Leadership and 1:1 with Greg Garner
I went to EdCampDallas this weekend and enjoyed the conversation in this session. I work with a campus that will be going 1:1 iPads next school year. I feel that not enough conversation is happening and not enough planning or preparation is in place.
Greg facilitated a discussion to see where everyone was with 1:1 and said,“You cannot over plan a 1:1 roll out.” He recommended having an iPad Oath, a moral document for students in addition to the legal acceptable use policy. If it is not on file, they take the iPad from the student and the signed document magically appears. You will find other resources that might be helpful on the West Ridge Middle School Website.
WestRidge Middle School in Austin, TX began their roll out by assigning each teacher an iPad. Teachers were to learn how to use them, because it was coming and each student would have one. It became very clear that it was not an option.
What you should know before the roll out
8th graders will do whatever it takes to break the restrictions. Campuses handled this differently. One treated it as a disciplinary problem. One treated it as an instructional problem. If you don’t have the apps you need to learn, there is a problem. There was “juice bar” that students could visit and have the apps and restrictions placed back onto the iPad. It's probably a good idea to think about how you will handle it before it happens. You can not over plan a 1:1 roll out.
As the group added input, one participant said they researched before 1:1 deployment. He mention that research says to have a successful roll out, you must educate the teachers and the parents.
Educate, Educate, Educate
Parents and Teachers need to know that they are in charge. They need to take the responsibility of being the teacher or parent and think about things that will happen and how to handle situations that arise.
If a teacher has difficulty with classroom management, the teacher probably had trouble with it before the 1 to 1 roll out. If a parent had trouble being an authoritative parent before a technology device was introduced, they will still have trouble after.
Greg says that he reminds the teacher that they are still the teacher and reminds the parent that they are the parent. He also said, "If a teacher is ineffective before a 1:1 roll out, they will still be ineffective with the 1:1. The technology just puts a big spotlight on it."
It was said, "you can’t over communicate with parents." Talk with them about the options. Share what an 8th grader will be doing with technology in their bedroom, door closed till 1 in the morning. Talk with them about how to avoid that. Talk with them about changing wifi codes, unplugging the wireless router at bed time, a place to leave the device after a set time, how to be a parent that monitors their child on the internet. Be the parent and stand your ground.
Greg also talked about the leadership role. If you are in a leadership position, you must remember that you are the leader. You will need to have tough conversations. It must be understood that the 1:1 roll out is not an option. If a parent wants to opt out, it’s a cop out. He mentioned that one parent, bought a safe and had his child lock the iPad in it at when they got home. The parent would unlock the safe in the morning and allow his child to take it to school.
The school district Greg works with allowed students, grades 6-12 to take the iPad home over the summer if they paid the insurance. Insurance was outsourced for the district. K-5 students didn’t have the option to take it home over the summer.
This session was worth it for me. Hearing what others experienced as they began a 1:1 roll out share was valuable. It’s never to early to plan for it. Thanks for sharing, Greg!