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2010-11 Springbank High - One-to-One

Excellence in learning projects 10 - 11

Proposal

Improving and Enhancing student learning and engagement through the implementation of ubiquitous computing

School

Springbank Community High School

Contact information of the Initiative Lead

Leslie Collings, MEd.

Principal

Ed Polhill,

Assistant Principal

Springbank Community High School

Mailing Address

32226 Springbank Road

Calgary AB T3Z 2L9

(403) 246-4771

lcollings@rockyview.ab.ca

Team members:

Kevin Wttewaal-Director of Technology, Dave Morris- Director of Schools, Tammy Hodgson-Social Studies teacher, Rick Gaudio-Media Arts Teacher, Dean Depaoli-IT Technician, Vlad Stelkic-Mathematics, Loren Falkenberg, PhD-Parent representative, Amy Wright-Student representative

 

Introduction

There is a plethora of literature on the benefits of the one to one philosophy. The purpose of this proposal is to not to re-hash that literature, but rather to accept that the research is, in fact, promising.  This proposal will give compelling reasons for adding to the body of research at the high school level.  As a school, we believe that a one to one project will positively change teaching and learning and readies students for their future.  Springbank Community High School is a school that is ready to launch a comprehensive program to proceed into a ubiquitous computing environment for all stakeholders.  This project has promise for any school looking into the area of one-to-one.

Today’s educator is preparing students for a world they will not recognize.  It is incumbent upon the teaching profession to ready students for a job market that cannot be predicted and tackle problems that haven’t arisen.  Citizens living in the world of the future will need more diverse skills and attributes than the generation before.  

The following have been identified by Rocky View Schools as the necessary 21st century skill set:

· Collaboration – the ability to work in teams 

· Critical thinking – taking on complex problems 

· Oral communications – presenting 

· Written communications – writing 

. Technology – use technology 

· Citizenship – take on civic and global issues; service learning 

· Learn about careers – through internships 

· Content – conduct research and do all of the above 

Springbank High School is well positioned to meet the needs of the 21st century learner.  Our community is highly supportive; our students are bright, hard working and high achieving, and our staff has set goals to enhance the 21st century learner.  Our initiatives continue to include a Schooling By Design focus in the areas of critical thinking, utilizing technology tools, and civic, social and environmental endeavours.  We are fortunate to have a school council who is supporting these initiatives.

It is with both excitement and trepidation that we embark upon this journey.  The road is unclear and muddy, but it is a road we must travel.   The role of the teacher will change to be one of facilitator, mentor, guide and the developer of skill.  They will be working side-by-side with students, focusing on attributes these future leaders will be able to use in any situation that comes their way.  Students who learn for the future will have flexibility in learning, be able to show what they know in many different ways and have instant access to endless information.  They will need to decipher and synthesize, problem-solve and collaborate.  In short, the way we view teaching and learning is forever changed

The challenge for educators, Divisions, and Alberta Education will be to keep up with the students and their digital world.  The next generation are pioneers in this wide and open land called the Internet.  They are risk takers in a cyber world that can be described as vast and unchartered.  It will be the job of this division and the people who devote their lives to educating students to challenge the old paradigms of teaching at both a local and provincial level.  It will be the challenge of parents to change their view of what education is, an experience markedly different than theirs.  The school’s challenge will be to continually grow and improve.  The educator’s role will be to assist students to grow in their thinking, using technology as their tool.

The 21st century has the potential to level the playing field for all students in ways that are going to test our currently held paradigms.  It will also be incumbent upon educators to give parents the tools to understand the demands and skills their children will need for the future. 

Definitions and Research

What is the current Canadian research telling us?

There has been a surge in research related to the role of technology in the daily lives of students.  In the document entitled, What Did You Do in School Today? Teaching Effectiveness:  A Framework and Rubric (May 2009, Dr. Sharon Friesen writes,

Five core principles, described below and in the Effective Teaching Practices Rubric, provide a foundation for an effective teaching practices framework:

1.       Effective teaching practice begins with the thoughtful and intentional design of learning that engages students intellectually and academically

2.       The work that students are asked to undertake is worthy of their time and attention, is personally relevant, and deeply connected to the world in which they live

3.       Assessment practices are clearly focused on improving student learning and guiding teaching decisions and actions.

4.       Teachers foster a variety of interdependent relationships in classrooms that promote learning and create a strong culture around learning

5.       Teachers improve their practice in the company of peers.

 

Surrounding these five core principles, and infused into each of them, is the effective use of the technologies of our time for both teaching and learning.

