2011-2012 LINDBERGH LAPTOP FRIENDLY SCHOOLS
Also called in many circles BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), the Laptop Friendly Schools initiative enable students from all grade levels and all Lindbergh Schools to access the Lindbergh wireless network on campus called "students". Upon accessing that network (not much different than starbucks, bread company, wired coffee, etc.), students will be asked to login with their school id and password to access the Internet.
To provide greater access to resources, students are able to access their Home Directory or H: drive via the Lindbergh Cloud. That site is a private cloud site that provides students with access to resources while at school as well as away from school.
The responsibility for any and every aspect of personal technology lies with the individual and not with the school. It is no different than anything else the student owns and decides to bring to school. Parents and students bringing personal equipment must accept full responsibility for anything related to the use of the equipment at school. We provide access to district resources and welcome students to use them. It is not mandated nor expected at this point, but it can prove to be a great service to those choosing to use it.2010-2011 Lindbergh Laptop Friendly Schools.
Starting with the second semester of the 2010-2011 school year, LHS students were able to access school and Internet resources through the use of their personal computing device such as netbooks, laptops, iPads, tablets, slates, etc.
2006-2007 Lindbergh 1-2-1 Initiative rational and implementation ideas.
The use of technology to enhance the education of Lindbergh students has increased year after year since the district's embrace of technology in 1991. The technology we use has evolved from restricted lab environments to its availability in classrooms, from desktop computing only to include laptops, from wired infrastructure to include wireless. The availability of wireless laptop labs that can be use in the classroom for one to one instruction (ratio of one laptop for each child) coupled with the use of wireless laptops for every teacher, has created an environment where the possibility of furthering the instruction of students utilizing one laptop per child is within reach. The continued efforts in the technology professional development area have made it possible to create a group of teachers that understand the benefits of individualized instruction with technology and are able to help their students from the whole class approach to the more beneficial individual approach. Without professional development for students and teachers, the use of one laptop per child will be unsuccessful.
The use of one laptop per child only recognizes that this type of technology is ubiquitous in the children's current world and will be in their future life. It opens our education institutions to the current world standards of personal productivity ,research, communication, and collaboration.
Many children have computers or laptops available at their homes, but many others do not. There are many types of devices with different versions of operating systems running different combinations of productivity tools with various ways of connecting to the Internet at yet different speeds. All these different environments and lack of access create a technology inequality for our student community. In order to implement the changes in instruction that technology makes possible, we need to create a more uniform technology environment. This can be done by requiring a common type of equipment from all our students or by providing that common type of equipment to the students. Private schools are able to require the laptop equipment, and many are doing so. Public schools are not able to require the laptops and have opted to provide the equipment. There are examples of state provided equipment such as Maine, Michigan, and South Dakota, and there are other examples of individual schools and school districts that have provided the equipment such as Maplewood Richmond Heights, Pattonville, Henrico County - VA, and many others. Some of the public schools restrict the use of the equipment to within the schools, while most allow the students to take the laptops home. The majority recognize that the use of the laptops at home makes the most sense because it allows students to research and work on homework with the current technology tools. This helps them learn to work in a manner consistent with current higher academic environments.
There are many issues to consider when determining the implementation of students laptops. Some of those issues are student safety, technical support, professional development, community involvement, finances, insurance, etc. While the goal is to have students utilize the laptops at school and at home, many of those issues need to be addressed before the take-home phase of the student laptop implementation. In-school use of the laptops will take place first, and once we have address the safety concerns as well as the others mentioned, the take-home phase will begin.
In order to simplify the implementation of student laptops, we have started with the small population of students and staff at the High School Academy. The first step was to discuss the goal of this particular exploratory project. The aim is to discover the instructional changes necessary to introduce and utilize laptops as a student tool for learning and life.
Lindbergh started the infrastructure preparation to support the implementation of teacher and student wireless laptops several years ago. However, the most critical component for any successful implementation is the professional development provided to students and staff prior, during, and after the deployment of laptops. Over the last year, we have visited implementation of student laptops in public schools in South Dakota, and in private schools around the Saint Louis region. We have provided training and collaborated with the HS Academy over the last semester to discover the changes and adjustments necessary for the success of the implementation. We have arrived at several conclusions:
1. The student laptop is not the device to "do it all". It must perform well for most student needs. The Lindbergh student will be able to access textbook materials, write and produce documents for homeworks and presentations, access the Internet for research and learning, and collaborate with other students and teachers. Specialized software for some courses will have to be accessed through computers specifically purchased for that purpose. Some examples include AutoCAD, programming courses, business courses, electronic media and electronic music courses, and several others.
2. The student laptop must conform to the student needs. If the school day at the Academy last 5 hours, the laptop must perform for at least that length of time. The expected use of the laptop throughout the school day may be less than the length of the school day, but since the applications for the student laptop are so diverse, it is reasonable to prepare for the worst case of battery life to minimize the hindrance of poor battery performance.
