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Making the Connection

2015 March 22
by Kim Cofino

This weekend I am so fortunate to be in Munich keynoting the ECIS Technology Conference. It’s such a pleasure to be back in the city that was our first international home, and an honor to be keynoting the very first educational technology conference I ever attended all the way back in 2002!

The theme of the conference this year is “building engagement” so I decided to build my presentation around the theme of “learning with technology the way we live with technology” – a phrase my former colleague, Justin Medved & I used to say all the time when we worked together at ISB. The quote has always stuck with me, but I’ve never used it as a throughline for a presentation before, and I felt this was a perfect fit!

I promised to share my resources for the session (and just intended for this post to be just a list of supporting links, but I got a bit carried away, so now it’s more of a descriptive summary of the presentation with links embedded).

Intro

If you prefer more of a short version, here’s the blurb for my session:

Making the Connection

We’ve all had the experience of settling an argument in a restaurant with a quick Wikipedia search, or navigating around a new city with Google Maps, but all too often our use of technology in the classroom is disconnected from these types of real-world uses. However, when we learn with technology the way we live with technology, the classroom can be just as relevant and engaging as our everyday digital interactions. How can we make the connection between our real-life experiences and our classroom learning environment so that we can better prepare our students to excel in this dynamic and interconnected world?

From my view on stage, it seemed like the audience was really getting into the conversations:

Huge thanks to Mark and Sonya for creating beautiful visual notes (that are definitely the best summary) of the session!

Presentation

If you prefer to see the whole thing, here is my presentation:

Summary & Resources

And for those that want the really long version, including all of the resources from the presentation above, here’s what has turned out to be basically a summary of what I said this morning: As I was developing the ideas for the presentation, I thought about all of the different ways that I use technology in my daily life (building off my L2Talk from Learning2 at NIST last October) and how we can apply that kind of learning in the classroom. Thinking about my learning over the past few months, there were a few key themes that really stood out to me:

Mobile

Being able to use my device (usually my phone) when I’m “out on the town”, particularly in Tokyo (or other big cities in Japan), is absolutely essential for navigation. In fact, I’m not quite sure how I would have survived in Japan without Google Maps! Which makes me wonder, why do we teach students about the world around us with paper maps and an atlas, when we can get out there and explore the world around us – just the way we do when we’re trying to navigate a new city.

At YIS, we’ve done this in lots of different ways, from our grade 7 students using their iPads as they move around the classroom and school, to taking them out on fieldtrips as they explore Yokohama, to taking advantage to all of the different ways to explore our world with Google Maps.

Customizable

One of the things I love about technology is the ability to customize each device exactly how I want it. I know when I get a new phone, the first thing I do is set up all my apps exactly the way I want them, get a new case, and generally just make it mine. Our students love to do exactly the same thing (check out this beautiful color coded home screen).

However, I’ve seen so many schools expect students (and teachers) to be productive on devices that they are not the administrator of, devices where they have limited abilities to do even basic things on their laptops – from downloading software, to changing the desktop.

One of the things I’m most proud of in the development of our Connected Learning Community at YIS, is that the students are responsible for making good decisions. This means they are empowered, as the administrators of their devices, to customize them exactly as they want, to make choices about how they use their devices, and to learn from their mistakes. Our Digital Dragons digital citizenship curriculum, along with our Digital Citizenship Week, helps them build their understanding of safe, responsible and ethical behavior online, they have tons of opportunities to share what they’ve learned with their parents, and when/if they make mistakes, we have an effective (and very YIS) process for helping them learn how to make better choices.

Social

Pretty much all of my learning takes place in social spaces – from following individuals and groups on Facebook & Twitter, to discovering new content and resources through Zite & Flipboard, and sharing & watching on Instagram – my learning takes place with others. And the best part is that those online connections very often turn in to real world connections – the Learning2 conference being one of my favorite places to catch up with my Personal Learning Network every year, but even here, all the way in Europe, I’m so excited to see so many familiar faces (lots of whom used to be teaching in Asia too).

