Tag Archives: Aubschl

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!

 

iPads, Digital Badges, and Professional Development – Our New Project

Auburn Schools is starting a new project: the Distributed PD Project, working to support teachers leveraging iPads for teaching and learning. The project includes establishing a professional learning curriculum, modules to delver that curriculum and Digital Badges to acknowledge and document learning.

This video provides an overview:

What Can Scouting Teach Us About Proficiency-Based Learning

Scouting does pretty good work with curriculum.

I think our Customized Learning work (both for kids and the professional learning for educators) shares many characteristics with theirs: learning is customized; individuals progress at their own pace; they progress by demonstrating proficiency; learners have lots of voice and choice simultaneously with clear guidelines and expectations; learning is chunked into modules, instead of large all-encompassing courses; proficiency requires a mix of knowing and doing and applying/creating; responsibility for the teaching & learning is distributed; etc.

Auburn has a Distributed PD System Design project going on right now. They (we) just posted two activities that might help others think about curriculum organization and managing learning in a proficiency-based system:

 

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.

 

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…

“Student Voice and Choice” is More Than Just Choice

Student voice and choice is a powerful motivator. It is one of the Motivation Focus Five, it can make extrinsic motivation as powerful as intrinsic motivation, and it is one of the foundational pieces of the Classroom Culture Phase of implementing Customized Learning.

But it is also a pedagogical element that many teachers don't understand as well as they understand others (mostly because we weren't likely to experience it much when we were students, nor were we likely to be taught how to implement it in our teacher preparation programs – hopefully both will change for our next generation of incoming teachers).

Surprisingly, it was working with adults that helped me understand an important nuance about “Student” Voice and Choice.

In the weeks before school started, I was involved with various teams in the design and delivery of 7 or 8 days of professional development for all manner of district projects. All of the sessions would be considered successful, and received positive feedback from teachers. But some were even more successful than others. And it is in contrasting the sessions that a pattern emerged.

At opposite ends of the success spectrum (recall that in this case the spectrum is from “successful” to “REALLY successful”) were a day designed to help deepen teachers' understanding of Customized Learning (CL) and 2 half days designed to deepen teachers' thinking about technology integration (especially in light of teachers and students replacing their laptops with iPads).

Both professional development opportunities provided participants with 3-5 sets of breakout sessions, each with 5-7 sessions to choose from. Both had sessions taught by peers. Both collected feedback from participants.

So what was different about the two events?

The technology PD had been designed by the district technology integrators, who brainstormed topics that they thought teachers would benefit from. The Customized Learning PD had also included the Learning Coaches brainstorming sessions they thought teachers would benefit from.

But the CL planning team also sent out a survey (Google Forms or Survey Monkey make this quite easy) to find out what topics teachers might want. Planners looked through the responses for patterns – topics requested repeatedly. They then sent out a survey with the compiled list of brainstormed and requested sessions to see how many participants wanted to see each session. This helped planners decide whether they would address a topic as a whole group session, or how many times to offer a topic as a break out session. By contrast, the technology planners used educated guessing. They were good, but not as good as getting the input from participants.

Another contrast was in what feedback was collected and how it was used. The technology group had participants provide feedback on the sessions after each half day of the PD. Their's focused primarily on asking participants what session they attended and general feedback on that session. There was also a general question about what other training and support they would like. The technology planners did meet between the two half day sessions and talked about how things had gone and if we were reach for the second half day.

By contrast, in addition to the feedback on individual sessions, the CL planners collected specific feedback on questions participants had, sessions they would like to have in the afternoon (including new topics that arose out of the morning sessions), and OFIs (opportunities for improvement). The planners then responded at the beginning of the afternoon session, answering questions, and describing how they adapted the afternoon schedule and program based on participants' OFIs and suggested session topics.

Notice that Voice and Choice is most importantly about the learners having voice and choice directly related to the learning (as opposed to all the other things they could have voice and choice about in the classroom).

Further, notice that choice alone was a help, but learner input & feedback and teachers being deliberate and explicit about using that input to adjust what and how things were taught had a more significant impact than choice alone.