We just passed our tenth week of going One2One with our 5th and 6th graders and two full elementary schools. And I have to say, I could not be more excited about the great things that our staff is doing with our students and the technology. The goals for this year (the first year of the plan) was to allow teachers and students the time to get comfortable with teaching and learning with the Chromebooks. Class looks a lot different when every student has a device 24/7. Additionally, we have asked teachers to use the digital resources (including Google Classroom as their digital hub) that have been purchased and adopted by the District. Lastly, we asked that teachers (by the end of the year) begin the process of integrating station rotation and forms of blended learning into their classrooms. The rest was up to the teachers and students to how far they go with integration.
Last week we held three One2One Showcases for our own internal staff, Board of Education members and select VIP members. The results were fantastic. Teachers have embraced the new technology, embraced the idea of blended learning and gone far beyond our initial expectations.
We have seen numerous positive changes in our classrooms. Some of those changes include:
- The number 1 change is that engagement is through the roof. Veteran teachers are saying that students are more engaged in their work than ever before.
- Discipline has been reduced. Because the students are more engaged there have been less trips to the principal’s office, meaning that students that are usually in trouble constantly are now in class more and learning more!
- Teachers say by adopting the station rotation model, they get to know their students much better, because instead of working with an entire class at once (in a traditional model) they can now work with a small group of 5-6 students. Teachers are now better equipped to start the process of personalizing instruction.
- Less time spent on trivial tasks like passing out collecting papers (because most things are digital), some teachers have said they have gained 5-8 minutes per class.
- Some teachers are progressing through the curriculum at a faster rate than ever before.
- By using Google Classroom and the Chromebooks teachers are able to differentiate easier by giving additional tasks or invention as needed.
- Teachers are beginning to think critically about the setup of their classroom. Teachers are moving to flexible furniture, allowing students to sit on the floor or allowing them to use standing desks.
- We have begun to think about technology in terms of more than just the device. We have started using emerging technology like virtual reality and augmented reality to extend and expand upon what we are doing with the Chromebooks.
- And probably most importantly, students are saying that they are learning things this year, instead of just memorizing them for the test.
So in all honesty, I am been very excited to go out into the buildings and see all of the great things that are students and teachers are doing with the technology. This truly has helped us to reinvent the way that we do school.
I am excited to see what the rest of the school year brings and ready to start this entire process with our junior high schools and high schools as they will start the process of going One2One for next school year.