By Bruce Dixon, President
Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation
Note: We get ongoing requests from Foundation members and educators worldwide regarding the nature of 1-to-1 pedagogy, and so we thought it would be advantageous to include this piece written originally for the March 2007 One-to-One newsletter.
Let's talk about an idea we'll call 1-to-1 pedagogy.
I think the term conjures up some interesting ideas about what classroom practice might look like, in the best of circumstances, when every child has his or her own laptop. It's also implicit in what we talk about when we refer to an outcome we call anytime anywhere learning
However both terms urgently require further definition. When you talk with people about anytime anywhere learning, they either nod their heads in agreement, and merrily build their own picture in their minds of what they think it means, or they have no real idea at all. Given their own schooling, they have no context in which they can "see" it, and therefore we must become better at clearly and concisely describing "what it might look like."
Of course we frequently do that by way of example, which while effective at one level, is nonetheless somewhat cumbersome. We simply have to develop better language that more clearly describes anytime anywhere learning and the associated idea of 1-to-1 pedagogy.
I'll give you an example from a related parallel field (with reference to my colleagues at Design Share (www.designshare.com). Imagine your task is to discuss with a school community your (rather radical) ideas about a new school building. How can you do that?
Well, firstly, it is delightfully concrete and can be physically modeled, but what if I said to you it was to contain an Einstein Studio to allow for individual reflection and focused study, and a Socrates Studio for small group discussion; my guess is that not only would you have an idea of the physical space, but more importantly, those simple labels would lead you to have a fairly clear idea about the sorts of learning that would most likely take place in each of those two areas, so we also must be creative in how we might better describe the change in practice that 1-to-1 pedagogy implies.
We state clearly the Foundation's belief that "anytime anywhere learning fosters a child's innate motivation to learn, it encourages academic rigor through relevant application, and it connects them with the world they will enter." And in taking part in anytime anywhere learning, there is an implication that a 1-to-1 pedagogy would provide students with a constructivist, international education where meaningful tasks subsume curriculum objectives and a personal, portable computer with which to think about, construct, and share ideas. Just as Paulo Freire and others talked much about critical pedagogy, so we must able to define this idea of 1-to-1 pedagogy in ways that make it easier for us to better communicate what we are striving to achieve in 1-to-1 classrooms.
We need a conversation amongst ourselves, as we are those "fortunate ones" who have already seen much of what is possible. I'll extend my thoughts, but in the meantime I would very much value your thinking on this, so that we can share your wisdom and insight with our members.
|AALF Leadership: Executive Director News and Thoughts|
Supporting EducatorsBy Susan Einhorn, Executive Director
One of AALF's main goals is to provide support to educators at current or soon to be 1-to-1 schools and districts. In our conversations, it's clear that there's a huge need for a variety of services for schools at all stages - from those schools and districts starting to think about 1-to-1 to schools and districts who have had 1-to-1 in place for a number of years and are looking for ways to continue building and innovating in their teaching practices.
In response to these needs, AALF is developing a series of events and services to provide support to this growing group of educators. Recently, AALF held three one-day Leadership Summits
, one in Fresno, California, a second in Calgary, Alberta, and the third in Seattle, Washington. Summits are designed for superintendents, principals, and other school leaders at schools and districts thinking about 1-to-1. The goal of the Leadership Summits is to equip educational leaders with the knowledge and vision they need to guide their
school or district program towards a successful anytime anywhere learning environment. If you are considering 1-to-1, this is the event for you. The line-up of Fall Summits will be announced soon on the AALF website. For more information, click here.
But what if you've already decided to implement 1-to-1? How do you get started? What are the first steps to take, and what are some ways to handle the issues that will arise? To help you answer these questions, AALF has designed the 21 Steps to 21st Century Learning Institutes
, intensive 2-day institutes for school leaders ready to start a 1-to-1 laptop program in their schools. Even if you've recently initiated 1-to-1, the institute can help you solve some of the issues and challenges that arise in the early implementation stages. Led by Bruce Dixon, AALF president and 1-to-1 pioneer, the Institute is based on the experiences of thousands of laptop schools around the world. The 21 Steps to 21st Century Learning
range from research and resource assessment, through all stages of project and financial planning, communications, professional development, and deployment. The next 21 Steps Institute will be held August 18-19, 2008, in Lambertville, NJ. Click here
for more information or to register.
A third type of event that AALF is adding is the Anytime Anywhere Learning and Teaching Academy
, a 3-day event that will help you develop your in-school digital pedagogical coaching team, your team of teachers and school leaders who will focus on supporting all the teachers in your school or district as they develop meaningful and significant learning opportunities for which technology is one of the necessary components. The Academy focuses on both peer coaching skills and rethinking curriculum in order to develop the type of 1-to-1 pedagogy Bruce describes in his editorial. Designed for schools that already have or are beginning 1-to-1, or for those who have had 1-to-1 in place for a few years and want to re-ignite the pedagogical fires, the Anytime Anywhere Learning and Teaching Academy
is an excellent first-step when initiating an AALF coaching plan. The first Academy will be held on August 13-15, 2008, in Portland, OR. To register online for the Anytime Anywhere Learning and Teaching Academy
, click here
. For more information about the Academy, contact me at SEinhorn@aalf.org
. Read Karen Ward's article below for more information about AALF's Coaching Services.
