Monday, October 30, 2017

Top 10 Tips for Successful 1:1 Implementations

Adobe Spark (45).jpg
Last week at our biannual Minnetonka School District Site Visit, one of the breakout sessions for interested attendees was our Top 10 Tips for Successful 1:1 Implementations. Even though our 1:1 program is with iPads, the tips for success apply to any device or platform.

I have written about some of the tips listed below in the past in detail as an individual blog post. You can view the presentation slides farther below which contain links to further information about each of these tips. I hope ideas listed here are beneficial for you. I also hope to write about each of these tips in more detail in the future.
  1. Execute the Planning & Rollout Carefully & Deliberately 
  2. Flip Student Training
  3. Continual & Differentiated Teacher Training
  4. Make Classroom Management an Early & Continuous Focus
  5. Use tools for Formative Assessment 
  6. Promote Collaboration with Google Apps
  7. Have a robust LMS as the Hub of Student Learning 
  8. Inspire Creation vs. Consumption
  9. Teach Students to Be Responsible & Focused
  10. Parent Education is Critical

You can learn more about our 1:1 program, iPads, and use of technology for learning in the related posts below:  

    Monday, October 23, 2017

    Mirror Mirror: Reflecting on Positive Digital Footprints

    As part of our ongoing focus to help our students be responsible citizens in today’s digital world, the 3,275 students at Minnetonka High School watched this Mirror, Mirror video focused specifically on students’ digital footprints. The video stars students at the school as well as principal Jeff Erickson, and Information and Digital Learning Coordinator Ann Kaste. It was produced by our A/V Specialist Andy Smith. Digital Citizenship themed videos are produced a few times a year for students (see MiPhone X video for another example).

    After the video aired, teachers led discussions in class highlighting some of the important points and asking students for feedback. Teachers posed several of the following questions:
    • Think about someone you know who has started rumors or spread negative information about a friend on social media. Do you trust that person? Do you respect that person? Is it easy for you to stand up to a friend who is making these choices?

    • Colleges and employers often look through applicants' social media feeds and search for everything that they can find about applicants on the internet. What are the implications of this practice?
    • What are examples of positive uses of social media? Going forward, what are some things that you can do to make sure that your digital image is a good one?

    • As you take time to reflect personally about everything you have posted online--on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or even Schoology--think about what would you look like in the Magic Mirror? Would you be smiling, happy and content or would you be a pixelated, blurry mess? Which image do you want to project to others?

    In addition, a link to the video and the information above is being emailed to all high school families tonight in the hopes that there can be continued discussion at home with their child. As principal Jeff Erickson stated, "we are committed to helping our students develop a deep understanding of today’s digital world and the responsibilities that come with it. The student guidelines at Minnetonka High School are for students to do the right thing and represent us well. This includes representing themselves well online."

    Related links:

    Monday, October 16, 2017

    The Importance of Repeating Messages for a Passing Parade of Students & Parents

    Minnetonka 2016 Homecoming Parade
    Often we concentrate efforts on getting out a key message and then think we're done afterwards. We often think we can move on and that it won't need to be repeated or revisited. In education, we may have a building or even district -wide theme around anti-bullying, being peacemakers, learning from failure, etc., or have key points of which we want all parents and/or students to be aware, such as 1:1 policies or digital citizenship guidelines and best practices. Since these messages are important, it is vital to think about the frequency and reoccurrence needed for these messages to be fully known. 

    There are many ways a message or key points in a program can be lost as quickly as the following school year (or sooner). If we fail to remember that new students and families who weren't part of the learning in a prior year don't actually know the material, problems may arise. Also, forgetting that in a few years all students and/or families may have moved on to another building completely leaving no one who was part of an original event/lesson. Yet another reason a message may get lost is because students and their families may not be ready for it, such as a message that is for upper elementary students that doesn't apply to the second grade students/parents.

    Minnetonka 2016 Homecoming Parade
    One of my former colleagues used to remind us to think of students and their parents as a passing parade, and educators as viewers on the side watching them pass. In her analogy, she spoke of the need to repeat the same messages over and over again to each passing grade level marching by in the parade for the reasons previously explained above. This is an important point to remember in education. During Digital Citizenship next week and in all the other upcoming public service announcements and communications this year and in the future, remember your audience in education. You may need to revisit, repost, and repeat yourself frequently rather than checking something off as completed and moving on. Once and done isn't enough.

