These are my notes from the opening session at the Crescent Public Schools‘ 1:1 learning conference on 4 June 2010. MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS.

MY ASIDE: THE STORYCHASERS MOBILE LEARNING TEAM BLOG IS A PLACE FOR EDUCATORS IN 1:1 SETTINGS TO SHARE IDEAS.

14 of the 19 Oklahoma schools involved in our 2010-2011 ARRA grant are here. About 140 educators.

First, comments from Crescent superintendent, Steve Sheiver

It will take you 3 years to implement your 1:1 properly, so just expect that.

Be sure to maintain that team concept
– when people come to visit, everyone needs to be on the same page
– if you are a teacher in the classroom, and you say something to a visiting parent like “I don’t like these things any more than you do,” you’ve just shot your team in the foot

Professional development is key

I can’t say enough good about the 1:1, to emphasize the way I feel
– everything the kids have in textbooks can be on that laptop
– we are in the process of changing the way we teach
– we are teaching kids how to learn, this is a critical transition

New federal, national standards are pretty general

The better you prepare for your classes in advance, the better they will go

The teachers you are going to hear from today have “been at it” for 2 years

Remember it will take 3 years to implement a 1:1 program
– State question 744
– we’ve had to cut 12% of our staff the last 2 years
-reason: our legislature is restricting money for schools
– if we can pass question 744, that is the only way we can turn that around
– it is not going to be a popular issue

Now we’re going to hear from our librarian in the media center

The role of the “old school librarian” was “keeper of the books
– today we are:
– leadership provider
– program administrator
– information navigator
– technology facilitator

We have had a genealogy class for several years
– a family heritage project

4th graders here are using net books
– doing research on them

Ways our library supports our 1:1 project
– family history project
– students teaching students
– mini museum
– media center website

We are a “hybrid” library

Think about this quotation from John Dewey: “If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.”

Now hearing from our art instructor, Christy Lovett
– how many of you are self-proclaimed technology people?
– those who are not, you are “my people!”
– it has taken me a full 2 years to jump on the tech bandwagon, it’s taken me 2 years to adjust

My messages:
– it IS possible
– it is a lot of fun!

You can still use project-based curriculum in any content area
– research shows PBL increases retention by 42%
– kids process images 60,000 times faster than text

WELL THAT IS NOT EXACTLY RIGHT, BUT THERE ARE MANY MORE NEURAL CONNECTIONS BETWEEN THE EYES AND BRAIN THAN THE EARS AND BRAIN!

Now hearing from Mike Wininger, tech director for Crescent PS

How many people are 1:1 experts in the room?
– people will suggest you have to leave Oklahoma to find experts in 1:1
– raise your right hand

Don’t let anyone walk into the room and tell you the way to do 1:1
– the way we are doing it here at Crescent might not work for you

How many people are nervous or scared about what is coming?
– this is scary stuff!

Here is a little snapshot about virtual learning environments
– our 1:1 overview
– I came here in 2004, Mr Shiever came in 2003
– 2008-2009 we were 2A

2006: 30 Macbooks
2007: 70
2008: 115
60/80/120 GB hard drives

have 3 XServes
– moodle, email, data server, OD master / imaging, mobile accounts

Our network, we have a 7.5 Mbps connection
– fiber backbone
– airport extreme

We started with just 1 wifi hotspot in 2004
– even today, our entire campus is not wireless
– library and HS you should have no problem connecting here

1:1 progression here
– Steve Shiever in 2003
– ?Staff development every Wednesday
– lots of conversations, lots of exposure to new ideas

Staff development – (repeat 3x)
– it’s not about the box
– high priority
– staff development should be your theme song

2006 we received cart of laptops via OK ACTS

Conversation to commitment
– teachers committed
– preparation: web/moodle
– we talk about our successes and failures

You will spend more time screwing things up at first, but that tide will turn

Preparation is KEY: get things to the web
– even in 2004 we were talking about Moodle: building for the web
– get your “face” out there, even just a generic webpage
– that was before the Facebook craze
– we’ve been talking about virtual learning environments for years

Course management
– moodle
– Acellus Math
– science, history, english, electives

This freaks many educators out: talking about moving away from the textbook
– “What are you going to do if there is no textbook tomorrow?” That is where you need to spend time mentally, thinking.

We spend a lot of time thinking about web production
– we stumbled onto Moodle, we didn’t invent it
– If you haven’t heard of Moodle, write this down
– Moodle is free, and that will make your administrator happy

We continually encourage teachers to publish on the web
– people are in all different places with this

What’s the best definition of a virtual learning environment
– what does it look like?
– my wife teaches with the Univ of Phoenix, I don’t like the way they do it

Why is a virtual environment important?
– you have to have a space to manage this
– my vision of a virtual school is everyone at home

Doesn’t that scare you?
– it makes us think the public won’t pay teachers if there are not kids in the room
– we aim for that (kids at home) because

we are a hybrid school (that is Jim Askew’s term)

Most important job in your community: building relationships with kids
– most important client in your life: kids in your town

We are not really wanting an entirely virtual school
– we want to see kids each day, encourage them, pat them on the back

Teacher’s view
– students have to be safe and protected
– you have to have someone with a vision, and that’s got to be on everybody’s list
– this is exhausting: you are going to be tired, wiped out!
– most teachers want more time and training

What did we learn the past 2 years? We have to be more consistent

Student’s View
– if you don’t ask kids, often they won’t tell
– moodle vs the web: we made EVERYONE go to Moodle (to make this a virtual, hybrid class) we MAKE everyone publish to Moodle
– responsibility issues

We have had kids now ask for assignments and work a week ahead!
– kids want consistency

We are not “there” and we never will be
– it never stops
– it does get easier
– next year you don’t have to start all over

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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