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Posts Tagged ‘Ministry’

bandwidth

The number one challenge facing technology in education is not pedagogy or access to devices — the number one challenge facing  technology use in British Columbia’s schools is bandwidth.

I was looking back at a presentation I gave in 2002, when I said, “We should think of Internet access like curbside garbage pick-up.  It should be regular and something we can depend on.”  A decade plus later not much has really changed for me.  I simply expect when I load a website, open my email or launch a video, for that to simply work.  In the past decade, my home access and my mobile phone access have improved to a point where I almost never worry about access or speed.  The access in our schools is not so perfect.

British Columbia does lead the country in Internet connectivity. Students increasingly have their own devices at school, and very often more than one. And, how they use these devices is quickly changing — no longer are they just consuming content, they are content creators.  Even five years ago we lamented the spikes in bandwidth use at lunch and after school as students saw Internet use at school largely as a social tool. Current data tells a different story.  Spikes in Internet use are now during class hours and less use before/at lunch and after school.  Our teachers and students are trying to do exciting things with their digital access.  We are seeing a boom in one-to-one initiatives, more etextbooks, inquiry initiatives in a digital space, video streaming and collaboration online between schools, districts and countries.  My colleague from the Surrey district, Jordan Tinney, recently wrote a wonderful post on this very topic – Change is Just a Mouse Click Away . . . Or is It?

The story often told is that we don’t have enough technology, or that teachers are not ready to make the pedagogical shift. Yes, those are factors, but not the ‘number one’ issue.  Over the last two years we have ensured all staff in West Vancouver have access to a digital device of their choice, a topic I recently wrote about When Teachers Have Devices.  Surveying these teachers at the end of last year, we learned that about one-third of teachers are looking for more support with the changing pedagogy of the digital classroom; about the same number referenced the need for more technical support, and close to 90% indicated improving Internet speed “needs to be a priority.”  While it is tremendously exciting what is happening our classrooms, the spinning wheel in the middle of the screen can be a real downer.

The West Vancouver School District is actually in far better shape than most school districts.  We have invested in fiber connectivity, upgraded devices, modernized the ‘behind the walls’ with our technology and are looking at traffic shaping (giving priority to certain types of activities on the Internet like the student information system) and still we are challenged. Looking at the next five, or even two years, there is going to be more outbound traffic.  Classes are increasingly using data rich websites; video use is taking off; teacher collaboration in a digital environment is growing rapidly, and a new student information system for BC promises to provide amazing data at the touch of a key. In fact, in the very near future, I predict we will have more devices connecting to our network on a daily basis than we have students and teachers in our district.

It is easy to identify challenges, but this is one with some solutions. The Provincial Learning Network (PLNet) provides “reliable, robust and safe network infrastructure enabling communications and the delivery of educational content to schools and post-secondary institutions in British Columbia” according to its website.   It has served us very well.  It has helped us give assurances to families around content filtering (such as students surfing the web). However, as school bandwidth demands are expected to increase 30% year-over-year, we need to either upgrade this system or move on to a new model. So, do we do it together as a province or 60 different ways as districts?  And, as it often comes down to in education, who pays?

As we scale the use of technology in our schools we will need to reduce and eventually eliminate the bandwidth barrier.  Recently, I heard a speaker suggest that the global leaders in digital learning will be those with the greatest bandwidth.  We are making a promise to create engaging learning environments for our students through personalized learning powered by digital access. We will continue accessing the Internet and we need it to be as reliable as heat, light, and telephone service in our schools. We also need to get on with this challenge — if we wait on it longer, there will only be larger barriers in the years ahead.

I recently spoke on a ministry panel on this topic with the IT and Communications Working Group; a group that has concluded that moving forward requires a robust and upgraded provincial data network. AGREED!

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report-card

It is the time of year when many make fearless predictions about the school year ahead.  The news is full of “must have” lists for the fall — from clothing  to technology.  Let me join the chorus of those making grand proclamations and say that this school year is setting up to be “the year of the report card.”

There are many issues to pick from in BC.  It is always easy to say labour issues will dominate the news and education conversations, but we are in the midst of quite a large transformation in BC and it is a moveable feast.  Some of the items that I think will make news this year include:

Curriculum — There will be drafts of a new K-9 curriculum in seven areas:  English Language Arts, Francais Langue, Arts Education, Math, Science, Social Studies and Health and Physical Education.  In the past, curriculum had been on long cycles with one or two new curriculums released each year. This year, we will see drafts of all of these documents in the fall with the promise of other grades to follow.

