Tag Archives: Aub_Adv2014

Benefits of Attending Auburn’s Leveraging Learning iPad Institute

Auburn Schools (ME), an early adopter of 1to1 iPads in primary grades, hosts the annual Leveraging Learning Institute on the topic. Registration for the Nov 12-14 Institute opens at noon (ET) on August 21.

Dr. David Murphy, RSU 44 Superintendent (Bethel, ME), has sent a team to the Institute every year. In this video, he discusses both what his district has gotten from attending the Institute, and the benefits of sending a team of teachers, administrators, tech integrators, and technicians.

 

Registration is limited to 135, so be sure to register early. Districts are encouraged to send teams, and the Institute is structured to support teamwork (but individuals are welcome, too!).

This year, we are expecting the Institute to be internationally rich! More than a third of our participants are likely to be educators from outside the United States. What a great opportunity to share your experiences and learn from educators from across the country and around the world!

Learn more by visiting the Leveraging Learning Hold the Date Page.  We hope to see you at the Institute!

 

Is Our Phases of iPad Integration Ready?

(Note: Cross posted to the Distribute PD Project)

Last August, one of our Auburn-and-friends work groups developed a draft Phases of Tech integration.

Draft Phases of iPad Integration

We wanted to think about developing teachers’ skills at leveraging iPads for teaching and learning beyond just googling topics and word processing. Beyond just projecting material. Beyond just thinking about getting good at various tools. Beyond just using apps connected to the curriculum.

We wanted to think about technology as a tool to help us customize learning. We wanted to focus more on pedagogical goals than technological goals. And we wanted to think about where technology could take us that we couldn’t easily go without technology.

So we set up our professional learning continuum, our phases of implementing technology integration, to be similar to our Phases of Implementing Customized Learning, and how such a structure helps support plementation and teachers. (Driver 1)

And we based it on our current thinking about powerful uses of technology for learning. (Driver 2)

And we tried to think about how the SAMR Model might inform our work. (Driver 3)

Now, we don’t believe any of our work is permanent. We know that as we get better at what we do, we’ll figure out how to improve our models. After we use this Phases of Technology document for a while, it will be ready for a revision.

But right now, we’re wondering if our draft is developed enough to be the one we live with for 12-18 months before we revise it again…

So, as you look at our draft,

  • Does the document adequately reflect our three drivers?
  • Does the sequence of the phases seem right? Does the progression make sense?
  • Does each phase seem to have the right elements for demonstrating mastery and moving on to the next phase? Does it adequately outline advancement (recognizing there will be plenty of support documents)?
  • Is anything missing? What should be added?
  • What needs to be edited or revised?
  • How do we make it better before living with it for a while?

We don’t need “perfect.” We’ll learn a lot by living with the model for a while. But we want to kick the tires on this version a little, and insure it is “good enough” to live with for a while.

So, what do you think?

 

Starting to Design a Distributed PD System

A while back, I described our need for a distributed system of professional development (as part of our comprehensive plan to support professional learning, including: workshops and trainings; coaching and formative feedback; educator lesson invention and tryouts; and opportunities for educators to get together to share successes and trouble shoot challenges).

So, we've put together a work group to start designing. We will focus first on building a system that will support educators learning to better integrate iPads into teaching and learning. Frankly, we could use the same kind of distributed PD system for our Customized Learning work, as well, but we'll work out the bugs on our iPad work first.

We have 1to1 iPads in K-2 and 7-12, and various clusters of iPads in between. Our work group has K-12 representation. But we know others are interested in this work and we often partner with folks from other districts, and several are participating in the workgroup. We love it when others come to play with us!

Distributed PD Website

And, if you're interested, there is an opportunity for you to lurk, or even participate.

We have created a Distributed PD website to help organize our work. We have pages for each key component of the design work and the Updates & Activities is our blog where we'll regularly publish (yes) activities and updates.

So if you want to lurk, check back at the site periodically to see what we've been up to (and I'll occasionally cross post or post updates to this blog, too).

