Wow! #beyondlaptops for 2013 is already full! Here are the details, so you can follow along on Twitter:
Dates: 18 – 20 April 2013
(18 April: pre-conference)
During this year’s event, we’re hoping to re-visit some of the “hot topics” from last year, as well as continue to push our thinking around technology rich learning environments. Here are some of the ideas we’re planning to address (plus more to come!):
- Developing student leadership in a 1:1 environment
- Who’s telling your story? Elevating and structuring social media sharing at your school
- Next steps based on your year of implementation, and an opportunity to share and collaborate with others at the same stage
- Creating opportunities for synergy among various school initiatives, including technology
- Job-alike / Division-based groupings
- Embracing creativity, exploring ways that technology is influencing culture and art (eg. remix)
- Developing a passion for learning in our students, allowing them to “own their learning”
- Sharing successes and challenges from individual schools
- Student-led sessions
- What’s next? Looking toward the future of learning
Check out our list of participating schools! More details about the evening events and schedule for each day coming soon!
2012 Beyond Laptops from Yokohama International School on Vimeo.
We asked conference participants to stop by our video booth and record their most salient obeservations from the conference. This is a selection of those shared ideas that represents the vibe of what people were learning, sharing and thinking about.
Another breakout session (again, sorry, not sure who took these notes):
What successes and problems have people experienced?
- Configuration: three methods from Apple
- server level – more control
- “configurator” app that runs off a laptop – but need volume licensing
- older app used for setting up iphone – not useful
- problems with different configuration methods for each cart
- wireless updates
- 10 app limit
- can buy gift vouchers instead of gift card
- schools add their own programs and profiles on ipads
- limited preferences within the profile
- every ipad has its own email address
- cannot overide deleting apps – need to physically turn that off for each iPad
- need time at the start to show kids how to set up dropbox, google accounts etc and to show them how to use the ipad for educational purposes
- need a list of skills you need to effectively use the ipad
- need unique Apple ids for each ipad
- kids who know how to type are frustrated using the ipad
- teachers nervous about only having ipads
- what will they do with their Word documents
- are students spending too much time “typing” with laptops?
- will using ipads help push away from a reliance on typing
- easier to share final product
- can be more creative on ipad
- you will always need to adjust whenever you shift to a new device/system –> don’t worry about what you will lose –> focus instead on what you CAN do and the new things you can do
Useful apps for middle school
- Explain Everything -
- great app – can use beyond the tool
- Math – can use Explain Everything in a way that can be used in an e-portfolio – can show the steps in thinking and post to You Tube
- primary school
- cameras to document work
- need to reassess how we assess
- ipad is not suited to text entry – trying to use the ipad for something it is not meant to be used
- how do we use the ipad for nontextual assessments
- Confer app
- menu of descriptors that teachers define
- can be used as feedback for teacher portfolios
- less intrusive in interview formats
- file management issues
- Dragon Diction software
- high degree of fidelity
- works very well for students with dysgraphia
- also great to help with documentation of tasks during procesing
- chording programs – fewer patterns of keys instead of traditional keyboards
- app for handwritten notes
- can merge notebooks
- can draw for Science, better for math
- is an ipad more suitable as a digital notebook for students than a laptop?
- easier to use standing up, taking pictures, keeping records
- MS and above prefer laptops
- doesn’t this depend on the type of task that you give them?
- Video Physics
- resources (cost, time) needed for purchases and PD for ipads on top of laptops
A breakout session facilitated by Adrienne.
Adrienne’s disclosure: contributing to the new MYP: Principles into Practice document (2014). Looking to add ICT and social media to this document — what are schools doing? What should be in this document? What shouldn’t be? How are things documented?
At NIST, ICT in the PYP is mapped via those 6 headings in the document, these are then mapped to the ATL
What they discovered was missing in ATL = responsibility = digital citizenship. No link between PYP and MYP
Suggestion: look at PYP PSPE document – personal physical and social education look under which strand the dig citizenship / resp component this comes under
Renaissance College HK has a Transdisciplinary Skills coord in charge of looking at how ICT and dig citizenship are embedded into units.
