Sunday, June 17, 2012

Time To Reflect

Time Time Time
Time is one of those things that we never seem to have enough of and it flies by like a supersonic jet! Each school year seems to be getting shorter and shorter or maybe it is because I am getting older, I mean wiser. At any rate, reflection is a very important piece of our daily lives and critical to our success. This past school year there has been a number of experiences that I have reflected upon and would like to share a couple. Please feel free to provide feedback on your experiences also, it helps to read about how others are processing and dealing with similar situations.
There are many exciting initiatives going on in my district, but finishing the first complete school year in which our 7th and 8th graders were taking their devices to and from school has brought mixed emotions for me. Educationally, our teachers and students have done an amazing job with the transition and I am looking forward to reviewing this years test scores when they are made available. On the technical side of things, there were a few bumps and even though our local area network connections are robust, our Internet connection is a bit lacking. But those things can be worked on and the 1:1 technician, Mr. Frahm, has done a great job. Not only has he kept the student devices in running order, but the students all know just how important it is to have a great technician on campus to assist them when needed.

One of the difficult pieces for me personally has been the number of devices that have been dropped over the last year. When comparing numbers with other 1:1 programs our overall device loss is within reason, but damage due to dropping seems higher than I would prefer. Here is where I would appreciate some feedback, the devices are not being dropped at school, it is when they are outside the campus. We know this because when at school, the rule is the device stays in the provided carrying case when opened. Little plug for Higher Ground cases, they can pop open the case in seconds and the device never has to be removed, protecting it from a fall. So the question is how to continue working on educating the students to care for their device when away from school?

Collaboration Coaches
Earlier this month a new group of teachers met and began their journey together as the third new group of AJUSD collaboration coaches. Our district's Technology Integration Specialist, Tracy Watanabe, has done an amazing job with building our collaboration coaching program and in my opinion, coaches are key to a successful campus. Watanabe does a great job of explaining how collaboration coaches have worked together in our district to bring 21st century learning skills into our classrooms, click here. A bit of reflection on this topic makes on thing clear to me, I need to spend more time in the coaches classrooms and sitting in on collaboration meetings this fall. Experiencing the relationship building and the sharing of ideas among these professionals is truly inspiring.

Thanks to gbuffet
Take A Moment
Often we become so consumed with planning for the summer or that next big project, we forget to reflect on what we have already done, what worked well, what failed, how we can incorporate prior knowledge into future planning. I only shared two of many experiences that I needed to reflect upon before the busy summer months began, unfortunately time often flies by like that jet I mentioned earlier. Being focused is important, but so is reflection, take a moment, find a quiet place for some inward thinking and call it a day.