Showing posts from April, 2010

Students learning with laptops

Five years ago our School District embarked on a project to provide a class set of laptops to a students in each of four K-5 (elementary) schools and the year after expanded to include five 6-8 (middle) schools.  Our focus was on improving the writing process. I know, this is nothing new now as many schools around the world have run similar initiatives.  But we wanted to learn for ourselves how providing this technology in a one 2 one format to students could impact their learning, specifically writing.  We did not undertake a formal research project but rather through anecdotal feedback from teachers, parents, and students we now believe that all students can benefit from this type of access. At the beginning of each school year we require parents and their students who are in a one2one classroom to come to a one hour evening meeting to learn about this program.  2009 10 one 2 one fall startup meetings View more presentations from Brian Kuhn . A key message in this presentatio

Device Wars

The iPad has sure taken money from peoples pockets in a hurry.  I don’t know about you but I’m starting to find it difficult at times to make sense of all the choices.  School Principals and Teachers often seek my advice on what to buy for students or what to recommend to parents to buy for their kids.  I have to step out of my adult self to try to see device choices through the eyes of a young person.  We adults are biased in our choices to what we know and prefer.  Kids are often more willing to use / try new devices and make them work for their needs.  We need to be sure to acknowledge that they will see things differently then we adults do. I wrote a post about using iPod Touch devices in classrooms – we have some schools considering class-sets of these to support learning.  Many schools are considering netbooks as the next big thing for students. Their size and price are attractive for sure.  But aren’t they simply a smaller cheaper laptop?  Is this the right device?  Wired M

Teachers teaching with SMART Boards

In my last post I talked about a learning team I facilitated for school principals.  Well, I also facilitated a team of K-5 teachers last year in their journey to figure out how to use SMART boards .  This was a great experience for me to have with classroom teachers learning a new and powerful technology. SMART boards are interactive white boards (IWB) or devices that allow the user to touch the white board and manipulate objects, text, and various software tools.  It is best to mount the IWB on the wall with an LCD projector arm built in.  This way it is always available and properly aligned and calibrated – which reduces setup time and frustration for the teacher.  Then use a laptop (or desktop) on a cart to connect to the IWB.  Software on the laptop controls the IWB’s functions. Schools have embraced IWB’s all around the world.  I believe Alberta, CA has a goal to put an IWB in every classroom in every school and is well on its way to achieving this. My team’s research goa

Administrator 2.0 Leading Technology in Schools

Last year I had the privilege of facilitating a learning team consisting of a small group of school principals.  Learning teams in our District are learning structures designed to support action research.  These principals had recently purchased tablet PCs and had the following question: “In what ways will my leadership skills be improved by my learning the various tools of my tablet?”   They are leaders of elementary (K-5) and middle (6-8) schools. Learning teams are a very important method for our teachers and principals to experience embedded action research of their own design.  I presented their story at CUEBC in October 2009 .  We have over 1/3 of our educators who’ve chosen to be on a learning team and around 41% of all learning teams have a learning with technology focus.  I talked about technology leadership in a previous post and I think this group of Principals exemplify learning and leadership. Role of Principal and Technology They see their role with respect to techn