Redefining Busy

It’s Mr. Little!

Writing on his own blog… doesn’t happen too often anymore…

This has been a fairly insane week. Wrapped up the Civil War unit. Home stretch of History Fair. Missed 3 days of class due to my attendance of conferences. Put about 500 miles on my car and spent waaaaay too much on Starbucks! But, it’s all for a very good reason…

I gave up my baby – the girls basketball program – about a year ago. I hated doing that (and still miss it), but did so knowing the important changes taking place in schools right now. Especially ours. Mr. Arnold has really brought about a great deal of progressive thinking and evolution in the way we do things here. One of them, technology, is getting very exciting.

On Wednesday, I was a part of a team that visited Lester Elementary school in District 58. We got to see – from the students themselves – how 1:1 technology has changed the way they learn. Kindergarteners, 6th graders, and 2nd graders all used personal devices to organize themselves and enhance their learning. Very cool to see what we at Center Cass could be doing very soon.

Thursday I attended the ICE (IL Computing Educators) Conference. Again, I met dozens of fellow teachers who have implemented technology as a means to improve student learning. The verdict is fairly unanimous – it takes a tremendous amount of work to implement, redesign how we teach, and train our staff. But the results are remarkable: students are engaged at levels we haven’t seen, students are creating and leading in the learning process, and they are empowered and motivated to do great things.

I’m very proud to be a part of a team (my 7th grade colleagues) that has been working on this for some time. I’m also proud to work with such great colleagues that are willing to take a great risk in the name of mastering this student learning thing. If we can integrate a model of 1:1 technology into that formula? Wow… we could do some great things at LV and in Center Cass. Nice to be a part of this. Lots of people working hard at all levels to make this happen… staff, admin, and students.

Below is a photo of the SAMR model, which is ultimately the “framework” for how technology allows teachers to take the next step in student learning.