Of course our students are also well connected in social spaces – this year when we tracked the networking sites our students use the most (during Digital Citizenship Week), the top social app was Snapchat (last year it was Instagram, the year before Tumblr). If these are spaces that we find valuable learning opportunities, and we know that students are using them already, can we find opportunities to use them in our classrooms too?

At YIS, we are very fortunate to have a really strong school community – we are friendly and welcoming in a face to face environment, and we are also great about sharing in online spaces. A few examples are the #yisreadseverywhere hashtag to promote reading, inspired by our awesome Head of English, Cari Barbour; our IB Chemistry Google+ group facilitated by science superstar (and COETAIL graduate) Merilyn Winslade; our YIS Arts Facebook group created by former YIS teacher, Frank Curkovic, of course our public student (and teacher) blogs.

Media Rich

One of the things I’ve noticed recently, in particular, as I’m exploring more about strength training and lifting heavy things, is that the more interactive and media rich a resource is, the more valuable it is to me. Being able to watch someone perform a lift properly (and to film myself and share with my friend and coach, Heather), or listen to someone explain something (on a podcast) as I’m giving it a try, or to download apps that let me do all of that in the same place and track my progress, has been invaluable.

We know students are also readily engaged by media rich experiences – I see it in my husband, Alex Guenther’s, classroom every day when he teaches just about anything and everything through a series of YouTube videos (interspersed with his own stories and other resources).

So, why are we often asking students to produce two dimensional paper products (posters, reports, magazines, whatever the case may be), when we can encourage them to create multimedia and interactive demonstrations of their understanding?

A few examples from YIS are the YIS Tutorials wikifive years of awesome student-created tutorials curated in one place, student produced podcasts in grade 6 English in Madeleine Cox’s class (another COETAIL graduate), or all of the awesome projects are grade 7 students are creating as part of the 2:1 program.

Motivating

About two years ago a FitBit craze swept YIS (well, it swept through about 10 of us), ever since then I’ve been fascinated by the way such a tiny device can be so motivating. I never used to be all that interested in badges (my girl scout sash was not very impressive in middle school), but there’s something about the ease with which the device tracks my steps, keeps me updated about how I’m doing and if I’m meeting my goals, and allows me to challenge myself, that is surprisingly motivating.

When I asked students about some of their favorite games last week, they highlighted many of the same kinds of features as motivating for them too: the ability to challenge themselves, immediate feedback and tracking of how they do, the opportunity to play against others, and the interactivity.

So, instead of asking students to demonstrate their understanding in traditional formats (like presentations and reports), could we instead immerse them in a virtual world that motivates them to keep learning, allows them to connect with others, and to actually “be” a part of the content they’re learning about.

At YIS, like many schools, we use Minecraft a ton, particularly in Humanities classes where they do things like build the silk road while they learn about the history, create structures in specific biomes, build famous structures from ancient civilizations and walk among them, or learn about the value of community in a virtual space.

Just in Time

We’ve all experienced the gratification of being able to solve an urgent and complicated question (like “what are corn nuts?”) in a bar – having the tool that you need at just the right time is what mobile learning is all about. Instead of asking students to memorize content just in case they might need it in the future, could we apply a more “just in time” approach, and allow students to engage with the content within the context of their course learning?

At YIS, Rebekah Madrid (another COETAIL graduate) has done a fabulous job of bringing content to life through the use of Twitter – where students are both learning the content, sharing their learning, and reflecting on their learning all at the same time – just like we do at conferences. One of my favorite examples of this is her Tweeting the Civil War project from grade 9 history, but she’s still going strong with her Live Tweeting a History Class!

