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The Myth of Average: Todd Rose at TEDxSonomaCounty

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Many2one 2013 – 2014 vision as we move into our next triennium 2015 – 2017

 Many2one 2013 – 2014 vision as we move into our next triennium 2015 – 2017

 At St Stephen’s School we grow people and we see teaching and learning as an opportunity to engage with each other in exciting learning experiences. Our understanding and use of technology is important in supporting these engaging learning relationships.

The rate of technological change in our world is rapidly increasing particularly in the use of mobile devices and online access. Both the purchase and use of smart phones and tablet devices have exceeded that of desktop and laptop computers. Technology and its use is ubiquitous. The Australian Government’s commitment to the National Broadband Network further demonstrates the inevitability of the place of technology in schools and education. The educational challenge presented by such technological change and growth is how to help our students grow and develop the digital citizenship competencies necessary for the wise and effective use of ICT. With this in mind St Stephen’s School approaches the place of ICT in the School from a perspective of technological imperative rather than simply technological opportunity. Consequently, while there may be well documented educational benefits from using technology in the educational space, our approach to the use of technology is primarily motivated by our philosophy of growing people.

Students develop ICT capability as they learn to use ICT effectively and appropriately to access, create and communicate information and ideas, solve problems and work collaboratively in all learning areas at our School, from Kindergarten to Year 12. Our students need to learn to make the most of the digital technologies available to them, adapt to new ways of doing things as technologies evolve and limit the risks to themselves and others in a digital environment. With this in mind St Stephen’s School has developed an iDigital program that aligns the development of digital competencies with the level of responsibilities and access that a student may be given. From Kindergarten to Year 4 students are eligible for a Bronze licence that provides for the development of foundational digital competencies with access to a protected online environment (white list only). During Year 4 students who have accomplished the competencies necessary for a Silver licence and have sponsorship from both their parents and their teachers may apply for a Silver licence (black list). Similarly, during Year 8 students may apply for a Gold licence with greater responsibility and access.  If and when students breach the expectations of a particular licence level, their licences are revoked and they revert to a lower level licence. This action can be initiated by either the School or the student’s parents.

The development and growth of digital competencies in our students is more effective when the School and parents work together in partnership. The School encourages parents to make technological decisions with their child in consultation with the School. The introduction of the Many2One program was to provide parents and students with the flexibility and responsibility to choose the technology that best suits their family. To support the effective implementation of the Many2One program, St Stephen’s School has focused on the provision of a wireless infrastructure to support multiple devices and multiple platforms.

While the Many2One program is now an integral part of our school community the next phase is to focus our energies on “bring your own browser”. We aim to open up our recommendations of devices to be independent of brand name or type of device. Our families would choose their mobile devices based predominantly on their ability to function seamlessly within an online virtual world reliant on cloud and web technologies.

Why tablets are a game changer in education

Why tablets are a game changer in education

By Liz Logan

 

When kindergartners are starting school already adept with touch screens, you know the world has fundamentally changed. Mobile devices are everywhere:Young people are using the tablets in droves, and more and more schools are rolling out tablet programs every day. But what’s not always made clear is why tablet technology is uniquely suited to education—because of its low costs, a touch-screen interface that’s user-friendly for a wide variety of age groups, and early research that links tablets and apps with improved learning outcomes.

We now know that technology by itself is not a game changer, but that tablets in particular have the potential to open up the world’s rich store of information to willing minds and expert instruction.

“We now know that technology by itself is not a game changer, but that tablets in particular have the potential to open up the world’s rich store of information to willing minds and expert instruction,” says Michael H. Levine, executive director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. The Cooney Center is an independent research lab focused on emerging education technologies.

Here’s a look at what some experts and studies have to say about three key differentiating factors of tablets in education.

A touch-screen interface for all ages

The advent of the touch screen has truly been a game changer for education, because it has made technology accessible and developmentally appropriate for younger children who are still developing motor skills. (Even 1-year-olds can use tablets).

“Touch-screen technology has allowed younger kids and earlier learners to interface with computers and digital resources in a way that previous technology was not always practical for,” says Damian Bebell, assistant research professor at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education, who has studied 1-to-1 computing in schools for more than a decade. “A 1-to-1 kindergarten program would have seemed outlandish five years ago, but not now. Tablets are the first time I’ve seen a 1-to-1 program below third or fourth grade.”

For a long time, research on what young children could learn from interactive software was stymied by the simple fact that they couldn’t operate the hardware, says Lisa Guernsey, author of “Screen Time: How Electronic Media—From Baby Videos to Educational Software—Affects Your Young Child” and director of the Early Education Initiative at the New America Foundation. “It’s ridiculous when you see videos of little kids trying to use joysticks with TV-based video games,” she says. “Now, it’s much easier for young children to show what they can do and what they know, with a swipe or press of their finger.”

And more and more, research is showing that early learning is vital to students’ future success; if they don’t develop competencies early, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to make up for lost ground later, hitting what experts call “the fourth-grade slump.”

Studies of improved learning

Tablets not only make technology accessible to young children, but also research suggests that tablets and apps can improve learning. Previous studies of 1-to-1 computing programs found that technology brings benefits such as improved test scores and attendance, but these studies usually focused on older students. Last year, Bebell conducted a study of tablets for early literacy with kindergartners in Auburn, Maine. The district randomly assigned half of their kindergarten classes to use tablets as a learning tool for several weeks, while the other half continued learning without the technology. The students who learned with the tablets scored higher on early literacy assessments than the students in the control group, particularly in their ability to recognize sounds and represent sounds as letters.

In a 2010 report from the Cooney Center, researchers gave 90 children, ages 3 to 7, mobile devices loaded with two research-based, educational literacy apps; one was Martha Speaks: Dog Party. Parents completed observation logs for two weeks, and the children took pre- and post-tests to assess their reading skills. After using Martha Speaks, 5- to 7-year-olds’ vocabulary scores for a selection of words included in the app increased more than 20 percent.

“There’s absolutely learning that can happen when an app is designed well,” Guernsey says. Apps are also simple to manage over a fleet of mobile devices, so they give teachers more control.

An affordable technology choice

Last but not least, tablets are far less expensive than many other types of school technology, so schools with limited budgets consider them to be a great option. “Tablets are a much more affordable price point for digital content and access to Web-based materials—and not just in terms of early learners,” Bebell says. And, tablets will likely become more affordable and cost-effective in the future, as more competition enters the market.

Predictions of a tablet-rich future

Levine predicts that tablets will one day become ubiquitous in classrooms from pre-kindergarten through high school because of these three differentiating factors. “This will allow well-trained teachers and motivated students to engage with new technologies that have the potential to help drive much deeper educational experiences,” he says. “In some ways, the new wave of tablet technologies is the modern-day equivalent of the media choices experienced by children of the Sesame Street educational television generation.”

http://www.amplify.com/viewpoints/why-tablets-are-a-game-changer-in-education

 

NMC Horizon Report > 2013 K-12 Edition

http://www.nmc.org/publications/2013-horizon-report-k12

The New Media Consortium, the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), with the support of HP, produced the 2013-horizon-report-k12. This fifth edition in the annual K-12 series of the NMC Horizon Project examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in teaching, learning, and creative inquiry within the environment of pre-college education. Six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, as well as key trends and challenges expected to continue over the same period, giving educators, school administrators, and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning.