Video: Highlights of District 211’s One-to-One Program

In the video below, District 211 students and staff highlight the benefits of having the One-to-One program in the classroom. Students in the One-to-One Program have access to information and opportunities to develop creativity and communication skills that are not possible in the traditional classroom. Recently the Board of Education approved the expansion of the One-to-One Program by purchasing an additional 6,380 iPad devices for students. The expansion will allow all District 211 students the ability to develop essential skills needed to be successful in a digital world.




What’s Happening in One-to-One at District 211

Students work in groups to familiarize themselves with their iPad devices.

Students work in groups to familiarize themselves with their iPad devices.

The scene looked similar in classrooms all over High School Township District 211 as students in the One-to-One Program began to delve into their studies and familiarize themselves with their iPad devices for class.

In classrooms such as Shawn McCusker’s, a social studies teacher at Fremd High School, familiarizing students with the iPad device and preparing them to navigate through their coursework was a priority during the first week of school.

“The challenge is to get students past the use of the iPad as a simple replacement for paper and pen,” McCusker said. “The best results happen once students have gotten comfortable with the devices and realize just how much more is possible with a connected tool for creation.”

McCusker’s approach is just one example of how he used simple group challenges, such as preparing a 20 to 30 second video about a classmate, navigating shortcuts on the device, and learn how to email attachments, to prepare his students for what he can do with the iPad devices during the duration of the course.

mccusker 2“When students realize that there are limitless ways to express learning and that they can share those expressions with others in the school and community things get exciting,” he said. “I have never had a student say, ‘wow that worksheet changed my life!’ But I have student giving me updates six months after an assignment is due because it has surpassed 5,000 views.  That never happened before.”

Below is an example of student work that was created in one of McCusker’s One-to-One sections last year. The video, to date, has received more than 6,000 views on YouTube, which has increased global collaboration for this student without having to leave the classroom.

The D211 Post will continue highlighting “Happenings in One-to-One” throughout the school year to showcase student work and innovative One-to-One Program teaching techniques.




District 211’s One-to-One Program Video Updates

The One-to-One Program began in August 2012 when Township High School District 211 issued iPads to 1,600 students across five high schools. At the February 2013 school board meeting, the board approved the purchase of 7,000 iPad 4s for use with the student population in a true one-to-one environment. These videos are a collection of clips from teachers and students related to their experience in the One-to-One Program. Videos are by Keith Sorensen, director of Educational Technology at District 211. For more information about the One-to-One Program expansion, please read the article here.

 




District 211 Board of Education Approves One-to-One Program Expansion

The program will now benefit up to 7,000 students

The program will now benefit up to 7,000 students.

After a successful implementation of the One-to-One pilot program during the first half of the 2012-2013 academic year, District 211 will expand the opportunity for an individual iPad device to more students in the coming year.

At its meeting on February 14, 2013, the Board of Education approved the expansion to provide up to 7,000 students with an iPad device for the upcoming school year. The use of iPads enhances student interaction and collaboration both inside and outside of the classroom.  Current teachers and students using the iPad devices have highlighted the ability for teachers to provide students with immediate feedback as a major benefit of the iPads in classrooms.

The One-to-One Program has increased collaboration between students and their peers, as well as with teachers.

The One-to-One Program has increased collaboration between students and their peers, as well as with teachers.

“Teachers are transforming their role as teachers and devising ways for students to create, produce, and demonstrate their own knowledge and content,” said Keith Sorensen, director of educational technology in District 211. “Throughout the pilot program, teachers report that the interest level and active engagement of students in the one-to-one classroom is notably high.”

The pilot program provided 1,500 students with the opportunity to use hand-held devices to enhance classroom interaction and collaboration with their teachers and peers. There were 37 teachers in the One-to-One Program, and the expansion will allow 60 additional teachers to transform their classrooms. So far, 85 teachers have applied to be involved for the 2013-2014 academic year.

Many teachers report that homework assignments are generally more creative using one-to-one technology.

Many teachers report that homework assignments are generally more creative using one-to-one technology.

The growth of the One-to-One Program is based on student and teacher feedback, survey results, and benefits they expressed in the program. Many students noted that they received more detailed feedback and quicker responses from their teachers overall. Using classroom portals, such as Schoology, students are able to communicate with their peers about homework and ask questions if they don’t quite understand a subject. Using Schoology as a classroom portal, these discussions can continue far after the student has left the classroom.

Teachers said using the One-to-One program has changed their classroom for the better, not only when it comes to assignments and homework, but also engaging students who historically were less interested in school. This includes students with learning challenges. Homework assignments were generally more creative using one-to-one technology, as well as more collaborative.

The use of iPads enhances student interaction and collaboration both inside and outside of the classroom.

The use of iPads enhances student interaction and collaboration both inside and outside of the classroom.

