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Will 2011 be the year we move to a campus model?

January 2, 2011
As we continue to focus our resources, we often have to make difficult decisions regarding our investment in technology.  The underlying premise has been that the district will provide the technology device(s) that students use for learning.  Is this sustainable?  Is it even the best model for student learning?

There is a movement that seems to have started out of necessity and driven by shrinking budgets that has now become an instructional movement. The idea is to let students decide what type of internet connected device they want to use at school.  For example, the Bond Extension on the February 22nd ballot contains a significant investment in our wifi network that would support this model.

There are a lot of logistical questions…  Our policies would need to be changed to welcome portable technologies.  We would need to continue our focus on maintaining user safety and data security.  We would need to seriously invest in our wifi network to make sure students and staff could effectively access the resources and information available on the internet.  We would need to develop a strategy to provide devices for those who might not be able to afford them. The list goes on….

The questions are not barriers.  They are simply hurdles.  I think about all of the portable technology that arrived in the hands of our students in the last two weeks.  (Have you been to the local Apple Store lately?  The place is a zoo!)  I think about the level of excitement that our students experience when using technology…. it’s time we get serious about turning that excitement into engaged learning.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2011 7:33 pm

    Interesting questions Scot.
    What do you mean when you say “campus model?” and how would you describe what exists now?

  2. January 3, 2011 7:01 pm

    The campus model means we would allow and encourage students to bring and use their own internet enabled device.

    Right now we have a few different formats for accessing the internet…

    Labs – We have students go to computer labs or media centers.

    Laptop Carts – We take carts with laptops into classrooms.

    1 to 2 – We provide devices to students to use in their room for an extended length of time, shared with just one other classroom. This model is used exclusively at Heritage School right now.

    Teacher Driven – We do have some staff at the high school that encourage the use of student provided devices. In order for this to be effective, we establish small, room based wifi networks.

    Teacher Led – We have teachers access the internet from their device and the students share in the experience, typically via a projector or in some cases with SmartBoards. (SmartBoards is a brand name for are interactive white boards.)

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