Saturday, April 16, 2011

Visioning for Technology in School

I recently worked with the Sunapee, NH school district to look at a process for how they might incorporate technology in with their long range plans for their district.

I started with an overview of how technology is helping teaching and learning.  I then facilitated a discussion on some of the areas they might want to work in such as:
  • Infrastructure
  • Policy
  • Devices
  • School Culture
  • Classroom Culture
We then went through some ideas on what administration, teachers, and students might need to think about. From there we had a question and answer time for clarification and generating thoughts and ideas. Next was dinner where I encouraged people to continue the conversation. (What a lovely dinner, prime rib and salmon!) After dessert, we got together in small groups. Each group had three pieces of chart paper. with the headers:
  • How does the vision improve teaching and learning?
  • What equipment and resources will you need?
  • How will you ensure an effective implementation?
We decided under each heading we would use KEEP and CHANGE. The small groups had about 30 minutes to come up with ideas. The ground rules were:
  • Everyone has a voice
  • No idea is too crazy
  • Don't think about specific devices
When the small group time was up, we took all the chart paper and grouped them by heading. We did a gallery walk. Each person has sticky notes. They make comments and ask questions about the items on the chart paper. After the gallery walk, everyone gets back in to their amll groups and looks at what the others have written. They can then tweak their lists. I also recommended they add items such as needs and further ideas for implementation. Each small group also was to pick their top 3 items that they felt needed to go forward in their work. We came back together as a large group and generated a document based on each of the three topics.

How does the vision improve teaching and learning?
  • (keep) Hardware and network that’s reliable and well maintained
  • (change) Instill global sharing to expand diversity and global awareness of others.
  • (change)  increase teacher comfort level and ability to release control to students
  • (change)  increase student investment in their own learning
  • (change) increasing access to documents from home, school or anywhere
  • (change) to improve accessibility to all types of resources
  • (change) try to find a way to “always be on”
What equipment and resources will you need?
  • (change) increase access to our devices (wifi)
  • (change)  full time integrator to work side by side with teachers
  • (change) increase access to our devices (wifi)
  • (change)  increase teacher access to tech integrator
  • (change) embed responsible use into the curriculum
  • (change) to expand full accessibility to various devices (ipod, itouch, ipad)
  • (change) increasing access to web based textbooks and digital textbooks and the support necessary to use.
  • (change) increase access to assistive technology at a moment’s notice
How will you ensure an effective implementation?
  • (change) establish technology guidelines throughout all grade levels
  • (change) train teachers and students to act as mentors and require follow up
  • (change) get kids involved in making the choices what why when surrounding devices, software, etc
  • (change) define minimum proficiencies for teachers and leveling professional development appropriately.
  • (change) professional development for teachers involving students as learners and or instructors
  • (change) increase time and ability for teacher collaboration

They have a great start to some next steps on changes to made. Thank you to Brendan and John for inviting me to come. I really enjoyed working with this enthusiastic group of committed teachers and administrators. I look forward to following the work that you do on this project.

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