CDNIS (HK) – dig lit skills started as a separate section on the planner / scope & sequence, but now they simply include them as trans disc skills – not a separate “skill” area. Discovered that it was too embedded, not separate.
- How do you assess ICT skills in PYP and MYP? Should they be assessed?
- Would teachers / coords be more accountable to ICT skills (e.g. NETS) if they were embedded in the PYP/MYP docs? YES huge support for this
- Distinction between ICT skill competencies and transdisciplinary skills
- In PYP trans disc and MYP ATL: What is missing?
- Dual platform is preferred. Don’t know how to operate in Win if you’re on Mac, or vice-versa. We need exposure to both
- exposure to ICT in lower years – ICT is still an add-on. How to change this model?
During our breakout session, one group focused on developing and sustaining a vision, combined with the ideal 1:1 classroom. Here are the notes (I’m sorry, I don’t remember who took them):
- Vision is important. Also need an assessment piece. How do we know that we’ve made it?
- CDNIS vision statement and action plan
- What are we doing in 1:1 that is better than it was before? We need to engage parents.
- Parent concern over kids having the machine.
- We’re in a paradigm shift.
- 1 room school house expectation.
- How do we motivate a MS student to find a passion and learn on their own.
- KIS is collecting observational data about what is going on in the classroom over a 3 year period. Want to develop strong assessment tools to measure over years of 1:1 implementation whether performance is going up.
- Vision involves PD model and getting engagement from students.
- Students think that we should listen more to students. We need to give them a bigger voice. Eportfolios!
- Maybe we don’t need proof that tech improves learning. Let’s assume that it does. It’s part of life.
- We want to spend more time talking about how we want kids to be, what we want them to learn…maybe tech helps that.
- Everyone should be a coach. Individualized learning.
- Lack of vision is biggest problem in a 1:1 program.
- Science Leadership Academy, great example of having a crystal clear vision. Tech isn’t the focus…it’s the tool.
- Students are involved with hiring teachers.
- Students know about admittance policy.
- How can the vision be shaped knowing that the future is unknown…how can we keep it current?
- Vision should be pedagogical vision.
- Instead of showing that tech improves grades, focus on the product. What is the tech allowing to happen? The products are the evidence.
- We talk about the same things over and over again. But, what is next?
- We are building the plane while we are flying.
- Herding Cats
- Ideal 1:1 classroom
- curious, engaged, independent students
- individualized learning
- maybe there is no classroom
Thanks to Jason for the notes!
Our final session was focused on how to measure the success of a 1:1 implementation. Ideas were shared from all participating schools. Here are the highlights:
- The tool has to be multi faceted: measure many indicators. use a standardized rubric. how many teachers present at tech conferences.
- Spend a lot of time justifying tech should be on learning not the tool and use. Embedding evaluation into other things you are evaluating. Include “survey” in existing surveys.
- Look at behaviors, attitudes, not the tool.
- Keep track of alumni and leaving teachers.
- External audits “eyes” on the program.
- Example Technology Integration Observation Survey from the American School of Dubai
Huge thanks to Jason for the notes!
During one of our sessions, we determined “best practice” in technology-focused professional development, using this CFG Protocol (thanks Thomas for sharing the protocol!), based on each participant’s experience in all of their schools. Here are the highlights from our collaborative notes:
- 1:1 coaching has been much more powerful than workshops. Not sure how to sustain that.
- YIS Visiting Scholars Program: visiting professor who is doing a research project. They have 2 a year. Each professor stays for about 3 weeks. They offer 2-3 workshops per week.
- MYP/PYP – using that as a way to get coaches into the classroom for planning and team teaching. The tech becomes embedded.
- Agreed that PD needs to be tied into the teacher appraisal process. They need to be setting goals and held accountable for those goals.
- Good teachers sharing good practice with other teachers is received better than tech teachers sharing the same info.
- Host a tech conference. Suddenly you have 80 sessions offered over 2 days. Staff stepped up, showed leadership. Took a while for the unconference approach to take off but in the end it worked very, very well. They directed their own learning.
- Accountability is key, be it PLC, inquiry groups, or some other name. However, done wrong that kills the enthusiasm.