In addition to this series of support services and events, AALF also partners with various organizations to provide speakers, sessions, or whole strands at education conferences
. This past week, we partnered with the One-to-One Computing Conference at Penn State University, to lead a series of "critical conversations" about anytime, anywhere learning
and leadership. AALF President Bruce Dixon and Pennsylvania's Classrooms for the Future
Project Manager, Holly Jobe, were joined by a variety of thought leaders, including well-known educational consultant Bernajean Porter, Paul Curtis (Chief Academic Officer for the New Technology Foundation), and Jeff Mao (Coordinator of Educational Technology for the state of Maine), and Wade Pogany (Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the state of South Dakota). AALF will lead a similar series of conversations at this summer's Laptop Institute at Lausanne Collegiate School, in Memphis, TN, July 13-15, 2008. For more information, go to: www.laptopinstitute.com
Finally, supporting the anytime anywhere learning community isn't just a matter of AALF events and services. We all need each other's help in this process. If you have not done so already, please join our database of schools that have implemented 1-to-1 and have agreed to be available to answer questions that other schools may have about 1-to-1. You can also help the community by sharing your story. Please contact me at SEinhorn@aalf.org
or Karen Ward at KWard@aalf.org
and let us know how you implemented 1-to-1, some of the challenges you faced, and what you feel you did particularly well. By sharing our experiences and supporting each other, we all will grow and all of us - teachers, learners and teacher-learners- will benefit.
I look forward to hearing your stories!
|AALF Coaching and Consulting|
|Coaching--A Powerful Partnership
By Karen Ward, Manager of Consulting Services and Communications
Anytime Anytime Learning
The idea of every child increasing their opportunities for learning, anywhere, anytime, has now come. This is no longer something that people are discussing "if" it should happen; it is only a question of when.
(Bruce Dixon, President AALF
, April 2008 District Administration
). These increased opportunities for learning are powerful experiences for both students and their instructors. At the same time, effective 21st century learning and teaching environments can prove to be quite a challenge for administrators, leaders and teachers, particularly when they work in isolation. Having access to the numerous 1-to-1 evaluative research reports available while being able to identify and implement the 'best practices' embedded in these reports is desirable, but time-intensive (refer to the 'Research' link at the AALF
website). As a leader or teacher you may be inquiring, "Where do I start? How do I 'build' our current program to the next level? Where can I go for personalized support in creating, building or sustaining highly effective 1-to-1 learning and teaching experiences?" Susan Einhorn, Executive Director of AALF
, provides information about three events AALF offers in her column (above). These events can help you in your 1-to-1 work. At the same time, the additional support needed to address your 1-to-1 issues is very specialized and must be effective and efficient. With this is mind, may I suggest
you consider employing an AALF coach.
The primary purpose of the Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation
is to serve as an advocacy vehicle for anytime, anywhere learning. AALF coaching and consulting is designed to further this purpose by providing ongoing support for educators and policy makers at the school, district, state or country level. AALF coaches and consultants represent a broad range of educators who bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and training with them as they become partners in 1-to-1 schools. Working with individual leaders as well as teams of educators, AALF coaches provide the following support:
- 1 day monthly of face-to-face coaching at the school or site
- 4 hours monthly additional coaching support (Web 2.0 or telephone)
- Bi-monthly Web 2.0 professional development for a selected group of educators on campus; this is provided by recognized 1-to-1 leaders and teachers
Through these coaching and professional development sessions, AALF coaches help educators build their capacity to understand the issues and opportunities that 1-to-1 offers as well as the best possible manner in which leaders should address them, lead pedagogical improvement and innovation, and make informed decisions about technology and the appropriateness of its use.
Our goal is to ensure all children have access to unlimited opportunities to learn anytime, anywhere, and that they have the tools to make that access possible. To achieve that, we aim to help schools develop visionary leadership and knowledgeable and innovative educators. The days of us debating whether or not every child will have his or her own portable computer have passed. The challenge we have is for effective use of that computer. It's not just something that you give to somebody and hope that good things will happen. It requires building awareness about the curriculum opportunities and the different learning paths that can be explored (B. Dixon, see reference above).
Contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org
or 425-223-3753) or consult the AALF
website if you think this type of ongoing support would be advantageous for yourself, other school educators or your students.
Have a great month!
