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Volume 5, Issue 5
April 2009
In This Issue
President's Message
AALF Leadership: Executive Director
1-to-1 Global Storybook Part I
Survey Says
1-to-1 Global Storybook Part II
Coaches' Corner
1-to-1 Teaching and Learning
Article Response
Conference News
Conferences and Events
Share Your Expertise
AALF Worldwide Networking
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List!

Dear Colleague,

Welcome to the April edition of the AALF newsletter. This month's issue is focused on Partnerships. AALF President Bruce Dixon discusses the shift in conversations around 1-to-1 learning, and Susan Einhorn, Executive Director of AALF, talks about the various types of partnerships in which schools are participating. We also have articles from Chris Lehmann who discusses Science Leadership Academy's partnership with The Franklin Institute, Claude Picard who shares with us the community partnerships The Study has forged, Danielle Pfeiffer who writes about the 'Technology Driver's License' at the Kent School District, and Jane Metcalf who discusses coaching as a key partnership.

As you may recall, we introduced a new newsletter format. You'll find a brief summary of each article in the email edition of the newsletter, but it can be read in its entirety by clicking on the link at the end of the article. You can comment or add your stories to any of these articles. We would love to hear from you!

AALF Announcement
A+ grade21 Steps to 21st Century Learning Online Institute
May 5, 2009 | 4 pm EDT/ 1pm PDT

Focused, convenient, online format! Space is limited!

Have you decided to implement a 1-to-1 student laptop learning program in your school?

If so, sign up for the:
Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation's
21 Steps to 21st Century Learning Online Institute

....an online institute for school leaders ready to start a 1-to-1 laptop program in their schools. Beginning on May 5, the Institute will run for 7 consecutive Tuesdays, from 4-5pm EDT/1-2pm PDT.

Institute leader Bruce Dixon, international pioneer of 1-to-1 learning and president of the Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation, will take you through the 21 Steps you should follow to successfully implement a student laptop program and tailor the program to your vision and your school's needs.

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.

Click here for more information or to register.

A Note to the AALF Community

We are getting ready to launch the new AALF website, but before we do, we'd love to get some feedback from our community.

We are looking for a few volunteers to help us review the beta site. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Justina Spencer at: jspencer@aalf.org .

President's Message

By Bruce Dixon, President
Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation

I'm not sure whether you realized it, but there has been a decided change in the conversation around schools of late. It may have been a case of the frog in hot water with the change happening so slowly we weren't aware of it, but either way we are now in a very different space to where we were even five years ago, and particularly where we were around the start of this decade.

Everybody is talking transformation, and like it or not, some of the issues and ideas that were once the province of a small number of so-called progressives, or dare I say, radicals are now part of the mainstream conversation.
This is, for the most part something to be celebrated. I mean we now have a very wide audience including everyone from Michael Barber to Bill Gates challenging the effectiveness of our schools and their ability to meet contemporary needs, and, for the most part, doing so in a constructive way to assist in seeking solutions. I was taken aback by the topics of informal and formal conversation at BETT in London in January, where there was continual discussion around the broad topic of 'what schools should/could be'; and given these BETT and the events surrounding it were attended by 30,000 educators from across the globe, including more than 50 Ministers of Education, and you start to get the idea that the conversation has indeed changed.
Click here to read more of Bruce's thoughts on how the conversations around 1-to-1 are changing.
AALF Leadership:  Executive Director News and Thoughts

By Susan Einhorn, Executive Director


Wikipedia defines a partnership as "a cooperative relationship between people or groups who agree to share responsibility for achieving some specific common goal."  In many ways, a school is a collection of partnerships. There are partnerships between teachers and students, between the school and the parents, and between the general community and the school. Many of these partnerships, for example those between schools and community organizations, allow schools to broaden their program offering and provide learning opportunities that would otherwise not be possible.

