These are my notes from the presentation “Transforming Classroom Practice with 1:1″ by Jenny Wojick, Andy Marks, Janet Parkerson, Virginia Glass and Kelly Goldberg at the One to One Institute‘s conference on November 10, 2009 conference in Chicago, Illinois. All are educators in Roundout School District #72, in Lake Forest, Illinois. MY THOUGHTS ARE IN ALL CAPS.

Just using laptops at school, not letting kids take them home
Laptop carts are located in homeroom classes
have networked printers on carts
wireless access throughout the building
Now (as of a year ago) we have a managed network
– can take control over student browsing
– students can login anywhere to access their files

Now hearing from Kelly Goldberg:

Bonnockburn Faculty: Kelly Goldberg
– students are able to work independently or on team projects
– integration of online content
– guided instruction by teachers
– student centered learning process
– not bound by traditional organization of work spaces: learning space is flexible

Bonnockburn Transforming Classroom Practices
– simplifies computer use pragmatics
– promotes student responsibility
– familiarizes students with laptop skills
– offers immediate / spontaneous research opportunities
– enhances in-depth online research skills
– develops internet savvy

When I asked my computers why they like using their own computer, there were 6-8 reasons that overlapped

It is hard for me to remember when my students didn’t all have their own laptops

pragmatics of computer use are simplified
– you don’t have to plan way in advance to reserve the computers
– spontaneity, opportunity to learn NOW
– is really a big deal to not have to coordinate early

Many students said they feel very responsible with their laptop
– they know it is a big deal
– they sign a serious technology agreement / commitment letter
– esp lower end kids who struggle with organization in middle school years feel really proud of how they have their own laptop and take good care of it

So kids house their laptop in a cart, but they have their own laptop

SO THIS IS A REALLY BIG DEAL IN TERMS OF OWNERSHIP AND THIS PERCEPTION OF RESPONSIBILITY ON THE PART OF STUDENTS

When we are studying a topic in language arts, and I’m reading a story to my students
– example: Whales, 3 days ago
– a student who has ADHD asks if I know how many cool sounds whales make, and if he can research that
– so he does that research during the lesson, and shares those cool whale sounds during class

Another example: question about George Washington’s wooden teeth
– is it a myth?
– another kid who wants to do something different, s/he does that research and shares it with us
– immediate research is a fun and pertinent part of what we can do now as we are learning

1:1 laptop makes it possible for in-depth research skills to marketly improve
– using websites we recommend for students, and for websites they find

Epsco database is a great place to do research

My kids use websites like Spelling City, Sandra Day O’Connor’s website “Our Courts”
– kids can individually explore and play games on sites like this
– Reading “The Giver” kids are exploring different utopias on 12 different websites

I want to emphasize how much WRITING skills are improved with our laptops
– I have students also handwrite their assignments, not just type them
– students often feel with a typed report they are created a cleaner, more professional product

Laptops really encourage creativity
– the fun the can have with multiple programs, integrating their photographs, creating multimedia products: really good for creativity

Student quotations:
– “Allows me to be responsible.
– “I am really good with my laptop.”
– “I am confident as an editor of photos…”
– …more…

Now from Dr Jenny Wojcik: superintendent

We are a small, 1 school building district north of the city (CHICAGO)
– have been doing 1:1 for 4 years
– we have moved to 1:1 with our 6th graders
– we have instructional clusters
– 6-8 are 1:1, with laptops assigned and students can take them home
– this year we’ve instituted a “digital driver’s license” (after 4 years, we’ve learned a few things)
– we see this as an opportunity to revise and transform the curriculum

We went to a AALF conference years ago
– most of what they are doing now is online rather than F2F
– Cincinnati Day School, Texas Schools, Maine Schools: shared their lessons learned
– all our teachers have a laptop, they can take it home
– we are wireless, that has been essential to make this work
– our K-2 and 3-5 are close to 2:1 with computers, have banks of computers near their classrooms as needed to integrate computers
– we got rid of computer labs several years ago, this 1:1 initiative creates the opportunity to learn at any time, any place
– we are moving away from technology as a separate subject

Atomic Learning has a new evaluation tool online that students can use to measure the skills they’ve developed

We don’t have a tool to assess where staff are with their skills, but this is a sensitive subject
– we don’t want this to be a threatening topic
– we have all teachers using technology
– using the Danielson model for redesigning our teacher administrative tool

Kelly:
The culture at our school HAS changed so we rely on each other for help and technical assistance

From Janet:
Cluster design: I used to be the reading teacher, I have been there 20 years, now we really are a team and rely on each other

Jenny:
I wouldn’t recommend starting there with tech assessments for teachers

Now Andy Marks:
– laptops kept by grade levels
– executive functioning with technology
— times to charge
— being responsible for your computers
— accessing saved documents
— saving in multiple places
— learning to navigate a network

From a participant:
Based on Stillwell Minnesota model: we are going to let students trade in their battery after each semester

Andy:
– make sure the laptop is fully plugged in, break down the steps and go through each one
– we’ve learned over the year how important

You will find there are LOTS of user errors with laptops!
– learning to troubleshoot those errors, eventually independently, is a big deal

at first we didn’t label different pieces
– that is really important
– like socks in the washing machine: so remember to label!

