What “technology” looked like when I was in growing up…
Today's students are more connected than ever before Today's graduates will have 6 different jobs in their lifetime...most that haven't even been created yet! Students no longer need teachers to get information... They need teachers for interpretation. Today's students receive 1,000 messages a day...TV, email, text, conversations... Good luck getting your message in! Just when adults think they figure a mode of communication with students, such as texting, students are on to something new (Snapchat). A little about Today’s Students Tim Elmore – Growing Leaders
How many of you no longer wear a watch but instead use your phone? How many no longer subscribe or buy the newspaper but use a device to access this media? How many of you still have a Garmin or Tom-Tom in your vehicle? Where do you go when you need a recipe? Grocery List? How many times a week do you use a typewriter to type a letter? How many of you call the movie theater for movie times? What impact has technology had on your life?
Forsyth County Schools is a suburban district north of Atlanta, Georgia Is a nationally recognized leader in educational technology as recognized by local, regional and national organizations. FCS currently serves 37,285 students in 35 schools with a current growth rate of approximately 4%. The student body is 3% African American, 7% Asian, 12% Hispanic, 75% white, and 3% who identify as two or more races. More than 20% are economically disadvantaged, and 14% are served by special education programs. Forsyth County Schools – Cumming, GA
Strategic plan shared with school leaders and stakeholders outlining the need for building capacity as well as financial support. Late 90s ANGEL Learning Management System is implemented for Forsyth County Schools 2002 Promethean Interactive Smart Boards are installed in every classroom in Forsyth County 2004 Unpublicized wi-fi network is created allowing students access using their district assigned student online credentials Student usage of the wi-fi network was high 2007 BYOT was piloted in 7 schools by 40 K-12 teachers… 2009 All 36 schools (K-12) have implemented BYOT 2013 Forsyth County Schools Technology Timeline People support what they help create.
Vision for Technology Use The mission of Forsyth County Schools is to prepare and inspire all students to contribute and excel. Mission Statement
The district currently supports around 19,000 Windows based computers (source: 2010 GADOE) All schools are connected to the wide area network with a gig Ethernet connection with a 100 MB download and upload bandwidth speed (339 MB aggregate) connection to the Internet. Every classroom in the district has four modern computers connected to the Internet. Each permanent classroom is outfitted with an interactive whiteboard, mounted projector, and sound system. Every high school and middle school has at least one computer lab with 30 modern computers and every school has access to seven to twelve mobile laptop labs that consist of ten modern laptop computers and a network printer. Every school also has at least ten stand alone laptops that can be designated for student checkout. Every school has a wireless network connection throughout the building. Full‐time teachers have a notebook computer with email and Internet access. Every teacher has an email account and storage space on the Storage Area Network. Students have individual network accounts with storage space on the Storage Area Network. FCS Current Reality
School Based Support Each school is assigned an instructional technology support team which includes an Instructional Technology Specialist and a Media Specialist. Both have experience using a wide variety software and hardware as a classroom teacher and in preparing and conducting technology‐related professional learning classes. This team is innovative in the way they integrate technology to enhance the educational process. Both members of the team are leaders in the building and in the district. The school‐based Instructional Technology Team serves as the conduit for planning, communicating and achieving district initiatives and often is part of the school’s leadership team. They oversee the use of multimedia equipment such as scanners and digital cameras as well as instructional equipment such as student response systems, digital microscopes and document cameras; provide technology support for the computers in the school as well as manage access to software, the Internet and other network resources such as video streaming. Teacher Resources Teachers have a wide variety of software applications to assist in the teaching and learning of students to increase the creation of engaging lessons that impact student achievement. The Microsoft Office Professional suite is installed on every classroom desktop, student laptop and teacher laptop. Additional district supported software includes ActivInspire, Adobe Creative Suite (Middle and High School), Audacity, Frames (Elementary School), Geometer Sketchpad (Middle and High School), Google Earth and Sketchup, Graph Club Elementary School), Inspiration, Kidspiration, Photostory, Pixie 2 (Elementary School), and Windows Movie Maker.
With approximately 19,000 computers within the district, computers are readily available to students. However, there is great interest in moving to a 1:1 computer ratio The greatest factor that impedes progress on this goal is the lack of technical personnel to support such an implementation Many students prefer to use their personal technology devices rather that school‐owned technology tools BYOT initiative enables students to use their technology tools The teacher’s role focuses on helping students discover how to connect to content, one another, and learning with a device that they may have only used for texting and Facebook previously Inquiry-based learning grounded in authentic projects go hand in hand with BYOD Why BYOT?
