Doing The Work

Doing The Work

If learning something new was easy everyone would do it. One of the reasons I love working with school districts and teachers over a long term basis is that you get to really dig in and do the work. I have started many presentations over the past year with this: “Raise your hand if you were ever taught in your pre-service program what learning looked like in a 1:1 environment?” “Raise your hand if you were ever taught classroom management strategies in a 1:1 environment?” “Raise your hand if in your Master’s degree you learned teaching and learning strategies for a 1:1 environment?” “Raise your hand if the curriculum you have to teach from was created for a 1:1 teaching and learning environment?” In the past year I’ve asked these questions to hundreds of educators. The only question that ever sees a hand go up is the Master’s degree and even then we’re talking 1 or 2 in a staff of 300+. Here’s the thing….once your school or district decides to go 1:1 everything changes. The curriculum in a moments notice needs upgrading. Your classroom management changes, and what we can do, know that we need to do, and how learning happens all changes. It changes in ways that most educators were never taught to teach in. These are the reasons long-term focused PD sessions need to be implemented once a school decides to go 1:1. No one-off conference or one-off PD day is going to be able to address the deep pedagogical shifts that happen once every student has access to the Internet the moment they want to learn something. It changes everything. School leaders need to understand that investing in this type of long-term, pedagogically focused PD is the difference between devices becoming replacement for paper and pencil and becoming something transformational in the classroom. It’s not a teacher’s fault that they don’t know how things change, because chances are they were never taught to be prepared for this change. So for better or worse we have to “go back to school” and learn how to adapt our teaching methods, ideas, and understandings to a new connected classroom where we have leveled the content knowledge playing field. We have to “do the work” to be OK with this and to become learners again ourselves. To open our minds and understand we’re not saying any one is a...

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Institutes and Conferences

Institutes and Conferences

As the school year comes to an end….and I know it’s coming to an end because all my teacher friends are busy monitoring, agonizing and stressed out about the testing happening this time of year….and those are the teachers…wonder what the kids feel like? To help take minds off of the endless hours watching kids take tests, I thought I would share PD opportunities that I am directly involved with either in creating, organizing or advising on. Eduro Learning Summer Institutes July 2nd – Eduro Learning Summer Institute in Seattle Hosted at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center, this 1 day institute looks to inspire educators to be creative. Check out this venue! We chose this place because too often we find that educational conference venues are dull and boring and do not spark that innovative, creative feel. Being on the pier on the Seattle waterfront you can not help but feel inspired. Follow Eduro Learning on Twitter and look for promo codes to save some money! July 6-8 – Eduro Learning Wired with Wine Institute A brainchild of mine when my wife and I were wine tasting in Walla Walla a year ago, I just kept thinking that there is no reason why professional development for educators can’t be fun!  This 2+ day institute offering the same strands as the Seattle Institute just allows us to go a whole lot deeper in thinking and creating when we have more time together. Hosted at the historic Marcus Whitman hotel and within walking distance to 70+ tasting rooms this event will be fun on many levels. Check out the schedule and I really hope to see you there! What’s the difference between a conference and an institute?   Learning2 Conferences Registration is now open for the fall Learning2 Conferences. This year Learning2 will be hosted in Manila, Philippines and Jo’Burg, South Africa in the fall and we’ve just announced Milan, Italy a year from now. If you have questions about any of these please contact me or leave a comment...

