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Volume 2, Issue 8
August 2007
In This Issue
Bruce Dixon Brings the AALF Message to EDUCOMM 2007
1-to-1 Goes Mainstream
The Constructivist Consortium Launches at NECC
A Successful Show: Lakeview Academy's Summer Laptop Integration Institute
Dr. Gary Stager
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As the summer educational technology conference season winds down, AALF wanted to use this month's newsletter as a way to recap some of the bigger conferences (NECC and EDUCOMM) as well as a smaller event (The Constructivist Consortium) and a smaller conference (Lakeview Academy's Summer Laptop Integration Institute).  
So, we have Bruce Dixon discussing his impressions of NECC on 1-to-1 computing and a review of two other successful events this summer - EDUCOMM in Anaheim, CA and the Constructivist Consortium pre-event at NECC.
From our membership, Connie White has provided us a recap of Lakeview Academy's Summer Laptop Integration Institute that has finished one session and has a second ongoing.

Finally, AALF wants to acknowledge and congratulate Dr. Gary Stager on his recently completed Ph.D.; read more below!
Enjoy the rest of August and time off before the start of school!
Bruce Dixon Brings the AALF Message to EDUCOMM 2007

On June 24th, AALF Founder and President Bruce Dixon shared a message of Planning, Funding and Sustaining Strategies for Successful 1:1 Computing at the annual EDUCOMM Conference in Anaheim, California. EDUCOMM is the only national technology management conference focused on the integration of audio-visual and information technology to enhance the classroom experience.

Bruce was a featured speaker along with a stellar lineup that included a keynote address by one of his heroes, Alan Kay, the man responsible for the term personal computer and the creator of the Dynabook, the 1960s prototype for the modern laptop. Other speakers included Hall Davidson, Wesley Fryer, Leesa King and a second hilarious keynote by NY Times technology columnist and best-selling author, David Pogue. 1:1 pioneer and AALF Advisory Board member Gary Stager was the K-12 program chair for EDUCOMM 2007.

Alan Kay at EDUCOMMAustralian Apple Distinguished Educator, teacher and journalist, Martin Levins, Technology Director of The Armidale School led a fantastic presentation, Changing the Face of Our Educational Practice Using Web 2.0 Technologies. Martin's session detailed the thoughtful preparation that led to his school's recent implementation of MacBooks and iBooks across his school K-12.

While much of EDUCOMM's parent conference INFOCOMM focuses on projection, presentation and content delivery, Bruce discussed how 1:1 computing makes learning personal. His new talk also addressed issues of funding and strategies for sustaining school-based innovation. For example, Bruce demonstrated how it is possible for every student to have a personal multimedia laptop or tablet computer for less than $20 per month. Best of all, you may watch Bruce's hour-long presentation at http://districtadministration.com/educomm/ (search for Planning, Funding and Sustaining Strategies for Successful 1:1 Computing).

Above Right:
Anytime, Anywhere Learning extends to the hotel bar where Scott Perloff of Los Angeles' Milken Community High School demonstrates the educational potential of MicroWorlds EX to new colleagues, Martin Levins and Wes Fryer.
Above Left:
EDUCOMM 2007 keynote speaker Alan Kay unveils to the audience his complex presentation running on the $100 laptop.
1-to-1 Goes Mainstream
Bruce Dixon
Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation
Bruce Dixon

After years in the "reform wilderness" I think we can actually proclaim that 1-to-1 has gone "mainstream." Attending NECC in June this year probably brought it home, as it further reinforced my observations from CoSN in San Francisco in March. Whereas just two years ago, there were only isolated 1-to-1 sessions at both events, 2007 has now seen the acceptance of 1-to-1 as inevitable. And from a North American perspective, this is very significant, as it also has implications for other countries.

This was very evident from the large number of 1-to-1 sessions on the program at both events, and with both ISTE and CoSN establishing special interest groups, as well as running other idea-sharing sessions at their conferences. This is an important step in improving broader awareness among educators and key school district personnel who in turn can support their leadership to be better informed about 1-to-1 initiatives.

My observations from both events also reinforce two other key points. The first is for us to be even more diligent than before in helping schools and district leaders to get the prerequisites right before they embark on a 1-to-1 initiative. 

Gone are the early days when every school or district who announced they were "going 1-to-1" had enough missionary zeal and pioneering energy to overcome any shortcomings that might have arisen in implementation. As we move into mainstream, we have a greater responsibility to ensure that the fundamentals are in place. This is particularly the case in the larger, higher profile initiatives. Setbacks with an initiative of scale or high profile, can have serious implications for all schools, as we saw with the implications from the Liverpool program highlighted by the NY Times earlier this year. We can now set quite firm readiness conditions, under which a 1-to-1 program has the best chance of success, and will be both sustainable and scalable.

