Ah, Summer!

I just found out via phone that our wireless grant has been approved and fully funded. This is excellent news for our schools who have been unable/unwilling to put dollars into infrastructure that doesn't appear to have any immediate return in test scores.

I am hoping that it will foster some mobile learning and mobile teaching, and I'm going to make sure that all visitors to the schools know that there is a network connection for them if they need it.

Now that kids don't have to sit in a lab for test taking or research, perhaps a few more of them will perform slightly better on both tasks.

Even better, we have to spend the money by June 30th! This means we'll take delivery by the middle of July and have everything in place for September!

I'm very excited.

Any suggestions on a killer wireless application?

Views: 12

Comment by Ray Tolley on June 23, 2007 at 1:45pm
How do you manage to get the money first without curriculum justification?

In the UK we have to fight for every penny we spend by using arguments about delivering or enhancing the curriculum.

Certainly you ask the right question about how to get the technology used rather than left in the cupboard.

The first question I would ask is 'Will every teacher have access to either a wireless or networked PC?' Assuming all teaching staff have regular access there are several 'tricks' to ensure a good startup.

Firstly, do the staff take an electronic register for every lesson? - If you have the technology this is the first thing your principal (not you) should insist upon.

Secondly, a weekly bulletin, with possibly daily updates is essential, and once established you can save hundreds of trees and the expense of photocopying weekly/daily bulletins.

Thirdly, research (see Jay Cross, 'Informal Learning') has proved that workers in an alternative or more comfortable environment are far more productive. Use your wireless connectivity to help students get out and work in an alternative environment if you can. It's surprising what can happen during a leisuretime break when a discussion breaks out and ideas are then captured on the spot with a portable.

Certainly the 'Laptops for Teachers' scheme in the UK has allowed staff to work when and where they wish. The ability to use a wireless connection when and where they wish only enhances both the productivity and, perhaps more importantly, the quality of life of the teacher.

Above all, make it important that staff log on regularly - perhaps using a short, daily, PowerPoint as a bulletin board.

Goood luck!

Ray T


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