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What Happens When We Forget The Mind Shift

What Happens When We Forget The Mind Shift

I read an article today titled: Why Hoboken is Throwing Away All of its Student Laptops. It only took me two seconds to figure out what the issue was here….I’ll give you a clue….it’s not the laptops. There are some interesting quotes and lines in this article that caught my attention. Now I don’t know this school district, I give them an A+ for trying something at least. It sounds like they got caught in the netbook era of computing and just couldn’t get out. What follows are some of my thoughts around what went wrong here. “We had the money to buy them, but maybe not the best implementation,” said Mark Toback, the current superintendent of Hoboken School District. “It became unsustainable.” Problem #1: The funding cycle Changing the mind set of thinking that technology is a one off capital expenditure rather than an operational cost. Technology, much like textbooks, paper, crayons, etc. need to be updated. This is issue #1 with our current system. Here the school was given stimulus money from the government…that I’m guessing…as usually….needed to be spent ASAP and on hardware. So it’s great we have this now…but thinking long term…thinking past year 2 or 3 needs to be a focus when starting a program. None of the school administrators who initiated Hoboken’s one-to-one laptop program still work there. Toback agreed to share Hoboken’s experiences so that other schools can learn from it. Personally I believe this is a solvable problem: Hire administrators who understand the changing nature of schools when every student is connected. Yes…you are going to have administrative turn-over. But hiring leaders who understand what giving a laptop to every student really means is on the School Board, the Superintendent and leadership. There are good administrators out there that get these changes….hire them….and then allow them to hire teachers who “get it”. This year alone, schools are projected to spend almost $10 billion on education technology, a $240-million increase from 2013, according to the Center for Digital Education. Problem #2: The Need to invest in PD Really this is the issue of this entire program and the entire way the system is structured and goes back to a post I wrote (along with others) about professional development. The National Staff Development Council still recommends 25% of funds for any new project be earmarked for PD. Why…because that’s what it takes! Meaning...

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Fully Online COETAIL Program Begins Feb. 5th

Fully Online COETAIL Program Begins Feb. 5th

  I am proud to announce that working with Buffalo State-SUNY we are now offering a fully online Certificate of Educational Technology and Information Literacy (COETAIL) Program to International Educators. This is a special program that only International Educators (Educators working at recognized International Schools) can apply for. I can’t believe it’s been four years since we started this program at ISB and three years since Kim Cofino and I took it on and expanded it to other International Schools. At the moment we have 5 Cohorts running (a total of about 100 educators) throughout Asia and now with the online option we can expand into other regions as well. Here are the details of the program: The first fully online Certificate of Educational Technology and Information Literacy (COETAIL) program offered by SUNY will begin February 5th, 2012. This 15 Graduate Credit program has been created specifically for International Educators and is taught by International Educators. Over 120 educators have completed the program thus far and SUNY calls it “A rigorous set of courses that address the current and future needs of educators.” Online COETAIL Details: – Starts Feb. 5, 2012 and ends May 5, 2013 – No Summer Classes (we like our summers too!) – 15 Graduate Credit Program. Credits can be used towards a Master’s Degree from SUNY – No need to travel, all you need is a computer and an Internet connection – Only International Educators can apply, due to special rate. For more information and to register visit http://www.coetail.asia/online12-13/ It really is a fantastic program that is seeing great results. We surveyed graduates of the program six months after completion to see if the program’s concepts, knowledge and understanding had brought about change in their teaching. 86% of educators strongly agreed or agreed that what they learned had influenced their teaching practice a full six months after they completed the program. You can see other stats in the infographic below.   It’s also great to hear administrators liking what they are seeing and hearing from those that are in or have completed the program. I was having dinner with an administrator this past week who was here in Bangkok for the recruiting fair. He works at a 1:1 Mac school and is looking for educators who have a pedagogical understanding of how to teach in a 1:1 environment. He was impressed with the knowledge, skills, and understandings that the COETAIL participants had…but what...

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Laptop Institute: July 10 – 13

As I’m rolling out the PD announcements I can’t leave out my most looked forward to conference of this summer. I’m honored to be this years Keynote at the Laptop Institute in Memphis this summer. A whole conference dedicated to 1:1 classrooms. Besides keynoting I’ll also be doing somewhere between 4 and 6 break out sessions. We’re gonna get geekie with it!  While you’re there…also have a look at the pre-conference sessions. If your school is going 1:1 garunteed you can find a pre-conference that will fit your needs. There’s only about 5 I want to...

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