Partnerships, always a good idea, become even more valued in difficult financial times. They enable schools to develop and run programs that they normally would not be able to even consider.  For example, for a 1-to-1 school, a good partnership between the school and its hardware supplier can help avoid unnecessary difficulties that can doom its program. When technology becomes a main tool for learning, you don't want to find yourself arguing endlessly with your supplier when laptops don't work or you can't get repairs, or the laptops you have aren't what you were promised. Finding a supplier that understands your needs is worth the extra time it may take to establish this partnership.

Community partnerships run the gamut from speaker/mentoring programs that bring content experts into the school, to internship programs that encourage students to be more involved in the daily life of their local or even global community. These partnerships allow schools to open up to their community, seize the learning moment, offer more than any one institution may be able to offer on its own. They benefit the community by encouraging interest and involvement in both community for-profit and non-profit organizations and provide them with youthful energy, enthusiasm, new ideas and perspectives. As you'll read in Claude Picard's article, partnerships make it possible to connect learning directly to the students' world while not bypassing or ignoring the content that needs to be covered.

And then there is probably the most important partnership there can be in any school: the learning partnership between educator and student. Learning is the common goal and it's the teacher's role in this partnership to ensure that all students are supported in achieving this goal by focusing on learning, not just teaching. The students must be active participants in this learning partnership and are responsible for their actions and efforts. Sometimes we choose to make this partnership explicit through various tools. An example of this is the "Drivers License" for 1-to-1 that Danielle Pfeiffer discusses in her article below.
It's clear that partnerships can be a powerful means of building a strong learning community. Please consider sharing your partnership stories with the AALF community. What are your partnership experiences? Were there any unforeseen issues and, if so, how did you resolve them? How have these partnerships changed your practice?

I look forward to hearing from you!

1-to-1 Global Storybook Part I

By Chris Lehmann, Principle
Science Leadership Academy, Philadelphia, USA.


"We'd like to partner with your school..." Most principals I know view that phrase with trepidation because school partnerships can be the kind of thing that enhances and transforms a school, but every principal also has a story about a partnership that didn't work out or ended up requiring a ton of time for not much reward. 

At Science Leadership Academy, we have been incredibly fortunate to have a deep and meaningful partnership with The Franklin Institute -- one of the oldest and most prestigious science and technology museums in the country. This partnership is unique in many ways, not the least of which is that the school was planned as a partnership school, in fact, my office was housed within the walls of The Franklin Institute (TFI) during our planning year. This gave us the opportunity to build many aspects of the school with the partnership in mind. In the end, the partnership in mind -- from the way the schedule works, to the hands-on pedagogy-- matched the philosophy of TFI itself. And in everything we did, we felt it was very important that the partnership was a true synergy -- one where both partners were enriched by the interaction. Too often, school-community partnerships fail because they are viewed not as a true partnership, but as a hand out or a public relations moment. With this in mind, as a founding blueprint, we framed partnership in three ways: Shared Public Vision; Shared Pedagogical Vision and The Interaction of the Two Communities.  This is a framework we still use today.

Shared Public Vision

Initially, this was something that was much more beneficial to SLA than it was to TFI. The Franklin Institute, by virtue of its standing in the community, was able to open doors for SLA that would have otherwise been closed. Whether it was finding members for our Ambassadors Board, calling local organizations so that we could set up internships for our kids, or just lending their name to our efforts, the Franklin Institute was -- and continues to be -- an amazing public partner for us. Now, three years into our efforts, the school is able to contribute more to this public vision. EduCon is one example where we were able to leverage our success as a way to ensure that educators understood the deep and powerful role TFI has played both with SLA and with the School District of Philadelphia writ large.

Shared Pedagogical Vision

Many people assume that SLA is "just" a science high school, but the essence of the school is an inquiry-driven, project-based pedagogy that is very much a shared vision between TFI educators of the museum and the teachers and administrator of the school. The Franklin Institute has been teaching Philadelphia-area teachers about inquiry-driven science learning for decades, and the shared vision of how we can teach and learn means the work of the two institutions can have a connection that penetrates deeper than the subject matter and extends into a shared belief in what education can be.

