Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Don't Take It For Granted: Teaching in a 1:1

To all staff working in a 1:1, and specifically the Newell-Fonda high school staff, currently wrapping up their second year of 1:1, and to our 5-8 staff who will be added to the 1:1 next Fall. When you operate in a 1:1 it is easy to take for granted what we have our hands on, which is the ability to do things differently for kids. To engage and challenge them in learning. Having the students take control of that learning, and leveraging technology to differentiate learning to fit the needs of each student.

Below is video from Russ Goerend, a 6th grade teacher from Waukee Middle School. You may need to watch the video more than once, because his son is pretty cute. He also has been a person I follow on Twitter, and from my interactions with him, both in person and through Twitter, he gets it. I don't want to put words into Russ' mouth, but in my mind, Russ understands that the 1:1 environment is not about the machine, but rather about changing teaching and learning. I got permission from Russ to share his video here, but I encourage you to check out his blog and comment on his ideas.

Make the most out of working in a 1:1 environment. Will it take work? absolutely, but if done correctly, it could be some of the most meaningful work for both teacher and student. Thanks to Russ for sharing his ideas, the guy deserves to teach in 1:1! So while Russ continues to wonder what it would be like to teach in a 1:1 school, those in a school need to take advantage of it every day. As you progress on the journey, make it about teaching and learning, not about the computer!

Friday, April 2, 2010


Building Update

We have been given a guarantee that the building will be ready by August 5th. We have put off registration a week or so just in case any other delays add to that schedule, but it appears things are back on schedule. I have posted some pictures for those of you who don't get to the school.

The exterior brick work is complete as of April 2, 2010. The brick mason is finishing some odds and ends on the interior but for the most part are complete. The areas at both entrances (east entrance shown) are brick higher up and the rest of the building has a 4 foot brick and then a stucco looking surface will be applied the rest of the way up. The stucco contractor is due to arrive early to mid April.

Above, the window contractor begins the window installation. They did a great job and completed all of the window installation in 2 days. The had 1 broken piece of glass but will return and fix that.

Above, is a view from one of the classrooms to the south of the building through one of the newly installed windows. You can see the elementary playground in the background. Also, to the right, you can see the drywall divider between classrooms.

Most of the connections between the buildings are complete but are protected by a shelter to prevent access to curious teachers and students. Thanks again to all of our students, faculty, and community members who have been patient throughout this construction process.