Provincial Assessment — An advisory group which began their work in spring 2013, led by the Education Deans from SFU and UBC,  will conclude their work this fall.  Their recommendations could lead to changes with long-standing programs including FSAs and the Grade 10-12 government program exams.

Graduation Program — Last year, there was a province-wide consultation regarding the graduation program, which will continue to be refined this fall. By spring 2014, we might see recommendations for changes to the current program.

And those three “meaty” items are just the beginning.  There will be more discussion and piloting of special education innovation projects, on improving Aboriginal education, the ongoing focus on bullying through ERASE, sustained efforts with early reading, and a lot about skills and trades programs.

So with all of that, why “the year of the report card?”

While some of the other topics can quickly become philosophical or “edu-speak”, everyone (students, parents, educators, community) understands report cards. There are few things more core to education than report cards. Report cards are also a symbol of “the system.”  In many ways, report cards have not changed much for our kids than from those their parents received.  Three times a year, a brown envelope goes home with brief comments on a student’s success in prescribed areas; for older students, a series of numbers and letters quantify the most recent term.  Parents read and re-read each comment for insight, meaning, and possibly comparing the letters and numbers to those of the neighbours’ kids as well.

But something is happening . . .

As schools change, and our beliefs about learning evolve, a lot of people are asking about report cards.  In BC, some people are not simply talking about report cards, they’re doing something about them.   In Maple Ridge- Pitt Meadows, for example:

Elementary school teachers  . . . will no longer be required to grade students with an A, C+ or D.  Wednesday, the local school board approved a new elementary reporting alternate option, termed a student-inclusive conferencing model.  It will see teachers meet with students and parents to discuss progress, and an increased emphasis on student self-assessment. . . . Committee members developed a process intended to open dialogue between parent, child and teacher. The conferences celebrate strengths, talk about learning needs, and set future goals. The report is filled out in a more consultative process. The committee members say it has an obvious effect on young learners.  “Even our kindergarten students are setting goals for themselves,” said Vandergugten.  “And not a single parent asked for a letter grade. No longer are they an A, B or C student.”

Maple-Ridge – Pitt Meadows, is not the only place seriously looking at report cards. These conversations are happening in schools across the province, and I am also hearing more questions from our own staff and parents.  And they are good questions — If what we know about assessment has changed, shouldn’t how we report change with it?  As new curriculum is introduced, should we continue to report on the same areas as we have in the past?  With all of our technology, is there not a better way to give timely information than through a paper report card three times a year?

Reports from the schools and districts that have made the change have been very positive; there has been a great response from students, parents and staff.  But then there is the other side of the discussion, like “I did just fine with report cards with letter grades so why change for my kids?”  It is actually an excellent discussion.  As we continue to look at report cards, we talk about what we value, how and what we assess and what content is most important.  We also talk about the balance between some standard benchmarks for students and personalized learning.

I have shared some thinking on this before, in some of my parenting wishes for my child’s schooling.  There is more constructive work we can do, starting at the elementary level, to de-emphasize the ranking and sorting, increase the self-assessment and goal setting, and to find new models that  will make the “reporting” more timely, thoughtful, relevent and learning-focussed.

Talking about report cards is simple, and the reason why I think they will be such a hot topic this year. We have all received them and we all have stories about and experiences with them. But the beauty of the discussion is lying just below the surface of a rich discussion on learning and the school system we want for our kids.

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This past week I had the opportunity to join Radio One’s On The Coast host, Stephen Quinn, and fellow panelists Ann Whiteaker, past president of the B.C. Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils; Jerry Li, Grade 11 student from Surrey, and Peter Cowley, Senior Vice-President of Operations and Director of School Performance Studies at the Fraser Institute, in looking at the state of public education in BC. The forum, which was hosted at Vancouver Technical Secondary School in Vancouver, used the tagline “Is BC’s Public Education System Broken?”  Unfortunate, because while I do appreciate the question makes good media sense, it is not a productive starting place for a conversation about what we need to do to improve upon one of the world’s top public education systems.

I would have liked more of a chance to explore the system we want, to have engaged on how to keep it moving forward, and to discuss what a greater focus on the pedagogy and practice that will be required for schooling in our future world would look like. However, the forum did highlight the passion of those who work and participate in the public education system in British Columbia.  Hopefully, there will be more public input and conversations soon (and more listening to the voices of young people!) focussing on the learning our kids need and the education system this will require.