3. The purchase and use of student laptops carries a cost associated with it. It is desirable to maintain this cost low while providing a good quality laptop and related materials. For the purpose of the exploratory project at the Academy, the cost is assumed to a maximum of one thousand dollars per student. The target cost for a larger implementation is a maximum of seven hundred dollars per student, or one hundred and seventy five dollars per student per year.
4. The initial implementation of the student laptops at the Academy will restrict their use to in-school use. After evaluating the student safety concerns, parent and community concerns, and other issues such as insurance, computer viruses and risk of data corruption, students will have the option to take the laptops home.
Academy work and current status of "August 2007 - December 2007" phase.
by Colin Davit
At the beginning of the 2007-2008 school year, Colin Davitt (Instructional Technology Specialist) began meeting regularly with the academy. They began to coordinate their project expectations and to determine how to incorporate technology into their instructional practices in addition to exploring new ways to weave into it their existing curriculum.
During the subsequent months, they began to experiment with Microsoft Publisher, a program that many of the students had never worked with before. The goal was to help the students display the information they were learning in a new way. That led to using Publisher to create a website for a major class project. In the past many of the students had used PRISM boards to display the main elements of their assigned biome. Now the students were able to create a dynamic website that had a dedicated page about each of the eight areas of the assignment.
The next major accomplishment was during a senior seminar. The students were assigned a to complete a personal mission statement. In the past, the students would complete the assignment and turn it in on paper. The mission statement would stay private, the only two people ever reading it were the teacher and the student. The mission statement assignment took it a step further. The students blogged their mission statement which opened their work up to the world. The teacher commented that he had never seen such fantastic work before. The students spent more time completing their work because they knew that the work would be in the public eye. Once the mission statements were finished the class began creating a video in Movie Maker to illustrate their mission statement. Within this class they experimented with blogs and creating videos. It was a great success.
In US History, the class began to experiment with creating a Wiki in small teams. The purpose was to practice taking notes and making the textbook information meaningful to them. The students worked in teams to create a common resource from which to study. It is a great example of working as a collaborative educational team.
One of the greatest tools was started during the second quarter. The social sciences teachers began using Moodle to create on online portal to their class. Through the Moodle the students were able to upload their assignments and take quizzes all online. The most amazing part of this is how some students were logging in from home to upload or check an assignment. The quiz feature allows for instant feedback for both student and teacher. There is no down time between taking a quiz and knowing the results. This is a very important teaching tool as the teacher will know instantly if there is any reteaching that needs to take place. In a traditional classroom the teacher would need to take all the quizzes home, correct them and figure out the patterns of missed questions. The Moodle allows the teacher to know instantly.
The Academy teachers and Colin collaborated on a book study, Classroom Instruction that Works, to focus on the daily delivery of the curriculum. They meet once a week to talk about a chapter and discuss how what we have read can make an impact in the classroom.
They are now growing their tech savviness beyond the lab's abilities. The biggest struggle is knowing how to use the technology tools learned about this year with limited lab times. Many of the teachers are needing to use the lab but it is booked. Wider access to the technology would allow the students to academically grow. The potential ability to have the tools on hand at all times is powerful and motivating. Even with a limited amount of time in front of the computers, they are doing some amazing things.
Current development and perspectives.
During the past few weeks and months Scott Goodrich, Colin Davitt, Keith Loveless and Mariano Marin met to establish the equipment requirements for the Academy exploratory project. They came to the conclusion that there are two factors that will determine the viability of any laptop equipment from any vendor: battery life and cost. Technology must not get in the way of instruction. Therefore, the laptop battery life must perform for at least the length of the school day. For the Academy exploratory project, that means a battery expectation of around five to six hours. Budgetary resources dictate that laptop equipment must not place an insurmountable burden to the district finances. To conduct the Academy exploratory project, we allocated a maximum of one thousand dollars per student laptop. This means that over a four year HS carrier, a laptop will cost around twenty dollars per month per student maximum.
Mariano and Colin have met with several equipment vendors which include Apple, Dell, Gateway, Toshiba, Fujitsu, and HP. During the conversation with the vendors, they discovered that the possibility of achieving our goal of extended battery life and sub one thousand dollars in cost is real. Over the next few weeks, there will be more details about the real numbers, but so far, one of the vendors has a preliminary cost (without discounts applied) of a few dollars over our maximum.
They have investigated this past year the implementation successes in two public schools in South Dakota and visited several private schools in Missouri. They have also communicated with educators in Maine, and have researched the Freedom To Learn State initiative in Michigan. The educational value of student laptops is undeniable.
The most important issue in any technology implementation is Professional Development. The Academy exploratory project was started with this in mind. The first part of the project reflects that understanding. We did not plan to purchase laptops first and then ask questions. We planned to address the instructional needs of our students and teachers first and then move into the next phase which is the introduction of the laptops themselves. The two major technology hurdles, battery life and cost, are not much of a hurdle anymore. Technology advances and mass popular adoption of technology have made the use of technology as a personal educational tool a reality. Lindbergh is poised to take advantage of this new reality and our students and teachers will be far better 21st century citizens because of it.