Forsyth started out by creating a learner profile, a set of criteria the school district wanted students to learn while in school. That profile includes: seek knowledge and understanding; think critically and solve problems; listen, communicate, and interact effectively; exhibit strong personal qualities; and engage and compete in a global environment. The profile helps guide all approaches to learning in the district. FCS Learner Profile
1 - Make sure administration is on board 2 - Lay the groundwork and foundation by asking simple questions 3 - Some educators will be advanced...but most will not be - GO SLOW. 4 - Do not drown your fellow educators with too much too soon 5 - Support and encourage your shining stars…Coalition of the willing 6 - Use the largest, loudest, and most listened to group in your school - the students 7 - Get constant feedback from your colleagues 8 - Offer your time to help others (off the clock if needed) 9 - Help make technology and social media applicable to their class/content area 10 - When you get discouraged, don't stop...the journey will take time and be hard at times but it will be worth it in the end! 10 Tips for BYOT
Literacy Uses Technology is an object of instruction for the teacher Focus on technology skills Keyboarding Programming Using the computer when “real work” is finished Computer Literacy Classes Student Technology use once a month No questions Adapting Uses Drill and Practice Instructional Games Integrated Learning System Entering assignments on the calendar of a smartphone instead of writing them on an agenda Taking notes during a lecture with an app Using a word processor to complete writing assignments Making use of the calculator on a cell phone to finish a math worksheet Researching facts on a topic Students are consumers Closed Questions Transforming Uses Using technologies as complex learning and thinking tools Students in different schools using telecommunications to gather, process, and report on a common project Students working together to solve real-world problems with real-world technology tools Students using groupware that facilitates collaborative writing, brainstorming, or other technology-based group activities Students have opportunities to construct and demonstrate their learning beyond standardized tests through performance-based assessments and other alternatives Students are producers Open Ended Questions Copyrighted by Benajean Porter, www.digitales.us and www.bjpconsulting.comwww.digitales.uswww.bjpconsulting.com Levels of Technology Use
Scenario #1 Jose, Ruby, and Gregory have chosen to design a school project that will research a riverfront development that expects to build on a landfill. They plan to present their findings to the mayor's planning commission at the end of the term. After their civics, science, language arts, and math teachers approve their second semester community project connected to learning standards and an assessment process, they begin the collaborative task of researching the environmental and economic development issues that will help to formulate a recommendation. They are able to do their work from school, the community library, home, and their local college by using laptops with modems to connect to each other and to resources as needed. On-line digitized text and graphic resources support their research. They also video teleconference with a network of researchers their teachers joined last year, and use a database tool designed for group resource sharing. With continuous review and guidance by their teachers and some peer technical assistance in preparing their presentation with multimedia tools, they complete their project. When the team finally presents its findings, the planning commission values and utilizes the knowledge created by this student team while deciding the city's zoning issues. The students' findings and successes will be published electronically on an environmental home page on the town's website for others to reference in the future
Scenario #2 Johnny goes to the computer lab every Wednesday. He learns word- processing, spreadsheets, and how to create pictures with a paint program. A computer teacher taught him keyboarding last year. He expects to take keyboarding again before the end of the year to be able to type even better. Johnny is also putting together a great slide show on UFO's. It's his first quarter computer project. Johnny would like to use computers more, but the lab is usually full with other classes. However, Johnny's classroom has a computer this year, so when he finishes his math assignments, his teacher lets him play "SimCity" or "Math Blaster," or sometimes make a crossword puzzle with his vocabulary words. He really likes playing the new "Oregon Trail." Even though they studied the westward movement last year, "Oregon Trail" is still fun and interesting. Johnny has discovered he really likes computers, so next year he has signed up for the two new classes, robotics and an html web design course.
Scenario #3 Akhito uses a computer in her classroom or in the computer lab to help her with her schoolwork. Because she is having trouble with equations, her teacher suggests special drill and practice software when she is in the lab. Akhito also uses the SAT software to prepare for her test next month. When their class goes to the library, Akhito and her friend, Safia, research their earth science report together with on-line research tools. Her science teacher made a research "template" on disk and expects it to be completed when the class goes to the writing lab tomorrow. In the computer lab, a special software program prompts them through scientific report questions. Their prompted answers import into a word processor, a spreadsheet graph of their collected data is inserted in the document, and finally a spelling checker is used before their assignment is printed out. Akhito is glad to have these tools to make her schoolwork even better.
When you begin your BYOT initiative, realize that teachers and students will naturally move back and forth among the above uses of their technology tools. Set BYOT Goals…If teachers do not have a goal for BYOT or provide opportunities for students to own the learning, they will sometimes just stop bringing their devices to school. Explore ways to implement BYOT as a regular part of the class day, and be open to transforming learning. The Next Steps…
Internet Safety…by writing policy or procedures prohibiting students from using outside networks, they can comply with the federal Children’s Internet Protection Act. That law mandates that schools prevent students and staff members from accessing material that is obscene, pornographic, or harmful to minors, in order to receive federal aid for technology projects and purchases.Children’s Internet Protection Act Classroom Management… Students using their devices inappropriately or without permission will have their device taken up and sent to the front office. We treat this as a discipline referral and parents are required to come pick up the device. All devices that are collected are locked in a filing cabinet Security…students are responsible for their device at all times. If a device is lost or stolen it is treated the same way as a lost book bag. The incident is investigated, but students understand they are bringing in devices at their own risk. Concerns
The district was worried about equity, but jumped in knowing that not every student had a device and that some parents wouldn’t want to send their child to school with a device even if they owned one. Schools have also asked parents to donate old smartphones that can be used on the wi-fi network without a data plan. A bigger equity question remained around access to the internet. One strategy Forsyth has employed is to pull the community into the effort. Businesses with free wifi put a sticker in their windows and the district offers a directory listing of those resources. Many businesses have risen to that challenge and now even some dental offices offer free wifi, so kids know they can work online while waiting for an appointment. The district also bought Kajeet smartspots to send home with students who had no internet access in their houses. Free Wi-fi Zone Equal Access