Recently, Hilliard Schools and Tharp Sixth Grade School hosted another local school district to show them what we are doing with the Blended Learning and One2One. The visiting district wanted to see what it was like in a school where each student had a device to use all day long, every day. It was an exciting day to say the least. I am so proud when I see the amazing things teachers are doing with students every day. We had an opportunity to share Hilliard’s Vision for Blended Learning and talk about some of the ways that we have helped to build capacity while we’ve been on this path for the past couple of years. Tharp’s teachers are just knocking it out of the ballpark with students. Watching student engagement in the projects they’re doing is awesome to see.
The other awesome part about the day was to watch the collaborative effort between curriculum, professional development, the building principal, classroom teachers, and the technology team to make the vision a reality. After a short time of sharing we took our visitors out to classrooms to see what was going on. We saw students working in apps like Notability for student work and teachers using Airserver to show student projects on the projector. One classroom was using Explain Everything to create a presentation for science. During the work, students had access to a rubric in Canvas (our learning management system) so they knew what their expectations were for the project. Students were self-assessing their work before turning it into the teacher! In Art, the teacher was having students take pictures of their artwork as they produced pieces of art and then use an app to write about their work and reflect on the work to create a digital portfolio. Students in a math class were using Nearpod with the teacher to take a look at some math concepts and review some problem-solving techniques.
I can’t help but feel proud when we show other districts what Hilliard teachers are doing in the classroom! One teacher shared with me that One2One was the best initiative to ever happen to her classroom. She said that no other changes in the past have ever had as positive of an effect on learning as this one.
I can’t help but feel proud when we show other school districts what Hilliard teachers are doing in the classroom!
What I have observed this year is that technology use is no longer an event. Back in the day of computer labs, technology integration was a special event for the class. Teachers would schedule the computer lab or cart, then they would design their project, and then they would spend several days to a week completing the project during class. Once the project was over, class would go back to their regular routine of learning. Technology was an add-on that was not a typical part of the classroom. Today in our One2One classrooms, technology is much more organic to the work of the classroom and students. Teachers might use it for a quick assessment or they’re using it for writing or research. Students are using it to complete projects, create presentations or write up a science lab. All of this is occurring every day within the classroom. It’s no longer an event; it’s now a standard part of the student learning process.
Technology use also isn’t the whole period every day. In fact in our Blended Learning Vision we encourage the classroom to have a combination of traditional and digital learning methods. Students also tell us they like a variety of learning activities. They don’t want to be on a device all day long nor would that be good for them.