We are taking a big leap next year, moving to 1:1 tablet learning. We are starting with a pilot project for grades 9 & 10, moving towards tablet from grade 7 to 12.
I am very excited about this initiative, but also just a touch nervous. As is so often the case, those making the decisions are not conversant with all the nitty gritties, and pass on the responsibility of implementation to, well, to me.
I am looking for anything useful - from strategies that work to success stories, to resources to perils and pitfalls to be avoided. If anyone has anything to share, I would love to hear it!

Ed

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Thanks - these are things we have been warned about. The tablets will come with the add-on extended life batteries. I am assured that our wireless will be able to handle the load, but just in case it is being set up and tested in March, even though roll-out is not untill August.
We are a 1:1 tablet school for grades 9-12. This is the first year for us but the second year for the program in our state. Money for roughly one third the cost of the tablet or laptop was provided by the state. More importantly, there was help with setting up our infrastructure, both monetary and training, and professional development for the teachers. I would not want to do this without that support. The first year pilot program brought 20 school districts and approximately 5000 students into the program and the second year basically doubled that. The training for network administrators and the listserv set up for sharing problems and solutions as well as the PD for the teachers in the classroom go a long way to making this project successful.

We use Altiris for imaging which has saved me many hours in repair time. If a tablet is not functioning correctly, one of the first steps is a reimage. We also use SyncrhonEyes for classroom management which is helping the teachers deal with keeping students on task. Several teachers are using WebCT for course management very effectively. The level of each teacher's involvement with using the technology in their classroom varies greatly. Some have adapted much better than others. However, all are trying at some level and I hope to see that increase during the next couple of years.
I decided to try this site, too! I can't believe all the cool things there are--if we just have time to do them all. I do feel bad that we will not be a 1:1 tablet school next year, but I am hoping for the year after. You guys should have all the bugs worked out by the time we get in!
Ed, I'd love to hear more about the ways in which you are now using the tablets for teaching and learning purposes? Do you work with non-science teachers, as well, helping them to integrate the tablets into their curriculum? If so, in what ways have other subject area teachers used the tablets most effectively? (I recently started another social network site designed to discuss the content of teaching and learning and how to best improve learning with technology. These are the types of questions that I'd love to have discussed on this network. The address is http://www.teachingcontent.ning.com.)

Thanks,

Andy
How lucky ! ... Might hook them up with Kindlelab here - http://kindlelab.com .. an eToys hack soon with a shared directry of projects.
What type of training support for faculty do you have in place? Are all the faculty onboard to add this tool to their style?
Andrew - we are not using them yet. We should get them in our hot little hands in the spring, in preparation for rollout next September. This is why I started the thread, to get some input on how best to implement such a program. Our IT department is working on technical logistics, and I can provide guidance in general for implementation of a 1:1 program, but not specifically tablets. And yes, though my background is in sciences, I can provide ideas for implementation across the curriculum.
Jean - I have a long term plan for providing my faculty with both technical skills and a grasp of the paradigm shift. My plan was to run a 1hr workshop once a month until June, then a two day workshop in June, and another three day workshop in August. I am looking for external PD for the larger workshops, as I only have theoretical knowledge, not actual practical experience.
And of course, my first workshop in January was coopted by the Powers that Be, so now I have to cram five workshops into four time slots. Sigh.
My workshop topics are:
1. Pedagogical philosphy in a 1:1 tablet environment - student constructivist learning vs teacher broadcast instruction
2. Tools for the 21st century - Web 2.0 in the classroom - using blogging, Wikis, Voicethread, Google Notebook, del.icio.us, etc to facilitate information sharing, and the philosophy behind students sharing with students.
3. Assessment and evaluation in an IT rich classroom - building and evaluating authentic assessments.
4. Applications - OneNote and othet Tablet specific apps.
5. Classroom management in a tablet/laptop class.
Ed- we are struggling with training time also. We are a one-to-one school where all students and faculty have macbooks, -- but it's been a struggle to get all faculty to buy into plan of using the equipment as more than a wordprocessing tool. Our science department have embraced it by incorporating wikis and blogs with students but rest are still resisting. Many of us believe it's the lack of training that scares some. The IT department and library are trying to carve out time to offer training sessions (lunch and learn sessions) and provide learning opportunities to the faculty one on one -- so many higher priorities seem to crop up as soon as one is scheduled. ditto sigh....Classroom management is another hot topic. I'll be watching this thread to glean some ideas for us.
It has been spouted for some time that just giving students laptops will make them "anytime, anywhere learners". Of course, much of this has come from the likes of Microsoft, who stand to gain tremendously from the sale of Windows and Office software, and Intel, who stand to gain from hardware sale. I do believe that technology can benefit the classroom, but the paradigm shift is substantial.
So is the backlash. There has been much also published discounting technology in education as just another bandwagon fad.
My firm beliefe is that technology in the classroom is beneficial, but is no substitute for caring, professional educators, and it requires a substantial commitment on the part of those educators to learn how best to make use of the tools.
My first, and most important, role is to show the faculty the potential of the tablet program, and get them excited about it. To shift the focus from "why are we doing this?" to "how can I implement this?". That's why my first workshop is on the philosophy behind it.
Ed,

Although our program is geared towards getting tablets into teachers' hands, I believe we could offer a great deal of support to your efforts. We are now in our second year of our project, with 180+ teachers and administrators in possession of the swivelling machines. Teachers and administrators receive a Toshiba tablet, wireless projector, cart and speakers. (Some of our schools bought scanners...a must for a tablet environment.) Requirements for participation in the project include attending monthly meetings, participation in our online environment which includes weekly readings/reflections and a final project to be shared with other cadre members. We also have coaches at each building who help support the cadre members throughout the day.

The key to our success is the ongoing support the teachers receive, both f2f and online. Our virtual learning environment is absolutely essential to the teachers growth; it allows for learning to occur beyond the four walls/eight hour school day in the comfort of their own home. We are still struggling with the question of how to continue developing cadre members once their one year commitment is finished.

Please feel free to contact me for further information. cary.harrod@foresthills.edu I would also highly recommend visiting Cincinnati Country Day School, a private school that requires all students, grades 5-12 to buy tablet pcs. They have 3-three day workshops each year. You can find more information at http://www.countryday.net/programs/technology_tablet.aspx. You will be blown away by what this school is doing!
Thanks, it looks like a wonderful model to emulate. I will see if I can get myself down to the workshop in April - thought it is only a few days before AP exams start, so the timing isn't great.
I'm one of the teachers Cary has trained. I can't overstate the importance of teacher buy-in. We are taking 3 years to implement, with the 1st year being just those teachers who WANTED to be involved. They took the learning curve hits, and now can help others. Their positive comments about the Tablets has helped others want to be involved.

So lots of teacher training and hand-holding. And try not to force it on those who are scared.

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