The forum podcast is available here (the forum was held in hours two and three,  though there is a good interview with the Ministry of Education’s Superintendent of Achievement, Rod Allen, in hour one). There were also active, and good conversations on Twitter, which one can still find by searching #otcforum. Several thoughtful reflections on the event have also been received, including this one from Jenny Arntzen.

Finally, on this topic, in advance of the session, each of the four panelists was tasked with the homework of putting together two minutes of material describing the greatest strengths and weaknesses of British Columbia’s public education system.  The notes I prepared for the conversation are below:

The greatest strength in BC is our consistent, high levels of achievement; we do really well for most kids – from graduation rates to international assessments – we are one of the top performing jurisdictions in the world. Educators from around the globe flock to BC to learn our secrets, and international students, for example, see our schools as highly desirable.

We have an incredibly diverse clientele, far more diverse now than even 10 years ago; we have been challenged by funding, yet our achievement levels have continued to improve.

And at its core, this is all about outstanding teachers and administrators – highly-skilled, dedicated, passionate teachers investigating new ways – embracing technology, and giving so much to the life of the school from athletics to the arts.  There is nothing more important than the connection teachers make to students and we get that right.  There is a total commitment to doing the right thing for every student – it is very impressive.

The system is not broken.

Ironically, this strength is also a weakness.  It is hard to transform a system that is highly successful – why change when we are doing well?  We have to come to grips with the understanding that while it may be reassuring for our kids’ schooling to look a lot like our schooling looked like, this will not prepare our kids for the world that we are in and they are entering.

We need to transform the system to a new place – more of just the same is not going to make us better; we need to connect and network the brilliant pockets of innovations blossoming around the province.

We need to address the increasing relevance and engagement gap for kids – particularly as students move to high school – kids tell us their engagement is waning.

We need to ensure the system is reflective of the world we live in with an increased focus on skills and competencies, real world learning and less content focussed.

We need to better figure out how to meet the needs of students that don’t see university as their first option after Grade 12.

To be very clear, we are in this transformation from a position of huge strength – becoming a better version of us.

Hopefully, this is the first of many opportunities this year to move conversations about public education in BC to the mainstream.

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In the middle of an industrial park just outside of Stockholm is one of Sweden’s top-performing schools – Kunskapsskolan Tyresö.  It is part of a network of 33 Kunskapsskolan schools in Sweden – all funded by a public school voucher system (Sweden has a national voucher model), and has no tuition, accepting students on a first-come, first-served basis.

Having just spent some time with several colleagues who attended High Tech High, in San Diego, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities in the stories they told (Here is a post by Gary Kern and by Lynne Tomlinson) about their  experiences.  It is a school that has technology as a key tenet, but one would hardly notice it; students do inter-disciplinary work and have large segments of time to organize themselves; the school is a draw to those “on the ends” of the learning spectrum – gifted and challenged – and both groups flourish; students outperform their counterparts in neighbouring schools and have strong records in post-secondary.

The physical plant itself is modest.  The particular school we visited was in the midst of an industrial park in a converted factory; other schools in the network have taken older office buildings, or leasable space, and have converted them into schools.  One is struck by the fact every square foot in the building is used.  A case in point is, there are no hallways – rather, there are tables and gathering spaces literally everywhere for students to collaborate.

Much of the same language around British Columbia’s education system and personalized learning was evident with teachers and students at the school, but what was most noticeably different from the BC experience is that they didn’t take one or two practices and adopt them at their school, they completely rethought everything about their school and how it operates. Here is a video overview of the school:

Here are some of the key elements we saw as we walked around the school and talked with teachers and students:

  • Every student has personal goals that are continually monitored
  • Every student has personal strategies on how to reach these goals
  • Every student has an assigned coach to meet with them every week in a structured, 15-minute discussion – it was noted this was far more than a conversation, but a structured process
  • Teachers had multiple roles – all teachers had a base group they met with each morning and afternoon (an advisory-type program), and these students are the ones they meet for “coaching” once a week.  In addition teachers are subject experts (e.g. math or French) and also run tutorial centres that require some more general knowledge
  • The schedule is flexible.  There were group lessons, individual study sessions and teacher-led workshops
  • The school offers a variety of learning sessions and formats – some compulsory, some voluntary – from lectures, to labs, to individual sessions
  • The curriculum is organized by steps and students’ progress on an individual basis without being tied to a class or grade
  • Thematic courses provide contextual understanding, while providing subject standards
  • The Learning Portal gives access to learning resources everywhere and anytime – the entire curriculum is online and teachers are continually working to develop and improve materials
  • Every student has a log book to keep track of their work (like our agendas) with clear purpose and value – this is connected to the weekly coaching sessions
  • There are regular, individual progress tracking review/development discussions
  • The student has their own individual study plan

The bullet points are all quite familiar for those following the personalized learning discussions.  What was stunning was I don’t think I have met many students like the two Grade 9 students who toured the school with us – the epitome of students who own their own learning.

