of those issues will be resolved

so important to give kids a voice
- example of kid that doesn’t write formally

our teachers are picking up on this, our librarian too
- understanding that school is about helping others to learn, not about standing at the front of the room and telling people about stuff

www.levins.net


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