It is undeniable that the face of education and the role of technology are changing rapidly.  If we are to meet the needs of our clients, the process for transformation needs to begin now. 

            What is Ubiquitous Computing?

The Springbank Community High School definition of ubiquitous computing is focused on creative composition with a focus on embedding learning, rather than students as passive recipient of unmanageable amounts of information.  A variety of digital devices and services, including one to one computers, allow students to be connected to their teacher, other students, and the world.  There exists a mobility of those devices and services whenever and wherever they need them.  This includes the idea that both teachers and students are active participants in the learning process, who critically analyze information, create new knowledge in a variety of ways (both collaboratively and individually), communicate what they have learned, and choose which tools are appropriate for a particular task

Project Vision and Goals

            What is the vision and goals for this project?

Goal:  To improve student learning and engagement through the implementation of ubiquitous computing. 

The key goal of this initiative is improving and enhancing student learning and engagement with the implementation of ubiquitous computing.  What is learned through this research project has the potential to positively impact the teaching practices and learning outcomes throughout the division and produce a replicable model for any school to use.  The sharing and implementation of these enhanced practices has the ability to be sustained and institutionalized.

The vision behind this proposal is to design and provide access to a one-to-one computing program for grade 9 to 12 learners.  The school will follow these learners to evaluate and assess the impact that ubiquitous one to one computing, supportive online tools and focused professional development have on the educational success of every student. This research will guide the development of inclusive 21st century classrooms.

This vision supports our division goals by allowing us to examine the provision of quality education focusing on 21st Century skills for every student. The examination of the following questions will inform stakeholders regarding best practices in advancing learning for the students of today and tomorrow:

1.       What are the differential learning, motivational and behavioral effects on students over time when one-to-one computing is implemented in high school inclusive classroom settings?

2.       What essential components are required to implement an Understanding by Design philosophy in a one-to-one blended learning environment?

3.       To what degree can we maximize learning for all students at the high school level?

4.       What sustainable and effective professional learning strategies emerge from the initiative?

 

21st Century Learning

 

Who is our audience?

For educators, there is no question that our audience has changed.  Below illustrates this:

For the “Millennials,” a term used to describe the generation born in the 1980s and 1990s; cell phones, text messages and instant messages are their chosen communication methods. Computer gaming has evolved from casual entertainment to a social event, complete with national and international competitions.... Schools and districts have slowly added technology with one to-one computing initiative, and a few have even integrated technology into curriculum and teaching methods.  Teaching the Millennials, Center for Digital Education, March 2007.

As we are all aware, the students have their own thoughts about education.  When invited to share their perceptions of what 21st century learning meant to them, students of Springbank wrote of things like:  technology, less book work, laptops, innovation, less paper, flexibility in learning, more variety of learning styles considered, and clearer communication.  Below are further quotes from students about the future:

“Learning and multiple resources are freely provided, such as videos and workbooks and experiments with technology.  There will be new lab equipment to gain hands-on

“Technology, interconnected with a globalizing world.  An education based on forming opinions and entrepreneurial ship & problem solving rather than memorizing.”

“A 21st century learner would appear to be a regular student as always, with minor details.  This generation of student is proud to attend and represent their school/community and is therefore much more involved in community affairs.  A 21st century student becomes not just a learner but also an active community member.  They are involved, yet highly academic.”


How has Rocky View Evolved into a 21st Century Learning Organization?

Rocky View Schools have a vibrant history of supporting teaching and learning through educational technologies.  From initiating the Galileo Network at Banded Peak School to the Rocky View Virtual School, RVS has helped shape not only its teaching practice but also influenced other Alberta Jurisdictions investigating 21st Century teaching models.  Presently every educator in RVS relies on computer technology for classroom management, assessment and course delivery.   This is done through the web technologies, Home and Teacher Logic from MIG SIRS as well as an IPP system called IPPS.   Most recently, the Plone has assisted schools to communicate endless amounts information to our stakeholders.  Teachers have the ability to post information that can be accessed by their students.  These initiatives have been successfully deployed throughout the jurisdiction and allow students, teachers and parents to login from anywhere 24/7 to access such information as course descriptions, assessment feedback, and attendance.  The web based IPP system was developed through a joint agreement with a corporation and is now its’ flagship’ product.  Most recently, a successful initiative at grades 6, 7, and 8 at three sites in RVS is bringing forth more research to support that one-to-one computing is the way of the future.

 

How has Springbank Community High Schools Evolved into a 21st Century Learning Organization?

