The Educator's PLN

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Based on today's #edchat, it is clear that some type of action plan is needed to implement a 1:1 Laptop plan at our schools. What needs to go into that plan? Some ideas to consider are:
- troubleshooting skills for teachers
- lesson planning
- take home vs. classroom sets
- type of device? laptop, netbook, iTouch, Smart phone, . . .
- what do we eliminate to make room for this

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Matt, This is a link to a presentation I gave this summer about 1:1 programs in Iowa at our School Administrators of Iowa Conference. There is some great info there, or we can skype sometime if you would like or you can email me at deron.durflinger@vmbulldogs.com
I'm in a similar situation where 1 to 1 looks to be on the horizon in my district. Money is a huge obstacle as well as infrastructure and staffing/resources. One possibility that has been brought up is instead of spending money on laptops for El Ed, get mobile carts of iPod Touch. I have a feeling this is really going to be the most affordable/innovative way to use technology in the near future. Especially, w/ the upcoming announcement of the Apple tablet.
$$ is always going to be the smoke screen issue. I think infrastructure will be a bigger obstacle than purchasing the actual hw IF people are willing to sacrifice in other areas.

We have the issue in our school that we were wired to work just fine in 1990. There are 2 ethernet ports in each room and the total bandwidth of the building is pitifully low. We are in the process of trying to determine what's the cheapest but most flexible/expandable solution to allow more access points in each room. County was going to charge us $15k to install additional ports and power source for 15 stations in one of our rooms. Needless to say, our principal said, "We'll call you back." So as we look at trying to plan to be 1:1 in the future, we have a lot of work to do just there.
Hi Matt,

I've taught adult learners 1:1 (with PC's) for a number of years, and I agree that the infrastructure can often be a big stumbling block.

Trying to teach ICT-based lessons on computers that freeze up whenever learners attempt to perform even the simplest online tasks is not just frustrating for educators, it wastes time that should be spent in learning and it can also be a turn-off for students new to technology. Technical support for when equipment breaks down or other things go wrong is an other area that often isn't properly addressed.

Based on my personal experience, I'd say that sorting the infrastructure out needs to be right up there at the top of the action plan.
Hi Matt! Well I don't know if I have a different context here in Brazil but I think that the most important here, isn’t the tool itself – a laptop, a smartphone – but its use, the purpose of it. Tech is the mean not the objective itself but… how to start it? As most teachers are learning how to use social media, for instance, and twitter is a great example of its use, we have to make students start using it in a comfortable way, firstly. In my case, for example, I started using twitter last September and you can’t believe how much I have been learning with my PLN so I believe that, as teachers, we do not have to know everything all the time, but we do have to be models of engaged learners to our students. So, even that I’m a kind of “beginner” in twitter it doesn’t mean that I can’t motivate my students in using it too. Below we have a great example of this use:

New Milford @NMHS_Principal teachers using Twitter, social media sites to engage students
http://www.northjersey.com/news/111909_New_Milford_teachers_using_T...

So, I think it can be the 1st step; they have to feel, to see, to perceive how a PLN can rise their own perception to take their learning responsibilities as a goal.
A second use could be blog posts as these comments: Making Sense of Social Learning - Examples of Social Media in Learning
http://c4lpt.co.uk/handbook/examples.html , of course, they are professionals but the most beautiful is that they assume that they are learning with this tool so we can use the same strategy with our students.
Concluding, I think this project example - in the video below - shows a great use of all these web 2.0 tools by a student:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEls3tq5wIY&feature=player_embedded

So, in this stage - when the student is clearly engaged with the purpose of the tools - I believe that this great idea of “1:1 Laptop” can be a success, having “collaborative learning” as one of the key points.

Let me know what you think.
Giselda, thanks for all the links and thoughts. I don't think the context is different. I think you have a good point in that the faculty need to experience and own the usefulness a 1:1 initiative (of any type device) can provide. Then maybe they would become greater advocates for their students.

However, at some point, you have to lead a horse to water. What can we do while educators are experiencing things for themselves so the 1:1 can be rolled out immediately instead of waiting 3 years AFTER everyone realized it's a good thing.
Yes, Matt I completely agree. We do have to start right now and be together with students learning and sharing these experiences.

@rliberni just posted the edchat summary: Are 1:1 Laptop programs the future of education? How do they change the way students learn?:

http://rliberni.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/are-11-laptop-programs-the...

Really great discussion and when you have news from your experience in carrying out this in the USA, please, share with us from South America.

Thanks, great discussion!
Here are a few other things from #vanmeter Shannon Miller can probably share more as well. We love to share so feel free to contact any of us @derondurflinger, @shannonmmiller, @johnccarver
Presentation Website
School Wiki
Library Voice
Thanks Deron. This is all very helpful. I'm looking forward to learning a lot from you guys. Hope we become sister schools one day!!
Matt,

We are always looking to partner up with other districts. What do you have in mind? We are going to do a collaborative project with a school in New Jersey, Canada, and other schools in IA. We are also a part of international schools collaborating on a wiki. Let me know what we can do to help.

Deron

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