Plan Document for Anywhere-Anytime 21st Century Learning

 

Preface

 

A Case for 1:1 Deployment

 

Our students are citizens of the 21st century. They read, communicate, collaborate, socialize, work, explore, and learn with personal technologies. They are the Millennials, who share ideas and dreams on social networking sites, follow streams of information from web page to web page, and use technology, reading, writing, and critical thinking skills in almost every aspect of their lives.  Schools can begin to capitalize on the talents and interests of this collaborative, resourceful, and innovative generation of thinkers by bringing them the tools that they are already familiar with and use them for their academic achievement.

 

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) believes that in an ever-increasing technology rich world our students should be able to:

 

  • demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology;
  • use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others;
  • apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information;
  • use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources;
  • understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior;
  • demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations;

A recent survey of registered voters conducted by The Partnership for 21st Century Skills revealed that “Americans are deeply concerned that the United States is not preparing young people with the skills needed to compete in a global economy.”  David Warlick, in his book Redefining Literacy for the 21st Century, states that, “Our job, as educators, is to prepare our students for their futures. This job, today, is especially challenging, because for the first time in history, we cannot clearly describe the future for which we are preparing our children. Our world and the information that describes it are changing too fast. The very nature of information is changing: how you find it, what it looks like, the way it behaves, where it comes from, what you can do with it, and how we, as authors, create it.”  What we do know is that regardless of post high school plans, reading, writing, critical thinking, and 21st century literacy skills are critical to the future achievement of every student. When our students graduate high school they will enter a world of work that has been leveled by technology. If they are given the opportunity to integrate technology and information resources into their learning activities students will be better able to adapt to change, develop new skills and become life-long learners.

 

There is a large body of evidence which shows that technology motivates learning. This occurs when a mobile environment causes a teacher to change pedagogical approaches to include more time for student-centered, self-directed learning.  Mobile computing provides opportunities for new styles of teaching and learning. It can also lead to more personalized learning as the communication between individual students and teachers, as well as experts in the field, are facilitated through digital communication and collaborations.  Technology also facilitates differentiated instruction by accommodating their individual reading levels and giving them access to maximize their academic progress. Furthermore, these technologies will give students access to instructional interventions (RtI) that can address individual academic deficiencies.

 

Digital learning environments made possible with a 1:1 deployment encourage students to read, write, and compute by providing access to the Internet and Web2.0 technologies. Teachers can help students conduct research, and improve information literacy skills.  Finally, anywhere-anytime learning, facilitated by a 1:1 deployment, bridges the digital divide where all students have equal access to information, learning resources and the digital tools that will make the difference in their success in the 21st century working and learning environment.

 

Goal

To provide each student a laptop computer to improve his/her individual access to technology and information resources in order to teach 21st century literacy skills and extend each student's learning opportunities.

 

The Plan

There are three main elements of the Anywhere-Anytime 21st Century Learning plan. 

  1. Pedagogical support: Teachers and staff will be provided the professional development and technical support to fully integrate technology into instruction.
  2. Hardware deployment and support: Mobile devices will be deployed to students, kept secure and maintained in working order. 
  3.  Infrastructure and networking consideration: The infrastructure will support a wide-scale deployment of mobile computing solution for students.

Objective 1: Pedagogical Support

Narrative: The key to the success of this initiative is the teacher.  Our goal to successfully integrate technology into classrooms will depend on how well our teachers use new methods and technology tools to transparently incorporate them into the curriculum.  Therefore, it is extremely important to develop and deliver professional development opportunities and assist teachers and staff in the integration of technology into their curricula.  These professional development activities should encompass instructional leadership, instructional practice, assessment, curriculum development, and understanding of the learning process not just the technology.

 

The District can accomplish this through a 3 prong approach that includes the already established Professional Development Centers, along with the development of Facilitator of Technology Integration, with the infusion of professional development and formal coursework.

 

For the past 10 years the Professional Development Centers (PDC) have provided the “just in time” technology support and training on a variety of technology tools and applications that the District has endorsed.  When the District adopted a standard grade book, mandated web pages for all teachers, updated or upgraded programs, the staff of the PDC trained our teaching staff to use these tools.  Members of the PDC continually assess the needs of the staff and teachers and develop training materials that meet their needs.  The PDC staff stays up-to-date with the current technologies adopted by the District and regularly demonstrates their uses to teachers and staff. The PDCs should continue to be a resource to teachers and staff in order to learn the technology tools and applications that teachers deem important to their instructional needs.