Springbank Community High School is ready to take on the challenge of one to one computing and to contribute to the research at the high school level, a level that is not represented well in the literature.  SCHS is a grade 9-12 school on the outskirts of Calgary that educates 750 students.  This school is well equipped with technology and has been this way for at least 5 years.  Participating in AISI years 4-6, the school was heavily involved in the “Clear Targets” assessment initiative.  Teachers grew and the school has become well educated in assessment of and for learning.  Since 2008, the school has seen a rapid transformation into a learning leader that adheres to the “Schooling by Design” philosophy.  With a strong outcomes mission statement, the staff has been heavily professionally developed in the area of Understanding by Design as well as how technology integrates and enhances the classroom experience for students.  Further, all departments have set Understanding by Design goals and there is an increase in the access to professional learning activities around this concept.  All classrooms are equipped with Smartboards and/or projectors.  Staff has been professionally developed on the Smartboard.  It is used as a teaching tool on a regular basis.  The school has also moved to Plone 3 and uses this powerful tool to post important information for both students and parents.  In the 2009/2010 school year, over 80% of staff attended Moodle in-service training.  The majority of those teachers will continue the learning many are in the process of building a Moodle shell to use in a “blended” learning environment, consistent with the Divisional direction.  As a Distributive Learning participant, there has been a surge in the use of video conferencing as a teaching tool in the classroom environment.  The Arts department has embraced the Distributive Learning concept by offering the first Distributive Learning course that embraces the Understanding by Design philosophy on Moodle.  There are plans underway by the Art teachers to design all high school Art courses using the DL approach.  It has had a profound effect on how the school and its teachers view teaching and learning.  The staff is excited about a one-to-one project, as they feel stymied by the current level of access to technology for the teaching and learning process.  The RVS Embedded coaching team is currently working with the staff to deepen the learning around Understanding by Design and how technology can enhance the learning in the classroom.

Also in 2009, the school researched and is currently implementing a Universal Design for Learning philosophy, entitled Learning for All.  Part of the goal is to “level the playing field” for all learners.  Looking at a one-to-one philosophy will give all of our students an opportunity to show what they know in ways that are strengths for them.

 How does the one-to-one philosophy align with the Division and School mission and    learning principles?

Springbank Community High’s mission statement and key learning principles were designed to meet the uniqueness of a high school environment as well as aligned with the Portrait of 21st Century Learner and foundation statements from Rocky View Schools.  The outcome-based mission statement and learning principles are as follows:

 

Springbank Community High School endeavours to prepare students who will:

-Demonstrate leadership in civic, social and environmental concerns

-Balance academic, athletic and creative endeavours

-Demonstrate a commitment to life-long learning

-Exhibit creative and critical thinking

-Adapt to a continually changing information and media literate world

-Become respectful and responsible adults

-Be prepared for post-secondary endeavours   

 

Key Learning Principles:

1. Meaning is essential to learning; hence it is essential to teaching and assessing:  Learning goals must make sense to the teacher and to the learner.  There must be regular opportunities to see the value of what we are asked to learn, how it relates to past learning and how it will relate to future learning.

2. Successful learning requires metacognition:  learning how to reflect, self-assess, and

use feedback to self adjust.  These metacognitive processes can (and should) be taught

explicitly.

3. The complexity of learning requires teachers to draw upon a rich repertoire of teaching and assessing strategies carefully matched to the learning goals.

4. Greater learning depends upon the right blend of challenge and comfort – knowing that

success is attainable, and realizing that persistent effort will pay off.

5. To maximize learning, learners need multiple opportunities to practice in risk-free

environments, to receive regular and specific feedback related to progress against

standards, and timely opportunities to use the feedback to re-do and improve.

 

How does this project align with 21st Century Skills?

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills and Barrios' report (Barrios, Tina, et.al.; p 56) identify six critical elements for 21st century learning:

  1. Emphasize core subjects;
  2. Emphasize learning skills including information and communication skills, thinking and problem-solving skills, interpersonal and self-directional skills;
  3. Use tools including computers, information and communication technologies, audio, video and other multimedia tools;
  4. Create authentic learning environments that make content relevant to students (take students out into the world and bring the world into the classroom), create opportunities for interaction with others (teachers, students, experts) within and beyond the school;
  5. Raise global awareness and increase financial, economic, civic and business literacy;
  6. Balance and strengthen standardized and classroom assessments to ensure that they measure the full range of core subject outcomes as well as outcomes associated with 21st century skills in a timely way. 

