Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Technology Immersion Project for Students & Teachers

I was reading Want a successful laptop initiative? Better choose Mac laptops! from Wes Fryer's Moving at the Speed of Creativity blog. Now, first let me say that I am definitely an Apple Macintosh advocate. I have my own personal Macbook Pro and have used Macs for many years and enjoy the experience very much. I have a 1TB Time Capsule to back-up my Macbook Pro and both mine and my wife's school Macbook laptops as well as giving me 802.11n Wi-fi base station capability which is extremely fast..

Our school District, Hereford Independent School District, in Hereford, Texas gave all teachers new Apple Macbook laptops this summer. Obviously, I am pretty pleased with this decision. We have a phenomenal IT department, and IT Director, who are progressive, forward thinking and willing to try new things and new initiatives such as our "1 to 1 for Teachers" inititiative.

We do have access to the iLife suite and I am really looking forward to seeing more from the Apple Professional Development for Education in the future.

So, it was with pleasure that I read Wes' recent post about Technology Immersion for Schools and Teachers. Well, we are now immersing our teachers and I am hopeful that within the next couple of years, our high school and our school district as well will become totally immersed in technology and we will see a true "1 to 1 laptop initiative" for all students.

We do have some students this year who qualified based upon their family's status as migrant workers, to receive an Apple Macbook for each family. What a fantastic program, I hope that programs like this continue. I do have a few of those students in my classes this year. Actually in some classes I might even have 3 or more students with laptops. So, I have been actually encouraging my students to bring their laptops to class to work on The HSTE Project that my students are participating in.

I do have permission to use these student laptops in my classroom from our Superintendent, IT Director and our CT&E Director and High School Prinicipal. I have had all of my students sign our Acceptable Use of Computers and Networks Policy as well as a signed permission form signed by all of my student's parents. So, I think that I have all of the bases covered and the first two weeks of our HSTE Project has been fun for me and I think fun for my students as well.

I did read with interest about "Floydada High School was named an “Apple Distinguished School”. Floydada being not all that far from Hereford, a contingent from our school district, teachers, administrators and IT folks went to Flodada last spring and everything that I heard was positive about their school's experience with their 1 to 1 laptop iniative for their school.

I agree with Wes when he states:

The need for and positive impact of good, strong, visionary leadership in our schools is evident everywhere, and it is certainly clear to see in a success story like Floydada ISD.

I am fortunate to work in a school district that has this type of strong, visionary leadership.

Great article, great topic and great opportunites for teachers as well as students. That is my take on this blog post.

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