Wrapping it all up

A few weeks ago, I came across this post, by George Couros, about Snapchat. Now, I have to admit that I had not downloaded Snapchat (or even considered downloading it) until I watched the video in his post:

To me, there are lots of elements in this video that highlight many of the above features of what I find valuable in my use of devices for learning – and it certainly shares what the younger generation finds useful and valuable. In my mind, finding ways to tap into the usefulness and practicality of these kinds of interactions in our classroom environment takes us to the redefinition level of SAMR in a really authentic and engaging way.

Share Your Ideas!

If you decide to try out any of these ideas, or you have other resources to share that fit within these themes, please share in the comments below!

I’m pretty sure my session was recorded, so when the video is available I’ll share it here too!

Images

 

The Next Adventure

2014 November 29
by Kim Cofino

It’s that time of year again: international school recruiting season.

Every year around this time, we start hearing about friends and colleagues taking off for the next adventure, and for the last five years we’ve been very content to stay where we are. We absolutely love Japan, and we’ve been so fortunate to work with so many wonderful people at YIS.

Around this time last year, I made the decision to try working part time so I could focus more on other opportunities. Although having that one extra day off a week has been helpful, I’m realizing that it’s not quite enough - I’m split in too many directions. And, although Alex loves his job at YIS, he’s ready for a new challenge.

So, after five years of staying put, we’re now off on our next adventure (again).

A New (Old) Home

It turns out it’s not so much of a new adventure, location-wise, as we’ll be moving back to Bangkok! Alex will teach middle school MYP English and Humanities at NIST, and I’ll be spending more time developing the three organizations I’m involved in, as well as my consulting, with NIST, and with other schools around the world.

Although we’ll be sad to leave Japan and YIS, there are so many exciting opportunities ahead:

COETAIL

The Certificate of Educational Technology and Information Literacy program that Jeff and I co-founded six years ago is growing so fast we can’t keep up! We have amazing instructors and coaches (all COETAIL graduates, of course) that work with us (thank you!), but I feel strongly that it’s my responsibility (along with Jeff) to make the program outstanding. We built this from the ground-up and we are so proud of how far we’ve come – there’s no reason to stop here! We are always learning and trying new things, we want to give our participants an amazing experience, and we want to make sure the program stays relevant and innovative as we grow.

Learning 2.0

L2-profileWe had our very first Learning 2.0 in Africa this year! We have opened up applications for Europe and the Middle East for 2016! There is something very special about this conference, and planning each one is a year-long process. As we continue to open up new regions, we’ll need more time to plan and develop the program so that it’s just right for that location. Plus, the Advisory is working to make Learning 2.0 into a non-profit organization, which is so exciting, but also takes tons of time and energy.

Eduro Learning

eduro_symbolA little over a year ago, Jeff and I sat in Singapore chatting about how we can continue to work together and build something new. It’s hard to believe that in such a short time, we’ve developed an entirely new company (with an amazing team!), created five new online courses (huge thanks to Clint, Dana, Chrissy, Robert, and Rebekah) that are already on offer (and have been very well received so far), begun building long- and short-term consultancy packages for schools, and started designing regional learning institutes that are innovative and pushing the boundaries of what professional development can look like.

Consulting

My work with NIST is still being defined, but the thing I’m most excited about is still having that strong connection to a school community, to be able to work with teachers, parents and students on a regular basis, to get to know the school and what they need so that I can really make an impact. Combining my work with NIST along with my personal consulting work at other schools will enable me to share great experiences and examples with lots of different schools – and to bring back that experience to NIST.

Advice Welcome!

Even with all these opportunities ahead, I’m still a little bit shocked that this will be the first year of my life since graduating university that I will not have a full time job. Everyone keeps telling me self-employed is different than unemployed, and I definitely know how much work all of the above is going to take me, but it feels kind of crazy! So, if anyone has any advice for this whole self-employment world, please share!