If you want to participate, you can leverage the comments section of any of our posts or pages.

And if you're REALLY interested in rolling up your selves and being part of the work group, shoot me an email.

 

Screen Time Revisited

Recently, I posted about screen time. It seems to have become an even larger concern since the introduction of tablets, perhaps because they are becoming even more ubiquitous than laptops; perhaps because they are being used widely with young learners…

But, in my view, it is largely a misplaced concern. It is worrying about the wrong thing.

And I recently came across this article that seems to have similar views.

The article's author, Lisa Nielsen, is frustrated by recent research focused more on the devices than on the teaching strategies:

Conducting device-focused research makes as little sense as doing research on pens, papers, folders, book-binding, and three-ring notebooks. Where are the papers, studies and statistics on the negative impact of chalk dust, calling for blackboards to be limited? We must understand that it’s not about “the thing;” It is about what we do with the thing and what the thing can do for us.

She takes on several of the supposed concerns about screen time and students using technology, including childhood obesity:

It’s not the screentime that causes obesity! When we have kids locked up in classrooms all day, and locked inside with homework at night, how can we possibly blame the screens? If we want our kids to be fit, we can rethink homework, bring back significant recess, and let kids go out and play.

Much more in the full article, here.

 

Another Wonderful iPads in Primary Grades Institute Completed

It has been a (VERY) busy fall, but the (wonderful!) culmination of it all was last week's Leveraging Learning Institute.

This was Auburn School Department's third year running the institute focused on lessons learned from our first-in-the-country iPads in primary grades initiative. We had about 130 participants, mostly from across Maine, but also from North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.

We had some nice press coverage:

Look over the whole Institute website here, but you might be especially interested in the resource documents from this year's sessions (we're still posting resources, so check back in a week or so to see what other resources are shared) or info about our presenters.

We don't have any details for you yet, but we have already started planning the next Leveraging Learning Institute…

We Thought We Were Pretty Good Tech Integrators, Until We Met Jennie

Our team of technology integrators is very experienced and does great work. At least we thought so, until we met Jennie Magiera. 😉

Jennie works with teachers in Chicago Public Schools on leveraging technology to engage and motivate students, as well as strengthen their learning. We were fortunate enough to have her join us for last year's Leveraging Learning Institute: iPads in Primary Grades. She not only keynoted, but led several sessions, collaborated with participants, and worked closely with our middle grades twitter reporters. She even convinced us all (in the middle of the Institute!) that a panel of our student reporters should do one of the evening keynotes! (We took her advice, and the kids were great!)

Her energy and positive attitude are contagious (although there is a chance that the Energizer Bunny is exhausted by having her around!), and her great ideas about teaching with technology are so numerous, you just can't try them all at once.

But that's ok. Take your time. It's worth the investment of practice and the effort to make them part of your repertoire.

This is her keynote from last year. Her slides are here. I hope you get as much out of it as we did.

 

The Leveraging Learning Institute highlights Auburn's experience and “lessons learned” from the country's first district-wide 1to1 iPads in primary grades initiative, and helps participants learn how to successfully design and implement an iPad initiative to customize learning for students. This year's Institute is Wednesday Nov. 13 through Friday November 15, and registration is currently open.

 

QR Codes & Fostering a Strong Home/School Connection

Mauri Dufour is one of our kindergarten teachers in Auburn, an early adopter of iPads in primary grades, and is an Apple Distinguished Educator. Over the past year, Mauri has explored the role of QR codes in her classroom.

Last March, she took some time to tell me about how she uses QR codes to connect with her students’ families.

Highlights from Mauri’s video:

  • Each Friday, her students each make a video for his or her family about that week’s literacy center
  • Students must explain the “why” of the lesson, as well as, what they did in the center
  • The QR code makes it easy to share the weekly video with the family
  • This has helped foster a strong Home/School connection
  • Mauri describes how she worked with parents to make this happen

Despite working in a high poverty school, the QR codes have helped create much stronger parent involvement and communication than might otherwise be expected.