Sunday, April 21, 2013

De Portola and Olivewood Schools

As the week comes to an end we are spending a lot of time reflecting and thinking about what we will be bringing back to our NZ colleagues. We are beginning to think about our key themes and getting excited about what this will look like when we share back with colleagues, educators and in our planned ULearn presentation:-). 

As in any NZ schools we are seeing similarities and differences in the way schools run and what teaching and learning looks like.I am noticing the kids in each school are excited about learning with iDevices and are clearly able to articulate their learning and how they are learning.  In some classes they are choosing apps for purpose and I was seeing students working on the same projects but all choosing different ways of presenting their works through a variety of apps.  
 The way iDevices are managed in each school/district is different as Cribby has described in his blog post.  And, we have all came to the same conclusion, as in NZ, no one size is ever going to fit all - it is so important to consider your community, your school vision, your teachers and students. 

I also realise we are only spending short amounts of time in each class so what we are seeing is only a snapshot.  And - most importantly that some of these teachers are only at the beginning of their journey and are learning alongside the students.  A few of the teachers/schools have talked about Dr Ruben Puentedura's SAMR model that moves from using technology as an enhancement to truly transforming education and realise that they are currently at the substitution stage.  This is perhaps where many of our learning begins as we begin to explore the possibilities.

Substitution - Tech acts as a direct tool substitute, with no functional change
Augmentation - Tech acts as a direct tool substitute, with functional improvement
Modification - Tech allows for significant task redesign
Redefinition - Tech allows for the creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable
What I do like, is the ongoing professional learning that seems to happen in each district for all teachers working with devices in their classrooms.  The teachers talked about how they value this opportunity. The professional learning has a goal of creating more leaders to role model exceptional teaching practices.

Lots to think about and finding the eLPF a valuable tool as I think about what is happening in both NZ and USA schools.  Have been able to share our framework with various Teachers, Principals, Teachers on Special Assignment (TOSA) and the Assistant Superintendant from one District.  

So what did I take from today - our first school De Portola - Tom, the Principal introduced us to his school and talked about how he has integrated devices in different ways throughout the various grades levels. Tom used a 'feed the hungry' approach and teachers interested in having devices in their class were required to put in proposals - focusing on how they would use the devices in relation to the common core standards. Tom reflected that over time he has more teachers who are 'hungry'. One of our wonderings is around how these teachers know what they think they will do with devices in relation to core standards when they haven't yet used them. 'You don't know what you don't know' OR is it as another Principal pointed out 'good teachers know they don't know....'

So, what does learning look like at De Portola School. Today we were lucky enough to see 4 classes in action using a variety of devices.

3rd grade iPods - 1-1 (owned by the school)

How did I see these in use today?

QR code hunt in library - students were using iPod touches to scan various QR codes hidden throughout the library, the code was a question and the students used the library books to find their answers.

Recording voice for fluency in reading simply using the voice recorder. Students were listening back to their reading and assessing their work.

Creative book builder was used for story writing.

4th - 1-1 iPad (owned by school)

How did I see them in use today?

Educreations for math - students in this class were reviewing for CST testing - they took photos of the sample questions and used their iPads to explain their thinking. The teacher talked about how she created sample videos for students to view before they created theirs. She also had good processes in place for saving educreations. Students were able to use reflection to play their video on the big screen. Awesome to see test practice happening in this way rather than just 'drill and kill'.

6th grade 1-1 iPad (BYOD)

How did I see these in use today?

Khan academy for math
Puppet pals and sock puppets - projects on propaganda
QR codes for health projects
TV ad using puppet pals

Loved seeing lots of group collaboration - students working together both inside and out. I talked to students about their 1-1 programme and what their learning looked like throughout the day. It was awesome to hear that most of their learning is with partner or group.

Kindergarten - Class set of iPods

How did I see these in use today?

Using chirp - writing sentences, words and drawing pictures on the whiteboard and sending these to each other. The idea was one child wrote a question and the other answered.
QR codes in action for both math and writing rotations.

In all classes students talked about their learning animatedly and were keen to share - a real benefit in these class visits is engaging with the kids and digging deeper into their stories of learning with devices. As these children have only been using them for a year they are able to make comparisons and clearly state they enjoy learning with devices and why.  Again, engaged students, eager to share their learning.

Olivewood Elementary School

Mike was in his 1st year as Principal at this school and gave huge kudos to the Principal before him - Mike felt privileged to inherit a thriving technology programme with experts on campus:-) - Reflected that it has been a continual learning curve for him as Principal too.

Their school began with iPod touches and they have continually built on this. Currently the devices look like this in their school...

6th grade - have been 1-1 iPads for two years
5th grade - have been 1-1 iPad for one year
iPad cart for kindergarten and 1st grade

Goals for 2013 include. 

Replace iPod touches that don't have cameras with 1-1 iPad mini or iPad in 5 classes
iPad mini cart for second grade.

Working towards having 2-1 devices in primary and 1-1 devices in upper primary.

Mikes words in relation to iDevices in his school were that they had 'exploded learning and the innovative ways of using these were always developing' and that the students were soaring

The interesting thing about this schools was that their were a high percentage of students on free lunch as well as a high percentage of english language learners.  Although you could not tell from driving the streets around this school, it was a large pocket of poverty housing, sometimes 4 or 5 families in each house.  Mike talked about how important it was to put devices in the hands of these students, this is the key to their future and they can't afford not to give them this chance.  A Principal passionate about the learning of his students.

So what did I see at Olivewood.


What did I see here?

Math monkey
Educreations for spelling and storytelling
Apps for spelling - Bob books, alphabet games

Teachers shared how new they are to technology and keen to push the boundaries of what they are doing - still trying to figure out management - individual teacher downloading apps 1 at a time - was a timely reminder to me not to be judgemental of what you see happening in class - it would be great to have further time to talk to teachers and share what we see happening in NZ kindergartens. I am hoping to make some connections and have shared our exploring apps blog.

6th graders

What did I see here?

Trading cards - use chirp to send to other students
Using comic life/pic collage for propaganda - see pics
Popplet for math
Life cards for propoganda
Inspiration for science
Using air server to reflect
Using showbie - teachers puts videos in, work - students share back through here
Kids blog
Keynote for projects in science - student talked about how she loved doing the animation, being able to air play and share her work with the class.

Lots of linking to be added here to apps but I am going to do it all at once when I have more time.  On to San Francisco this week and looking forward to another week of networking, collaborating and learning together!

Ka Kite

No comments: