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I have to give this post my usual preface that these slides are part of the presentation I am giving on innovation in K-12, but only one part of the story. Today, I am part of an event hosted by Simon Fraser University, Targeting Technology for Maximum Student Benefit. I won’t cover the ground I have covered before as the scenario and other background on the event is available (here), as well as from a substantial post I recently wrote on the appeal of one-to-one devices in the classroom and equity (here).
Beyond this and going forward, there are a few key points I would like to emphasize as we look at my assumptions and thinking on what we should and shouldn’t be doing:
Some assumptions for the next 5 years:
- Teachers and schools are status quo (sense of community/social-emotional learning)
- Learning, not technology, is the driver
- Good writing (and what we often call “the core” curriculum) still matters
- Complex problems often have a simple solution
- External inventions (like the iPad) will continue to impact what we do, and we have no control over this!
- Teachers need to know where to begin: “personalization” and “digital literacy” are broad and ambiguous terms, so we need to narrow the framework
- We can’t wait for the decisions of others. It is ”go” time. Now
What We Would Do:
- Start at Grades 4–7 (if a middle model, maybe Grades 6-8), over time, the “sweet spot” will extend from Grades 4–10 depending upon school organization
- Develop a personally owned devices strategy addressing equity
- Focus on a web environment/space for learning/personalization with a common structure to change the norm of how we do business
- Nurture great leadership with administrators and librarians
- Have our learning leaders become digital learning leaders
- While it may not be a popular decision to give teachers access to portable devices before students, it is often necessary in the case for change
- Find the “simple thing” that challenges the norm, changes our thinking, and helps make technology “sticky”; it could be digital writing, or digital content, portfolio, or . . . .
- Link technology to physical activity, and the visual and performing arts; it is not just about language arts – integrate, integrate, integrate!
What We Wouldn’t Do:
- Distributive Learning, – we want all classes to be blended classes. There are others who are experts in Distributive Learning, so, let a few do it well for the students who need it, and we will focus on what we can do for all students
- Allow technology to solely report to the business side of the organization
- Go slate crazy. iPads do not lend themselves to creation and participation in our text-heavy world. They are more (at least, so far) about consuming information, and we want to create content creators
- The ’drill and kill’ and the ‘shiny new thing’ syndrome; instead, we would focus on good teaching and learning. If the technology isn’t good learning, don’t use it
- Try to be something for everyone – because we need to truly focus on supporting student learning. While it is nice to say there is an interactive whiteboard in every classroom, to what education end?
- Have a strategic plan; we would have a learning plan, and invest in infrastructure and pedagogy, but prescription with technology (particularly devices) is almost impossible
With that preamble and a very brief explanation, here is my slidedeck. If you would like to use any of the slides, you can download the presentation from SlideShare.
If you are reading this in the presentation room, or from around the world, please feel free to join the conversation on Twitter at #bcedsfu.
Update: You can download the Twitter conversation today (over 850 tweets) by clicking on this link: BCEDSFU Chat