|AALF Leadership: Executive Director's News and Thoughts
INTRODUCING AALF'S NEW WEBSITE!|
By Susan Einhorn, Executive Director
Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation
This month's issue is an eclectic mix of articles and ideas that have come our way
over the last few months. In keeping with this theme, and perhaps having spent too much time reading on Twitter, I thought I'd add my own collection of thoughts and impressions culled over the last few months.
First, today AALF launches its new website where anyone interested in laptop learning
can come to share ideas and information and support each other in our efforts to transform learning through universal access to technology. The website is focused on community-building, so please come and see what is there and then add to it by letting the community know what you're doing. Describe both your successes and failures, ask your questions, answer others, share articles, write a blog, build AALF's shared knowledge base by adding to the AALpedia, list upcoming events of interest to AALF community members, etc. With your help we can assemble the best non-partisan, open collection of information, research and resources on laptop learning available.
So, here are some random thoughts, discussion starters, that perhaps you can think about and discuss on the website. Please feel free to think up your own discussion
1) Considering all the constraints, rules, and political regulations with which public schools contend, is it possible to create and sustain a school that has a culture of innovation that reaches all classes and students? Let me rephrase that - how is it possible to create and sustain such a culture? The schools frequently showcased as being innovative usually have some pockets of creativity or innovative thinking but only a subset of the students get to participate. For too many of their students their role is strictly audience/viewer. Do you know of a school with a school-wide culture of innovation and, if yes, how did they create and sustain it? Click here to share your opinion.
2) This past month I was invited to attend the National Center of Women in Technology conference (NCWIT). NCWIT is an alliance of diverse organizations, ranging from large corporations (such as Google) to universities to non-profit organizations involved in K12 education (Society for Women in Engineering) or dedicated to girls (Girls Scouts). What they all have in common is a commitment to encouraging more young women to study and have a career in computer science, technology and engineering (the TE part of STEM) and supporting these women as they begin to work in these fields. Ensuring that all learners, girls as well as boys, have access to technology anytime and anywhere would seem to be an excellent first step. No inequitable representation in the computer lab, no fighting for control of limited computer facilities. Has having a 1-to-1 program in your school changed girls' interest in technology? If yes, how? Click here to discuss.
3) Once upon a time, people who took a chance and began to experiment with technology in education were called "pioneers". Then when Marc Prensky began using the term "digital immigrant", everyone of a certain age suddenly was lumped under this new label. We went from being daring innovators to being newcomers, outsiders. Now, one could say that an immigrant is someone who is taking a risk to achieve a better life (really, both a literal and figurative trailblazer), but unfortunately, I never get the feeling that this is what is meant when digital immigrants are compared to digital natives. There must be a better term for whatever it is these labels are supposed to describe. Click here to share your thoughts.
The AALF community website can only grow with your help. Please let us know what you think of the new site, your thoughts on these issues or any other subjects you think will be of interest to laptop educators.
I look forward to exchanging ideas with you at www.aalf.org.
NETBOOKS, NOTEBOOKS, AND SMARTBOOKS
By Bruce Dixon, President
Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation
Please allow me a few words of "distraction" around technology. While the vast majority of our 1-to-1 conversations around AALF focus on a broad range of topics, most focused on pedagogy and transformation, I think it is timely to share a few thoughts with you around the emergence of new "form factors" of laptops, most notably what are currently known as netbooks.
I must firstly say I am somewhat bemused by the breadth of reactions to the emergence of this new category of laptop; on the one hand we have an Australian State Government, New South Wales buying 250,000+ of them for their Year 9 to 12 students, and on the other hand I read the comments of some, who see these netbooks as a "companion" device, and of being "underpowered".
Click here to read the rest of Bruce's article.
|1-to-1 Global Storybook
A LEARNING STORY FROM THE
FOOTHILLS OF THE ALPS
By Leah Treesh, Jenny Little
Munich International School
At Munich International School we walk onto campus each morning to a view of the Alps. It is hard to imagine a more beautiful setting for learning, an enchanted place for story-telling. Just as there are millennia of geographical phenomena behind the beauty of the Alps, so too is there a story behind what we now see taking shape in our schools every day: students demonstrating their learning by telling powerful stories with digital technologies.