Images by superkimbo, CC licensed on Flickr:

2:1 Learning in Action

2014 June 14
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by Kim Cofino

During the month of May our grade 7 students trialed the use of 2 (yes 2!) school issued devices: an iPad Mini and a MacBook Air 11″. This trial is an evolution of our existing Connected Learning Community (1:1 program) – read more about the development of our 2:1 trial on my previous posts.

2:1 Learning in Action

As part of the trial, Clint and I visited as many classrooms as we could to see how the students and teachers were using both devices. As part of our conversations with students, parents and teachers in preparation for the trial, we talked about a number of key themes and it was amazing to see those (and more) in action as we visited classrooms.

Here are a few highlights:

Complementary Devices

AshleyOne of the reasons why were are using two devices (rather than continuing as we are with laptops or making a switch to iPads) is that we feel the devices when used together are complementary – while the iPad is good for mobile and interactive learning, the laptops is great for heavy duty typing and multimedia creation. Using them both together gets the best out of both devices – many of the teachers and parents already have this experience with our laptops and our phones, but, not every student has a smart phone at YIS (yet!).

As we visited classrooms, we saw lots of students using both devices, each for the most appropriate purpose, including:

  • recording on the iPad (prioritizing mobility and appropriate locations) and editing on the laptop
  • using the iPad as a second screen – editing a script on the laptop while the prezi is open on the iPad, for example
  • using the iPad for handwriting input (like kanji) and then bringing it to the laptop to include in other elements

This concept came up in the student feedback as well:

  • “We were able to do two things at once like reading off a script on the iPad and recording on the computer.”
  • “I think that the highlight was being able to have two things at once so that you can research and type out. It also makes it easier for you to read books. Also when doing a speech, speaker notes were easier rather than paper.”
  • “Using an iPad helped me do things easier and quicker than I could have done them on my laptop. But also, since they are complementary devices, they were both good to use. Using our iPad instead of computers in some occasions made our projects in class more fun and efficient.”
  • “One of the best parts of having both the iPad and my laptop with me was that I could watch videos or record for school, at the same time that I record or read information from my laptop. I also found it much more convenient to record on the iPad then struggle using the Photo Booth Application on the laptop.”

Mobile Learning

NoelAlthough we are extremely fortunate to have laptops already, one of the things we notice quite a bit when walking in the hallways is students using the laptops for filming and audio recording – often carrying around their laptops open to use the built-in camera. It’s great to see that our students are problem solvers, but we try to emphasize safety and responsibility with the laptops, and the video and audio recording quality on the laptop is not that great.

So, as we expected, when we visited classrooms, we saw tons of multimedia recording including:

  • audio voiceovers for movies
  • capturing still images and video as needed for a variety of tasks
  • the use of apps like Photobabble for voice over image recording

Of course this experience was definitely not confined to just the classrooms. During the trial we had a grade 7 field trip where groups of students were exploring Yokohama, capturing all sorts of multimedia on their iPads throughout the day.

Mobility was one of the key features that students and parents were looking for in this trial as well. During our Community Focus Group meetings, students mentioned that they struggle to use their laptops on the train because it’s so unusual here in Japan, having an iPad has allowed them to be more productive during transportation time (depending on where they live, our students can travel up to an hour back and forth from school) than they would ordinarily be.

On the parent survey, they also highlighted this advantage:

  • “It was effective for my daughter to quickly research some materials on the internet. My daughter preferred using her PC for her homework and other works. She tried to utilize using her iPad on the train while commuting.”

