Connecting the Learning Community
Early reflections from a tech savvy counselor in a school that just went 1:1
My community at YIS has almost finished our second full week since the start of school and the beginning of our 1:1 laptop program in the secondary division that we call the CLC (Connected Learning Community). This is something I have sought to see happen since I came to the school because anything less was always a compromise. Now I can assume my students will have the technology they need to do the work they have to do. I no longer have to worry about someone losing files on a shared computer or not having a full class set of laptops for an online assignment that I want them to begin individually. I am not sorry to say goodbye to reserving laptops or watching 2 people struggle in front of one computer.
We are starting to see the educational benefits that lead us to implement this program like students being able to reliably create and submit assignments that utilize technology for starters. Moreover, the maintenance of balanced use of technology, as a previously understated priority, has become an explicit priority. Perhaps as a result of students using computers more during class time, they seem happy to get off of them during breaks or over lunch. I, too, feel a cultural shift where I naturally make sure I’m away from my computer for longer periods of time (even if I have work I really “should” do) to have those face to face interactions that make a school such a great place to learn and work.
For the past two weeks, I have felt as if I have been constantly helping people understand blog tags, RSS, DropBox, Diigo, Evernote, and Twitter among other productivity tools and tricks, so we adopt the efficiency offered by our new connections and avoid the surge of information overload. It has been great to see people begin to recognize the incredible potential of these tools and, even better, how they can be used in an integrated fashion. We are a ways off still, but I look forward to the time when tasks that should only take one click, are one click, so we can sit back, with screens down, and discuss. – AC
Some resources you might be interested in include: