Illuminating Learners Update

April 13 .::. 2nd Wednesday Virtual Meeting

School Board Vision for students:

Participating in Plano ISD schools empowers students to be able to adapt to new learning opportunities throughout their lives, collaborate with, and contribute to, the global community and to be creative and disciplined in their thinking.

"It's been a(n) _ (add your own descriptor) _ 2010-11 school year". Please visit this myPad page to add your descriptor to the list. I'll create a word cloud to visualize the various ways this group has described this school year.

No matter what descriptor you inserted, our discussions around "illuminating learners" starting in July 2010 have fostered a variety of interesting and new learning opportunities for our students, staff, and ourselves. This April 13 virtual meeting is our opportunity to review how those learning opportunities have been created among many campuses this year as well as look ahead to what is coming for the 2011-12 school year.

I believe Eric Jensen gave all of us yet another angle of view as to how we must make our classrooms more engaging for all students in addition to making certain that our staff meetings meet that same expectation. His message fits in very well with this year's focus on illuminating learners.

Speaking of classrooms - this Slate article gives quite a variety of ideas from readers regarding the physical possibilities for classrooms - it's important to consider lots of possibilities - some of which might actually be able to be accommodated without an expenditure of funds.

This virtual meeting will involve video as well as screen sharing. At the conclusion of the meeting, all video, links, and text will be posted to this page for your review and further use.

Use the Discussion Tab at the top of this page to share the uses of collaborative tools and engaging learning strategies you observed in your campus classrooms this year or used with your staff.

So, how do we go about making our classrooms more engaging? One way we discuss frequently, and have been provided a huge community investment, is instructional technology. Are we using those resources well, and to help engage students to create deeper understandings? Are we simply creating a commercial like this, without any real involvement in changing our teaching and learning strategies?

Or, are we getting beyond the commercial and making real changes in the way we engage students and allow them to create their own learning environments and own the responsibility for their learning?

What experiences have we provided students and teachers this year in the use of collaborative technologies to more fully engage them in their learning?
  • over 10,000 student and teacher devices share the public wireless network connection each day
  • 3000 myPads in use
  • 547 Scribblar rooms in use
  • over 20,000 TodaysMeet uses in March

And new statistics show students continue to engage with digital media and communications regularly
  • October 2010 Nielson Company report: 3,339 is the average number of texts per month that individual teens sent or received during the second quarter of 2010
  • 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation report: 7 hours per day is the average 8-to-18 year old spends with digital media on screens

Use the Discussion Tab at the top of this page to share the uses of collaborative tools and engaging learning strategies you observed in your campus classrooms this year. Or add your examples as notes on this PrimaryWall collaborative area.

And here is what you can expect in the way of new learning options for the 2011-12 school year
  • need for use of online learning experiences for students to assist in low-enrollment courses, credit recovery, tutorials
  • student work should be discoverable for peer learning
  • collaboration tools need to be a regular option
  • more use and understanding of data visualization (infographics)
  • use of QR codes to enable more convenient digital access to resources by students and parents (visit the Huffman QR example below)
  • try out the myPad/Scribblar connection with WolframAlpha information search (remember to click on the paintbrush icon)

  • new tab in SAS providing Explore and Plan results in tabular and graphical form - includes college readiness trajectories
  • CogAT results will now provide a direct link from each student into the Riverside profile page

  • applications in the cloud (Microsoft Office 2010, SkyDrives)
  • Windows 7 operating system
  • printing from student wireless devices
  • update of
  • update of K-12 Instructional Center web site
  • managing 440 terabytes of data (how much is that? 50,000 trees made into paper would hold 1 terabyte of data)

Huffman QR code link to video

Prezi slides:


The Visions of Students Today - Remix 2011 (trailer)