Monday, February 16, 2015

iPad Proposals as Reflection and Professional Learning

Posted by Linda Ashida

Last week our annual Technology Initiative Proposal process culminated with presentations to our District 214 Administration.  Currently, Elk Grove High School is implementing 19 interdisciplinary iPad pilots with 85% of our students having iPads.  This year six course teams proposed an expansion of our existing pilots to a full school-wide 1:1 implementation of iPads for the 2015-16 school year.  24 staff members from the following teams collaborated to prepare our proposal:
  • Student Services
  • Personal Finance
  • Leadership Through Service
  • AP Environmental Science
  • AP Biology
  • Advanced Strength and Conditioning
After spending many weeks facilitating the proposal writing and presentation with these teams, I cannot help but reflect on how the entire Technology Initiative Proposal process serves as a meaningful professional reflection and learning experience. It is so much more than requesting to get iPads in the hands of students and deciding what apps to use. To craft the proposal, each team thoughtfully reflected on their curriculum and learning goals for their students; they considered the learning goals and the needs of the students before the technology. While each team had unique and innovative ideas for apps and the ways they would implement the 1:1 technology, there were many commonalities. All teams shared specific examples of how 1:1 technology would improve student engagement, ownership of learning, differentiated and personalized learning, immediate feedback, collaboration and communication.

Not just the writing, but the proposal presentation itself served as a professional learning experience.  During the 45-minute presentation, the teams learned more about each other and the common ways we are striving to meet the needs of our students.  I learned from, and was energized by, the efforts of my colleagues. Furthermore, when I consider the potential of our new pilot proposal, together the existing pilots at EGHS, I cannot help be inspired by the broad and interdisciplinary capacity of our staff to continue impact student learning with 1:1 technology.

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