The National Staff Development Council reports school districts that implement new technology often encounters a dip in student academic performance throughout the first year. However, some District 211 teachers said students in the One-to-One Program had a higher proficiency score on the District’s Critical Learning Standards (CLS) in only four months compared to those in conventional classrooms. District CLS define what students should know and be able to demonstrate after the completion of their course.

Sorensen said reaching CLS and success with the program has revolved around continued reference of the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS), which focus on six different points of instructional improvement through technology, such as creativity and innovation, and communication and collaboration. One-to-one methodology is also combined with Education Success Measures from Project RED, a national study of education technology to focus on student achievement and financial implications. Employing these methods is helping teachers reframe their classrooms and increase student success.

Using classroom portals, such as Schoology, students are able to communicate with their peers about homework and ask questions if they don’t quite understand a subject.

Using classroom portals, such as Schoology, students are able to communicate with their peers about homework and ask questions if they don’t quite understand a subject.

“Given the positive outcomes of the current year’s pilot program and both the knowledge and experience gained throughout the year, expanding the program will provide more students with the opportunity to benefit from the learning experiences made possibly by the individual iPad devices,” Sorensen said.

For more information about the history of the One-to-One pilot program, please visit the D211 Post article here. Information about the National Educational Technology Standards can viewed on its website, as well as Project RED here.




Five Unexpected Results of Going 1:1

Written by Shawn McCusker, Social Studies teacher at Fremd High School

 
ipad Identity Crisis- You will become a student too. The moment you have devices in your classroom, you are no longer THE resource for answers in the classroom. Students will be finding sources with much greater insight on your subject area than you can offer.  I (as a history teacher) was presented with ideas and facts that were completely new to me on a daily basis. Class was more about interpreting new ideas and evaluating their credibility. I was thinking more. They were thinking more. My place in the classroom changed. Even though I liked it overall, it was very stressful because it forced me to redefine who I was in the classroom.

 
Remodeling- The physical space of my classroom made no sense.  We worked in groups a lot. I was constantly moving students around and they were sitting on the floor and in the hallway. It didn’t take long for me to realize that they were out of the desks more than in them.  The collaboration and groups were now more common than not. I had to change my class space to reflect that.  Why couldn’t they do group work in desks? Why didn’t I reorganize the presentation space around their presentations rather than mine?  My classroom had always been staged to focus their attention on me and my answers. That organization flew in the face of my new classroom objectives.  So I asked my students to redesign my room and I am in the process of making the change.

 
Fear (Freedom is Scary)- Devices gave my students options and presented then with choices. Some of them were completely freaked out by this.  Worksheets are boring but they are safe.  One answer per answer blank is intellectually easy but also emotionally easy.  When you tell students “It’s up to you, you decide.” It will cause some of them anxiety, a lot of anxiety.  This is especially true of the “pleaser” who just wants to make you happy and do what you ask. I am learning that I can help them through this but you better be ready.  Their anxiety is real.

 
Invalidation- Much of what you used to do was based upon an “Economy of Information” with scarcity at its core. Devices revealed to me that this model is dead. So I moved quickly to change it.   But then I realized that the model was invalid in my non 1:1 classes as well.  So how could I restructure lessons to make them more appropriate for an information abundant world? How do I do that without the devices? When is lecture appropriate in this model? How do I move my focus to the big ideas? #facepalm
Massive Overhaul- I began my dive into 1:1 technology by making some processes tech friendly.  I made class resources electronic. I poured myself into workflow and how I could give and receive materials. Then I moved to integrating technology projects to replace certain lessons. Now I find myself evaluating bigger ideas such as:

  •    If my class is no longer based upon a text book, and my units were organized around that units, should I completely reorder my units too?
  •  How can a multiple choice test be effective to assess learning when learning is individualized.
  •  How can our classes be moving to the values of individual creativity and creation when our institutions are being evaluated by standardized assessment.

The change goes beyond lessons, beyond my classroom to much bigger things.  My advice to anyone about to dive into this would be to prepare yourself to take a good look at what you do on every level. Do not just walk into this casually. You will not find the rewards you a looking for. But with the right planning and consideration you can find rewards beyond your expectations.

To view McCusker’s blog, click here.




VIDEO: One-to-One Pilot Program Update

As the world advances at an incredible pace, District 211 is determined to prepare students for their future and to stay ahead of the curve through an education that utilizes cutting-edge technology. The One-to-One Electronic Device pilot program will allow 1,500 District 211 students to have their own personal electronic device to enhance classroom interaction and collaboration throughout the semester.

Students received their devices during the first two days of school and started using them immediately in the classroom and also for homework. The overall goal of the program is to help students learn about better methods of accessing information and collaborating with their peers and teachers in an innovative way.

For more information on the One-to-One Program, read the article here.