Creativity & Student Choice

DanOne of our goals for the trial was to encourage and promote student creativity and individual choice. We wanted to give students as many different ways as possible to demonstrate their learning and express themselves. Although we only had the iPads for a three-week trial, we saw students experimenting with their iPad and laptop in lots of different ways, some that we expected, others that we didn’t, including:

  • downloading very specific apps for subject-based projects – for example a decibel calculator for the science fair
  • presenting work in different formats, selected by the student
  • finding new and unique ways to do things that we anticipated would be done using our Top 10 Apps
  • absolutely seamless ways to share their learning with others – both within the class and beyond

Overall, this was the most commonly agreed upon success of our trial. Parents, students and teachers all highlighted how well the iPad enhanced student creativity and choice:

  • We had a choice of what to do. We didn’t only have to use the computer we could be unique from other people and have a different style. It’s also more exciting to choose which tool you want to use. Holding something and actually feeling is better. Another reason why it’s better is because if you forget your computer or iPad you always have a small back up.” (student)
  • “The best parts of having an iPad was the choice of which apps to use for assessments and the ability to present in different ways than usual.” (student)
  • “It seems a bit ineffective since opening and working with the different apps and technology takes a bit more time compared to working from a book or direct instruction but it makes the learning more fun so that gains a whole lot. The students were motivated to work with the iPads and making videos, recording and sharing in a quick way was effective and fun.” (teacher)
  • “I think it was a great experience for my daughter and a definitely useful tool for her learning. We’re thankful to be a part of this initial trial and we hope for its launch in the near future.” (parent)

Interactive

MegumiOne of the issues we have with laptops is that they are not quite as interactive as we want them to be. The natural input of just writing on the screen, and the ability to combine handwriting with typed text as well as over images and video is something teachers have been asking to take advantage of for several years. Having access to both devices for this trial really supported those kinds of kinesthetic interactions, like:

  • using Coaches Eye to track and improve physical performance in PE
  • transitioning from handwritten complex equations to typed in math
  • highlighting and labeling experiments in Explain Everything in science

Thanks to Alex Thomas, one of our superstar PE teachers for this insight into the PE classroom with iPads:

Looking Ahead

Although the feedback from the trial was very positive, from students, parents and teachers, alike, we still have more work to do. Next year we will continue with the trial, but with a new group of students – next year’s grade 7. Having a shorter trial this year allowed us to really understand the dynamics of two devices in the classroom and at home, as well as help us uncover areas that we need to focus on for next year.

DevenBased on the feedback surveys, we’ll be focusing on:

Managing time & distractions: As the surveys highlighted, students are well prepared to focus on learning during school time, but struggle to manage this challenge at home. Focusing on this element during our iPad Institute and in each class, as well as further supporting parents, will be a key element of our program for next year.

Complimentary Devices: Having the iPads for only three weeks this semester made it more challenging to try to use each device in the most effective way. Next year we can highlight the different ways to make the most out of both devices, without feeling pressure to try everything in a limited timeframe. Getting to know a new tool always takes time, which we will have over the course of the next school year.

Balance: As always, we will continue to work towards helping students (and teachers, and parents!) find balance in their use of screen time. Over the course of the year next year we can continue to reflect on this process and see which strategies and approaches work best for all stakeholders.

Does your school provide multiple devices to your students? If so, what are some strategies you use to support the themes above?

 

The Evolution of a Connected Learning Community: Student Edition

2014 May 24
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by Kim Cofino

Note: this is the fourth post in a series about our 2:1 (iPad Mini + MacBook Air 11″) trial at YIS. Check out the firstsecond and third posts for some background.

Woohoo! After a year of thinking about how this could work, and four months of intensive PD with our grade 7 teachers, our grade 7 students have finally started their 2:1 trial. All grade 7 students now have an iPad Mini and a MacBook Air 11″ for the month of May. To kick off our trial, we hosted a 1 and a half day iPad Institute involving all of our grade 7 students (and their teachers) as well as a great group of parents. Here’s what we did:

iPad Institute: Day 1

Our first day of the institute was with students only, and we focused on making sure that the students really understand why we’re adding an additional device to our already strong 1:1 program, as well as increasing their comfort level with the device as an academic tool, and preparing them to share their learning with their parents on Day 2. Students worked in pre-assigned teams of 5 throughout the day.