The conversation with Odd Eiken, Executive Vice-President of the Kunskapsskolan network of schools, highlighted the different approach they are taking toward schooling.  He argued the schoolwork versus homework conversation is not one worth having – it should be able workload – and students, like adults, need to find ways to manage their workload at school or home.  He articulated that all the efforts to standardize systems at the schools allow for teachers to have more contact with students – about 30 hours a week — compared with about 20 hours of student contact in most schools.  It is the personal relationships that are key, so they are what need to be the focus of teacher-time.  In his schools, teachers spend far less time prepping for classes, and more time with students.  Teachers also have a more traditional formal workday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the school, and they spend a large part of their summers building curriculum. Technology, he argues, is to “liberate time” for teachers, so that they can do the important work connecting with students.

Here is Eiken’s full presentation:

Just as with High Tech High, there are many “Yeah, buts”.  The Kunskapsskolan schools are products of a voucher system; the Swedish school system does not consider athletics and the arts as part of the school program like we do; the voucher system which has produced the school leads to real concerns over equity and concerning behaviours (they told a story of a neighbouring school giving away free computers to draw students); while they have been successful in Sweden, and are expanding to New York, England and India, the feedback has not been all positive.

I left the school with the impression of the two kids who gave us the impromptu tour of their school.  I want my own kids to care as deeply for their learning at 14 as these two students clearly do.

The visit to Kunskapsskolan Tyresö came, in part, after hearing Valerie Hannon discuss the school at the BCSSA Conference two years ago – here is a link to the post on that presentation.

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My most widely read post ever has been Dr. Stuart Shanker and Self-Regulation, which is a summary of Dr. Stuart Shanker’s presentation at the November 2010, BCSSA Fall Conference.  It was around this time Shanker started to become known in the BC educational community, because of his work in Ontario and from a few presentations he had made on self-regulation in British Columbia.  Since then, he has become an extremely influential figure in early learning, as well as on how we look at students with unique needs, and at student support service models throughout our province. And, last month, he shared centre stage with the Honourable George Abbott, Minister of Education, as they discussed ‘the way forward’ in education to board chairs, superintendents, secretary-treasurers and principals.

So, what is the message he is sharing?

Shanker has presented the marshmallow test video on several occasions to provoke a room.  And, just as the Did You Know videos became synonymous with the changing world of education and Sir Ken Robinson’s RSA Animate video, so directly linked to educational change, it is rare for someone to present now on self-regulation without showing or at least referencing this video:

Shanker argues that approximately 70 per cent of kids cannot wait to eat the marshmallow, and that longitudinal studies done on the kids who do wait show they do perform better in life, have better entrance scores to university, better relationship success, and higher standings on a number of other factors (Shanker does acknowledge there has been some debate about this test and what it represents — but maintains that recent data has supported the original findings).

Using the marshmallow test as a backdrop, Shanker argues there is research to show that we can actually improve a child’s ability to self-regulate — that is, to manage stress (environmental, physiological, emotional, cognitive, and social) and this ability is particularly important for students with special needs, because these students have too many stresses to control themselves and not enough energy to self-regulate.

In the classroom, Shanker says we need to support children so they are not overstimulated or overstressed.  This involves giving students the ability to learn self-regulatory skills so that they can self-regulate when stressed, and this can also include adapting to their learning environment with more opportunities for physical activity (see Spark for more information on this).

Shanker is not afraid to be bold. Here is a collection of other semi-related ideas he has shared at the recent event with the Minister:

  • Diagnoses get in the way of student progress.  It is better to identify a child’s strengths and work to mitigate the child’s deficits by focussing on strengths
  • Parent education does not work — we need models where parents actually engage (StrongStart was shared as a positive example)
  • Since interventions for FASD, ADHS, ASD etc. are similar; don’t focus on the diagnosis; rather, focus on the menu of interventions appropriate to the child

He ended with something I have heard him say many times before . . . . there is “no such thing as a bad, stupid or lazy kid.” These are powerful words with a powerful message.