1-to-1 Teaching and Learning
San Onofre Environment Club and Laptop Learning
By Barbara Barnes, Chairman, It's Your Environment Network
San Onofre School, located on Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, has a long standing partnership with Toshiba America Information Systems. With the help of community and business support and assistance by Toshiba, San Onofre has obtained 92 laptop/tablet computers which are being used by students and teachers to research up-to-date information and complete real world projects. As a result of these partnerships collaborations and outstanding projects, San Onofre was given the Impact Award for Outstanding Use of Technology from the Classroom of the Future Foundation.
Using this technology, San Onofre has embarked on another project, this time to help the environment. Students in this after school Environment Club use the laptops and tablets to investigate information that will be shared with other teachers and schools in a nationwide network. Emily Just, San Onofre club leader and 5th grade teacher describes the club as follows: "There are a number of environmental concerns facing southern California, but there are also many actions that can be taken to help preserve our precious ecosystem. The students of San Onofre School, grades 4-8, formed an Environmental Club in order to explore not only the environmental challenges we face, but also to offer suggestions for possible solutions to these challenges. Students are divided into several research/presentation teams, and they use the computers in a variety of ways in order to display all their findings on the web page."
One team of students is researching the history and current use of fluoride in the tap water, and they created a power point presentation to exhibit all their findings. Another team is investigating the proposed toll road which will go through an ecological area near the Marine Base and a famous surfing site, Trestles beach. They are interested in exploring all of the negative affects this toll road may have on our environment. Their video documentary, appropriately titled "Sand or Slate," is based on interviews from people in support of and against the toll road, as well as many online newspaper articles. Another team is creating a music video based on the famous song "This Land is Your Land" which focuses on preventing pollution and preserving our environment. Finally, a team of students and parents are sewing reusable grocery bags to distribute in their local community in order to encourage people to help protect the environment by cutting back on the use of plastic shopping bags.
Students are eager to share their new knowledge and understandings. Cole Johnson, a San Onofre student reports: "Did you know that throwing away plastic bag is bad for the environment? Each year about 2.5 million plastic bags are used. That's about 2,500 bags per family. Plastic bags that become litter can also clog water drains, which can cause stagnate water and mosquito breeding. However, there are several solutions! One is to use reusable bags. They are better for the environment, and are also much more convenient than plastic shopping bags."
The San Onofre Environment Club is an excellent example of students integrating the latest technological tools to investigate real life issues and take action that improves the environment. It's Your Environment Network is a web portal showcasing the San Onofre Environment Club and other inspiring projects around the United States. For further information or to join this Network go to: www.itsyourenvironment.org
|1-to-1 Global Storybook|
This month we are spotlighting the American School of Bombay
located in Mumbai, India. The school enrolls approximately 700 primary through grade 12 students. Students represent 45 nationalities including American (29%), India (15%), and other third country nationals (56%). The articles below have been written by school leaders, classroom teachers, and technology support personnel. The school is currently in it's seventh year of implementing their 1-to-1 learning program for all students. It is the only overseas American School with a K-12 1-to-1 learning program.
School Leaders and 1-to-1: Model Behaviors
By Dr. Paul Fochtman, Superintendent
At the American School of Bombay, technology is an integral part of our educational program, which complements and enriches our academic program. We believe that Information Technology can promote active learning, increase achievement, allow teachers to share information efficiently and maintain proficiency, enable Leadership to manage the school more effectively, and facilitate timely communications between students, teachers, administrators and parents. These beliefs guide our school's vision of using technology to reinforce teaching and learning, a vision that is student-centered and constructivist, a vision that engages, excites, and inspires both our students and teachers.
Instead of asking "Should we use tablets or laptops?", at ASB we are focusing on answering the important question: "How can technologies be best used at our school to help our students achieve and prepare for the world outside of school?" This has required us to focus on:
the types of rich resources and learning opportunities that technology can provide;
how the use of these resources impacts our current ways of teaching and learning;
the measurement and use of data to assess and make decisions.
Meaningful integration of technology into the classroom requires a transformational shift to a student-centered or constructivist teaching and learning model. Use of only traditional instructional methodologies of lecture and drill are inadequate to harness the potential of technology to engage our students in their learning. Traditional professional development for technology has focused only on acquisition of application operational skills. Moving to a constructivist teaching and learning model requires professional development including the development of expertise in a new set of skills and knowledge in building these learning environments.
A note for school leaders: Technology Integration has to start with us. We need to model behaviors that support the integration of technology.
Some ideas include
- Communicating the critical importance of integrating technology to staff and board
- Remaining a learner--staying current with technology changes in the real world and being abreast of emerging technologies and their place in education. Exploring the use of emergent technologies and encouraging healthy risk taking;
- Participating in training with the teachers or in visible training that enriches your role;
- Modeling the use of electronic communications
- Balancing polarizing views of technology by facilitating pace, sharing quantitative and qualitative success, and moving educators past the "creative tension" stage. (Senge)
It's is no longer necessary to apologize for the importance and necessity of technology in our lives, but rather this is our opportunity and responsibility to embrace technology. Educators will need to hear from school leaders that technology, when used effectively, will result in data which clearly impacts student learning and achievement.