We can’t filter and block everything
– preparing for those situation is important

What do I do when my computer breaks?

Addressing printing issues: When, where, how, why, waiting “in line”
– have specific times established for printing homework
– computers that go home can’t go online, so kids can’t print at home
– we’ve learned to make everyone put headings on their papers, with page numbers
– addressing problem of multiple print jobs sent

This year: Driver’s license

integrated examples of embedding the laptop into daily practice
– language arts interviewing / taking notes / making presentations
– bringing in cross-generational links with people

With our STEM project we are woking with the Thornburg Center for Space Exploration
– teachers are becoming more comfortable with technology by recognizing that we don’t know it all

Kids are programming with Scratch, based on Lifelong Kindergarden project and Dr. Mitch Resnek
– very creative stuff
– none of the teachers really know how to do the stuff that our kids are doing and programming

We have used the PicoCrickets and the kids LOVE them

Did a “Barbie Bungee Jump” activity
– collecting data using barbies, scatterplots, then brought in the computer and graphing calculators

We now have a lego robotics club activity

As teachers we find that the computer now is our paper, we don’t think about it and plan for it
– it is most disruptive when it [the computer] is NOT available

Top ten uses of the computer users by students in one of the presenter’s classes:
1- internet access
2- MS word/word processing
3- unlimited source of info
4- email access
5- research
6- iTunes
7- social networking sites
8- Online books
9- Google Images
10- Google

MY COMMENT: I THINK IT’S INSTRUCTIVE TO LOOK AT THESE WAYS KIDS REPORT THEY ENJOY USING THE COMPUTERS, AND CONSIDER THE IMPLICATIONS OF THINKING ABOUT LAPTOP COMPUTERS AS “IMAGINATION MACHINES,” AS GARY STAGER ENCOURAGES. I REFERENCED THESE IDEAS IN MY CLOSING KEYNOTE TODAY AT THE ONE TO ONE INSTITUTE’S CONFERENCE. IT IS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC THESE TEACHERS ARE PROVIDING STUDENTS WITH OPPORTUNITIES TO USE SCRATCH, CREATE WITH LEGO ROBOTICS, AND WORK WITH PICOCRICKETS AT SCHOOL. I WISH OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WAS DOING THESE THINGS WITH AND FOR CHILDREN. I’M INSPIRED TO CONTINUE THINKING ABOUT HELPING START AN AFTER SCHOOL SCRATCH PROGRAMMING CLUB AT OUR SCHOOL.

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  • http://dcnavis.edublogs.org David Navis

    This is a reply to a twitter post:
    Wes Fryer said:
    Setting national education standards http://bit.ly/1W60Uk (via @cnn) – I think this is a mistake

    Unfortunately I am not able to open the bit.ly here in China so I’ll just add my two cents (kwai) to this thought. I have to agree with your Wes, it is a mistake. If you were to watch Hans Rosling’s TED talk from 2006, he uses gaminder.com to show the discrepancy found within, regions of the world, and countries, and within the country. For instance, the poorest people in South Africa are still as wealthy as the richest in Niger. And within Niger the wealthiest 20% are so much wealthier than the poorest 20%.

    To set one broad educational standard would water down the value of that standard as well as not meet the educational needs of most of the kids. It’s as valuable as giving everyone a prize in a contest, the value of being the best is lost. Better to set the standards in the local school and be held accountable to the district than have a broad “what does this really mean” standard for all to follow. We are not all created equal … if we were basketball wouldn’t be a very fun game.

  • http://www.wesfryer.com Wesley Fryer

    Here’s the link I referenced with bit.ly, David:
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/10/20/education.standards/index.html
    “State, federal education experts mull nationwide standards”

    If you can’t access bit.ly but are accessing Twitter, how are you doing that in China? I had to use proxify.com to access both when I was there… Do you know if there is a URL shortener which is accessible in China? Why would the Chinese government and many of our schools in the US filter URL shorteners? I’m sure some folks must be using them for nefarious purposes, but I’m not sure what those are…

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