There have been so many things to write about since my last post, that I simple lost track of it all and never got around to writing. I’m committed to remedying that.
Between managing iPads for K-2 and for our extended day program, figuring out new Google apps challenges (did you know you can’t send email to more than 100 external recipients in a 24-hour period from your domain?), and then… it’s time to get serious about looking at a 1:1 initiative.
One administrator, one teacher, and I attended Vita-Learn’s one day conference about 1:1 computing. We spent the day thinking about planning for such an initiative and learned from those who had been there. By the end of the day our minds were spinning. I mentioned that we had attended the conference to a Board member and they were very excited. The question is… where do we get the funding? (If you’ve been there and know the answer, please let me know.)
We pulled together a group of educators and our network administrators and started the conversation. They were all very excited about the prospect. We had to work in a somewhat backward and less optimal fashion because the budget cycle has begun. A few things got decided: we mapped out our top 10 reasons why we think we should head in this direction, we decided upon the iPad as the tool of choice, and we started to draft our decision packet.
In our district, when it’s the beginning of the budget preparing season, anyone with any out of the box ideas submits a decision packet. That includes information about why you want to do this, who it will benefit and how, and a budget. Then all of the decision packets get considered and weighed by teachers, parents, and Board members at various times in the next few weeks. A few lucky items might, and I stress might, make it into the budget for next year after much wrangling with the current baseline budget.
Teachers seems to understand that implementing this initiative would take time, professional development, and more. We’re not certain that all teachers understand that by heading in this direction, we’d be letting go of technology tools we’ve had in the past. We certainly can’t fund new iPads and continue to purchase laptops too. We will have just one tool, which will necessitate a paradigm shift and require a pedagogical shift as well. I think people are ready, but I also don’t know if they know what lies ahead.
The trick is to keep the budget within reason (ha!) and market this so that it can happen. It’s hard for us given how large we are and the way in which we’re configured. Anyone with tips, send them my way! We’re very excited and want to keep the momentum going.