Tomorrow I have the honor of presenting at our school PTSA meeting which is solely going to be centered around one topic: technology. I love it when topics are so broad. Really, we could talk about anything and everything under the sun. What scares me a bit is that we are going to spend too much time talking about the stuff that really doesn’t matter so much.

Recently, I blogged about Apple Remote Desktop and talked about it with my PLN on Twitter. I heard the voices loud and clear where many said that ARD only distracts us from the important work that we are lucky enough to do with our students… making connections, integrating technology, developing our students into true global citizens. Tomorrow, I feel like many of the parents will want to talk about parental controls and screening software such as Apple Remote Desktop. While these topics deserve a conversation, I want to focus on what our students have been doing during the first three weeks of our 1:1 rollout program.

Because of the new software and the new server, our students have been turning work in digitally to teachers. The teachers have been giving feedback on student work digitally from highlights to recording their comments in Garageband and placing them on the student work. The teachers have then been returning work to the kids digitally.

Language teachers have kids learning beginning Mandarin and all of a sudden saying things like “I like apples” is an interesting statement and the kids are engaged. Why? Because technology has increased engagement across the board.

Science teachers have students creating talking worksheets for vocabulary and give them the option to design a product which displays their knowledge about Biospheres. This designing a product was an OPTION for the students. Guess what? Over 80% of the class took their teacher up on the offer even though the technology component didn’t impact their grade. Cassie has only had her computer for three weeks and look what she was able to do…

I’m hoping that the conversation around “watching” students will be short tomorrow because I have lots to celebrate on behalf of my students and teachers!

Leave your comments here for Cassie and I will share them with her!

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