This week we deployed about 200 iPads to our K-2 students and about 240 Chromebooks to our students in grades 3-5. We are officially a1:1 school! It is the start of a very exciting time in the school for the students and teachers. But, the 1:1 deployment brings new and very different challenges for us as educators.
To get this school year started, I shared this video with our staff at our opening meeting, and I asked them to contemplate this question before watching it: This video is an analogy for the new school year. Why? I used PollEv.com to tally their answers which were right on the money. Here are some examples of what they wrote:
“Teaching kids with technology as we are learning how to use it also.”
“Learning as you go and building knowledge as you work.”
“Teaching students with technology that we are still learning about.”
“This video is a metaphor for our school year because we are using and teaching with computers while we are learning ourselves.”
“We are preparing students for things that don’t yet exist”
“We don’t have the luxury of “building” before we start with students – We’ll be doing all the “building” and teaching at the same time.”
“We are total risk takers! And hope we land on our feet.”
“We’re gonna wing it this year:-)”
I absolutely loved their responses!! Our teachers totally get the concept of taking risks on something so new and different that there is no perfect, prescribed way to do it. We could easily have waited a year or more before implementing a 1:1 learning environment, but would we really be any wiser then? The idea that we jumped in, ready to experiment and learn along with the students, is refreshing and invigorating for our school, and it is a critical to meeting students at their level of learning.
Sure, the last few days have been tiring as we have run into some bumps in the deployment road. But we did it with a lot of help from a lot of people. And, now that the devices are in the kids’ hands, we have our work cut out for us. We now have the challenge of engaging, inspiring, and empowering our students to become self-directed, 21st century global learners.