Hello Classroom 2.0ers,

I will be writing some Title II D grants this year and am looking to you for inspiration. If you could have one innovative educational idea funded in each/any of the below themes, what would it be? Why? Who would you partner with?

1. Leadership and System Change through Technology Innovation;
a. Educational Leadership in Technology Infusion
b. System Change of Teaching and Learning through Technology
c. Innovative Approach to Technology Literacy and 21st Century Skills Acquisition and Assessment

2.Technology Infusion into Instruction through Professional Development;
a. Embedded and Personalized Professional Development on Technology Infusion
b. Pairing and Mentoring Professional Development on Technology Infusion
c. Expanding Professional Development Opportunities through Online Technology

3.Data-driven Differentiated Instruction and Learning;
a. Data-driven Personalized Instruction
b. Formative Assessment and Adaptive Learning
c. Performance-based and Innovative Assessment

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Lisa,

I'd like to see more leadership and autonomy given to teachers as the most important innovation to be made. One important ingredient would be for the classroom to contain a significant amount of technology and the technology driven classroom. I'd like to see each classroom from K up, with a laptop on a network for each student. These can be stored on a cart when not needed. I'd like to see a laptop for the teacher that can go to and from home with her for lesson planning, and, when at school, linked up to the student network. I'd like to see classroom sizes of 15 to 18 students, with as much diversity as the school holds. The teacher can then group the students as to those who are struggling, those that are average, and those who are pushing the limits. The teacher can then plan lessons for each group with the other two groups doing appropriate activities on their laptops or at learning stations in the room, so that when the teacher is teaching, she is actually teaching to a very small number of students.

At the teacher's fingertips are ala carte lessons and activities that allow her to choose to fully occupy those who are working on the computers at any given time, rather than just keeping them busy while she is teaching another group.
Some of the activities that the students will do on their laptops will be group activites, and some will be indiviual activities. In any given week, the whole class will participate in some lessons and activities that involve the whole class. Some of these will utilize traditional resources, and some will be predominantly on the computer.

The network will store details on what each student does on their laptop, and that information will be available to the teacher. The network will also allow the teacher to plan and layout future lessons and acitivities for each student. Technology should permit the building principal to access details or summaries on what is happening in each classroom so he/she can observe what is going on from his desk as well as by a trip down the hall.

In order to insure that the content is available that teachers need to pull off this intense use of the laptops for instrucction, teachers should be involved in the planning and the development of online resources. I would prefer that such lessons and activities be available to all classrooms without cost, but will leave details to the bean counters. Perhaps each teacher could be assigned a "quota" based on his/her strengths, to do in each school year, tied to a bonus, or done within given "professional time".
Hey Lisa,

I love your entry. Very stimulating. Here is an idea for item 2.a and 2.b.
Creating a high tech environment for teachers to collaborate. Create a technology rich classroom for teacher mentoring. Here a for-instance. The classroom teacher whose students consistently excel in state assessments will collaborate with teachers to develop lessons or strategies for effective teaching. Perhaps for item 3.a an educator (teacher, principal etc.) can analyze statistical data from state tests. Create an "Academy of Mentors" that will consist of a handful of best-of-breed teachers. These teachers will have special privileges (no duties, extra planning etc.) and in return they will mentor others.

Technology gadgets can include overhead projectors, software (spreadsheets etc.), electronic boards (no specific name used here) etc.

I saw a high school teacher use a tiny laptop computer and I was very impressed with how light the computer was and with its portability.

By the way, who sad that pets lower your blood pressure? Our cat has taken over the whole house and she'll evict us soon.

Good luck.

Evan P.
Online School Data
My Blog
Evan,

If test scores were any indication of a teacher's ability, I would agree with you. Inasmuch as test scores only indicate the socio-economic class of the students tested, it doesn't seem such a hot idea! I do think that ALL classrooms should be made technology rich, and all new teachers should have mentors. I also think that teachers should NOT have admin dutires such as hall or bathroom monitoring. ANY teacher who is perceived not to be performing as expected should be given EXTRA PLANNING TIME (perhaps with a mentor at the same time) and an unlimited budget for instructional resources.
Dear Anne,
I was thinking in terms of getting the grant written and approved.
Evan P.
Grant writing is not my field of expertise. I'm talking about the reality in education.
Indigo,

I agree with one statement you made, that innovators are help back by the "lack of our ability to support them". But, I think it is foolish to put the burden of troubleshooting problems onto these innovators. That is like telling a gifted child that when he has finished his math lesson, he should clean the blackboard like a good fellow, to free up the teacher time for more needy students. I was once such an innovator, and know well the lead-like feeling of having techies who didn't even own a computer at home and could do nothing beyond what they did on the job. For decades, I teased the techies that I they were providing me with less advanced technology at school than I had at home.

In summary, do not burden your innovators with washing the blackboards, where the is troubleshooting or writing up manuals for other teachers. Let you innovators innovate. Give them the budget to try why is out there and find it's place in the curriculum. If they have a desire to mentor, let them mentor, but otherwise give them the opportunity (other than after 11pm at night) to collaborate with those who are similarly minded.
Oh boy. Here we go again. Anne vs indigo196. I will stop following this discussion.
If you have been scrolling down and got this far I think I have your attention. Two generic ideas for any grant writing (was awarded one):
1. Build it like a building - enhance systems, programs and the use of equipment that you think/believe already is working and look for ways to give it a lift. Connect to initiatives happening in your district / borough / central.
2. Use technology to ask your target audience what are their needs. We talk about "them" - principals, teachers, students but do we stop for a moment and ask for their opinion before we decide to give them this service or that product? We assume we know what they want, but do we?
Prior to American Idol no one in America believed in this concept. Door after door got slammed at their faces. "viewers voting?" networks executive were laughing at the idea... Obama reaching out to people to ask them what they think, why can't we?

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