 

Facilitator of Technology Integration

Teachers bridge the gap between theory and practice.   Facilitators of Technology Integration are the “coaches” that provide the more personal approach to helping colleagues integrate technology into the District curriculum and instructional practice.  They provide relevant support, model instruction using technology, and help teachers reflect on best practices.  They are linked and supported by the PDC's, guided by their discipline and department's goals.

 

The Facilitator will demonstrate the qualities of an instructional leader who regularly integrates technology into his/her curriculum, and have the minimum coursework or advanced standing commensurate for the duties.  They  will be members of a subcommittee of the TSCI and PDSI committees that focus on the District's strategic plan for anywhere – anytime learning.  They will conduct large group student instruction on relevant technologies that will benefit students in the classroom.

 

Professional Conferences and Formal Coursework

Professional conferences provide an opportunity for teachers to network with other teachers, share ideas, and learn from others. They also keep us on the cutting edge of technology, find new resources, and rethink the way we do things.  The District will encourage Facilitators of Technology Integration to attend conferences focusing on the integration of technology into the curriculum and will share with colleagues what they have learned during department meetings and institute workshops.

 

Formal coursework will be offered by the District.  These courses will cover a range of topics from improving teacher technology skills to the development and delivery of on-line instruction. They are:

  1. Technology Tools and Applications for the Classroom  (Updated 8/2012)
  2. Technology Integration: Tools, Strategies, and Assessment (Updated 8/2012)
  3. Virtual Instruction:  Tools, Strategies, and Assessment

 

These courses will be developed by the District and offered on-site. The courses will be based on the best practices of technology integration.  This sequence of courses or their equivalent will become a prerequisite for Facilitators of Technology Integration. The District will apply for University credit and all teachers would be allowed the option to pay for the university credit or receive lane advancement credit – non-transferable, free of charge. For those teachers already proficient, lane advancement and an honorarium would be given to teach a level I or II or III course, if they apply and are selected. Teachers successfully completing coursework would be eligible for lane advancement on the teachers' salary schedule. 

 

Objective 1: Pedagogical Support 

Strategies/Activities

Positions Responsible

Time line

Resources

Funds (if necessary)

PDC Provides Training and Support for Teachers

CTO

On-going

No additional

No additional

Establish Facilitator of Technology Integration

CTO

Fall 2009

No additional

Release

Professional Conference and Workshops Support  for Facilitators of Technology Integration

CTO

On-going

NECC, ICE, NASB conferences

$15K annually

Develop and Deliver 3-level, in-District Technology Courses  for Credit and Lane Advancement

CTO/Asst. Superintendent -HR

Summer 2009 and on-going

Course Materials

$5K

 

Objective 2: Hardware Selection and Support

Narrative: With the low cost laptop or Netbook just arriving on the scene, it has made anywhere-anytime learning or a 1:1 not only possible but inevitable.  These low cost laptops are a smaller format with 10” screens, 160 GB hard drive and no external drive. Open source application software has lowered the total cost of ownership of these machines while maintaining their functionality. They are designed to be used as mobile Internet devices with much of the functionality derived from “cloud computing,” such as GoogleApps for email, document storage, and collaborative calendaring.  

 


Student Laptop Orientation and On-Going 21st Century Skills Training

During the first few weeks of each school year, Freshman students will receive a series of technology skills orientations during their study hall period.  During these sessions students will learn to care for and use the new netbook laptop that they were issued. They will receive instruction on how to set up local accounts and web-based on-line tools and applications furnished by the district, i.e. Google Apps, Atomic Learning,etc..

During one of these orientations students will take a diagnostic test to determine their knowledge of 21st century computer literacy skills.  A prescriptive course will be developed for each student following the direction and skills paths of the Atomic Learning tutorials. Students will be able to study these skills on their own time throughout the year.  Once all the prescriptive lessons are finished and the student passes the Post-test satisfactorily, the student will receive a designation in the ILP that they have successfully acquired the 21st century computer technology skills set established by the District. 

 

Student Help Desk Interns

Students helping students is a win/win.  When a student experiences difficulty or just doesn't know what to do, help from a peer is usually more palatable. The Student Help Desk Interns must be knowledgeable and empowered to help the students. Therefore, based on demand and number of units deployed, the Student Help Desk would be manned after school for a period of time to be determined.  These students would be supervised and trained by the IT department.  They would be empowered to re-image the computers to their factory default and provide low level technical assistance. Terminal problems would be escalated to the IT Help Desk, where a determination is made as to whether the unit should be sent for repair or replaced.  All repairs will have a nominal cost associated to help offset costs of the Student Help Desk and a number of loaner units would be maintained and made available to students as necessary.

 

Student Issued Laptop Security and Responsibility

Students assigned to certain courses would be issued a computer based on the course requirements.    The student fee for that course would offset a portion of the expense.  These computers would be issued to the students and they would become the financial responsibility of the student.  An insurance policy for the computer would be made available at a nominal fee and would cover the replacement costs of the computer if needed. 

