So I've been really bad with my time management and have not posted since February. In that time, I've had pretty close to a million posts rummaging through my head, from my Dry Erase lab tables to our new one to one initiative that I and my sixth grade colleagues are undertaking. I've decided that its time to actually do something about it and start making some posts. For this first post back I'm going to provide some background of our one to one initiative. This will lead up to my next post which will be my reflection of the first month of our one to one initiative.
First the background. Last winter/spring, our sixth grade team meet for our monthly sixth grade meeting. Also sitting in on our meeting was the district technology integrationist and the district technology director. Obviously something was up! It was shared with us that the district was planning on increasing the amount of funds put toward technology with hopes of eventually having a one to one program in grades 3 through 8. This was exciting news! Each sixth grade team had previously had a cart of a dozen lap tops and had access to many other carts throughout the school. Therefore we were not going into this "cold turkey." That being said, it was a difference from anything we had done before and so we scheduled some meetings and preparation periods for the rest of the spring to ready ourselves for the "rollout" in the fall. We spent the majority of these meetings talking about the nuts and bolts of the rollout. These included such things as the when, where, and how of parent meetings, the software that we wanted put on the machines initially, and the plan on how to store lap tops during the school day or if kids didn't take them home. We never really got around to talking about how our teaching was going to change with the lap tops. The summer came and all of us did our own thing. We took different classes, went on vacation, and just re-energized for the new school year. In-service came and we spent some more time on the nuts and bolts and actually had our first two parent meetings. These actually went really well with only a few, small unanticipated questions popping up. It was at this time that our Director of Technology started to present us with some options of ways that we (the sixth grade team) could meet and begin discussing how we would implement changes in instruction because we had the lap tops. Obviously this was a very important issue to her as she needed to provide the Superintendent and the School Board with some data to show that the lap tops weren't just being used as glorified word processors. So we were signed up to go to a one to one conference run of local educators here in Vermont. We were also signed up to join the PLPnetwork with Will Richardson and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach. It was at the first PLP meeting that we began planning how we would gather and share data on how the lap top initiative is working. One thing we decided on was having students do a monthly "Thoughts on Learning" reflection in Google Docs. This reflection was simply an answer to two questions, neither of which was directly related to the lap tops and technology but both of which could be answered by referring to those things. Off of this, I suggested that we as the teachers should also reflect at least monthly on our learning and how it had changed. So basically, this long winded explanation is one reason why I'll be blogging more. I plan on cross posting my thoughts here as well as on our Ozzie Peeps website (the one used by our sixth grade). If you read through all this, Thank You. It was more for me to kind of summarize where we are coming from as I start reflecting.
Next Post: Reflections on the first month of one to one