Friday, March 21, 2014

1:1 Questions

On Twitter I posted, "What do teachers new/newer to 1:1 want to know?" One response was, " What schools are doing it well? What are they doing? How do they use it?"

Please keep in mind I can only respond from my point of view.  My point of view being, I am a Family and Consumer Science teacher that has been teaching 1:1 for three years. I feel that our school district, Scott County School District #2, is doing tech integration well. Do we have room to improve? Yes, of course! Bill Gates said, "It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure." I have learned a lot of lessons in the last three years but the benefits far outweigh the frustrations.

I was blessed to have the opportunity to work as a team teacher all day during my second semester of 1:1 with one of our 9th grade English teacher Shawna Slaton. She is extremely tech savvy and at the end of the year moved to Media Specialist position in our district. It was so beneficial to be able to work beside someone all day that could demonstrate good tech integration in the classroom. We are also blessed to have leadership from the top down pushing for great products, training, and support. Due to their passion and plan for our 1:1 initiative, we received several grants which allowed us to have wonderful products, training, and support available to us. Every teacher in our district has a MacBook Pro and iPad. Now In our third year (2013-2014), 9-12 students have MacBooks and 4-8 have iPads. In previous years some grades were BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and it was very difficult. I understand that it is not feasible for every district to have student issued devices but if at all possible I feel that they should. In my experience, BYOD was very frustrating for students and staff.

Our district also has a great variety of professional development opportunities every year. In the summer we host Digipalooza, a teaching and technology conference. We also have drop-in days throughout the summer in which teachers can drop-in for a half or whole day and work on their digital curriculum. During these days technology staff are available to assist with curation and creation of content. Throughout the years we've had PD days for specialized training on various programs and digital teaching styles. At the high school we also have short Tech Talk Tuesdays in which various teachers share quick (15 minute) technology integration ideas. I feel the training opportunities and the transition of 1:1 has brought us closer as a staff. The district encourages teachers to teach other teachers. I know the people in my building that have strengths in various areas and I can reach out to them for help on a program or technology problem.

What are we doing? Moving from textbooks and paper to 1:1 has allowed me to expand my curriculum and learning opportunities for my students. After learning about curation and content creation, I had a better understanding of a 1:1 teacher. I can now pull better, more relevant, and current information and assignments for my students. The digital platform makes it easy to continually modify and add to my curriculum. The learning management system (LMS) we use is My Big Campus but then we spring board from there to other sites. For example, all students and staff are set up with Google accounts. Our student agendas/lesson plans are located on Google Docs. These links are turned into our administrators and connected to our MBC home pages. High school students also have access to Blogger. They link out to Blogger to evaluate food labs, analyze focus topics, and share projects.

Example MBC Home Page: (Housing)


Arrow = Link to student agenda 
Edublogs = Now links to Blogger, main class blog.  
Pinterest = Links to class Pinterest board
Quizlet = Online flashcard creator for vocabulary


For Intro. to Housing and Interiors I have divided the class into 8 units.  These pictures link to MBC bundles for each unit.  Then the style button links to a variety of housing and decorating resources.  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

1:1 Teachers are Curators: Curating with Pinterest

Content and Curation

Pinterest for Educators

Everyone is curating these days…

  • One of the questions people ask when starting 1:1 teaching is, "Where do you get your stuff (content)?".  At first it was difficult but you must build a learning network beyond a Google search.  Another question that is often asked is, "Doesn't it take a lot of time?".  The simple answer is YES.  The last three years have been a labor of love.  In our first year of 1:1 we were encouraged to start with one class.  I began with the class I have taught most frequently and have the most passion for, which is Interpersonal Relationships. To reduce time spent building a digital curriculum one of the things you need to do is have more relevant information coming to you and a good way to organize that information.  This is where Pinterest was so helpful to me.  It allowed me to follow people so that I would have relevant information fed to me on a regular basis.  Also, when I found great information on the web or through the FACS listserv I could save it to the correct board using the Pin It button.  See the information below about curation and Pinterest.  

    . . . the power of change.

    As you watch this video, think about your classroom and your textbook.  How relevant are they to the 21st Century job market?  How could you change the learning landscape of your classroom to prepare your students more effectively for the types of tasks they will be asked to do in the "real world"? (this portion is from an SCSD2 training bundle)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tech Organization

For one of my graduate classes we were talking about training.  I decided to focus on digital organization.   There are so many wonderful sites and posts about apps, programs, lessons, making the digital shift and so much more.  However, I felt like I was hard pressed to find anything about digital organization.  On Pinterest it only takes a few seconds to find lots of examples of classroom organization but where is the tech organization?  I am not a naturally organized person so I was extremely blessed to work with a very tech savvy and organized person my first year of 1:1 teaching.  Without her, Shawna Slaton, I would lose more precious class minutes.  I think one of the most basic things a 1:1 teacher needs to learn is how to organize all of their daily tools so they can access them in the fewest amount of "clicks".  So in saying that I focused my sample training example on setting up bookmarks.  My training is based on Macbook and Safari but I think it could easily translate over to PC.  I hope this is helpful.