The second key point to come from the two conferences is that we need to repeatedly and more deeply reinforce the too often overlooked purpose of every child having their own laptop. As we know only too well, it is not simply about designing a computer that is affordable for students, and it is not just about the mechanics or logistics of making it possible for all students within a school to have their own laptop. Much of the discussion at both events was focused on this.  It is purely and simply about the extraordinary learning opportunities available to all students who have their own portable, personal computer. To put it another way, it not about the what or the how, but rather the why

So I think our AALF membership and associates should continue to be vigilant in reminding their colleagues of this at all times. Perhaps you might take on board the opportunity to present at either CoSN, NECC, ASCD or other country conferences next year, to ensure we keep this uppermost in everyone's mind.

Once in the mainstream, people can too often lose sight of the real purpose of an initiative as important as anytime anywhere learning, and it is our duty to ensure the conversation that takes place around 1-to-1 stays focused firmly on this agenda at all times.


I'd finally like to take this opportunity to wish Matthew Hoover all the best as he finishes his 12 month contract as program manger with the Foundation this month. Matthew has done a great job in keeping the momentum of growth of the Foundation going. We have really appreciated his diligence in supporting our initiatives over the past year, in particular the work associated with our 1-to-1 Leadership Summit series, and we wish him all the best as he seeks to continue his earlier work in the public health policy area.

The Constructivist Consortium Launches at NECC

A new organization, The Constructivist Consortium, launched right before NECC 2007 in Atlanta. The Constructivist Consortium represents unprecedented collaboration between six publishing companies committed to children, creativity and constructivist learning. These are goals shared with AALF.

Veteran educator Dr. Gary Stager serves as the executive director of the Constructivist Consortium. "Working together, the six companies can increase their visibility in a chaotic marketplace," said Stager. "These companies recognize that computers are important instruments in the lives of kids and all support an unprecedented variety of learning experiences expressed through personally meaningful projects. Computers don't need to be used in passive ways or to reinforce outdated classroom practice." This common mission unites the six Founding Member companies - FableVision, Generation YES, Inspiration, LCSI, SchoolKiT and Tech4Learning.

The Constructivist Consortium's collaborative marketing and advocacy efforts are intended to celebrate classroom innovation. The Constructivist Consortium's companies see it as part of their corporate and civic missions to give voice to creative educators and create venues in which they may be refreshed, inspired and feel less isolated.

To that end, the Consortium sponsored the Constructivist Celebration the day before NECC. 100 educators brought their laptops to the Atlanta Botanical Garden for a day of computer-based creativity and collegiality. After an opening keynote by Gary Stager and Peter Reynolds the new community of educators embarked on a wondrous day of learning without being taught. Photos of from the event may be enjoyed at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/constructivistcelebration/

The Constructivist Consortium

Go to www.constructivistconsortium.org to join the Consortium.
A Successful Show: Lakeview Academy's Summer Laptop Integration Institute
Connie White
Director of Technology and Media
Lakeview Academy

Lakeview Academy in Gainesville, Georgia hosted its Summer Laptop Integration Institute in two separate sessions on July 26th - 27th and July 30th - 31st. Over 85 teachers and administrators from across the southeast participated in this successful event.

During the institute, Lakeview teachers and technology staff provided hands-on training in techniques, ideas and applications that are successful to both schools and students. Participants learned about various software programs and topics like Moodle, DyKnow, One Note and Podcasting. Administrators discussed topics such as staff development, online safety and self maintainer programs. In the latter part of each day administrators worked on projects to increase their personal productivity while teachers examined strategies and best teaching practices that integrate laptop use. They also developed lesson plans that successfully integrate technology.

The dates for the Lakeview Summer Laptop integration Institute of 2008 will be July 24th -25th for Session 1 and July 28th -29th for Session 2.
Dr. Gary Stager

Dr. Gary StagerCongratulations to AALF Advisory Board Member, Gary Stager, for earning his Ph.D. in Science and Mathematics Education from the University of Melbourne. Dr. Stager's research was based on the creation of a high-tech, multiage, heterogeneous, constructionist learning environment inside Maine's troubled prison for teens. Stager's dissertation, An Investigation of Constructionism in the Maine Youth Center documents his collaboration with Dr. Seymour Papert, often referred to as the father of educational computing.

paid tribute to Dr. Papert's work and big ideas in a NECC spotlight session, "Papert Matters: Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas." Gary also made a recent presentation on behalf of Toshiba and Microsoft at the COSN CTO Clinic and launched a provocative new blog, Stager-to-Go in addition to being editor of The Pulse: Education's Place for Debate.

The Foundation thanks its partners for their support: