Monthly Archives: July 2013

Differentiated PD for 1:1-It’s Personal

Informed professionals know the power and imperative of high quality professional learning. None of us would go to a dentist or surgeon who wasn’t well-informed and updated on bleeding edge practice and technique. When schools engage 1:1 programs (or any robust ed tech integration) there is a need to grow and learn within the transformation to ensure student achievement.

Meaningful integration of technologies will shift practice from teacher to student-directed. But this isn’t a turnkey operation. It takes time, retool of practice and understanding of how to get to desired results.

Schools have been ‘doing’ professional development forever. The predominant model has been dictated by contract language ensuring hours of ‘learning’ usually in top-down topics delivered episodically. Some districts are moving beyond this paradigm of doomed learning and growth. Quakertown Schools in PA is one of them.

Two years ago, Quakertown threw the baby out with contractual bathwater (per Tom Murray, their CTO/Cyber Director) regarding teachers’ PD contract language. This movement came in conjunction with Quakertown’s 1:1program. To effectively meet teachers’ professional growth needs, changes to their current protocol were needed. With the new approach, instead of teachers completing a ‘checklist of hours spent in PD, they self-direct their learning within a differentiated, personally-focused roadmap of learning goals. This is done in collaboration with supervising administrators. It is proving to be transformative.

The teachers, at the end of a time interval, are to demonstrate personal progress in their self-identified goals while engaging in consistent progress conversations with supervising administrators. If a teacher is struggling, their union president, Chris Roth – who is on special assignment to the district in the dual roles of union president and professional development coordinator – will work with the teacher and supervisor to map out a game plan of support guiding the teachers’ progress forward.

Most importantly, the district is nurturing large and small professional communities of practice which has created an organic system of constant growth and improvement. They have been a 1:1 district for a while and are gleaning best practices progress across the board around key success implementation factors. They have been recognized as a Project RED Signature District.

You can get more details about this terrific approach in Tom Murray’s blog: http://smartblogs.com/education/2013/02/06/a-plea-professional-development-reform-8-steps-make-happen-tom-murray/

Leslie Wilson; lesliew@1two1.org
CEO-One-to-One Institute
Co-author: Project RED

http://www.pil-network.com/HotTopics/1to1learning/c7717cec-0243-486f-be52-9d6833867838

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Use of Technology & Teacher Expectations in 1:1

Schools have been in a technology implementation crisis. That was an unanticipated finding from our Project RED (2010) research that examined 1000 robust education technology sites – including 200 one-to-one sites. Best practices for integrating technology in schools have a major positive impact. However, they are not consistently or widely adopted.

Our research also uncovered nine key implementation factors that are linked most strongly to education success when integrating technologies in schools (www.projectred.org). This is complex work that entails an array of interconnected, moving parts that must come together in a dynamic system in order to successfully implement technologies with teaching and learning.

The Project RED Signature Districts are the ‘living’ demonstration of how key implementation factors ensure desired 1:1 outcomes. These districts avoided the implementation crises because of their laser focus on the tasks that mattered most to reaching student achievement and financial goals.

A key factor that emerged from Project RED was the importance of the principals’ expecting teachers’ and students’ consistent use of technologies to improved student progress. Clear expectations, collaboration among stakeholders and accountability for meeting expectations have been a big part of the Signature Districts’ work. With a specific goal of moving from teacher to student-driven learning through the power of technologies, several districts instituted protocols that facilitated the move in this direction.

East Noble School Corporation in Indiana instituted their 1:1 program two years ago. A year ago, the state adopted a teacher evaluation system that values data, outcomes and teachers’ growth over years of service and degrees. With both efforts in mind, administrators and teachers developed a rubric that defined desired teacher and student activities that would lead to improved pedagogy, learning and meaningful technology integration in the one-to-one program. It was important to these educators to express expectations clearly and in language that all could understand.

They adapted the SAMR (http://www.hippasus.com/rrpweblog/archives/2012/08/23/SAMR_BackgroundExemplars.pdf) and Technology Integration Models (http://fcit.usf.edu/matrix/matrix.php) for the technology practice expectations. There is an emphasis on educators’ personal and pedagogical use of technologies – keeping the teacher at the center of this growth plan.
They added technology integration activities to their overall rubric on effective instruction. Teachers and administrators have clear guidance on what’s expected and the related levels of accomplishment.

While the debate and dialog continues about changing traditional teacher evaluation processes, East Noble Schools are creatively and collaboratively moving down a meaningful, effective path.

Leslie Wilson
CEO-One-to-One Institute
Co-author-Project RED

To read more about education technology, click HERE.