The process of integrating technology into the classroom in ways that are transformative is a challenge. The end result is an enriched teaching and learning environment in an era that measures traditional skills but requires 21st century skills. As leaders, we need to recognize the landscape is changing and we'll need to address both.
Powerful Tools that Make Learning Relevant
By Andrew Hoover, MS Principal
Three words that we keep hearing echoed when educators discuss 21st century learning are change, creativity, and globalization. How do we prepare students for a future in which creative responses to change - economic, social, environmental, and cultural - will be central to individual understanding and success and crucial for group-oriented solutions? By engaging the present, not the past, educators can help prepare our students for the future. It is our responsibility as educators to understand the world we live in, and the world that our students live in. A central challenge of education is to make relevant to students their learning in our schools. Dr. Scott McLeod, a researcher who specializes in educational leadership has said: "For the first time in history, kids know more than adults about something that's important."
The Tablet is a powerful tool to make learning relevant. Our students live in the 21st century and to a certain extent they live in and through modern media and technologies. A one-to-one environment engages every learner in the opportunities and challenges of access to information from all over the world. It enables constructivist approaches to teaching and the acquisition of essential skills like reading, writing, and mathematics. It engages students in familiar yet dynamic ways of communicating and learning. To teach them how to navigate the complex world of access and derive meaning from mountains of information, educators themselves must engage the relevant tools. Constructivist approaches to teaching won't come pre-packaged in a one-to-one program. Transforming traditional notions of teaching and learning is a central challenge as we look ahead. Consider the shift to a one-to-one program as an investment in the future learning of your students and the development of teaching practices throughout the school. Teachers, students, and families will have to work much more closely together to meet the challenges of change, creativity, and globalization in the 21st century.
It's Not About Technology--It's About Empowerment!
By Shabbi Luthra, Director of Technology
In our classes, students use laptops and tablets to take and store notes, organize their tasks and school work, go on virtual field trips, do web-based research and assignments, take assessments, create outlines and write reports, compose poetry and pieces of fiction, solve science and math problems, create original artwork, produce animated presentations and movies, record class discussions, discuss solutions for real-world problems, participate in online simulations, use blogs, podcasts to share and discuss curricular topics, communicate on discussion forums or social networks or email or IM, follow breaking news, access assessment data in real-time . . . Our teachers create web-based assignments, prepare visual presentations, use online resources to deliver the curriculum, grade papers and tests electronically, record assessments online, create and maintain their course web pages, communicate with their students using discussion forums or social networks or email. We are using technology to teach and learn in ways that we would not have imagined a few short years ago. Some things that are working well for us and may be useful for others to bear in mind as they develop their one-to-one learning programs:
- Change is the only constant - and our students are continually teaching us this lesson. They are a different generation requiring different ways of teaching and engaging. They have changed as learners and don't respond to traditional teaching/learning any more. They are pushing us to change our ways of engaging them in their learning. This requires changing our pre-defined filters of looking at technology as an add-on and another layer of top of everything we do in the classroom.
- Technology Leadership - One of the paradigm shifts that we have collectively embraced is models of transformative and distributed leadership, simultaneously building technology leadership teams from the top down and the bottom up.
- Essential Conditions - The elements require more attention in a one-to-one program than in a desktop program. The intricacies are slightly different for some of these elements but the impact is immediate and multiplied many times over. We have woven the development of these conditions throughout our technology plan.
Finally our top ten recommendations for any school wanting to move into this type of learning environment:
1. Develop a Vision and Plan
2. Phased Deployment
3. Build Ownership and Support
4. Ongoing Communication with Stakeholders
5. Long term Funding Commitment
6. Foster Teacher Collaboration/PD
7. Leverage Student Tech Knowledge
8. Plan for Continuous Evaluation
9. Ongoing Tech Support
10. Network Infrastructure and Access to digital resources.
It's not about technology, it's about empowerment!
1-to-1 Questions and Answers
By Scott Hoffman, Grade 3 Teacher
A few years back, all our students were introduced to the Tablet PC - it's was like the slate gone digital. The tablet PC looks like a small svelte rotating laptop. The pen input is accurate and reliable and it is certainly niftier than the mouse. As we grew accustomed to the Tablet PC, we noted that much work on the computer is easier with the pen. The students just love the options of handwriting, keyboarding and voice recognition input. It's quite liberating! I have discovered in my classes that a few students, whose handwriting was so poor that the computer couldn't recognize it, took it as a personal challenge to improve their writing so that the machine could figure it out. This device is now an extension of their hand.
