From the category archives: Educate the Educator
Educate the Educator
As we look towards the future, it is necessary for school districts to embrace a systemic change in the way technology is viewed. No longer is technology just a classroom tool, but an integral partner in the educational model and an imperative for school transformation.
In order to gain the most value from technology today and in the future, the district must develop a clear vision and understanding that technology is a partner in the delivery of teaching and learning.
In the past, educators used technology as a tool and not as an active partner in improving efficiencies and effectiveness in the educational pedagogy. With shrinking budgets, it was opportunistic to abandon new investments in technology and to sustain existing technology implementations. This was primarily due to minimal strategic value of technology in the current or future plans.
Moving forward it is imperative that school districts properly design technology into their strategic plans to successfully implement all facets of a technology augmented learning continuum:
Part 4 of a 5 Part Series
The first steps in designing a BYOD (or even a 1 to 1) strategy should include looking at what pieces of your curriculum are currently delivered digitally, what your teachers have requested to add to their curriculum, what you have found as a district that you would like to implement, and what other districts are using in their classes.
Forming a technology committee is also a good first step in understanding what the curriculum currently offers and what can be added to enhance the quality and depth of what your district is providing. Getting varied opinions on what is out there can help in designing the future goals for the teachers and technology staff. This includes choosing digital content that works with a wide variety of devices so there is a minimum of restrictions in the list of allowed devices at your district. Does the service work on an iPad as well as an Android tablet? Is the App available on all platforms? These all need considered when choosing content.
Another important first step is including in your strategic plan a method of managing both district devices as well as consumer devices so that both have the same experience. If you are using apps, how will they be delivered to the consumer device?
The final first step involves your district policy. Has it been updated to include the level of rights a district has on a consumer device if it is used on the school premises? It has to be well defined what rights the IT staff and teachers have (or don’t have) on the device so there is no confusion when the device doesn’t function properly or needs an application installed. In the cases of laptops and netbooks, does the device have the latest anti-virus? Can the district IT staff install another browser?
Read Part 1 of this BYOD series here.
Read Part 2 of this BYOD series here.
Read Part 3 of this BYOD series here.
The 1-to-1 Essentials Program recently released by Common Sense Media aims to provide a proactive plan for implementing a successful 1-to-1 program in your school or district. To use the resources you must create a username and password but all of the resources appear to be free of charge.
The program introduces three phases towards a successful implementation: Envision, Communicate, Implement. Each phase provides a downloadable action plan and many downloadable tools and resources for your use. In addition, helpful videos appear for each phase to support the ideas being discussed.
This program is very new so expect new features and resources to be added as they develop and refine the offering. One interesting feature that is “coming soon” is an online compass which will allow you to survey and monitor your stakeholders on their comfort level with the 1-to-1 implementation.
To learn more about this program visit http://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/1to1
Are you interested in implementing Project-Based Learning in your classroom, school or district? The following video gives a good introduction to Project-Based Learning and how a school in Texas has successfully implemented PBL into their culture for learning.
Visit the Edutopia website for more information about PBL and Manor New Technology High School in Texas: http://www.edutopia.org/stw-project-based-learning-best-practices-new-tech-video.