According to an oft repeated adage, good things come to those who wait. However, anyone experienced in administering a successful program would likely beg to differ. At Munich International School (MIS) in Starnberg, Germany, we adamantly believe instead that good things come to those who plan. Smiles surfaced on each of our faces as we rolled out 550+ machines to five grade levels in August, one grade level at a time, seemingly with ease. Crouching behind our smiles was knowledge of the extensive groundwork, dating back three years, that we laid in preparation. The foundation we built is not only indicative of a strong belief in team work, but is characterized by it.
Click here to learn more about Munich International School's 1-to-1 program.
Leah Treesh is the IT Integration Specialist in the Senior School. Prior to joining MIS two years ago, Leah was an English teacher involved in the laptop programme in her school district in Kentucky, USA. Pia Druggan is the IT Integration Specialist in the Middle School. Pia joined MIS four years ago from the American School of Milan, where she was an integral part of the laptop implementation team. Jenny Little is Director of Curriculum and Professional Learning. Prior to joining MIS three years ago, Jenny was Executive Director of AALF after being actively involved in the implementation and evaluation of laptop programs in Australia.
|WHAT'S ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND?
This month, Susan Einhorn, Executive Director of the Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation shares her list of the top ten books she'd recommend to the AALF community. In no particular order, here's what she said:
1. In Schools We Trust: Creating Communities of Learning in an Era of Testing and Standardization by Debra Meier
2. Stuck in the Shallow End: Education, Race, and Computing by Jane Margolis
3. High Noon: 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them by J.F. Rischard
Click here to read the rest of Susan's List.
Do you have a top ten list of books you'd like to recommend? Let us know! We will be including book lists from other educators in upcoming issues, so stay tuned!
|1-to-1 Learning and Teaching
|FIVE BIG IDEAS FOR 1-to-1 EDUCATORS
By Gary Stager
Executive Director of the Constructivist Consortium and host of Constructing Modern Knowledge
I have been asked why an educator working in a 1-to-1 context should consider attending Constructing Modern Knowledge (CMK), July 13-16, 2009 in Manchester, NH. One look at our eclectic and accomplished faculty might lead some to wonder what they have in common.
At the most superficial level, the CMK faculty shares common friends, influences and beliefs. However, the institute is designed to provide an experience greater than the sum of its parts. For a current or perspective 1-to-1 educator, the following CMK objectives are critical to your mission.
#1) Expand the vision of how computers may be used to empower learners
In my opinion, edtech innovation has become quite stale and the range of what students do with their laptops has narrowed steadily since we began putting laptops in student hands 19-20 years ago. If your students only use their laptop to look stuff up or for routine language arts activities you are getting a very low return on investment. While it may be true that laptops may be used to more effectively or efficiently teach what we had always hoped kids would learn, the real power lies in the opportunity to learn and do new things in new ways unthinkable without ubiquitous computer access.
Click here to continue reading about Gary's five big ideas.
Gary S. Stager, Ph.D., is the host of Constructing Modern Knowledge and the Executive Director of The Constructivist Consortium. Check out his blog, website and recommended book collection, which includes books written by CMK faculty.
|Polls and Results
In a previous AALF newsletter, we asked for your feedback on your school's
1-to-1 implementation. Here are some interesting findings:
When asked what your goals were in implementing a 1-to-1 program, 100% of the respondents answered "engages students in their learning", and "prepares student's for their future". One respondent answered, "[a 1-to-1 program] connects students to other communities across the globe." When asked what other changes you have made in your school along with your 1-to-1 program, 75% of respondents answered "re-designed professional development", while the least frequent change (12.5%) was "increase parental involvement". One respondent stated "Classrooms have been rearranged to make the best use of interactive whiteboards which will complement the 1-to-1 learning initiatives."
