After working for years on our school’s 1:1 Learning Initiative we are now coming to the end of our first three-year device cycle of and, it is helping us examine, investigate and reaffirm where we are and what will be doing for the next three years.
We are taking into account all aspects of our program, lessons learned from our successes and failures, conversations with students, colleagues and families, along with new research and examples from other schools and institutions.
And of course we are sharing as much as we ever have with anyone who wants to learn from us. Indeed, the sharing process has always helped to steer our program, and it, I believe, a hallmark for any strong program, institution or leader.
Recently we hosted a site visit. We hosted visitors from ten schools and five states, all interested in hearing about our program and seeing our school in action. The is the third time in as many years that we’ve done this, and all told, we have hosted over 35 schools to date.
We run these events not only because we believe that we’ve had a successful program so far, but also because they force us to think about what we are doing and explain our program in a way that will help other schools grow and develop. Second, we believe in paying it forward — we are sharing as others have shared with us.
As we explored the possibility of our own 1:1 Initiative we went on the road and visited a number of schools and attended numerous conferences (see below) to hear the good, the bad and the ugly from those who came before us. From these visits, we learned a great deal about what we wanted to do (student leadership), what we needed to explore further (ownership models) and what we didn’t want to do (forget about professional development).
The openness of others and their collegiality helped us develop our program and have the success that we believe we’ve had to this day.
Sharing can happen in a number of ways and can be about the big and the small. Success in sharing shouldn’t be judged by size — only by the way it impacts those associted with it. Truly, from small success, greater success can grow.
You don’t need to look far to find examples of success and sharing that we can all learn from easily.
Here are few examples of what I consider success through sharing:
#edchat, #isedchat, #satchat & #leadingonline are all examples of the ongoing sharing of successful practice (and unsuccessful practice) in education. Through these Twitter hashtags people are asking questions, sharing stories and helping guide others, making the facilitators models of how social media can be used to connect people and help them achieve their goals.
ISED and NYCIST are just two examples of the listservs I subscribe to and rely on. I learn from what others are sharing and give back what I’ve learned. Listservs are nothing new to education and sharing, but I think they still offer an amazing way to connect with people and learn.
Blogs, blogs and more blogs. There is no shortage of people writing online and the number of educational blogs out there is only growing. Find people that write, and read what they have to say. They are taking time to write about what they are doing, what they have learned, their success and failures, and giving it to all of you so that you can learn. It’s why I, for one, do what I do; and I am happy to share with you the work some of my colleagues and friends are doing as well:
- Steve Valentine (@sjvalentine) – Refreshing Wednesday – A look into the mind of an Upper School Assistant Head and his thought on schools, leadership and curriculum
- Reshan Richards (@reshanrichards) – The Constructivist Toolkit – Helping others make sense of the rapidly changing face of education technology.
- Brendan Schneider (@schneiderb) – SchneiderB.com – An admissions officer and social media guru. If you want to know how inbound marketing can help in the admissions process.
- Fraser Spears (@fraserspeirs) – Fraser Speirs – If you are interested in 1:1 iPad programs look not further.
- edSocialMedia (@edSocialMedia) – edSocialMedia – This is a great collection of people talking about all things relating to social media in education. You will find professional in all areas of school life sharing their successes. [Disclosure: I manage the blog for edSocialMedia]
There are numerous other blogs out there of people sharing best practice and success stories. Search using Google’s blogs search or Technorati to find the blog that can help you achieve your success.
Further, I would encourage each of you reading this to think of a success, big or small, you can share — and then share it. It can be as short as a tweet, a comment made on a blog, a reply to a listserv, or a post on a blog as a guest. It can be you starting your own blog, making a presentation at a conference or inviting people (from inside or outside your school/institution) to see what you are doing.
If you think you are successful in what you are doing, give back and inspire others!
- Rye Country Day (NY)
- Rocky Hill School (RI)
- The Park School (MA)
- Packer Collegiate (NY)
- Noble and Greenough School (MA)
- Newton Country Day (MA)
- Buckingham, Browne & Nichols (MA)
- Dalton (NY)
- Lausanne Collegiate (TN)
- Noble and Greenough Learning Conference – 2007
- The Laptop Institute – 2006-2012