Part 1: Setting the Stage

For the first session we wanted to stay focused on our CLC vision to give a clear purpose, focus and framework for learning with the iPads over the next month. We started with an introductory presentation to set the stage and highlight some key themes for our trial:

One of the key messages here was that the students will be our ambassadors for this trial. It’s their conversations with their parents, their actions both in and out of class, and their choices that will have the most influence on the success (or failure) of this trial. We talked about the fact that often students don’t really share what they’re doing and how they’re learning with their parents (even when they’re asked), but that during this trial, those conversations would be especially important.

Although we know they’re going to use these devices for socializing, we also know they have an amazing amount of creativity and ingenious ideas for using them for learning purposes too, and we want to make sure that those examples are part of every day conversations as well. After this discussion, we had students develop some key questions they were wondering about using the Visible Thinking Routine: Question Starts - we came back to these questions throughout the day to make sure they all were answered before students left.

Once we had the background and purpose defined for the students, we wanted to give them some time to think about how their learning experiences might be different over the next month, and how that will fit into the framework of our CLC vision. We developed 10 different activities (2 for each of the 5 themes of our CLC vision) that the student groups would rotate through:

  • Attitudes and Behaviors: Our community will be characterized by inquisitive, discerning, open-minded, and self-directed learners who use technology in a balanced and responsible manner.
    • Activity 1: Acrostic Poem: Write your name in the boxes provided. Use the letters in your name to create a poem describing how you will use your iPad as a self directed learner.
    • Activity 2: I used to, Now I will: For each aspect of the vision statement, explain what you used to do, and then what you will do now. eg: As an inquisitive learner…. I used too…. Now I will…
  • Learning Environment: Ubiquitous access to technology tools and resources will enhance our learning environment, expanding horizons beyond the physical classroom. This will empower YIS learners to access information, collaborate, and exchange ideas within the YIS community and around the world.
    • Activity 1: Before & After: Use the small boxes of paper to draw yourself learning in one of the environments given or an environment of your own choice. Draw yourself “before” having an iPad and “after” having an iPad. Glue your pictures on to the big paper. If you can’t think of an example for the places given, use the blank paper to add a new location.
    • Activity 2: App Smash: List apps that help you learn outside of the classroom to: access information, collaborate, and exchange ideas
  • Actions and Decisions: Our actions and decisions will demonstrate responsible digital citizenship, reflect our school values and create a positive online presence.
    • Activity 1: Manifesto: Write your own contract with yourself describing how you will make good choices with both of your devices. List 5-7 commitments you will make to ensure you will make good choices with your iPad. Sign and date it at the end.
    • Activity 2: Gingerbread People: With this activity, student will label the gingerbread men with statements that show how a persons acts/feels with the ipad. Example: With these hands, I download apps that will help me at school. If time, students can add “accessories” (earbuds, for instance).
  • Educational Experiences: Educational experiences will be authentic, imaginative, and provide for different learning paces and styles. Learners will be encouraged to become independent and enterprising in order to meet the challenges of a constantly changing world.
    • Activity: Tableau: With your group, stage a scene that shows what you image a learning environment will look like with two devices. Ask a teacher to take the picture using the iPad provided. Upload to the YISCLC Instagram account (already open on the iPad) and write a description of the scene in the caption.
  • Community: Our Connected Learning Community will provide a sense of identity and belonging that will enrich our overall school community and connect us with others around the globe.
    • Activity 1 Headlines: Write a statement about how the iPad will allow you to connect with others. Have a 1 minute discussion, take 30 seconds to write your own headline, then share your headline (identify 1 positive quality for each), and finally create a group headline.
    • Activity 2: Create an App Icon: Create an app icon that represents your community with an iPad. Choose a color, symbol and name that represents the message of the vision statement.