Over the last 18 months, Shanker’s work has become hugely influential in West Vancouver and around British Columbia. There are three key areas of energy  that I often speak on currently happening in West Vancouver:  digital literacy, inquiry and self-regulation, although, I did not know what self-regulation was just two years ago.

Shanker’s work is exciting, and it offers a new lens on the struggle children have growing up.  We are looking forward at thoughtful research on the success of self-regulation initiatives to better meet the needs of  our most needy learners, as well as the needs of all learners.

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If asked, most people would agree they could do well with more flexibility in their life — this is also true in the education field, and almost all education reform movements include a call for greater flexibility.  Of course, this can mean something very different from one person to the next.  For me, flexibility is about giving more choice and ownership. I shared this slide (below) in a recent presentation giving an overview of what I think flexibility means in the education context.

Just as we talk about students owning their own learning as an optimal goal, the same is true for adults;  the more we own our learning (and teaching), the more optimal and powerful a system we will have.  As a leader in a school district, I want all levels of government to grant us the flexibility to allow districts to have their own flavour, or character within a larger framework.  In turn, as district leaders, we can do the same for schools in allowing schools their own signature. It is a given, tensions may continue around central or local control, but flexibility and balance should be a consideration here as well.

The process repeats itself in schools with principals giving teachers the ability to be flexible, and teachers doing the same for students in giving students choice in the what and the how of their learning.  I do often hear, “we just need permission”, and I am not always sure what that means, but it does point to a culture of thoughtful experimentation where those at each level in the system recognize it as part of their role to increase the flexibility, choice and ownership for others in the system.

Granted, flexibility is only part of the equation.  The commitment of everyone in the system (as it becomes less standardized) is to network — pulling people together to pull together key ideas.  Teachers need to network students with similar passions, principals need to assist in networking teachers, district leaders to network schools, and governments to districts. Ideally, governments around the world would network together, because just as it is important that two students network and work together to solve a problem in a Grade 5 social studies class, the same holds true for everyone in the system. We want BC to learn from and with Alberta, Ontario, Australia, Finland and all others who are on this journey to move education forward.

Part of my role as district leader is to encourage flexibility, to be a cheerleader for innovation and then to tell the story, weaving together the different journeys  in the district as part of a shared narrative.

Creating a more flexible system is all the rage right now — who doesn’t favour it? It does need to be more than just letting people do whatever they want to do. It needs to be systemic, across all roles, giving increased choice for others to work within a larger framework, and pulling the different approaches in a network of learning — together.

I find it easier to write and talk about a system with less standardization and control than what we currently have, but it will be part of our challenge going forward to allow passions to be pursued, and permission to be given. Hopefully, we are now at the front end of the era of educational flexibility.

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In my previous post (here) I referenced an upcoming event at SFU, Targeting Technology for Maximum Student Benefit.  To think out loud a bit, as well as to garner some ideas, I want to take a look at a number of issues that need to be unpacked, and to create some models for comment, pushback and refinement. So, the idea is to engage in a larger conversation, but less about the case for change, and more about a tangible idea of what that change might look like.

One of the points raised in the BC Education Plan under Learning with Technology is “The Province will promote the use of technology for both students and educators.”  So, why does the BC Education Plan want to promote the use of technology?  Technology is only the device;  it is access to the benefits of a digitized world where everything is amplified that is the greater goal.  For many, this part of the education plan speaks to moving to one-to-one opportunities.  In the feedback I have seen around this, many have raised concerns over equity, and how one-to-one might further divide our students into have and have-nots, and while most believe technology can help overcome barriers of access and geography, we need to ensure there is some baseline. While it plays out as ‘technology’, what so many want for their children is the benefits of digital learning — relevant, connected, unlimited.

So, given that it seems unlikely that all students will be provided with a similar device (as was done in Maine and has been done in specific grades in BC at different times), what might a model look like that embraces personally owned devices, but would also tackle the  issue of equity for all?

Some underlying background assumptions:

1) If we believe technology is crucial for students moving forward, we need to find a way for all students to have a base level of access.

2)  Many still argue about the merits of technology; however, without question, the world is becoming increasingly digital. Accessing content, communicating, working, learning, and all facets of life are being shaped by the ‘digitization’ of the world.  For our students to thrive in this world, they need to have access AND direction.