The Interaction of the Two Communities

This, of course, is the most visible and arguably most important part of the partnership -- how do the two communities work together? Here, we can see the very tangible ways the partnership enriches the education at SLA. All Science Leadership Academy families are members of The Franklin Institute, SLA students take part in events at TFI, they have been docents at TFI lectures meeting scholars such as Cornell West and Spencer Wells, and one Franklin Award Laureate comes to speak at SLA every year during Awards Week. SLA students intern at the museum, working in nearly every department of the museum as part of our Individualized Learning Plan. But the cornerstone of the partnership is the Wednesdays @ The Franklin program where our entire 9th grade class go over to the museum every Wednesday afternoon to take mini-courses with TFI faculty, learning from TFI professional staff in a wide array of courses. Both the Franklin Institute and the school see the the Franklin as an extension of the school campus, and again, both institutions are enriched by the face-to-face interaction.
This partnership started because the School District of Philadelphia and The Franklin Institute understood and appreciated the benefit of a collaboration in the formation of a school. The partnership continued because the people involved worked hard to create a relationship where all involved benefit. It required transparency and trust on the part of all involved. It required a great deal of time to sit down and make sure that both institutions were willing to learn the rhythms of their partner. And it also required remembering -- when things went wrong, either through misunderstandings between the adults or because students forgot the difference between a field trip and a long-term relationship with a museum -- that the shared goals were powerful enough that it was worth solving problems. Three years into the relationship, there is a deep level of trust between the partners, and as we get better and better at the initial pieces of the partnership, we look for new ways to expand the collaboration between Science Leadership Academy and The Franklin Institute.

Chris Lehmann is the principal of the Science Learning Academy, a partnership high school between the School District of Philadelphia and The Franklin Institute. Opened in 2006, the SLA is an inquiry-driven, project-based high school focused on 21st century learning.  It provides a rigorous, college-preparatory curriculum with a focus on science, technology, mathematics and entrepreneurship. Students at SLA learn in a project-based environment where the core values of inquiry, research, collaboration, presentation and reflection are emphasized in all classes.

Survey Says....
A+ grade                       

Is your school involved in any partnerships? If so, please consider responding to a very short survey we have posted.

If you missed last month's quick survey about implementing your 1-to-1 program, it can be answered here.

We will collect your responses and share your insights with the AALF community in the near future. 

Thank you for participating!


AALF asked Jane Krauss, coauthor of Reinventing Project-Based Learning, to list the top ten books she'd recommend to our AALF community. In no particular order, here's what she said: A  grade

1. Young Children Reinvent Arithmetic by Constance Kazuko Kamii.

2. Thinking Mathematically: Integrating Arithmetic & Algebra in Elementary School
by Thomas P. Carpenter.

3. Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards: A Guide for Teaching and Learning by the National Research Council.

Click here to see the rest of Jane's Top Ten 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 Global Storybook Part II

By Claude Picard, Director of Academics
The Study, Montreal, Canada.

The Study logo

An innovative all girls independent school nestled on an extinct volcano overlooking the elegant city of Montreal, has been undergoing somewhat of a pedagogical revolution these days. From kindergarten to grade 11, The Study has become a beehive of activity where students, teachers, parents and private and public enterprises are involved in the creation and implementation of a myriad of learning partnerships  that have changed the face of learning in this school. Currently, eighteen reality-based learning projects are operating in the school.

In one school Conference Room, parents, teachers and students work on planning an exhibit in the school's Performance Hall on Dubai Architecture. Several meters away, the librarian is busy researching and accumulating resources for new projects underway. In grade 1, teacher and students are busy evaluating all the commercial Math games available on the market for kids of this age. Soon, they will launch their own game on the Montreal toy scene based on what they have learned and reflecting their curricular goals.
Fast forward to a grade 9 entrepreneurship program where MBA students and professors from the local Faculty of Management of Concordia University work with teams of students to launch Québec products in China. In the evening, students meet with the companies who they represent for further guidance and Montreal's business community rallies behind these young entrepreneurs of the future. In May, students will be involved in an actual Trade Fair in JiangMen, China.

