Next Steps in St. Gregory Technology Integration: A 1:1 Netbook Program Jonathan Martin Head of School, St. Gregory April 14, 2010
I (jm) have long been an Enthusiast for Technology integration in learning.
In interviews before my appointment, I said to every constituency I was committed to doing this.
Mr. Creeden, my predecessor, worked for more tech. integration.
I Have considered different time-tables for change
Feb/March FA meetings and Andrea Watters’ presentations to the FA, and the positive reception to her presentation from the FA, motivated me to accelerate implementation.
Note from a teacher March 4
I am writing to you concerned about the effectiveness of the computers in lab 501. The computers take 5-10 minutes from sign in to open programs and often times students try three computers before they are able to sign on. The initial boot up time for programs greatly effects teaching and creates a lot of downtime when pedagogical momentum is lost and time on task becomes nil. It has also occurred to multiple teachers that programs (especially word or powerpoint) will crash simultaneously on multiple computers and lose student work. Although I know we are in the middle of tackling many big projects here at school, I believe that an improved computer lab will lead to improved student learning immediately.
Technology Upgrades Needed for Current and Improved program
Desktop Computer Labs Aging and out-dated model for educational tech support.
Wifi system outdated and over-capacity (it was a $1000 installation 5 years ago)
More and more textbooks are available on line, at more affordable prices and with additional features unavailable in hardcover.
Many Students are bringing laptops, but can’t access Wifi, and teachers aren’t enough drawing upon them because: non-universal, not supported in wifi, and some may feel they need more training and support in integrating technology.
Teaching and Learning Evolution
The St. Gregory “Egg”: (Essential Goals for St. Gregory students) calls for education evolution towards more learning of collaboration, communication, and creativity, all of which technology can support.
Students are blogging and using wikis, and we need to support them with digital tools
Students are using powerschool for grades and info, and we need to support that.
Goals of student on-line publishing and developing digital portfolios, and need to support that.
Many textbooks are available, less expensively and with more features, on-line, and we should support that.
With Andrei and the ALT, and in many conversations with teachers, parents, and students, explored following:
Replacing desktops in computer labs:
Deemed unwise; it is an outdated model for technology integration, and it is unwise to put new money into this old model.
Purchasing and Deploying Laptop Carts
Deemed poorly functional on our campus, hard to move around and hard to ensure they are charged and accessible.
Going 1:1 on an accelerated schedule
Using special restricted Tankersley Board funds for:
Strong, Campus-wide Wifi installation
Implementing a 1:1 laptop (netbook) program
Support professional development in laptop integration
Move to 2xweekly Late Starts for faculty
Details of Technology
WiFi: upgrades for full service across breadth of campus; a $50,000 invesment.
Laptops: School encourages and welcomes students already using laptops to continue to do so, and encourages families considering providing a laptop to their student to do so, with a $50 bookbill credit for doing so.
School provides efficient, light, inexpensive netbook laptops for every student not providing their own. School asks families who can and wish to support this program to purchase this netbook for $270.
For families unable or unwilling to purchase the netbook, School provides them to students as a full-carry rent-free lease, with responsibility of families to maintain/repair/replace, and obligation to return the laptops when departing the school.
School integrates laptops in an on-line, internet, cloud computer-use strategy with Google apps and other internet resources, but does not use them in a way which is platform or OS specific: students can equally use Apple or PC.
Critical to accompany this initiative
More Time committed to training as a faculty
Multiple school visits being planned to exemplary laptop integrated schools
New Tech High School in Dallas, confirmed May 14.
High Tech High in San Diego next fall
Other schools in region
On-site training next year
Big Push for Summer Trainings– Conferences and online seminars
Expansion from 1x weekly hour-long faculty professional time to 2x weekly expressly for this support.
WiFi installation underway
Netbooks being prepared
This spring, April 30, we will pilot the program for 3 weeks with 7 th and 10 th grades, providing or requiring laptops of every student, and having teachers work with them in classrooms and they can bring home.
One set will be provided to an Algebra 1 class for an experiment in an on-line Algebra textbook.
Next August, every student will be provided or required of a laptop.
We will survey parents for needs of providing own.
Evolution of Learning Program
Every teacher will be expected to employ laptops in learning, from 15-75% of time.
Considering adding graduation requirement of an on-line course completion
Considering on-line learning components as part of mandatory summer “reading”
Development of digital portfolios and on-line published “performances”
Excitement about new uses of nings,wikis, and blogs
Assessment of Learning
CWRA expanded to every grade 9-12, for more reporting on our students’ progress in these skills
MAP and potentially PISA assessments for Middle School students being explored for better on-going assessment of skills
Digital portfolios to showcase student accomplishments and proficiencies