Today in Canandaigua, New York, I presented a morning session titled, “Roadmap to Blended Learning” at an event sponsored by Lightspeed Systems and The New York State Association for Computers and Technologies in Education (NYSCATE). My presentation slides from the session are available on SlideShare, and I posted a “lightly-edited” audio recording of the session to my secondary podcast channel, “Fuel for Educational Change Agents.” (It’s 1 hour, 43 minutes long.) Referenced videos from the session are linked on my handouts wiki as well as at the end of this post.
Full disclosure: Lightspeed Systems sponsored this event and paid me to speak at it. I did share information and my endorsement of Lightspeed’s Internet filtering system, learning management system (“My Big Campus“) and Mobile Device Manager (MDM) during my presentation. This was very easy to do, since I worked extensively with these systems the last year and a half as a contracted instructional coach with Yukon Public Schools in Oklahoma and LOVED the way they were used by district administrators to EMPOWER me as a teacher and instructional leader.
We also used Padlet to respond to the question, “What did we learn about our learning paradigms?”
This was the first time I’ve shared the video, “Yukon Public Schools Think Different,” in a presentation or workshop. Lightspeed Systems sent a videographer to Yukon last May who spent several days in the district capturing the footage used in this five minute video. It paints a good picture of several factors which came together in Yukon the past four years, to support more blended learning and digital literacy development in the district.
In addition to that video, I also shared “Cheryl and Morgan: Learning Independence” (my favorite Google Search Story of ALL time) and the spoof video from The Onion, “Blockbuster Offers Glimpse Of Movie Renting Past.” On the subject of Internet content filtering and YouTube access specifically, I also shared the video “YouTube for Schools: Join the Global Classroom Today!” although it wasn’t in my original presentation slides or plan.
One final thing I’ll point out: We discussed the recent hoopla over Los Angeles Schools having students delete iPad device profiles so they could surf the Internet at home without restrictions. This story is unfortunate at many levels, but one is that it was entirely preventable. Trivia to know and tell: What company did the Los Angeles Public Schools use for their iPad MDM (mobile device manager) solution? Hint: It was NOT Lightspeed Systems. Follow up question: What MDM did San Diego Schools use for their THOUSANDS of iPads rolled out in past months without any national hoopla over “student hackers?” Yes that’s right, it WAS Lightspeed Systems.
My experiences working with Lightspeed in Yukon Schools the past couple of years have been 100% positive. I do not write offhanded endorsements on my blog. I really think their integrated approach to content filtering, mobile device management, and a collaborative learning management system is a HUGE part of the successful blended learning strategies Yukon PS put in place several years ago. At a minimum, the ability for teachers to DIRECTLY “bypass the content filter” to access educationally appropriate materials is a feature EVERY school’s filtering system should support. Watch the Yukon Lightspeed video if you’d like to learn more! [END OF PRODUCT ENDORSEMENT]
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