In grade 6, the school has created a mini-medical program where medical specialists from the local Montreal General Hospital teach anatomy and disease and students subsequently apply what is learned to a community outreach program that they themselves create. And the list goes on. Law students submitting their work to judges for evaluation, Space Law being taught by personnel from the cities local bourgeoning space industry, students driving and initiating a soon to be held Environment Conference and a documentary being prepared in English and French on the ravages of Darfur destined for a Film Festival.

On any given day at The Study, the school is engaged in so many partnerships that lack of space is probably the biggest impediment to learning in the school. So many people need to link and plan and students need large areas where they can build and create, that the flurry of partnership projects need administrative and staff members that are flexible and out of the box thinkers. The issue of space is being looked by all stakeholders and exciting thematic class conversions are on the drawing board.
The Study goes forth with enthusiasm and words such as flexi-scheduling, reality-based programs and school of the future resonate increasingly in the local culture.

What then is driving this opening up of the school to all constituents? Slowly, units or themes such as The Butterfly are being replaced by sophisticated learning situations that encourage students to apply what is learned to a real-life problem that is placed before them. Expertise from the outside world becomes necessary to complete these projects. When the local Shriner's Hospital Orthopedic Hospital threatened to leave Montréal, the students turned it into a learning project and worked with health officials and the local Shriners to save the community hospital. They analyzed the situation and decided that the hospital should remain in Montréal. They did everything possible to ensure that that happened and it did. Three years later, the hospital is preparing to build a new complex in Montréal serving those in need in Québec and in Canada.
Many of these learning situations are created and implemented with the help of community partners who lend their expertise and resources to make these situations come alive. Invariably, student motivation in the classroom runs very high as learners see the connection between what is learned and how it is used in the real world. The learner is increasingly being made part of the process and is being trained to avail herself of all the community resources before her to solve a given problem. The Study is quickly discovering that the barriers of learning are falling and a strong partnership approach is the one that will help create the building blocks for the school of the future.
Claude Picard is the Director of Academics at The Study in Montreal, Canada, Claude has created a wide variety of unique partnerships linking the private and public sector to the creation of innovative academic programming. He is perhaps Canada's leading educator in the area of reality-based programming, linking the curriculum to real-life situations that empower learners to better understand what they are learning and link that learning to the world in which they live. Click here to read a recent article in The Montreal Gazette that describes The Study's project to introduce Quebec products in China in more detail.

Coaches' Corner

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 www.aalf.org or contact Karen Ward at kward@aalf.org
1-to-1 Teaching and Learning
Achieving 24/7 Student Access through the Driver's License Process

By Danielle Pfeiffer, Director School Technology Services
Kent School District, Washington, U.S.A.

A+ grade

Today, education professionals are immersed in research and information surrounding the value of 21st century skills and the effectiveness of 1-to-1 laptop programs. After years of careful planning and a successful "small school" pilot program, the Kent School District moved forward with a district-wide 1-to-1 Laptop Initiative. Over the course of the 2008-2009 school year, approximately 3000 7th grade students were provided a school-issued laptop. The Kent School District, located about 20 miles south of Seattle, Washington, is the 4th largest district in the state of Washington, comprised of 28 elementary schools, 6 middle schools, and 4 high schools. The total enrollment exceeds 26,000 students.

Although well prepared with an understanding of theory, pedagogy and practice, it was up to our small team to develop the details of the one to one implementation process. Since allowing students 24/7 access was our ultimate goal, we were challenged with ensuring that students and parents were well prepared for the responsibility of bringing the laptop home and using it as it was meant to be used: for value added educational purpose (also deleted the additional 'with purpose') and student empowerment.