How do laptops add value to the teaching and learning in my third grade classroom? It's a great question. I'm still early in the process of asking this question and seeking answers. In a broad sense laptops have value in our classroom because they make us all more powerful in our roles. We can learn, compose, communicate, and organize ourselves more powerfully with computers. What's true for you and I or a Fortune 500 company is true for third graders.
If technology is an education changing paradigm then it needs first to be a teacher changing paradigm. I can share with you how student learning has changed and is changing in my classroom, but first I had to reach the place where my teacher paradigm started to change (and it continues to evolve). For me that change began with a school provided Tablet PC and the ability to wirelessly connect and project information. As I worked with this technology and learned to use it by "playing", my tablet started changing from a data holder, composition tool, and a cool doodling tool, into a primary medium for instruction and learning in my classroom. I like having the power to project a vast array of items such as student writing, selected texts, multi-media for instruction and construction, and model the power of being able to access the web for learning. What to do with all those resources? How to harness them for eighteen 8 and 9 year olds in my classroom? Those are the questions and answers I continue to seek.
If you walked into my classroom during direct instruction you would likely see me at a small table facing the same direction as students. You would often see children using the tablet stylus to edit a writing piece, work a math problem, or point out text features during reading instruction while their work is being projected in front of the rest of the class. As I continue to explore and deepen my learning in my new teaching paradigm, I often think about tomorrow and about what's next. The question that continues to make me move forward within this paradigm is the question: "How does having a 1:1 laptop environment add value to teaching and learning?"
By Jacques Weber, MS/HS Spanish Teacher
When I think about how the Tablet PCs add value to the teaching and learning in my classroom, it really comes down to two very important things: (1) classroom efficiency; and (2) working in the students' arena. The other important benefit is working within the students' arena. I feel that I am at a bit of an advantage, being a younger educator who has grown up with computers and who actually used a laptop in high school. In today's world, knowing how to use a computer to its full capabilities is almost a prerequisite to any job, so we are making sure students start learning from an early age. Naturally, elementary and secondary school students feel much more comfortable with computers than their peers from three decades ago, and seemingly regard the digital world as a place where they are at a distinct advantage over their teachers. The fact that I feel just as comfortable as (if not more than) they do, allows me to work with them in "their space". I find this to be a distinct advantage as an educator in a tablet school.
Widened Possibilities for Interactive Learning
By Anna Pagdiwalla, HS Science Teacher
It's been almost 7 years since we began using tablets as learning tools. Our school has made "learning anytime anywhere" a reality using online and network resources in a wireless environment. In the beginning, incorporating technology in the classroom seemed intimidating, but not any more. Solid ongoing technology training exists for teachers and
leadership of the school knows this is important and so they keep teachers moving higher along the continuum of technology use. Teaching and learning both have become revolutionized. The learning environment has become more collaborative as there's more involvement of students in the learning process, with them taking the leadership role.
Technology has produced several positive changes for learning. My students have become more aware of the outside world, and now I feel that I can spend more time teaching them how to analyze information. Students' access to wider resources via technology and their greater use of higher order thinking skills to deal with the information have made sophisticated student-driven culminating projects. For these projects that sometimes take a month to complete, students can submit proposals, either individually or in groups, and decide what technology they'll incorporate into their project's research, execution, and presentation.
Another aspect of the tablet that I love is how it takes the place of every single note taking device during their academic day. Now students no longer transport a bunch of papers back and forth from school to home and the 24X7 access is just perfect for us. Students are able to take handwritten notes, draw, illustrate, make and share journal entries and electronically complete exercises, homework assignments and tests on a single device. Plus students can search those notes just like they can as if it were text. I no longer have papers to carry home to grade. I can grade tests and papers on screen, save them electronically, and send them back via email or just drop them into their respective folders on the server.
Our tablet program has widened the possibilities for interactive learning, enabling my students to access an entire curriculum and much more, from a single, portable device.
The Power of Technology
By Jason Roy, HS Math Teacher
The biggest value I see with the tablets in my classes is in terms of productivity in the classroom. In the old days if I wanted students to acquire certain information I would first have to copy it down onto the blackboard and the students would then have to copy into their notebooks, and all this had to happen before any real learning could take place. Now, with tablets and the software program Dyknow I can instantly send students the background information and they spend zero time copying needless information from the board. (Obviously there might be times when I want students to copy something down to help them and I can still do this, too).
I try to use Dyknow to get the students doing mathematics as fast as possible. I also try to harness the capabilities of having all the students on the Internet. In the middle of a class we can all spend ten minutes looking at a web applet. It is also easy to use resources like del.icio.us to save links that kids can use later. For example, one day when we were looking at matrix multiplication I had students explore their choice of three different sites that explained how to do the multiplication algorithm (each site was geared to a different learning style).