Part 2: Unboxing & Set-up

After a big morning of thinking and re-imagining learning, it was time to distribute and set-up the iPads. Learning from previous experience during our CLC Orientation days that we have at the beginning of every year, we split the student teams up into four rooms (for about 50 students) so that we could have four teachers walking them through the steps and only about 10 – 15 students in each room. We were also fortunate to have our tech support staff with us in each room so that when things went wrong (and they did!) we had the right people with us to troubleshoot.

For the most part things went extremely smoothly, we were fortunate to have these lightning to VGA adaptors so we could demo the whole set-up process right from “hello” on the projector. We were organized enough to have students fill in a survey with all the information they would need to create a new Apple ID (since we didn’t know who had one or in which store) so they would be ready once those steps came up on the iPad. The students filled in the survey earlier in the week and superstar Clint used a script to have the form automatically e-mail them their responses in PDF form.

Although that process worked extremely well, we realized quite quickly that Apple doesn’t like 50 people creating a new Apple ID from the same IP address all at the same time. Thankfully we were able to create some mobile hotspots with Clint, Adam, Susie and Mel’s (ahem) Android phones so we could get all the students up and running without too much of an interruption.

Finally, we had them connect to our AirWatch YIS store which is how we’re distributing all apps to students and then they started downloading our top 10 apps. As soon as they had most of the apps, we had them partner up with anyone else who was finished to complete this scavenger hunt (thanks to Dana for this awesome idea!) to customize their iPad and start familiarizing themselves with our apps.

Part 3: Learning the Top 10

After a lunch break, we had each team become an expert in one of the top 10 apps. They had about 20 minutes to explore with the app, and think about how it can be used for learning. Then we split the teams in half (As and Bs) and set up a SpeedGeeking rotation where the A’s taught the B’s (9 times) and then the B’s taught the A’s (9 times). In typical YIS fashion, this worked extremely well:

Part 4: Wrap-up & Preparing for the Parent Session

For the final block of the day, we did a wrap up of their learning and made sure to answer any questions that were left from the morning question starts routine. It was very interesting to go back to some of these key questions (for example there were 5 or 6 about why they were getting an iPad) and have the students turn and talk, and then share, and answer those questions themselves after this day of learning. We also spent some time introducing the next morning’s session, which is a joint introduction to the iPad trial with their parents – where the students will teach their parents about the different apps we’ll use.

Part 5: Parent Session

For the first two periods on Friday morning we had about a quarter of the grade 7 parents join us for an introductory session. We went through the same presentation as we did in March, but this time we had some special guests: their children. Any time we mentioned the different apps or how we could use the iPads, we asked the students to share their learning from the day before.

It was absolutely fantastic to see the students sharing their ideas with their parents, to hear all the different languages being spoken, and to see students already starting to take ownership and responsibility for their learning. The vibe in the room was awesome (thanks to Adam for this short video, taking on his iPad using YouTube Capture):

 

It was also great to have the opportunity to share some key ideas with the parents:

Part 6: The 2:1 Trial Begins!

Before the end of the day on Friday, I already had stories from three different teachers about how amazing the grade 7′s were with their iPads that day. You can see a bit of their learning from Alex Thomas in PE:

Mariko shared the following from EAL 7:

EAL 7 will be creating their Escape the Room game using Minecraft. The target audience will be EAL beginners/intermediate students. I was so surprised when they suddenly whipped out their iPads and used Notability to sketch and discuss their plans. There was so much meaningful conversation in ENGLISH! They shared their plan and uploaded it on a shared Gdoc. I’m SO impressed!

And, Rebekah tweeted about how her 7th graders made a natural transition from paper and pencil to iPad and stylus.

Final Thoughts

We’re just at the beginning of our trial, and I’m so excited to see what the students and teachers do during this month! Hopefully Clint and I will have an opportunity to pop into all the different seventh grade classes during the trial to see what’s happening. Whatever we see, we’ll share on our collaborative blog. If you have any suggestions or ideas for what else we can do (or of any other school running a 2:1 program like this), please let me know!

Images: