In my last post, I talked about how our school was moving to a 1:1 computing environment. I wrote a bit about how we prepared and distributed the machines, and a bit about our philosophy moving forward. The students have had their Chromebooks for about two weeks now. Here is an update on what we have learned and what I have seen since the distribution.
First, I need to add one thing that I forgot to mention in the first part of this blog. We did develop an instructional philosophy as well when we were planning for the Chromebooks. This was another part where I felt, as the Principal, I needed to make a clear statement. I thought a lot about my teachers, who are all tremendous educators, dedicated to their craft. I thought a lot about what I believe technology is and ISN’T in our lives and the world in general. I kept coming back to one idea. Technology should NOT drive instruction. NOTHING can replace a great lesson or a great teacher. We utilize the technology based on the idea that instruction and planning should drive the use of the technology, not the other way around.
So, how is it going you ask? AWESOMELY…Yes, there are some bumps. We have had about eight students shatter screens (remember, I said in the first part it would be messy). Some forget to charge them. Some forget them totally (I have seen more parents delivering Chromebooks than I can count). Yes, there is some downside. But we knew that.
Let me tell you what I see in classrooms though. I have Social Studies teachers who have figured out a way to use Google Drive to create online interactive notebooks. They have a Table of Contents that is actually a Table of Hyperlinks to that section of the notebook. In other Social Studies classes, students combine traditional projects with Google Presentations that they share with peers (picture below). I have seen math teachers using Padlet to create and collaborate. English teachers are using Google Docs to allow students to work together on research and papers. Every where I go, teachers are using excellent instruction and integrating the technology into the instruction, not the other way around. It is very exciting to see them adapting so well to this bright new world.
Yes, I am sure we will have issues down the road. Yes, I am sure we will have a learning curve that far exceeds my prediction. But right now, I am loving this new world. And so are our students. Even the teachers seem to like it. So far…Stay tuned for a bonus third part to the Bright New World series!
Please leave me a comment about your experiences with 1:1 classroom settings. Again, I need all the help I can get!