 

Long-term Savings Potential

Over the course of the next few years many textbooks and paper resources will be replaced by their on-line paperless equivalent. Tutorials, experts in the field, and document storage have already moved to the Internet via Web2.0 technologies. Open source resources and open curriculum have the potential to save districts like ours thousands of dollars a year by providing the resources and their benefits in a cost effective and effective digital medium. 

 

Hardware Roll-Out Schedule

During the fall of 2009, 400 Netbooks will be deployed to a select group of students; such as small learning communities (West) and selected IITs (North) who have embedded instructional technology goals into the curriculum.  The remaining Netbooks would be deployed to study halls and common areas where students would be able to check them out for that period.  Students will be eligible to receive a Netbook during the fall of 2010 in courses where teachers have completed level II Instructional Technology coursework and the curriculum reflects the inclusion of technology literacy. During the fall of 2011 all freshman and sophomores who have not yet received a Netbook in the above-mentioned deployment strategies, will be issued a Netbook.  Each successive year, the freshman class will be issued a Netbook. By the fall of 2014 all students will have been issued a Netbook.


Objective 2: Hardware Selection and Support

Strategies/Activities

Position Responsible

Time line

Resources

Funds (if necessary)

Establish Laptop Pilot (200 per building)

CTO

Fall 2009

Netbook

$200K

Establish Student Help Desk

Director of Operations and Networking

Fall 2009

Student Interns

$5K annually

Establish Laptop Loaner Pool

CTO

Fall 2009

10% of Netbook pool

$20K

Provide Training and Supervision of Tech Intern

Director of Operations and Networking

On-going

Help Desk Staff

(2) T-2 Technicians

Establish Policies and Procedures for Security and Responsibility

CTO

On-going

None

No extra costs

Provide Technology Training and 21st Century Skills development to students

Director of Instructional Technology

During Freshman Deployment

Atomic Learning

No extra cost

Expand Pilot to selected Courses/Programs

CTO/Assistant Superintendent - Curriculum

2010

Netbook

$500K

Freshmen/Sophomore Roll-Out  and Ongoing for Freshman Classes

CTO

2011 and on-going

Netbook

~$500K

 

Objective 3: Infrastructure and Networking Considerations:

Our buildings were built some fifty-plus years ago and were not designed to support any technology initiatives of this magnitude. Over the course of time we have retrofitted the buildings and built new additions that are more aligned to our technology needs.  There are two significant elements that need our attention for a successful one-to-one deployment; they are wireless access to network and Internet service and the power requirements of the computers.

 

By the end of this summer we plan to be 95% percent wireless.  This secured wireless system will require students to register their wireless computers and devices on the network.  This will enable us to continue our network monitoring and security while providing the appropriate network services based on the students' network rights.  While laptops battery lives are getting longer, presently they still fall short of the entire day.  The battery life of a 3 cell battery, under normal working conditions, falls short of three hours.  This means that students will need to be able to charge their laptops throughout the day.  We will establish a variety of charging stations and facilities; concentrating first on where students congregate throughout the day.  We will provide charging stations in the IRCs, cafeterias, and study halls.  As battery life continues to improve and become more affordable, this should be less an issue.  

 

Objective 3: Infrastructure and Networking Considerations:

Strategies/Activities

Position Responsible

Time line

Resources

Funds (if necessary)

Complete Wireless Installations for 95% Coverage

Director of Operations and Networking

Fall 2009

Wireless APs

 No additional

Provide Help Desk Staff with Open Source Training

Director of Operations and Networking

On-going

On-line training/Open Source conference

$3K Annually

Provide for Network Security and Segmenting

Director of Operations and Networking

Fall 2009

Consultation

No additional

Expand On-line Storage and Google Apps

CTO

On-going

Google Apps

None

Provide Print Stations in Key Areas

Director of Operations and Networking

Adjust to demand

Location and Space

~$5K

Provide Charging Stations in Key Areas

B&G

Adjust to demand

Location and Space

~$5K/site


Plan Evaluation:

 

Formative and cumulative assessments will measure the following

 

·      Increase use of instructional technology; particularly on-line instruction for instructional intervention (RtI) by 20% per year;

·      90% of teachers will demonstrate Level II IT proficiency or have completed the Level II IT course work By Fall 2012;

·      All course curricular guides will include components of 21st century literacy by the fall of 2012;

·      100% deployment and support of a comprehensive laptop environment by the Fall of 2014;

·      By fall of 2014 every student will demonstrate 75% proficiency for use of 21st century literacy skills, measured by NETS for Students.