 

We strongly believe that the one-to-one mobile learning initiative will help create a culture where the seamless integration of technology with curriculum will provide a rich information and communications learning environment with a high level of success and acceptance by learners, educators, and the community. Not only will our students benefit, but our teachers will be engaged in a professional learning environment that will allow them to further develop and model their own critical thinking and communication skills and professional practice.

 

Implementation

Students:  How will this roll out?

Every student from grades 9-12 at Springbank Community High School will be highly encouraged to have a laptop, starting in the 2010-2011 school year. 

 

Teachers:  What is the Professional Learning Plan?

In essence, the professional learning plan has already started.  This staff has had technology-based professional learning on a regular basis for some years.  In the fall, Springbank Community High School launched its Schooling By Design philosophy to all stakeholders by employing an expert who guided the staff to transition to a different way of thinking about how high schools can be organized.  Each department set Understanding by Design goals and the staff as a whole chose to focus on critical thinking from the outcome-based mission statement.  As technology has emerged, a healthy critical mass of teachers have been heavily involved in looking at ways to excite students and increase their level of engagement. 

The teachers at SCHS agree that they will need assistance in integrating technology into the curriculum.  An effective professional learning model will be key to the success of this endeavour.  It will be important to have differentiated professional learning for staff as they are at different levels and use technology differently.   The plan would be to employ the coaching model that will see coaching assistance from both inside Springbank Community High School and through the use of the embedded coaches from RVS. Three staff members will take on the role as coach in the building.  The two AISI leads and the Assistant Principal will coach staff, using the Understanding by Design philosophy to implement technology in a purposeful way into student learning. RVS can contribute to this important research by providing embedded coaching to the school on an ongoing basis.  It will also be researched to see which vendor would also provide professional learning opportunities as a result of the partnership that is established.

Professional learning will take place for the IT technician assistant in the school.  As he will not be able to realistically do all of the trouble shooting in the school, four hand picked students will take the A+ course to become assistants to the technology person.  In the past, Springbank Community High School has underutilized the Divisional technology team.  This highly talented team will be called upon to assist us in ensuring our transition to a high technology environment is smooth and seamless.  With the high number of machines and the complexities of a new system, it is likely that Springbank Community High School will have to increase IT technician time by at least .5 to 1.0.

 Below is a list of training already completed in the 2009-2010 school year and also a list of opportunities still to come.

·        Plone 3 training to all staff members (January 29)

·        Moodle training to 30 staff members (January 29)

·        Moodle forum discussions related to One to One computing proposal (on-going)

·        Plone 3 is up and running. Standards have been set with respect to teacher postings

·        IT Technician support person will receive PL on the upgrades made to the school (April/May)

·        Divisional embedded coaching team at Springbank (February – June, 2010).  Focus set on an Understanding by Design and technology integration.

·        Delegates to be sent to the One-to –One conference (August)

·        SEP and Department goals to be reviewed and re-set (March)

·        School-based coaches to provide support to teachers on an on-going and regular basis in the 2011-2012 school year

·        Divisional Embedded coaching to provide support to the school

·        Provide technical training on a monthly basis


What is the plan to consult, collaborate and communicate with the stakeholders?

Initially, the school councils for Springbank Community High School, Springbank Middle, and Banded Peak will be involved through presentations that will explain the initiative to be undertaken by the schools.

Parent meetings will then be held, as their support will be paramount to the success of the students. Future meetings will involve the parents actually working on computers and accessing some of the learning that their children will be involved in. The hands-on approach will assist parents in better understanding some of the technology that their children will be using.

As the initiative proceeds, key stakeholders will be involved in focus groups, on-line and paper surveys and planning sessions. These will be used to evaluate the initiative.

 

Below is an outline of the plan:

o       March (16th – 31st) Information package will be developed for distribution

o       March 22nd – staff meeting Q and A

o       March 31st – School Council – Presentation of 21st Century Learning and the One to One Project

o       April (date not known as of yet)– Board meeting and possible media release

o       April 14th (1:00) – Student Assembly – presentation of 21st Century Learning Project and One to One

o       April 15th (a.m.) and April 30 (p.m.)– parents will be invited to a coffee and questions about the project

o       April 28th – School Council – Q and A

o       May 4th – (evening) – presentation #2 of 21st Century Learning and One to One Project.  Vendors will be invited to set up in room 150 to facilitate parent choice

 

Funding          

How will this endeavour be funded?

 This is the final year for school “evergreening” for technology.  The plan for Springbank Community High School is use the monies to build infrastructure for a one-to-one environment rather than using it the traditional way, which is to invest in upgrading and replacing computers.  The school will be upgrading the school’s ability to handle the one to one environment.