- Have students lead short PD sessions for teachers.
- Differentiated leadership: once a month 90 minute release time for teacher from each team. They bring their learning back
- One off type of PD has its place but the actual change is minimal. We need a much more organic process.
- The Fishbowl is fantastic. They feel comfortable attending and you can follow up in the classroom. The half hour block was key. It only took part of their prep, not all of it.
- After school sessions don’t work well and some teachers feel guilty.
- Curriculum driving the need. Drive it from the curriculum. For example, don’t focus on blogging, focus on reflection.
- Modelling is important.
- Weekly updates on what is happening. Kept it generic rather than stating the teacher because it got the staff talking.
- Group posterous posts for ipad pilot teachers.
- Half a PD day -teachers teaching teachers. Recruit teachers to share a specific project. Better received and builds experts.
- PLC model offers a constructive structure for people to grow and learn. Organized in content areas - Singapore American School
- What do we want kids to know?
- How do we know when they know it?
- What will we do when students have difficulty learning?
- Timing can be - Monday Test – Wed results back – Thurs/Friday extensions + learning
- Instructional Rounds – American School Bombay
- Thursday mornings 10min observations (non-judgmental) + followed by analysis for themes resulting in asking a question.
- Getting involved with other educational organizations like the IBO, Accreditation Visits, Evaluations. – Sinarmas World School
- Great for influx of new ideas.
- Great for staff CV and experience.
- Time committment varies.
- Share PD experiences and called it “teacher inspiring teachers”.
- More examples of PD models shared by Dana (thanks Dana!)
We also had a breakout session on this topic, here are the notes (sorry, I can’t remember who took these, was it Will?):
- How do we move IT beyond just learning to use a tool? If we only teach how to use the tool then are we actually changing practice?
- Instructional Rounds – teachers walk around where they observe what is going on. Then questions are formed and professional dialogue is held. Every Thursday first block. Observers become part of the lesson. Based on the same base as “Peer Coaching”. From experience it is very empowering to all parties and encourages deeper professional dialogue. Lasts for about an hour. Tool to develp walk through forms.
- Begin with the end of mind. Plan out the vision of where you want to be and then base all decisions around this.
- Develop PD sessions based on a similar model as the COETAIL course. Teachers pay a small fee and get credit for it. These could be one day courses. They would focus on actual practice and then other aspects (IT, literacy, counselling, etc) are embedded into the training.
- Building time into the day to allow for PD
- There is a need for accountability. Whose role is it to check what is being done?
- “Looking for Learning” – based on 7 questions which you go into rooms and talk to students and teachers about actual practice.
- Teaching and Learning office – this is the place where the curriculum leaders
- Tom Kelly (Ideo) – how can you empower students? Could teachers have student mentors?
- Most attended PD sessions are the ones run by the students.
- We are there to support the teachers not assess them. You need to evaluate the practice and not the person.
- Tech Pilots – a group of teachers get extra PD time and regular meetings with tech coaches based on whatever there needs are. They are the test group for new initiatives and they are then responsible for feeding back to their team.
- Speed Geeking – short and bit size PD sessions run by teachers. Lots of ideas/skills are shared at one time – people choose what station do they stop at.
- Organic Growth – bring people in slowly and include choice in this process along the way.
- Rubric for the base skills which all teachers need to know. You need to work you way up to mastery. In ipad program it is going to be the 10 apps that everyone needs to know.
More group discussion notes:
- Differentiated was well received but difficult to sustain
- PD date nights
- Afterschool didn’t work. They are too busy and they feel guilty when they don’t come.
- School-wide goal process (e.g UBD, differentiation). Next year the goal is tech for learning so the PD days will have that focus.
- Staff have to have 3 personal teaching/learning goals and one must be tech focused. However, they are private so tech staff aren’t able to plan and support
- Team level experts are often less threatening and quicker
- Tech mentor retreat – spread out across subject, age
- Is key to get regular teachers involved
- Ask the students! Even in elementary there is often a child in the room who knows how to do that or fix that.
- Service hours available to students to come into the labs to help younger students during recess and other times.
- Online learning inspired some greatly. PD funds were made available. Not just webinars but actual courses.
