Story Chasers Inc. will host a FREE afternoon presentation and discussion forum on Tuesday, December 15th, from 1:30 to 3:30 pm at MetroTech in Oklahoma City (Springlake Campus) in the Calypso Room, focused on the recently announced Oklahoma State Department of Education’s 1:1 Digital Learning Initiative. Seating is limited to 30, and registration is available via EventBrite. Interested Oklahoma educators can also register to attend virtually, via Ustream.tv. The focus of our presentation and discussion will be the formation of an Oklahoma collaborative for 1:1 laptop learning, utilizing a “mixed model” of hardware including netbooks as student computing devices and full-sized Macbook laptops (capable of dual-booting to Ubuntu and Mac OS X) for teachers / adult educators. Our collaborative will focus on parent communication about student learning, parent involvement in student learning, teacher professional development, student collaborative projects, web-based content management systems to facilitate constituent communication as well as safe “open web” publishing, digital curriculum, and sustainability. Technology CANNOT and DOES NOT directly improve student achievement. Student achievement can and does improve when teaching and learning practices improve, and the process of digitally transforming teaching and learning practices will be our focus in this consortium. This is not an effort to merely digitize traditional, teacher-directed instructional models. We are focused on supporting truly learner-centered classrooms, inquiry-based and project-based learning, and learner collaboration between schools in our state and with other partners around the world. PLEASE NOTE THE OKLAHOMA SDE RFP REQUIRES APPLYING DISTRICTS SUBMIT “A LETTER OF INTENT…ON OR BEFORE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2009…[LETTERS] CAN BE EMAILED OR FAXED TO 405-522-0611… OR ARRA2D@SDE.STATE.OK.US. Earlier in the RFP the date of Dec 14th is listed as the letter of intent deadline, but that was a typo. The actual deadline (confirmed by the SDE) is Dec 18th. If you are EVEN POSSIBLY interested in applying for this grant be sure to submit your “letter of intent” NLT Friday, December 18, 2009.
A virtual attendance option will be provided via Ustream.tv. If possible, please try to attend this event in person.
STORYCHASERS OKLAHOMA LAPTOP LEARNING COLLABORATIVE
This proposed collaborative will assist interested districts in successfully writing for the Oklahoma SDE 1:1 Laptop RFP, designing and delivering customized professional development for educators involved in 1:1 learning, building learning communities involving MULTIPLE districts and schools within our state, and working with district leaders on the multitude of issues which are vital for 1:1 project success. The specific details of this collaborative are still being worked out, and your input can help shape the direction and focus of this initiative. We will build specifically on the work of the Open1to1 Project in Maine and the Maine Netbook Consortium, utilizing the open source / free Ubuntu operating system for student laptops. The free Ubuntu image distributed by Open1to1 includes over 100 free productivity and educational applications. Collaborative partners will make commitments to several leadership, instructional, procedural, and policy changes which will directly contribute to 1:1 project success. These will most likely include the following:
- Superintendent and principal must participate in top-level administrative consortium meetings as well as educator professional development
- Content filtering: Schools must agree to adopt, implement and support reasonable and relatively open content filtering policies (To be defined elsewhere in greater detail. Access is open to Ning, blogs, wikis, Flickr, websites used for COV workshops,etc.)
- Teacher laptops: Macbook laptops
- Teacher software suite: Includes commercial screencasting software
- Student laptops: Netbooks at a minimum and laptops at maximum (menu of options)
- Netbook/Laptop OS: Ubuntu Linux using an image customized from the Open1to1.org project (>100 educational and productivity applications included)
- Negotiated service level agreement: Negotiated with hardware resellers for all members of the consortium
- Digital curriculum: A package of commercial digital curriculum sites and services, negotiated for consortium school use on a per-seat basis
- Google Apps for Education: All districts adopt and implement Google Apps for Education (free)
- Educator leadership training
- COV Phase 1 Workshop Training (for all in participating districts)
- Google Workshop for Educators: Selected / volunteer participants from member districts are able to participate in 1 or 2 day GWEs
- Administrative leadership training
- IT Support staff leadership training
- Online and face-to-face (blended) professional development training
- Learning Community Collaboration: Members of the consortium publish and share lesson plans on the “open web” using collaborative, web-based tools
The above list is not finalized and is subject to change. We are most likely looking to work / collaborate with two to five Oklahoma school districts in this collaborative in 2010 – 2011. We aspire to build a sustainable and exemplary model of 1:1 learning which ALL Oklahoma schools can follow, whether or not outside / supplementary grant funding is available. To do this, member districts will have to “be on the same page” with regard to computer hardware, digital curriculum, professional development, and other issues. All our districts can’t and won’t look exactly the same, but we will require standardization on several key aspects of the project to support high-quality and sustained professional development as well as (ultimately) positive impacts on student learning / achievement.
For assessment of our collaborative’s 1:1 learning projects, we will most likely partner with experienced 1:1 project evaluators at the University of North Texas, who have extensive 1:1 evaluation resources as well as expertise in successful 1:1 project design.
INTERESTED SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENTS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND THIS MEETING. If you are planning to attend without your superintendent, please encourage him/her to attend as well. What we are proposing and is proposed through this Oklahoma SDE initiative is NOT merely a “technology project,” this is a whole school / whole district transformational learning initiative. Our Storychasers team has superb expertise and connections to 1:1 educational leaders in the United States and around the world, organizations supporting 1:1 learning best practices, and blended learning models. We are focused on helping our partner districts be the most successful learning organizations in our state. We are serious about success, and top leadership in participating districts must be on board and be active participants throughout this process.
If you have questions about this event, please post them here on our blog. The Storychasers’ point-of-contact for this meeting and event is Wesley Fryer. Please register for this event as soon as possible via EventBrite. We look forward to collaborating with forward-looking and visionary Oklahoma leaders on this project. For more background and related links, refer to the 23 November 2009 podcast, “One to One Learning with Open Source Netbooks is Practical, Affordable and Powerful – Learn Why.”
WHO IS STORYCHASERS?
Storychasers is a respected and well-known provider of professional development workshops for educators in Oklahoma. For the past three years, the Celebrate Oklahoma Voices Project (organized and supported by Storychasers, as well as other partner organizations) has helped over 500 Oklahoma educators learn to create and safely publish with digital media. Over 700 people are now part of our open/free learning community for COV, and over 500 videos created by Oklahoma educators and students through the COV project are available on our learning community website.