Another great thing about Dyknow is that it allows me to integrate various assessment mechanisms into my classes everyday. I particularly like polling questions (Using Eric Mazur's Peer Instruction model) and panel submission, where I can have students submit work to me electronically. It is also really great to have students display their work through the wireless projector on the board and then talk about how they solved the problem.
It will soon become possible for students to have all their material for my class in one place (on their tablet) instead of strewn between notebooks, binders, textbooks, and loose-leaf pages. That's the power of technology!
By Sunanda Vaidheesh, Grade 12 Student
(Commenting on behalf of herself and the Student Tech Crew)
Though schools around the world are integrating technology, there is a very distinct difference between using laptops daily in classes and marching us to the computer lab. Yes, we have greater access to the computers, but a laptop program is more than just using the latest software and being well-versed with a range of technology resources. Having been part of a laptop program for seven years, we have developed a higher level of engagement in our own learning. The program encourages us to take charge of our own education.
As digital natives, using technology is second nature to us. Add to that our innate curiosity, and it is inevitable that we will teach, help, and share with each other. We do, however, realize that while we may be comfortable with exploring new technology tools, our elders may not be as eager to jump right into this era of constant motion and change. At ASB we have a culture of collaborative learning. We enjoy learning new skills from our teachers, and our teachers appreciate it when we suggest ways to integrate a new technology tool into the classroom.
Skeptics might state that our generation is characterized by our uncooperative, non-communicative, and individualistic nature. But we have evidence to prove the contrary. The laptop program doesn't render us unable to cooperate and work together - rather, it enables collective collaboration, but in a manner different from what you may have been used to seeing in the 1990s. Online communication, between students and teachers, has made our class time more meaningful. Teachers dedicate class time to simply teaching, and share administrative and informative messages online; with a quick email, clarifications are done. This year our classes have seen enhanced collaboration through the use of a new tool called DyKnow.
The nature of information literacy has changed for us. No longer do we only check out a book or two from the library to use for research, but we have information at our fingertips. We examine academic articles online using EBSCO and NewsBank and pore through fact sheets and electronic encyclopedias. Information is no longer restricted to textbooks that are handed out at the beginning of the year. The accessibility of information makes it impossible for any one person to wield that mythical "right answer"-and that's what makes our learning experience all the more valuable. Not only do we question more, but if we wish to search for them, we can quickly find answers to those difficult question.
Our ASB experiences are full of innovative activities that engage us as students and active learners. Using digital media is common in classrooms across ASB -- From students creating and editing their own movies, to teachers using snippets from YouTube. Whether we're participating in online discussions using Wikis or scheduling meetings on Outlook; whether we are sharing varying approaches to attacking a physics formula on DyKnow, or Facebook messaging our history teacher about an assignment, we know how to communicate-with our peers, our mentors and guides, and anyone else who makes the Outlook envelope appear on our screens at the arrival of a new email. We certainly do it differently than those before us, but we make it work. Since effective online communication is an essential life skill for us, it only makes sense that we learn from elementary school forward how to conduct online communication efficiently. Our elementary students learn to touch-type, use email, and to blog!
In this century, being technologically literate no longer means being able to maneuver the mouse effectively and touch-type at 120 words per minute. The measure of digital age literacy is the ability to adapt to changing technologies and attitudes, and to assist others through this period of change. At ASB, we are certainly not exempt from the fast-paced changing nature of technology - in fact, we embrace it. As students and adolescents who witness change and constant redefinition in our daily lives, being a part of a continually evolving technological revolution at school has been nothing new for us.
Our thanks to these American School of Bombay authors and educators for their informative articles and for sharing their learning and insight regarding their 1-to-1 learning. A special thanks to Luthra Shabbi for spearheading this work. You can contact Luthra Shabbi at ITDirector@asbindia.org
Elementary Students--Digital Natives
By Tim Challis, ES Tech Coordinator
Laptops in the elementary are an idea whose time has come. They add value to the teaching environment by engaging students and giving them the tools they need to construct their own learning. With these powerful tools available, classroom teachers are planning best practice initiatives to engage students in the 21st century skills of digital-age literacy, inventive thinking, effective communication and high productivity.
Elementary students continue to amaze me with their digital native skills as well as their ability to not only absorb new technologies, but also find creative ways to express original ideas through laptop tools. Laptops seem to be an extension of the students themselves and successful teachers will promote meaningful technology integration which enriches and extends the classroom curriculum.
The Impact of Technology on Student Learning
By Dianna Pratt, MS/HS Tech Coordinator
In my career as a technology coordinator I have had the opportunity to work with great teachers on many tech integration projects. However, I have seen many differences in the teaching and learning between a desktop computer program and 1-to-1 laptop program. Of course with the availability of the resource, there is more integration happening but in a true 1-to-1 environment teachers take more risks to innovate and to find new ways to address their curriculums. The barrier of getting into a computer lab to 'try it out' is no longer there. Another thing that takes place is that teachers are more apt to take constructivist classroom instructional approaches; they let the students direct their own learning. Giving up this control of the learning has meant a change in the way teachers teach and is a challenge for some, but teachers have commented about how their students are more engaged when they are in charge of their own learning. Another amazing benefit of the school 1-to-1 environment is that I see a true learning community develop where teachers, students and parents are learning from each other. For the first time in the many years of my helping teachers integrate technology, I am finally seeing the impact of technology on student learning.
