Monday, September 17, 2012

Where we've come from...

September 17, 2012
We think it's about time we start documenting our happenings since we've introduced the iPad's into our Middle School.  In order to do that,we think it's important to go back and remember some of what we (the MS Staff) have done since first learning that becoming a 1:1 school was a possibility in January of 2012.

The first question we tried to answer was this:  What do we need a device to do in order to make a difference in student learning?

Here's a brief timelime of our process:
2009-10 -- Discussions via Skype and email with Van Meter @ their process of being a 1:1.  Sent staff to 1:1 conference.  MacBooks in the building for two weeks for staff to learn with.
2010-11 -- Sent staff to 1:1 Conference.  MacBooks in the building for two weeks for staff to learn with.
December 2011 -- Discussion with Administrative Team of going 1:1 in the district and decision to start in the MS in 2012-13 school year.
1/13/12 -- Discussion of going to visit Waverly MS and their 1:1 program between Technology Director and Principal
1/18/12 -- Visited Lisbon 1:1with Technology Director, Principal and staff members
1/26/12 -- Met with 8 core teachers to discuss Characteristics of Effective Instruction (CEI) and what would be the impact of going 1:1 in the MS
1/27/12 -- Shared info with MS Staff from IASCD newsletter of Van Meter Schools
1/31/12 -- Met with 8 core teachers to continue discussion of CEI
2/7/12 -- Group went to visit Waverly MS and 1:1 initiative
2/8/12 -- Group went to visit VanMeter and 1:1 initiative
2/9/12 -- Met with 8 core teachers to continue discussion of CEI and follow-up on visits to 1:1 schools
2/10/12 -- PD with breakout session on iPad usage in schools presented by Jonathan Wylie (GWAEA)
2/13/12 -- Surveyed students regarding electronic devices and internet access at their homes and got our first iPad2 in the building for staff to use
2/21/12 -- Staff attend iPad training at GWAEA with Jonathan Wylie
2/23/12 -- Apple meeting with rep
2/24/12 -- Jonathan Wylie here from GWAEA  to meet with staff during their planning period
2/27/12 -- Discussion of what device would serve our purpose
3/8/12 -- Met as a MS staff and finalized decision on going 1:1 with the iPad
3/9/12 -- Apple meeting with rep
3/19/12 -- Group went to visit CVCS and 1:1 initiative
3/21/12 -- Group met with Board of Education to propose going 1:1 with iPad's in the MS
4/5/12 -- MS Staff given iPad's to use to learn with
4/11/12 -- Group went to state 1:1 conference
4/11/12 -- Board approved purchase of iPad's
5/29 & 5/30/12 -- MS Staff on-site training on iPad's from Jonathan Wylie from GWAEA
7/11 & 7/12/12 -- MS Staff on-site training on iPad's from Jonathan Wylie from GWAEA and got their own assigned new iPad

All along we were working with our Apple Rep and Project Manager, as well as developing our AUP and FAQ documents and updating our infrastructure to accommodate a wireless network that has the capabilities to function with 260 iPad's going non-stop all day long.  We know we're forgetting some dates -- but the overall picture we want you to see is that we did alot of discussion and learning from one another, as well as other schools (THANKS so much for your willingness to share your journey with us), along with a tremendous amount of WORK behind the scenes before our iPad rollout date on 8/16/12. 

So, now it's September 17, 2012 and we're amazed with our staff and students.  The picture at the top of this post is from a science classroom on September 12, 2012, when 1999 BC graduate, Dr. Patrick Gibney currently of Princeton University, came and shared with our students how to extract DNA from strawberries.  He told me he wanted copies of the protocol for each student -- so we scanned it into a PDF and emailed it to one of our science teachers and he uploaded it to Edmoto for the students to access.  We're on our way to being paperless here at BC Middle School.

We're going to end this post with a HUGE thank you to all the MS staff who have been and continue to be a fantastic collaborative team, along with Tyler Maschino our Technology Director and our Board of Directors for having the faith in our people to make such a financial commitment for our staff, students and families.