3)  All efforts need to be learning efforts; the goal is to increase personalized learning that improves engagement, relevancy, achievement, and the technology is there to support this goal.

3)  Given that it is unlikely any grand plan will come together to support all students and staff with technology, implementation will be incremental.

4)  Simply encouraging students to bring their own devices is not enough, or an effective strategy.  The strategy must be purposeful, supported and unified for both teachers and students.  Failure to do this will leave us with pockets of innovation, and without a sustainable model.

5)  There will be teachers who continue to push the boundaries, who will do amazing and edgy stuff — teachers always have and always will.  But, while this should be encouraged, it shouldn’t be understood as a base expectation.  Not every class needs to be Skyping with students in Europe for their assignments, or producing videos to explain their work (but it’s great in classes that do).

6)  To be clear, one-to-one computing is not the solution to any challenge — it may, though, be part of the answer to going forward.  If we think by placing an Internet appliance in a student’s hands alone will create a more creative, innovative, or more intelligent student we are missing the point.  Like the paper and pen of the last generation, it is the ‘oxygen’ to breathe in a digital world.

So, what might a strategy look like:

1)  It is important to start with either one grade or one school.  While this post covers the technology, there is huge support needed for staff.  This is not a pilot project — this is the first step in a strategy.  The ‘sweet spot’  seems to be between Grades 4 -10. The elementary level is appealing as a starting point because it is one (or very few) teacher(s) interacting with each student, and easier for early success.  Grades 4-10 is also the area where learning strategies can be integrated and cross-curricular, supporting personalized learning strategies.

2)  Teachers need to have the technology in their hands early on to become comfortable with it and before students are using it on a regular basis.  There is also a lot of work to be done to support teachers in adopting pedagogy in this ‘new’ classroom environment.

3)  We need to identify what will make the digital learning ‘sticky’ for classes and schools to enable meaningful and powerful learning; it might be digital writing through a blog, student portfolios, or digital content (e-books/content). It will need to be supported for both teachers and students, and framed around an inquiry-based approach with student ownership and teachers as guides in learning.

4)  A standard about what technology works best is required.  Absolutely, bring what you have, but that strategy is far from perfect. Much can be done with a smartphone, but I am not convinced it is the best device for learning. I still think a small laptop that allows for work production is currently the best device, of course, this is changing with the growth of slates (iPads) and the potential of new devices like ultrabooks.

The really big question, how do we ensure equity?

  • Have students with their own devices bring them. There are more students who have them than we think, and if the case is made that students are benefiting from the learning, more families will invest in the mobile technology for school and home.  If parents can be assured that an investment in Grade 4 will carry their child through for four-to-six years with their learning, many will make this choice.  I am often stunned by families that buy their child a cell phone, but don’t have a computer.  I am also quite comfortable in saying that if they are investing in a cell phone and not a computer there are better options to support their child’s learning.  We need to help guide families with what technology will have the greatest impact in supporting their child’s learning.
  •  Of course, not all students will supply a computer up front, this could range from a few students to the entire class depending on the school or district.  The second option would be a lease-to-own option for students. There are a number of options available with price points around $20 per month.  This picks up on the cell phone argument, and a more affordable device with more value for student learning.  Families could be assured their child would be getting a device that would be ideal for learning for a number of years, and could be used at school and home.
  •  Finally, there are  students that, for many reasons (financial and otherwise) won’t embrace the first two options.  We need to find ways to supply these students with a comparable technology to use at school.  Many schools have class sets of laptops that could be repurposed for this project; in other cases investments will need to be made.  The challenge is that the investments will be uneven (and this is difficult to do) with some schools requiring a greater percentage of investment than others.

The uptake on the first two options will determine the speed at which the program could grow.  There is also a belief (as evidenced) that devices will continue to come down in price over the next few years and the $100 Internet device for schools is hopefully soon at hand.  We can take the approach that laptops may likely be what calculators were for me in senior math, something that I could bring, rent or borrow.

I realize that we are far from coming to terms on the question about whether the future is every student with a device, but I do think many see that as being part of schooling in the not-so-distant future.  If that is true, we need to begin test models.

If we believe this is what we want for all learners in public education, we need to find ways to make sure it is available to all learners.  If we believe that all students should have a level of access, given our economic and political realities, we need to engage and explore ways for this to happen.

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