: You can read about the ASB Un-Plugged
conference held February 28-March 1, 2008 in the 1-to-1 Worldwide News and Conference Follow-up Reflections column below.
|AALF Worldwide Networking|
|Our AALF worldwide newsletter readership continues to grow. In the past six months our foundation enrollment and readers have grown to over 2,000 members. This is exciting news and certainly provides evidence about the relevance of 1-to-1 learning across continents! As our audience and support continues to grow, we are anxious to provide timely and relevant information regarding 1-to-1 learning and schools around the world. With this in mind, I would like to invite foundation members to get involved with the production of this monthly publication. There are several ways you can contribute to this important work:
- Get involved with a RTA group (Research-to-Action); these groups will continue to contribute to the '1-to-1 Leadership and Learning' column which explores 'best pedagogical practices'
- Volunteer your school to be a '1-to-1 Global Storybook Spotlight School'; this column provides an in depth look at 1-to-1 schools from the perspective of leaders, teachers, and students
- Volunteer to help with production of the newsletter; editors are needed as our publication continues to grow in breadth and depth
- Volunteer your unique suggestions; suggest columns or ideas you think would benefit 1-to-1 educators around the world
Please contact Karen Ward (email@example.com or 425-223-3753) if you are interested in any of these opportunities.
Conferences, Institutes, Academies and Events
21 Steps to 21st Century Learning Institute
This two-day institute, designed for superintendents, principals, and headmasters, will focus on the 21 steps needed to provide successful 1-to-1 learning cultures on their campuses. Sponsored by AALF and based on the experiences of thousands of laptop schools around the world, the 21 Steps to 21st Century Learning range from research and resource assessment, through all stages of project and financial planning, communications, professional development, and deployment. Space is very limited for this institute which will be held on August 18-19 in Lambertville, New Jersey. Click here for more information or to register.
Anytime Anywhere Learning and Teaching Academy
The Anytime Anywhere Learning and Teaching Academy will help you develop your in-school digital pedagogical coaching team. The Academy focuses on developing and supporting peer coaching skills and on looking at curriculum in new ways in order to develop a 1-to-1 pedagogy. Designed for schools that already have or are beginning 1-to-1 learning, or for those who have had 1-to-1 in place for a few years and want to re-ignite the pedagogical fires, the Anytime Anywhere Learning and Teaching Academy is also an excellent first-step when initiating an AALF coaching plan. The first Academy will be held on August 13-15, 2008 in Portland, Oregon. More information and online registration for the Anytime Anywhere Learning and Teaching Academy will be available on the AALF website (www.AALF.org) soon.
AALF Leadership Summits
AALF Regional Leadership Summits are designed for superintendents, principals, and other school leaders at the school or district level who are thinking about implementing 1-to-1 learning. The goal of the Leadership Summits is to equip educational leaders with the knowledge and vision they need to guide their school or district program towards a successful anytime anywhere learning environment. If you are considering 1-to-1, this is the event for you. The line-up of Fall Summits will be announced soon on the AALF website. For more information, click here.
The Laptop Institute
The Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation and Lausanne Collegiate School (LCS) have joined forces to co-produce the 2008 Laptop Institute to be held at Lausanne Collegiate School. The Laptop Institute, the world's major educational conference devoted solely to K-12 laptop learning, will be held on July 13-15, 2008, at LCS in Memphis, Tennessee. The Laptop Institute is designed to be an international think tank for schools using or considering laptops or tablets as tools for learning. AALF President Bruce Dixon will lead a series of sessions on leadership and vision in anytime, anywhere learning that promise to be provocative as well as informative. Online information is now available at www.laptopinstitute.com.
Constructing Modern Knowledge
AALF is proud to be one of the sponsors of Constructing Modern Knowledge, a minds-on institute for educators committed to creativity, collaboration, and computing. Alfie Kohn, Bob Tinker, Gary Stager, Peter Reynolds, and Cynthia Solomon along with others will be featured at this this summer learning event. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in intensive computer-rich project development with peers and the world-class faculty including educational pioneers, bestselling authors and inventors of educational technologies. 21st Century educators need to develop their own technological fluency and understand learning in order to meet the changing needs and expectations of their students. Constructing Modern Knowledge will help participants enhance their tech skills, expand their vision of how computers may enhance the learning environment and leave with practical ideas to use in the classroom. Constructing Modern Knowledge guarantees action for all participants. Each day's program consists of a discussion of powerful ideas, mini tutorials on-demand, immersive learning adventures designed to challenge one's thinking, substantial time for project work, and a reflection period. Inspirational guest speakers and social events round out this fantastic event. Additional details are available at the Constructing Modern Knowledge 2008 website.