We began by generating a list of potential subjects that students would need to know and be able to prior to releasing the laptops to go home. The list of potential subjects was immense. Internet safety, basic laptop operation, care and troubleshooting, appropriate use guidelines, and an understanding of the district's Electronic Use Policy all topped the priority list. Our goal was to narrow the list to an essential skill set and create a plan for building upon those skills in future training sessions and hands-on experience in the classroom.
As ideas were generated, the process began to sound familiar -- very similar to a real world experience.
"I think students should have to take a test before they take it home."
"They should use it under adult supervision until they prove they are responsible."
"We need to ensure that there is an involved adult in the home environment."
"They should have time to learn and practice before we test them."
"This sounds a lot like getting your driver's license."
"That's it - that's our model!"
Out of this line of thinking, our "Technology Driver's License" process was born.

Reflecting on our model: The Real Driver's License

The Permit and Preparation Process:
Using the 'real world' driver's license as our model we began to create a similar series of experiences that all students would have to confidently navigate and demonstrate proficiency in before 24/7 access was allowed. We agreed that common knowledge and understanding in four basic content areas was a must. These four basic skill areas included: laptop care, technical skills, acceptable use and digital citizenship.
Content and Knowledge Overview:

Laptop Care: One of the basic necessities is that students know how to care for their laptop both at school and at home. This topic area includes but is not limited to: proper carrying and storage of the laptop, proper maintenance as it relates to student behavior (no food or drink around the laptop, placement of the laptop on a surface during use), and finally, the use of the school-district issued case at all times.
Application: Similar to most districts, The Kent School District requires that all students adhere to the acceptable use policy. In this section of the driver's license test, students are asked specific questions as it relates to this policy. Examples of the content covered in this section include but are not limited to what constitutes an appropriate/inappropriate website the appropriate use of email, and acceptable content of files that are stored on the laptop and server.
Technical Skills: In order to be as productive as possible at home and at school, students must possess basic knowledge of troubleshooting skills. Students are assessed on their knowledge of fixing a wireless connection, logging on successfully, correctly charging the battery and a basic understanding the purpose of the various lights ports on the laptop.
Citizenship: In this section of the test, students are assessed on their understanding of ethical standards and digital citizenship. Topics such as plagiarism, copyright, fair use, and internet safety are highlighted in this section.


After content was determined, we began to tackle the process using the 'real world' driver's license process as our framework. It is common knowledge that all teenagers begin their driving experience by acquiring a driving permit. A driving permit allows the teen to operate the vehicle with adult supervision. After our initial deployment of the laptops to students, all students are given the ability to operate their laptop under the 'permit' process for approximately 4-6 weeks prior to taking the our technology driver's license test. We acknowledge that our students have a lot to learn and practice before taking to the "streets" alone. Beginning to use the computers in class provides opportunities for hands-on practice. Similar to the state department of licensing publishing a study guide for preparation and offering a defensive driving course for practice, we present guidelines and expectations to the students on the day they receive their computers. We furthermore, provide all students with a One to One Student Manual in PDF format that resides on the desktop of each laptop. This manual, comparable to a driver's license study guide, includes policies, procedures, and detailed troubleshooting steps specific to the laptops. Moreover, students are given access to variety of additional review and preparation items all accessible via Moodle, our learning management system. These additional items include but are not limited to: a study guide, an interactive review and a practice test, set to allow unlimited attempts and provide instant feedback.

The Driver's License Test

In Washington, as in most states, kids dream of the day they turn sixteen and are eligible to take their driver's license tests. We find that same eager anticipation living at each school, where a date is set when all students will attempt the Technology Driver's License Test for the first time.
Much like the real driver's license test, our test is also taken electronically and graded automatically through Moodle. Striving for 80% accuracy, students receive immediate feedback from the auto grading capability. For those that do not achieve the minimum score on the first attempt, a retake test is offered a few days later after the provided support materials are reviewed once again. We have found that most students will pass the test on the second attempt. It is important to note, that teachers also have access to a version of the test that has been revised to meet the needs of ELL students and those students requiring individual accommodations (IEPs).