Does your school monitor, or block access to certain websites? Do you find this to be an effective means of protecting students from inappropriate content on the web? Please consider responding to a 10-second poll we have posted on our new site (scroll down the homepage).
We will share more survey and poll results in upcoming issues, so stay tuned!
Thank you for participating!
1-to-1 Leadership and Learning
|MAINE INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR DIGITAL LEARNING|
In 2001 the state of Maine embarked upon one of the most ambitious educational technology programs in the world. Every student in grades 7 and 8 were provided a laptop; this initiative also providing all middle school teachers with laptops, and assuring that every classroom was wirelessly equipped. To date, the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) is the largest and most successful ubiquitous 1-to-1 digital learning project on the planet. In 2008, the project expanded to include all teachers in grades 9 through 12. MLTI was recently selected by the Ministry of Education in France as one of 10 international model programs to merit further examination.
The team responsible for developing the MLTI project recognized that it was time to build upon what they have learned. Thus, in collaboration with researchers within the University of Maine System and educators around the world, the Maine International Center for Digital Learning (MICDL) was created. The Center's goal is to be the world's center of research, professional development and technical assistance in the field of 1-to-1 digital learning.
Click here to read more about the Maine International Center for Digital Learning.
|Questions from the Community
|SHARE YOUR EXPERTISE
Here is a question AALF received from a member of our community:
"Could anyone point me to examples of vision statements for schools considering implementing a 1-to-1 program?"
If you have an example of a vision statement, or advice/tips on how to construct such a statement, please click here, and share your knowledge with the AALF community.
Are you implementing a 1-to-1 laptop program and struggling with a specific issue? Do you have questions about policies, communicating with parents or the community, AUPs, professional development, or any other issues that you are facing in implementing anytime, anywhere learning in your school or district?
If your answer to that question is yes, let the AALF community help. Send your questions to AALF, and we'll post them both in our newsletter and on the AALF web site. Although we may not be able to post all your questions, we'll try to post as many as we can.
AALF coaches provide support for educators at all levels and, working either individually or in expert teams, coaches and consultants support educators and policy makers at every phase of their 1-to-1 initiative. This includes creating a vision, designing appropriate goals, translating plans into action, choosing the most effective technology tools and designing technology support, providing professional development opportunities, and using data to reflect on the effectiveness of their program.
Working with individual leaders and teams of educators, AALF coaches incorporate:
- Face-to-face and additional communication sessions
- Online learning opportunities
- The use of Web 2.0 online collaborative communication tools such as blogs and wikis
- Professional development support with AALF associates who are currently working in highly effective 1-to-1 schools.
For additional information regarding AALF coaching support, go to the Coaching and Mentoring Services page of our website, or contact Susan Einhorn at email@example.com
CONSTRUCTING MODERN KNOWLEDGE - 2009
Computer-rich Learning Adventures for Creative Educators
Join Macarthur Genius Deborah Meier; legendary educator and author of 40 books Herbert Kohl; digital imaging and photography expert Lesa Snider King; author/animator/illustrator Peter Reynolds; Dr. Gary Stager and a stellar faculty at the Constructing Modern Knowledge 2009 summer institute, July 13-16, 2009 in Manchester, New Hampshire, USA.
Constructing Modern Knowledge provides a rich learning environment in which educators have the time, resources and inspiration
to learn via the creation of personally meaningful technology projects while interacting with some of the wisest educators of our time. Social events include an institute dinner and reception at the legendary FableVision Studios before a big night out in Boston.
Constructing Modern Knowledge respects the budgets of schools and educators by keeping registration costs affordable and by offering team discounts. The institute is appropriate for all K-12 educators, administrators and teacher educators.
Learn more about Constructing Modern Knowledge, the professional learning event of the year at www.constructingmodernknowledge.com
Conferences, Institutes, Academies and Events
on the AALF website regularly to learn of other events at which AALF leaders will be speaking or leading workshops. We look forward to seeing you there!
JUNE 23-25, 2009
The INKSTITUTE, Cincinnati, OH.
