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Learning a Different Way


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Saying that I am excited about our new Digital Learning Plan would be an understatement.  Teachers will be able to engage students in learning with tools that our students use on a daily basis.  Our teachers will have the opportunity to redefine their classrooms and students will have platforms that are geared towards their learning styles.  With that being said, it will be our job to make sure that teachers are well prepared to teach utilizing a digital platform and that technology is being used with a purpose.  Technology cannot be used just to use it; you cannot plan solely focused on the device.  Teachers will still plan with the end in mind (enduring understandings, not a product or app) and focusing on essential questions/standards.  Technology is a tool that can help them or accelerate our student learning but it has to be planned and used effectively.

Focuses that we are planning at our school as deployment nears are but not limited to:

  1. Addressing Hopes/Fears of staff- I look forward to answers on both parts at our next faculty meeting.  Overcoming fear of the unknown and supporting our staff will be critical.  I truly believe SAMR is a growth model and our staff will know that we will do everything we can to support them and that they feel comfortable using the iPad.
  2. Professional Development- We have provided a fair amount of PD aimed at instructional technology (Our School’s Technology PD Page) but our focus is going to be on the Apps that are coming pre-loaded on the iPads so that our staff has a comfort level using and instructing with the devices.  A key is realizing that we are looking at how apps can make you and your classroom more productive and not solely focusing on “content” apps.  We will also look at App Challenges with our staff (thank you Craig Badura) as a fun way at learning and working with different apps.
  3. Sharing content- how are we going to share great instructional teaching and resources in our school?  We will continue to add to our webpage as well as having teachers take learning walks to see the great instruction in our building.  We are also looking at tech meetings (appy hours, Tech Tuesdays) to share great ideas as we shift from teacher-centered classrooms to a student-centered learning environment.
  4. Looking at student expectations and school-wide user agreements- luckily I have studied and researched other 1:1 school systems and have looked for what has worked and what has not.  I have also reached out to my PLC on twitter and have found some great resources as well.

I am excited about the work ahead and I look forward to working with and discussing our Digital Learning Plan with our staff.  We have a great staff and their willingness to work with and learn from each other is remarkable.  This attitude of working together and willingness to try new things (we stress risk-taking) will help us be successful with this new initiative.  I cannot wait.

My next post will focus on my next presentation with Lindsey Reynolds that we are giving next week to leaders in our county.  We will be presenting 21st Century Presentation Tools and I will share that and reflect on that in my next post.

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