Saturday, January 11, 2014

We Have Gone 1:1!

What a good week!

Kearney High School, in Kearney, Nebraska, started its venture as a 1:1 school this week. Before the holiday break, we handed out Chromebooks to our 1500 students and this past Tuesday is where the rubber-met-the-road, so to speak. It was a very cool week!

Starting Tuesday, we were going to be able to see if our network was going to hold, and it did! We had put so much work and preparation into our wireless network, yet due to a checkered past, many were still skeptical. It worked like a champ!

As I walked around the school, I saw teachers using Padlet for collaboration, shared Google Presentations for guided note-taking, Google Sites and Moodle as learning management systems, Google Forms for exit tickets and workflow management, Socrative and Infuse Learning for formative assessment...IT WAS SO COOL!

What was even more special were the reactions from teachers.

  • The teacher who is slow and reluctant to implement new things is now so excited about comment-only grading using the comment feature of Google Docs.
  • The math teacher who was not in favor of 1:1 has "flipped 180°" because of how he saw the increased engagement of his lower-achieving students. Now he wants to know how he can use Google Forms for assessment.
  • The science teacher who was so excited to see the power of Infuse Learning as a method of formative assessment.
  • The other science teacher of 30+ years who is using Moodle and Google Drive with her students. She is very nervous, but I can see she is proud of herself as well.
As an instructional coach, it is exciting to see teachers take steps to rock the boat a bit. They are trying new things, they are using new tools, and it is helping to create a new culture of learning. 

We know that a device, in and of itself, will do NOTHING to increase student learning. What does make a difference is how the teacher uses that device in the classroom. I think we are on our way!

It was a good week!

Have a happy day!

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