South Dakota Laptop Institute
The second annual South Dakota Laptop Institute will be held in Mitchell, SD, on June 9-11, 2008. Hosted by the DIAL (Dakota Interactive Academic Link) consortium in collaboration with the South Dakota Department of Education, Dakota State University and TIE, the Institute targets those teachers, administrators and integrationists involved in the utilization of laptops for instruction. Keynote speakers include Jim Moulton and Ian Jukes. Additional details are available at the South Dakota Laptop Institute website.
Do you have an upcoming 1-to-1 event you would like to share with other newsletter readers? Contact Karen Ward (firstname.lastname@example.org ) for additional information.
|1-to-1 Worldwide News and Conference Follow-up Reflections|
Q&A with AALF President Bruce Dixon
AALF President, Bruce Dixon, was interviewed by District Administration magazine reporter Zach Miners for the April 2008 edition. Titled The Ins and Outs of Anytime Anywhere Learning, questions ranged from the support AALF strives to provide to educators and students around the world to the positive benefits and outcomes of 1-to-1 learning environments for both students and teachers. You can read the entire interview online.
ASB Un-Plugged--Conference Reflection
Written by Shabbi Luthra, Director of Technology
On February 28-March 1, 2008 the American School of Bombay hosted ASB Un-Plugged. The purpose of this is 1-to-1 learning conference was to share our vision and lessons with other overseas American schools. This was in response to requests for visitations from schools that wished to start a similar program. We see value in letting other schools learn from us as they envision and create their own programs.
Educators and administrators from 26 American international schools witnessed first-hand how our students, staff, and community have embraced innovation, change, and leadership in education for the 21st century. Participants saw students showcasing their use of technology to enhance, enrich, and accelerate their learning. They heard educators and students sharing their best practices, strategies and techniques, ideas and applications that have proven to be successful in our one-to-one environment. They learned about the administration of the program - professional development, network and equipment management, classroom management, responsible use policies, community support, resources, and support structures. We shared what we do, why we do it, and how we do it. This helped attendees develop a clear understanding of our tech integration program. As two of the three conference days were school days, there were several opportunities for folks to visit classrooms and witness our teaching/learning "live".
While networks and infrastructure are an essential piece of the vision that we are bringing alive at our school, there are serveralother elements that have made it easy for us, one of which is development of community ownership in the vision. This is being embedded at all levels - from administration to teachers to students and board and parents. We shared how we continue to develop the culture so it outlasts each of us at the school. It's hard work to build that type of culture but it is wonderful when one sees the outcome! It was our hope that ASB Un-Plugged will help guide other schools as they consider embracing a one-to-one learning environment.
Kent School District--NSBA Technology Site Visit
The Kent School District got a chance to show itself off [at the end of March] as it hosted educators from across the country for a National School Boards Association Education Technology Site Visit. The district accepted an offer to host the visit last May, becoming one of only a few districts in the state to ever receive such an honor. The visit takes place each year at three districts from across the country the association deems exemplary in the use of Technology to enhance education. "This is truly an honor to be selected, because there are 2,500 districts in the nation they can pick from," said Greg Whiteman, executive director of KSD Information Technology.
Almost 100 visiting educators toured Kent schools and received lectures on district practices Tuesday and Wednesday, learning about the variety of ways the district employs technology. "We've found it well worth our time," said Bob Grosz, assistant superintendent for curriculum at Fargo Public Schools in North Dakota, between presentations. "We're quite impressed with some of the initiatives we've seen, especially the One-to-One laptop program."
The district's One-to-One Initiative, which recently provided every seventh-grader at Mill Creek Middle School a laptop computer, seemed to be a popular feature at the visit last week. "We're trying to start that at our school soon, so we came to find out what worked and what didn't and how they fixed the problems," Grosz said. Lisa Misco, special education director for the Pulaski Community School District in Wisconsin, said she, too, was sent by her district to learn about the initiative. She said it's been worth the trip. "It's been really wonderful so far," Misco said. "The district I come from is looking to start a One-to-One laptop program, so seeing it in action has been very helpful. But the software programs they use here are also really cool, too."
Whiteman said spreading good educational practices is the reason for the visit. "We think our visitors will go home, log onto the Web site, download some documents and take some good ideas back to their districts with them," he said. He was glad the Kent School District was able to show off what he says are very effective uses of technology. "The Kent School District is recognized across our region and literally across the country for finding ways to use technology to support what goes on in schools, and it's been that way for years," Whiteman said. "You cannot walk into any of our schools and not see the obvious positive impact technology plays."