Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending and presenting at an Apple event called the Wisconsin Educational Leadership Forum. Here is a PDF of my presentation on how technology changes learning. My Keynote preso is uploaded here.
Other speakers included Milt Dougherty, Mike Hester and Dorothy Crenshaw. Milt is a well traveled consultant and superintendent in Kansas, Mike is a high school principal in Kansas, and Dorothy Crenshaw is the Chief Information Officer of the Indianapolis Public Schools. I learned a great deal from these speakers in terms of content and presentation skills and I think all of our presos dovetailed nicely together.
From Milt, I learned that change is about leadership and that schools considering 1 to 1 laptop programs need to set a goal for what they are trying to accomplish. Mike's message reminded me a lot of Alan Novemer's presentations. I appreciated his call for people to have the courage to change our educational system. I often ponder why things stay the same in our field when some aspects are clearly not working.
Mike showed this hilarious herding cats video and gave details about 1 to 1 implementation in his district. Professional development was key to his district's success and he devoted 45 minutes to staff development time each week. This is not the first time I've heard in a 1 to 1 program, you can never allot enough time for professional development. Mike also mentioned his ICU... iBook Care Unit... at which kids could get their laptops repaired.
Dorothy was a very inspirational speaker, and it's heartening to know that an urban district can pull of a sustained 1 to 1 program. Her message was, "Do whatever it takes. Make a committment to the best resources for your students." She also made efforts to reach out to her board and to city and university partners. Dorothy's district also spent a great deal of time with professional development and developed a class for parents on laptop learning. Kids in Indy are required to produce some sort of project at the end of the eyar and they hold various celebrations to recognize the kids' efforts. The school district also partners with the city and mayor's office to tackle a community problem and the laptops facilitate this. Problem based learning is a big component to this program. Also, students are given internet cable access at home, which to me, is so important. What's the point if the kids can't use these machines at home?
All in all, this event was a great experience and I enjoyed the administrator's perspective on 1 to 1 initiatives!