- Middle school students visit homerooms each week to disseminate the message or skill of the week.
- Tech Tip Tuesday: preplanned what they would need and after a while what was needed was obvious. Wired Wednesday. Providing breakfast brought in steps.
- Inefficient: large group workshops. Don’t do them. Wastes the time of 2/3 of the people.
- What is most effective for brand new staff
- large group doesn’t work
- they can’t take much in
- we started pre-setting up everything for them so we didn’t need to meet. Better use of everyone’s time.
- 40 min. sessions all day long including after school on Thursday on different topics
- each week new topic
- 6-20 people per day
- teachers say in exit interviews that this works well
- want to integrate with veracross so that teacher can have print out of what they’ve done
- every month they have open desk…teachers pick topic…sign up for times
- embedded teacher
- busy, but would rather be busy in the classroom
- Offer many opportunities for PD sessions AND for building relationships.
- Keep it short and concise.
- Each coach is responsible for checking in with admin to encourage tech growth.
- Bits and bytes, after school workshops, voluntary, weekly.
- Offer out of class time for PD. Each teacher is doing this 2-5 days per year. These were former curriculum building days.
- MYP technology…using design cycle. Tech is integrated in curriculum. Tech teachers team teach with teachers for those classes.
- Because of this, teachers are working with more and more tech coaches to design curriculum.
- Expectation is that you will meet tech standards through units of inquiry. Meet with grade levels of teachers. Ask, what is unit? what are outcomes? what is summative assessment? what is formative assessment? Then offer 4 other ways to do it. Then he goes in to help them teach it….refuses to take over completely.
- each teacher with coach minimum 2 times per month of planning….average 10- 12 times of co-teaching per year. 1:40 ratio
- Calendar – map out time for this, time for that (time to admin LMS, time to meet with teachers, etc.)
- Portion of each department meeting is dedicated to tech. Run by teachers or coach.
We had an amazing group of students share their thoughts with us (10 students in front of 55 administrators and teachers!) on Friday morning. Here are Louise’s amazing notes (practically a transcription)! Thank you Louise!
Q&A with YIS students
- Do you use facebook at school?
- it isn’t blocked – but one danger is you may start on a YIS group page but you tend to go off and stop listening to the teacher, it should be used as an opportunity to learn not to procrastinate, and blocking it may cause anger and rebellion
- Do you you know how to use facebook to learn?
- student example – Tom’s shoes will donate a pair of shoes and they have a facebook page, facebook makes it easy to share things eg: test today so last night resources were shared ex: social studies child labour, class made a page to spread awareness
- Do you think technology harms your health?
- we can’t charge at school so we have to carry it home and that affects our spine, also eyesight may get worse, students are reminded about side effects and asked to moderate themselves and students do keep it in mind
- Is your blog just for assignments and homework or is there space for you to write about what you care about – or do you blog because you have to?
- We use shelfari (main online community tool) which is effective and that is not seen as homework, middle school students blog – students suggest that teachers set easy small topics and open up topics and allow creativity that may help but for now blogs are mostly for curriculum
- Can you share a project in which you collaborated with someone else?
- For our TOK discussion we used twitter so I could follow it while I was away, we participate in flat classroom project for worldwide collaboration on a wiki space, virtual communication is sometimes hard, not all students are enthusiastic, time zones could be a problem, holidays etc (using digi teen)
- If you had less homework would you use your computers to follow your own passion or do you think you would waste time?
- I use my computer to look for things to teach myself, what I do with my school work on my computer is also my passion
- What do you think about the amount of time you spend on computers – from assembly – was it a surprise?
- Our generation is moving from an old fashioned analog age to a new era – sometimes you look at how long you spent on the computer and you wonder what did I do, maybe we are substituting, we still play games but it is on the computer and I don’t understand the assumption that that is bad
- What do you think about gaming?
- Some games are good for your mind but other games have nothing to do with education, what you take out of a game can have impact, sometimes after playing a game I feel accomplished, games can provoke powerful emotions
- How do you feel about having 2 days of bootcamp in the beginning of the year, would you rather have it spread out?
