Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February 29

It is the night before our big event on Feb 29. I am really excited about having Maria Henderson come in to share about how mobile technology is changing how we all learn.

Let me tell you how this all started.

A few months back, I noticed that there was more interest in getting mobile devices into our schools. The number of requests for iPads and iPods had increased. Teachers and principals made it clear that this was the tool they wanted to use.

And we bought a few and put them here and there. They were used....somewhat...but what really changed? What did this new gadget offer that something else we had didn't? It was hard to pin down. And it was really hard to get an answer from people asking "what are you going to do with that?".

I'm not a gadget person. I am a "what will this tool do to change how your kids learn" person. I want to know how what you want to buy will change your instruction to be more interactive and engaging with students? I hate to buy something that will be used as a replacement for a clicker or a camera and then be put back on a shelf. I want to know what how these tools are going to be used.

At a time when many larger districts are going 1:1 (1 computer per 1 student) and others are going BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology), I felt we needed to start the conversation with our administrators about their expectations and vision for mobile tools in education. And I wanted to bring in someone to help ALL of us with the conversation. This isn't something I felt comfortable leading on my own. I wanted help.

So I asked my rep at Apple for help and Maria is who we turned to.

The original plan was just for administrators to get a presentation, but then I wanted my committee to be part of this. I think of the Librarians in the district and I wanted them to be part of the conversation. I also wanted our Special Education staff to be part of this as well.

Soon, the plan moved from only a few hearing the presentation to inviting...well...everyone to hear it.

And now, here we are.

So tomorrow night, I hope to be back reading comments from those who attended on our event evaluation form.

It is exciting because I know that conversations about change cause a range of responses including fear, excitement, hurt, shame, and vision. Change is difficult. But this is just the start of a conversation to see if change is in our future.

I hope it turns out well!

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