One More Hoop: Mandatory Parent/Guardian Information Meeting

New drivers are required to have the support of a parent/guardian. For us, this is the same with the use of the laptop. In addition to passing the driver's license test, schools host a mandatory parent information night provided in multiple languages. Students must have at least one supportive adult attend the session in order to take the laptop home. Presenters speak about the Electronic Use Policy, the acceptable use guidelines, and laptop care and use. The evening closes with a presentation from a member of the Seattle Police Department on Internet Safety and provides a demonstration of how an Internet predator might solicit personal information from children online.


Often times we are asked if this process has prevented or decreased misuse of the laptops and our answer is yes. This process coupled with clearly communicated expectations for use and consistent consequences for misuse (we use a standardized technology violation course), have paved the way for our success. Over the course of the past our results have been positive with upwards of 85% of students passing the driver's license test on their first attempt. Integral to this pass rate has been the parent/guardian attendance at the mandatory Internet safety evening and also the buy-in of building staff and administration.


Dani Pfeiffer, Director of School Technology Services: Kent School District, Kent, Washington
Prior to assuming her current position as Director of school technology services in the Kent School District, Dani Pfeiffer was the Director of the Kent School District Technology Academies at both the middle and high school level. She was instrumental in planning and implementing Kent's first one-to-one computing program, which has recently been nationally recognized by Microsoft as well as the National School Board Association. Additionally, KSD's 1:1 program has appeared in several publications as a model for best practice and been featured on NBC Nightly News. Pfeiffer has presented at numerous conferences and has served as an advisor to districts, both nationally and internationally, that are in the process of implementing one-to-one programs.
Emrie Hollander and Becky Keene, TOSAs , School Technology Services: Kent School District, Kent Washington Becky Keene is currently a technology coach at the secondary level in the Kent School District assisting teachers with lesson design for the one-to-one and technology-rich classroom environment. Becky helped plan and develop the successful Kent Technology Academy magnet school in Kent. She played a key role in developing and designing the curriculum for the program. Becky taught humanities at the seventh- and eight-grade levels in the Academy, and was an elementary school teacher prior to moving into the middle school one-to-one environment. She is currently the district expert on classroom management systems having worked with three different systems in three short years.

Emrie Hollander's career in 1:1 computing began in 2005 with the opening of the Kent Technology Academy. With five years of elementary school teaching experience and National Board Certification, she transitioned to the middle school math classroom. She began to develop and apply best practices for a technology-rich environment. She moved on to spend two years as a building technology coach as the 1:1 program expanded school-wide. Currently, she is a Teacher on Special Assignment a member of the team charged with the implementation of 1:1 computing to all six middle schools in the district. She works side-by-side with administrators, building coaches, teachers, parents and students to ensure a successful transition to 24/7 access.

Article Response

Jane Metcalf, Coach
Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation

This article takes as its starting point Joe Hofmeister's article 'The Elephant in the Room' from AALF's February newsletter. 

A+ gradeLike Leo Tolstoy's observation that "happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way," (Anna Karenina) successful 1-to-1 laptop programs pretty much produce the same results: students are engaged and take responsibility for their learning; their learning opportunities expand and their learning environment is flexible. In a successful 1-to-1 program, students acquire 21st century skills, and become savvy in how to use these tools and street smarts both safely and productively. The programs are supportable and sustainable. However, a laptop program is harder than it looks from the outside looking in. There are many 'unhappy' laptop programs out there, and thus many ways to stub your toe on roadblocks to a successful program. A list of these roadblocks would probably take several pages and would not help.  Each school presents challenges in its own unique way. Every school has its own culture, physical plant, staffing model, student profile, technology infrastructure, previous experiences, brand, etc. One school's strength is another school's deficit. Thus, what to do? Engaging a coach is one way to minimize the false starts and failed efforts.

So what does a coach do? One thing a coach does not do is consult. A consultant is engaged to manage a project and deliver a product. The consultant drives the process so the client can focus on other, more critical parts of their business. When the consultant leaves the client is left with a new tool or process to use. When a coach leaves, the team is left with new skills and understanding that allow them to be successful. Coaches engage in dialog to understand the school's current situation, aspirations and pain points. They brainstorm with the team to create strategies and policies. They review the team's project plans to identify any missing steps or ideas that have gone awry elsewhere. Coaches share the experiences of other programs. They provide guidance where needed. They're a coach.

