I really enjoyed my recent conversation with Jane Gingerich, head of music at Southwood Secondary School where we examined music education then and now, leveraging technology and change. I think you will find the perspectives interesting.
Examples of theory instructional videos
The start of this school year has an extra kick of pizzaz for me. WRDSB is launching a 1:1 Chromebook program for all grade 9 students in the system. The intent is for students to keep their chromebook for their 4 years of secondary school.
The learning space has changed: access to digital resources for all, leveraging online learning environments such as Google Classroom and Google apps noting that over 60% of WRDSB staff and students currently use this environment daily for writing, researching, collaborating, exchanging ideas, providing feedback, documenting and sharing their learning. In many respects, moving to 1:1 is a scaling up based on the successes of the Futures Forum project.
Graphic from http://michaelfullan.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/13599974110.pdf
On Sept. 1st, I had the opportunity to attend the grade nine orientation session at Cameron Heights CI. Principal Ray Teed estimated that over 90% of grade nine students were present. It was great to feel the energy and excitement in the building. Here are a few highlights from the tour, lunch and chromebook pickup.
… and a nice touch at Southwood SS.
Make it a great learning year!
I thought I would share some student feedback on their experiences with our 1 to 1 pilot project this year on the final day of the 15/16 school year.
“Another component of this course that completely differs from my previous year is the use of technology. Everyday, we were fortunate enough to use the chromebooks provided by the school rather than write with pencil and paper. Although, at the beginning I was very reluctant to have the entire course essentially online, I was able to develop my skills with computers and different programs we used throughout the semester.” – MP
“At the beginning of the coarse when i found out we were doing the coarse online and on chrome books everyday….I did not like the thought of it at all because I’m pretty horrible with computers and such. After this semester I now am capable to make a website and transition to using google docs all the time now for everything.” – KP
“Everything we did this semester was digital, meaning I did not use a single piece of paper. I really liked this aspect of the course, as I found it was easier to remain organized, and on-top of assignments. The google classroom was a bonus because it allowed me to work through multiple assignments simultaneously. Overall, I think in the current time period it makes sense for every English course to operate this was, and I’m really happy that I was able to experience this type of course two years in a row.” – MG
“For the entire semester, our class used Google Chromebooks to complete work and participate in class discussions. Not once this semester did I have to pull out a piece of paper (which was nice). Based on my experience, this is the way that all English classrooms should be like in the future.” -SP
“The daily use of technology was new to me for an ENG course. Initially, I was skeptical of its usefulness, and even feared that it would interfere with my ability to do rough work, because I was so accustomed to paper-and-pen work. However, the use of technology was majorly useful. I very much enjoyed the access to an instant and limitless dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, library, and on and on. I am convinced my work was better for having access to these things, especially the first two items of that list.” – SN
“I enjoyed that the course was very technology based with everyone having a chrome book to work on. I feel it makes life a lot easier when all of my work can be accessed from anywhere and can be handed in from anywhere.” – LB
“Although the technology portion of this course was new to me and took a little getting used to, it was one of my favourite parts of this course. Learning through the source of technology was a good way to keep teens of our generation focused on learning in the classroom. Having all/most assignments online and easy to access was really helpful when working at home or somewhere aways from school grounds. Also being able to hand in assignments online was easier for me personally because I liked having the night of the due date to finalize my writing or slideshow before turning it in. “
I look forward to launching our 1:1 program across all secondary schools in September!
You never know what surprise might happen in a day. This was such a great student written letter to receive – forward thinking and action oriented with a vision.
By happenstance, I received this letter during the same week as I completed a number of school visits to converse with Principals about the role of technology in the change process.
It is so awesome to see students thinking about change and signalling a readiness from their perspective. I look forward to responding to this student next week. I am thinking a Google Hangout conversation would be a nice approach if it can be worked out.
scan of letter (with student name removed for privacy)
Today’s post shares the resources from the “Ready to Get Social” session I presented with Mary Hingley at the WRDSB SSPD session.