Archive for ‘1:1’

Sunday, 6th February, 2011

The job of the teacher

As we move into a CLC, how will this effect our jobs? We hear that the role of the teacher is changing. Often what this seems to mean is the role of the teacher includes everything it used to but then also includes some new things. This seems to be substantially but not exclusively technologically determined.

Some examples:

1. PTCs where a more efficient system for parent sign up has led to a substantial increase in demand on teacher time
2. Email communication with administration means that it is possible to pass out instructions for action to a large number of people with great ease. This means that requests for action can be sent and action expected within a very short time period. (e.g. could you just give me some quick comments on how so and so is getting on in class. It also means that information that is distributed needs to be assimilated – it is not acceptable if teachers are not all aware of something that was included in a message. This can also include instructions for action that get passed to HoD to act with department within a short time frame.
3. Email communication with parents – with addresses commonly available we sometimes need to keep email communication with parents – you can’t easily ignore a request – while the communication is a good thing, then for teachers of 100+ students it is not hard to see thie getting out of hand. Any mail needs writing and proofing.
4. Email or other communication with students – again a good thing and not new, but keeping up with a large number might be challenging.
5. Maintaining class web pages – the system set up with finalsite was designed so that the work of maintaining the school website could be distrubuted away from a webmaster and on to predominantly teachers. Often this website does not help the teacher much with there work. Even though updating does not take a substantial amount of time, it is still an add on and the result does not necessarily reflect the dynamic classrooms that we have.
6. Maintaining other communications – facebook pages, wikis, blogs… sites that involve social media demand a social approach and a groomed only profile – this means an expectation of active involvement – updates must be checked and commented on. This expands the working day into “anywhere, anytime teaching’ as well as ‘anywhere. anytime learning’
7. Communications without meeting mean that the process of maintaining personal and professional relationships amongst teachers does not always happen through our regular day to day interactions.
8. The old way was that the lesson began when the bell rang and finished when the bell rang. This meant that teachers would have islands of non-teaching within the working day. These might be used for face to face time with students meetings but would also often be used for casual social interaction with colleagues, which is an important part of maintaining effective working relationships (which is in our standards). We can often need to spend these islands of time keeping up with the latest email or booking the computers..
9. The large amount of technology around the school has it’s needs and the teachers are often expected to attend to these – for example the computer trolleys need to be monitored when they are filled and emptied and checked and the responsibility for this has been placed squarely on the teachers. This is disruptive of important parts of the lesson time esp. the end when students are often wanting to ask for help. With 1:1 then the trolleys may disappear but what other responsibilities will arise?
10. Increased numbers of non-teaching staff in the system must mean budget pressures on salaries. This means it is necessary to keep a leaner teaching staff – spending money on people who look after the machines means teachers need to be used more ‘efficiently’ – meaning increased teaching loads and numbers of students.
11. If the school closes etc then elearning means that teachers can be expected to set up schemes for learning in addition to their traditional ones
12. Teachers can become responsible for the record of what happens – it is not enough to tell students when a test is, they have to have it put on their class calendars, updating on class sites, entered on collective teacher assignment calendar
13. Meetings can easily be followed up by online discussions through documents or exchanges of email. This can mean the meetings don’t need to reach conclusions and this can mean that the time allocated to discussions of issues increases. Whereas managing a meeting would usually involve front-loading for preparation, this can now be left to follow up.
14. Keeping up to date professionally may have meant going to a workshop once a year and reading a magazine. Now it can be continuous following of streams of information spread through multiple means
15. Learning new technologies regularly
16. Posting to the blog

These challenges can be balanced with some positives, but this needs to be done intentionally.

Thursday, 2nd December, 2010

Z Blogs | Facebook Vs Civilization

At the risk of pissing off a lot of friends, I have become steadily more concerned about Facebook to the point where I am beginning to feel that coupled with instant messaging and certain aspects of the world wide web, Facebook is precipitating the end of civilization, not just as we know it – but period. That is extreme I know. But, I can’t shake the feeling.

via Z Blogs | Facebook Vs Civilization.

Friday, 19th November, 2010

Weighing costs versus benefits – 1 to 1 Schools

Good question:

Has your school weighed the costs versus the benefits of the rules that you have put in place?

via Weighing costs versus benefits – 1 to 1 Schools.

Friday, 19th November, 2010

Going 1:1: Top 5 Insights from ASB Unplugged | always learning

Would like to see where this one goes with IBDP classes.


4. Project Based Learning is where it’s at!

via Going 1:1: Top 5 Insights from ASB Unplugged | always learning.

Friday, 19th November, 2010

Getting Attention in the Laptop Classroom


The English Language Arts teachers in this qualitative study reported somewhat negative outcomes in social and material spaces in the context of laptop technology in their classrooms.
These outcomes included: (a) social isolation, (b) limited communication with a teacher or peers, and (c) offtask behavior. In an attempt to uncover the reasons for these rather negative results, the researcher analyzed these teachers’ classroom environments and instructional engagements with laptop technology, since these practices are believed to be reflective of these teachers’ current beliefs about instruction and technology’s role in it. Some of the reasons the researcher uncovered were: (a) limited physical space, (b) cumbersome furniture, (c) poor technology infrastructure, and (d) the largely instrumental use of technology in numerous learning engagements.

via Getting Attention in the Laptop Classroom.

Largely instrumental use