Let me give you an example of one mentoring engagement. The client was in the process of rolling out a pilot program for 1-to-1. They had already created a rollout plan and some informational brochures. The first step was to review their plans. Much of it was right on the money; some processes would likely need modification but a few items were posed to kill them. I teamed with the client project manager to discuss addressing the modifications needed and also met with the CTO to identify the urgency and scope of these modifications. After attending the parent rollout meeting, I met with the manager to discuss ways to make the next one more effective. A month after the initial rollout I accompanied the manager to the pilot schools to assess the progress. Afterward we discussed best practices to address problem areas. Throughout the pilot the manager contacted me to discuss program progress and ways to improve it. Although the pilot is over I stay in contact with the manager to brainstorm ways to make the laptop program even better.
Every coaching engagement I've been on was different. One wanted an audit of their plans to pinpoint potential problems. They wanted to assure their board that the plan was sound and sustainable. Another was helped by some needed culture shifts which resulted in a change for the organizational chart. Without these changes the great hardware would not have resulted in great results. I've helped analyze complaints and formulate ways to address them. One site needed advice in jump starting their program. In my latest engagement, I am helping the team deal with things stalling at every point where one team member handed off the task to another.

Each coach has a unique set of experiences and skills to bring to the engagement. I first gained my expertise running an I.T. shop for a corporation, and then used it to shore up a laptop program that had a fine vision, but was faltering. By applying some best practices to the technology infrastructure and support services, the team was not only able to stabilize the program but significantly enhance learning. Since then I have helped a variety of schools. Each had a different set of challenges. In each case, however, the program team gained both management skills, and the trust and respect of their fellow educators.
Ideally, I am brought in at the beginning of the planning process. More usually I am brought in when the program falters in unexpected or inexplicable ways. As I said, it isn't easy. Let me tell you, early engagement is definitely more productive. Why do I do this? I get a kick out of seeing a programs grow and soar. It's my contribution to the future.

Jane Metcalf was the technology director at St. Joseph's Academy in Baton Rouge, LA for the last 4 years. Previously, she worked as systems and operations manager with Louisiana Workers' Compensation Corporation for 12 years, and prior to that as system manager for Computing Services at Louisiana State University. She taught in Los Angeles during her early career, and returned to college mid-life to earn a B.S. in Computer Science. She has been an AALF coach since 2008.

Conference News
Computer-rich Learning Adventures for Creative Educators

A+ gradeJoin 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.

Early-bird registration ends May 1st.

Learn more about Constructing Modern Knowledge, the professional learning event of the year at www.constructingmodernknowledge.com

Conferences, Institutes, Academies and Events

Check 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.

April 27-29, 2009
Fifth Annual One-to-One Computing Conference, State College, PA.

Starting May 5, 2009
21 Steps to 21st Century Learning Online Institute, 4pm EDT | 1pm PDT

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 1:1? Join the debate on policy, equity, and implementation issues surrounding 1:1"

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.

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.

Do you have an upcoming 1-to-1 event you would like to share with other newsletter readers?  Contact Justina Spencer (jspencer@aalf.org ) for information on posting these events.

Customized Institutes for Your District

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: seinhorn@aalf.org or 425.223.3763

Share Your Expertise
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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.

On the flip side, if you've tackled the same issue or have experience in one of these areas, please consider sharing your ideas, expertise, insights, and suggestions with the community.

Q: Here is a question AALF received from Mark Inglis in the U.S.:

"Do you know any public school contacts doing 1-to-1 with whom I could discuss asset management?"

Please contact Susan Einhorn at: seinhorn@aalf.org to respond to this query.

AALF Worldwide Networking
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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 (seinhorn@aalf.org or 425.223.3763) if you are interested in any of these opportunities.

The Foundation thanks its partners for their support: