Scenario : tech committee meeting (for a local school) 
  • includes teachers, parents, administration, and IT (tech) representative from the District

Proposal: they are considering a One-to-One Computing proposal

Request: they asked me for my thoughts on the concept. They are as follows: 

Consider a proposal title of
: "Tech Literacy --- It's The Law"
  • Topic fully discussed with MAT students (Willamette, GFU) and at other tech workshops.

  • Wake up call to get school Districts to support this type of proposal 

  • Imagine the power of starting your meeting with a slide titled "Tech Literacy --- It's The Law"

  • Keep the presentation short and powerful.

  • Presentation ->
    1. Tech Literacy is in every school's CIP plan (Oregon Standard #8)

    2. It's an integral part of the new Oregon Diploma (2012 Essential Skills) 

    3. It's the backbone of the Oregon Ed Tech Standards (passed in 2008). Actually defines the criteria

    4. And directly aligned with the NETS standards used by nearly all school Districts nationwide since the mid 1990's.
  • I can't think of anything more powerful than aligning your building ed tech goals directly to the National, State & District standards ...

  • It's a perfect fit for your One-to-One Computing strategy.

Consider in a building technology goal of BYOT
(Bring Your Own Technology) 
as one strategy to help address all of the above goals. 
My Previous Discussions:
  • I chatted with the technology director of the Salem-Keizer District in October and she made it very clear she was fully supportive that teachers and students CAN use their own devices to access the Internet wirelessly only

  • But, nobody can connect directly to any network via CAT5 cabling.

  • She also stated "... show me the money" when I asked about making wireless available to all schools. Currently, some schools have wireless, and most don’t.

  • But, from what I understand, your building has already dumped a ton of $$$ to the District IT team who ordered and installed wireless infrastructure in to your building about a year ago. 
    • And this is where you could request the District assist you in making sure the signals are strong, and more importantly, determining the number of users that can access the wireless in the building simultaneously.
 Summary: the only support you need from the IT folks is "ensuring their wireless infrastructure is properly installed and functioning properly".

New Course Proposal: 
  • Last idea (which I've chatted with several staff about this) --- to address the above goals & boost your numbers ... design a new course called BYOT
    • Guaranteed a big hit. 
    • And this would help spread the vision and help expedite your one:one computing goal throughout the entire school.
Strategies for Schools: 
  1. Begin by showing this short video:
  2. Yes, 1:1 computing may be a goal (but it's expensive if the District has to pay for it via adding more computers). 
  3. If 1:1 is the goal -> then simply allow kids & teachers to bring their own technologies. 
  4. Most importantly, they will be learning on their own devices which they take with them! 
  5. And allow TEACHERS to bring their own computing devices. 

"In many, if not most educational institutions, kids and teachers are required to POWER DOWN every time they walk into a center of learning. 

A sign on all entrees to most schools might as well read: No cell phones, no personal computers, heavily restricted use of Internet, extremely slow access, thousands of academic sites blocked by non-educators, and aged computers. Schools are preparing students for our past, not their future."

Compare the above scenario to a little more progressive philosophy -> "we need to prepare today's students for their future, not our past, and begin to implement the National and State educational technology standards in every K12 classroom."

Additional Support Data:
  • Data will clearly show 'tablet computing', as a result of the incredible impact of Apple's iPad, will be the dominant computing device within a year or two. 
  • It is estimated a 300% increase in just the next year. Dell, HP, Google, and many other manufacturers are already in the process of producing low-end, inexpensive tablet computers.
  • And on the global scene -> $35 tablet -> this is a MUST WATCH
  • One needs to convince the District (possibly starting with the School Board), to step up to the plate and recognize where the world is headed in regards to emerging and existing technologies, and make high-speed wireless a high priority at every building.
    • Fortunately, Sprague HS recognized this a few years ago and contributed a large amount of building funds to get this infrastructure in place.
    • And, one needs to seriously consider Sprague's history of successful and proven philosophy "Try it, it might work." 
    • Allow the students and staff to stay 'powered up' when in the center of learning, and use their existing technologies.

Regarding safety and security:
  • Simply implement the Districts existing 'technology standards.' 
  • There is already very severe consequences in place for any employee or student who is caught abusing these tools.