- It was good but it is in the first two days we may forget it, so much to learn at once we kind of forget about it, but there was a need to learn about it and learn the rules
- Portable devices, how they have affected your learning?
- They help us with our schedule, helps with organizational skills, notes for homework, I’m quite forgetful, plus if an assignment is short I could do it on the train or on the way to school, a portable device is not necessary but useful
- In the future do you think technology will replace teachers?
- No, technology gives knowledge and teachers bring passion, human communication is important
- Are there any warning signs you see for your future?
- I don’t want technology to develop any further as it is useful enough , it is expensive and I wonder how we can keep up
- How much do you share online?
- I don’t post as much because I want privacy and I don’t know what will come up in the future, people may judge me, adults are not as tech savy we know what to share and adults don’t
Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
- I don’t find the 9-4 school system effective, if I have more time in the afternoon I could work on projects and see my friends
- we should have a longer lunch break to socialize and have meetings
- shorter classes with more subjects per day, eg. when learning a language you should speak it every day for short periods of time
- try to incorporate media and technology as much as possible, take advantage of all the possibilities
- remember that even though we are use to computers sometimes we like to use a paper and pen as it reminds us of how it was back then
- sometimes what and where I can use my computer limits me, we need more freedom but that will come
- sometimes it would be a lot simpler to use a pencil and paper
- the best part about our school is our principal, most students want to work hard
- through the computer I learn about communications skills and leadership skills and I have way more friends
Huge thanks to Heather and Will for the notes for this session!
We had a great session with Dr. Scott McLeod
via Skype on the future of education. Scott shared some controversial videos with us and prompted a great discussion about where blended learning is going. All of Scott’s fantastic resources for our workshop can be found here
Our conversation centered around these resources:
Scott used one of his fantastic operationalizing Google Docs to help each table group reflect on what they’ve seen. Here’s ours.
Some highlights of our discussion (thanks again Heather and Will!):
- Adaptive Learning Technology – this is a very interesting development. It is being developed to help students move through lower level knowledge skills. Then the highly skilled teacher comes in and works on the higher level skills.Is this adaptive learning technology reinforcing the existing model of education? Is it preparing kids for the “factory”?
- Role of the teacher – less of a need for the teacher. Are we going to short change the kids here? Can 1 teacher meet the needs of 50 odd kids?
- Bell Schedule – how do we get out of this structure? How to do we structure the school day to enable a blended model (adaptive tech, group work, projects, etc). The schedule is an obstacle.
- Would this “free” teachers up? Would it be the thing that gives us that time? We also recognize that programs like this can free the teacher to focus on more important skills.
- As teachers we need to rethink what our role really is – no need to push content, looking at higher level skills. Our roles as teachers and coaches are changing. It comes down to how do kids learn, what do kids need to learn, and how do we know if they’ve learned it. Start there and find our roles. We need to let go of our idea of what our job is….be open to change.
- This is not a new discussion – we have been thinking about this for some time. Maybe we need to put the following questions before we think about these areas:
- How do kids learn?
- Creating powerful learning experiences?
- How do we know what they need to know and how best they will learn?
- There is concern over profit based companies coming in to schools. There is concern about the idea of computers replacing teachers. What would the US government do if a Chinese company bought Pearsons?
- Essential things for students to learning – it is difficult to identify the aspects/attributes that we want to bring out in students. There are some many things that we want to aim for but how can we narrow this list down and also how can help help support students in this journey.
- Skilled educators are still needed.
- We discussed fear that the programs like newton may be adopted without thought to the other skills needed.
- More discussion of having a variety of activities…blended learning…online and offline.
- We need to acknowledge what’s going on around us…including for profit institutions.
One of our discussion sessions was focused on expectations for various stakeholder groups in a school community:
Each job-a-like group worked together to create an expectation chart from their perspective, then shared their most important expectations on a collaborative chart.
To reflect on the different perspectives, we came together in mixed groups to discuss what was shared. The overall consensus was: Develop strong connections between Admin, Curriculum Directors, Tech Directors/Coaches and Teachers to build sustainability from vision to practice and beyond.
Please feel free to use these finding to create other resources, like infographics.