Tuesday, May 27, 2014

1:1 5 Best Practices

Please enjoy my Apple Education Recognition Program Showcase reflection using the 5 Best Practices to sum up the 2 day event. 

Teaching and learning has truly been redefined in South Berwyn School District 100. After participating in the Apple Education Recognition Program Showcase, I was exhausted, but beaming with pride.

On March 6, 2014 I received an invitation from Apple asking South Berwyn to be a part of the 2-day event. (We are a recognized *Apple Distinguished Program 2012-2015.) Day 1 was for a district representative to share their story at Apple Inc. downtown Chicago.  On Day 2, schools/programs were asked to host a site visit in the morning and one in the afternoon. The majority of educators and administrators in attendance were those just starting a 1:1 initiative in their schools. 
Day 1 at Apple Inc. Panelists: Amy Warke from Flossmoor 161, Shannon Soger from South Berwyn 100, Carolyn Skibba from Burley Elementary, and Susan Sullivan from Sacred Heart School.
Visionary Leadership 
Within 2 hours of reaching out to our District Administrators, Principal +Mary Havis and Principal +Marilyn McManus responded that their buildings would be "happy to host" the site visitors.  iCoaches +Ramona Towner and +Todd Bittorf took the lead on helping the buildings prepare for the site visit. Assistant Principal Joe Collins and teachers Claire Martin, Kristin Kennedy, Alex Von Ebers and Amanda Zanchelli welcomed site visitors from Decatur #61, Freemont #79, Gurnee #56 and Single Path Technologies with a presentation. They collaborated using Google Presentation, spoke about Irving's demographics, their journey, and what the 5 best practices look like at their building. (Thank you +Michelle Thorne for the idea!)
Apple Education Recognition Presentation at Irving 
Further Pershing Principal Marilyn McManus, teachers Chrissy Lukasiewicz, Beth Zeller, and Social Worker Marty Stachura created the welcome presentation at Pershing for visitors from Palos Heights #128, Orland #135, Apple Inc., Hawthorn #73, and Wilmette #39.
Apple Distinguished Program Presentation at Pershing 
Innovative Teaching and Learning
Throughout the Irving and Pershing site visits we saw students working in independent centers while the teacher was giving guided instruction to a small group. Classrooms were completely differentiated; the teacher was a facilitator in the classroom. Students were using SMART Notebook for listening and recording vocabulary, Photo Booth for story telling "pre-write", Kid Blog for reading reflections and summaries, augmentative sites like IXL, Xtra Math, and Mathletics for skill and drill, QR codes for immediate feedback, Aurasma to show American Revolution iMovies, and student created CCSS Google Sites to name a few.
In South Berwyn, we are focused on teaching "above the line," and moving lessons up the SAMR ladder. It's important to note that it's not just about the tool students were using, it is about the learning objective. (Thanks +R.J. Gravel & TPACK!) The 3rd grade students were simply creating a Google Site, the objective was to teach next year's 3rd grade class about a specific CCSS. They had to include examples, explanations, etc.

Ongoing Professional Development
When I walked into Annie Cantafio's (@3c_pershing) 3rd grade classroom, she explained that her students were having "Passion Period." Passion Period is Annie's version of Passion Time because they don't have a full hour to commit to the projects. Annie learned about Passion Times from 2nd grade teacher Jonathan Palles (@JonathanPalles) who did an Ignite Session on Passion Time at our January iLearn Institute Day. Passion Period gives her students choice, choice in what they are learning and in what they are creating for an end piece.

Compelling Evidence of Success
To reflect on Compelling Evidence, I'm going to share a few quotes from the site visit evaluation. 

"I loved to see the students engaged and working independently on different tasks that was differentiated for the students learning!" -2nd grade teacher

"Students were highly engaged in their learning. Teachers were facilitators of learning." -Principal  

"Classroom visits were great. Kids knew expectations and were fully engaged." -Instructional Technology Coach

"The kids and teachers were amazing! Great job everyone!" -Superintendent 

Flexible Learning Environment
I had the pleasure of meeting Instructional Technology Coach +Christine Edwards from Decatur on 9/27/13 at our first site first this school year. We immediately connected on Twitter (@techiechrissie) and have been utilizing our PLN to learn from each other. The fabulous +Molly Miller (also Decatur Instructional Coach) and 6 others drove 3.5 hours to visit South Berwyn for a second time. They wanted more of their teachers to be able to attend the site visit without actually driving, so they brought along @Panganibot, the school's robot. The robot (being controlled from Chrissy in Decatur) traveled to 3 classrooms at Irving, spoke to students, and brought the site visit experience  to those who couldn't make the trip (or get a sub!).
@Panganibot reading the Dry Erase board in 5M at Irving!
Final Thoughts on 5 Best Practices
If you are in the middle of a 1:1 implementation, study the 5 best practices. What are your strengths? Where do you need improvement? The most important area (in my opinion) is Visionary Leadership. Without the vision from administrative staff, it will be extremely hard to "master" the remaining 4 best practices. What is your vision? South Berwyn has a vision of ranking in the top 25% of schools in IL, differentiation and extended learning will help us get there quicker. 

*To be recognized as an Apple Distinguished Program or School you need to demonstrate success in 5 best practices including Visionary Leadership, Innovative Teaching and Leaning, Ongoing Professional Development, Compelling Evidence of Success, and Flexible Learning Environment. The school or district submits a multi-touch iBook as an application. Apple shared with the crowd that successful 1:1 environments all had the above common themes. You can find our iBook in iTunes.

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