JUNE 28- JULY 1, 2009
National Educational Computing Conference, Washington, D.C.
AALF will be facilitating a panel July 1, at 1:30pm entitled1:1 Critical Debates: Laptops, PDAs, Cell Phones: "Laptops, PDAs, iPods, Cell Phones--are they sufficient for 1-to-1? Join the debate on policy, equity, and implementation issues surrounding 1-to-1"
JULY 13-16, 2009
Constructing Modern Knowledge, Manchester, NH.
Sponsored by The Constructivist Consortium and the Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation
*see above for details
JULY 19-21, 2009
Lausanne Laptop Institute. Memphis, TN.
Presentation proposals are now being accepted.
JULY 27- AUGUST 11, 2009
Center for Innovative Teaching Professional Development Workshops, San Francisco, CA.
AUGUST 4- SEPTEMBER 1, 2009
The 21 Steps to 21st Century Learning Online Institute- Planning
SEPTEMBER 8- OCTOBER 6, 2009
The 21 Steps to 21st Century Learning Online Institute- Planning
OCTOBER 20- NOVEMBER 17, 2009
The 21 Steps to 21st Century Learning Online Institute- Implementation
FEBRUARY 25-27, 2010
ASB Un-Plugged: International One-to-One Learning Conference, Mumbai, India.
Organized in collaboration with the Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation (AALF), the Near East/South Asia Center of Overseas Schools (NESA), and The Laptop Institute.
21 Steps to 21st Century Learning Online Institute Series
CUSTOMIZED INSTITUTES FOR YOUR DISTRICT
AALF will be hosting two 5 week online institutes based on the 21 Steps to 21st Century Learning framework. For more information or to register for an institute, please click on the date that interests you.
The 21 Steps to 21st Century Leaning Online Institute - Planning takes you from research through vision and goal setting, to finance modeling, budgeting and creating a project plan. This Institute is being offered two times in 2009:
August 4- September 1, 2009
5pm-6pm EDT/ 2pm-3pm PDT (US)
September 8- October 6, 2009
5pm-6pm EDT/ 2pm-3pm PDT (US)
The 21 Steps to 21st Century Learning Online Institute - Implementation provides you with a clear understanding of how to put your laptop plan into action. It covers topics such as pedagogical capacity and learning spaces, essential 1-to-1 policies, learning devices and software, preparing for parent questions and concerns, support and service, deployment, and more. This Institute is being offered one time in 2009:
October 20- November 17, 2009
4pm-5pm EDT/ 1pm-2pm PDT (US)
Each institute runs one hour a week for five consecutive weeks. In addition, a one hour optional Conversations & Questions sessions will be held each week to answer any questions, and discuss ideas raised during the weekly sessions. All sessions will be held in Elluminate.
Who Should Participate:
The online institute is designed for Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, Principals and other School Leaders who have made the decision to start a 1-to-1 student laptop program and are at the early stages of the planning process.
AALF can tailor a 21 Steps to 21st Century Learning Institute to your needs. The 21 Steps Institutes are intensive two-day programs designed for superintendents, principals, board members, and other school leaders who have made the decision to initiate or expand their 1-to-1 student laptop initiative. Participants leave with a clear understanding of where to start and how to develop their student laptop program. Institutes can be scheduled for individual schools or districts.If you would like to schedule a customized Institute in your district, please contact Susan Einhorn at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 425.223.3752.
Do you have an upcoming 1-to-1 event you would like to share with other newsletter readers? Contact Justina Spencer for information on posting these events.
|AALF Worldwide Networking|
|CONTRIBUTING TO AALF|
Our AALF worldwide newsletter readership continues to grow. In the past year our foundation enrollment and readers have grown to over 2,500 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 submit an article to an upcoming issue of the AALF newsletter.
- Volunteer your unique suggestions; suggest columns or ideas you think would benefit 1-to-1 educators around the world
Please contact Susan Einhorn (email@example.com or 425.223.3763) if you are interested in any of these opportunities.