What will the money be spent on?

 The plan for building infrastructure is twofold; the school will invest in expanding the opportunities for students and teachers to be able to operate in an environment that will be inviting to ubiquitous computing.  This will require additional hardware and software support.   The second infrastructure and perhaps the most important is to invest in professional learning for our teachers.   We essentially will be continuing the transformation of enhancing learning and engagement.

 Hardware:

  • Xserve (additional server)
  • Expanding the network infrastructure
  • Laptops for students who need to borrow from the school
  • Power charging sources
  • Extra computer batteries

 

 How will this project get laptops into the hands of all students?

All students will be highly encouraged to purchase a computing device.  The minimum standard for the immediate future will be a laptop, but as computing devices evolve, that minimum standard will change.  For students who can’t afford a laptop, the school will have loaners for them to sign out from the school.

 

Evaluation

How will this project be evaluated?      

Theoretically, the implementation one-to-one ubiquitous computing technology should lead to improvements in academic performance, increased student motivation, and increased competency, ‘comfort’ and utilization of technology. 

Both qualitative and quantitative data will be collected throughout.  Baseline data will be collected at the beginning of the implementation phase, and post-test data at the end of each school year.  As well, qualitative data will be collected from both experimental and matched control groups (class level) through focus-group discussions, interviews and structured questionnaires.

Qualitative Data
  • Teachers will be surveyed concerning their comfort with technology, teaching in general, change in teaching practice
  • Student surveys/formal instruments will address attitude toward learning, familiarity with technologies, buy-in to relevancy of schooling
  • focus-group discussions with groups/individuals
  • Parents will be surveyed regarding their attitudes toward the use of technology as a teaching/learning tool

 

Quantitative Data

  • Report card marks will be used to evaluate improvement in students’ performance
  • PAT and Diploma results will be compared to outcomes of other schools in division
  • Rubrics will be used to evaluate student and teacher skills with hardware and software
  • High school completion rates, drop out rates, Rutherford Scholarship statistics will be compared and used to measure progress.

 

 

Outcomes

Measures

Improving learner outcomes

Grade 9 PATs, Diploma results, school marks.

Attitude toward learning

Student and parent surveys and focus groups to assess attitudes towards learning.

Essential components to implement a philosophy of UBD and one-to-one computing.

 

Examine the artifacts of teaching and learning strategies and resources

Examine artifacts of student learning. 

Examine change of teacher practice through Surveys, observation, focus groups, journaling - blogging, Community website

Sustainable and effective PL strategies

Growth in teacher practice, cost and time effectiveness of PL activities and embedded coaching.  Participant feedback from PL strategies and embedded coaching.

Status Reports

Project status reports will be made on a regular basis through the Director of Learning and technology.  Also, reports will be made through the on-going discussion feedback loops with School Education Plan, Results Report, and other various avenues for discussion

Major Activities and Milestones

Task

Responsibility

Completion Date

Gather research baseline data

Team SCHS

March, 2010

Identify focus for 2010

Team SCHS

March 2010

Finalize Technical Design

Team SCHS (Ed Pollhill lead)

April 2010

Meet with Stakeholders (grade 8 parents to be included)

Team SCHS

March 17th and various dates in March and April

Status Report

Team SCHS

April 2010

Plone

Dean Depaoli and Rick Gaudio

May 2010

Implementation of the One to One initiative

Springbank Community High

September 2010

Provide PL activities and embedded coaching

AISI Leads and Departments

August – June

Student engagement

Initiative Teachers

September to June

Student Activities with online tech

Initiative Teachers

August – June

Data Collection, Analysis, and Evaluation

Leslie Collings, AISI leads

May 2011 - 2014

Final Report

Leslie Collings

May 2014

 

Conclusion

There is no question that the world is forever changed; it is fast paced, digitally interactive and information that was once limited to only those who had access to it has been democratized.  For educators, this means that the way students interact with their environment has changed.  In a sense, this change for educators could be deemed the “renaissance of education”.  Simply put, with research in neuroscience, technology, education and other areas, it has essentially revolutionized and changed the way we think about how people learn, what tools can be used and opens up tremendous possibilities for when learning takes place.  What a wonderful place and time in which we live.  With those profound changes in mind, it becomes incumbent upon school organizations to look at how they can use this research to enhance learning and engagement for students in the 21st century.   As evidenced in the proposal, Springbank Community High School is at a moment in time where there is tremendous momentum for a shift to a one to one computing environment. 

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