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Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Coming of 1:1

Our/my school Board, AMDSB, just introduced a 1:1 pilot project for grade 7 & 8 students in a group of schools. I am in favour of the initiative and believe in its success but also see the obstacles to it possible failure. There is no problem searching the internet to find stories of success and failure of both 1:1 & BYOD projects.

We have all heard the saying “The medium is the message.” We don’t want to be developing a new saying “Technology is the message” but “Technology is the means to the message.” Navigating the Digital Self

The Board has taking the initiative to launch the project. They must believe in it. The Purpose of Technology in Education .They must support the teachers, the students and the parents. It cannot be “here it is, go for it”. The training and resources for the teachers is essential.

The teachers are welcome to and excited about the project.What they do with it could the make or break of it. Its Time for Change. As compared to BYOD, 1:1 gives conformity to the devices used and what can be used. Some same diversity is needed. Total equity is still an issue. Will it require additional training & time for the teachers?

“My own Ipad.” “Terrific.” Disruptions: Minecraft, an Obsession and an Educational Tool. With this comes responsibility for the student. One to One Computing Triumph

Conversation Before Transformation. Parents are the wildcard here. They cannot be left hanging on what this all looks like: for the students, within the classroom and at home. It is maybe more of a change for them then the student. Whether it is a teacher, school or board led, parents need to be shown/demonstrated how this works.

Like all good plans it is the planning and implementation that can make or break it. The Board, teachers, students and parents all need to be on the same page or in this case screen, for success. What If? Technology in the 21st Century Classroom

I may have shared more information here than me saying anything but that is me. We will see how this supports our 4 Cs & 1 P and where we go from here.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Who is the Teacher?

There is always discussion in educational circles about the role of parents in education and the role of homework in that education. The article Homework Hits Home as Schools Outsource Teaching to Parents throws another take on the discussion.

Two related statements in the article stand out to me: "...children learn much more from their parents than their teachers." & "...parents acknowledged as the first teachers." The interpretation(s) of these statements make for an interesting discussion(s).

Although the article does not state age or grade for this 'outsourcing' does in go against Ontario's Early Learning Program & FDK? If parents are the first teachers and children learn more from them than teachers why is there this rush to get them into school? Did Ontario remove Grade 13 so it could add JK? I don't think so but now we have children entering school that may not be ready and ones leaving school that aren't ready. Every child, family, school and situation is different and JK & SK are not mandatory, you are certainly looked upon poorly if you choose not to follow that route. Is this what JK/SK is for Fast Tracking to Kindergarten as a mentioned in a previous post Questions on Engaging/Involving . 

Parents and teachers all have a role in the education of children. Can lines be drawing who is to do what and where? As stated above 'every child, family, school and situation is different' but school has become the place to equalize the imbalances that there maybe. Right or wrong.  (Poor choice of words here) If the parent(s) are lacking or not providing the skills/etc, parenting, the child needs in the first place, how can mandated involvement help? Maybe I am shifting too much to parent being parent as opposed to parent being teacher. The article does state '...schools are being told to consider running training and development courses for parents and to invite then in as guest teachers.' Parents should want to come into the classroom and school. Parents should want to assist and help their children learn. Is it an open sincere invitation? The line of communication between child/parent with the teacher/school is so important. The involvement/engagement is built on trust, "...valuing parents as part of the education process." (I know others can weigh in on this better than me and probably will.) For past thoughts see posts Parent Involvement, Parent Involvement II, Parent Involvement III & Parent Involvement IV

Homework is its own topic by itself. I will reference a few links:  Alfie Kohn Rethinking Homework , Tim Slack The Role of Homework, Mike McNeff Challenging the Core Belief in Homework, Diane Milne 8 Strategies for Homework Success

One cannot put all their thoughts into one post/blog. One's thoughts maybe go in many directions. The directions are what lead to conversations.