    Related posts:

    Monday, October 9, 2017

    Switch: Managing and Dealing with Change Effectively

    Image Source
    Last week at the EdLeader21 Conference, I had the opportunity to attend a training on Switch, a book on change by brothers Chip and Dan Heath. The book isn't new, originally published in 2010. At some point after publication I had heard about it in a previous training, but last week's session was a good reminder of its valuable lessons about how to manage and deal with change effectively.

    The authors point out that we all deal with changes large and small such as marriage, a new baby, or dealing with new technology or a new procedure or policy. Some change is hard and some change is easy. As we deal with change, we all deal with the emotional and intellectual aspects of each change. The authors have us think of the emotional side of how we deal with change as a two ton elephant and the intellectual side of how we deal with change as the rider trying to reign it in. 

    It was helpful to learn that the emotional side isn't always the bad side. The "elephant" can be the good guy (such as, "Wouldn’t it be cool to… solve malaria" or "serve every student"). The intellectual side can be the bad guy, too (such as  over analysis, research, no action...) The constant conflict between the rider and the elephant is exhausting. Since self-control is exhaustible, change can wear people out. What looks like laziness is often exhaustion. This is important to remember as educators as we deal with students and parents.
    Image Source

    During the training, multiple examples of change and this conflict between the emotional side and the intellectual side were given. The Heaths provide a three part framework for overcoming this internal conflict: 

    1- Direct the Rider
    2- Motivate the Elephant
    3- Shape the Path  

    On the Switch Framework (pictured), each of the options listed has a short sentence with a reminder about a story shared, which would be helpful to fully understand it. You'll need to attend a training or buy the book for this. A quick YouTube search will yield many options for watching videos with the authors which are beneficial. However, the general ideas are still helpful for anyone. The main principles can help you successfully manage and deal with a change, be it in education or elsewhere in life. 

    Monday, October 2, 2017

    Top Tips for Educators to Help Students & Parents with Technology (video)

    A few days ago I had the opportunity to join Mathew Meyers once again for a presentation about technology. Specifically, our presentation was designed to help teachers understand ways to help students and their parents use technology in a balanced and appropriate way. This conversation is one that I’ve had in the past with Mathew—last spring we recorded two parent webinars on this topic. (Watch Part I or Part II of Parenting in the Digital Age). In this latest presentation, we cover some of the same topics with teachers that we addressed with parents, but focus more from the perspective of how teachers and educators can help students and parents. A more detailed outline is listed below.

    We all want our students to have safe, healthy, and responsible relationships with technology. Mathew points out that
    “adults don’t have a template for this—we really are historically blind with how we lead people into a safe, healthy relationship with technology. Parents and educators don’t have the wisdom of those who came before us in regards to how to raise kids with technology. We need to be thoughtful and mindful about how we are engaging with technology. It is resetting how we do relationships, human development, important to be thoughtful so the the implications aren’t detrimental to our future.”  
    The K-12 school years are the opportune time to help students learn to have  healthy relations with the technology in their lives, and educators play a critical role in helping with this. As the lines between personal and school related technologies becoming increasingly blurred, it is more important than ever that today’s students hear about these topics in the school setting. 

    Watch the presentation recording in full or skip ahead to a section:


    Staff-Student-Parent Triangle
    Parent Anxiety, The Device is Not the Problem, the Importance of Alignment and Working as a Team to Help Students, The Power of a Phone Call vs. Email

    Screen Time & Balance
    Entertainment vs. Educational Screen Time

    Attention & Focus, Addiction
    Two Different Attention Systems
    Turning off notifications
    Addictive apps like a pocket slot machine

    Stopping Cues & Natural Consequences
    Humans are finite, but technology/computers can work forever
    Look for logical breaks, incremental time
    Using Apple Guided Access
    Address the behavior vs. taking away technology
    Allowing failure, letting go

    Modeling & Personal Balance
    Being present—be where your feet are

    Relationships & Social Media
    FOMO vs. JOMO
    What age should a child get a smartphone?
    What age to start using social media?
    Relationships, Connection, and Rice Cakes

    Next Steps
    Mathew’s blog, Relationships That Heal

    Also, if you are in the Minnetonka area, check out Mathew’s upcoming parent workshops on Teens & Technology through Minnetonka Community Education: 
    • October 10 - What Kids Do on the Internet and its Impact on Development
    • October 17 - Identify Strategies to Keep Technology from Controlling Your Family
    • October 24 - Taking Back Control – Create a Family Digital Strategy
    Related posts: