I have been researching for Mercy 2.0 since July of ’11 and I still have not found a school which matches our educational technology profile. Most schools who are considering the iPad as a 1:1 device (1 device for each student) are going to this model for the first time. Mercy, on the other hand, was a pioneer in 1:1 computing. We have invested several years of experience with technology and it is is already a fundamental feature of our school experience. Consequently, most of the “packaged” presentations and workshops that we might investigate for training are ill-suited to our staff’s needs. Nevertheless, our experience has taught us that professional development (PD) is crucial for a successful technology roll-out. Therefore, we are putting investing considerable time and money in customized PD that will position us to be leaders in iPad 1:1 instruction.
I thought members of our community (and visitors!) might be interested in seeing an outline of this plan:
April 2 & 3 – Staff iPads Deployed. Just days after the new iPads were announced by Apple, our technology wizards– Tom James and Gary Bank — had devices in the hands of our staff so that they could become acquainted with them at their leisure over Easter Break.
April 23 & 24. Department PD with Lucy Gray. Lucy will meet with departments separately to discuss how they iPad may enhance their “Workflow”. In anticipation of these meetings, Lucy has provided shared documents, so that everyone will be thinking about our conversations before she arrives. (Too often, I think, PD takes the form of an expert presenter attempting to “Wow” a passive audience). This portion of the professional development is a critical attempt to view her visit as an interactive process that will evolve through the end of this school year, into the next, and beyond. Her stay will conclude with an all-staff presentation on Google Apps, a critical component of our Mercy. 2.0. At this point, Lucy will be firing out lots of application features for teachers to explore this summer.
August 23 – iPad & the Curriculum Lucy will be joined by Cheryl Davis,the curriculum and instruction technology specialist for the Acalanes Union High School District. Based on the input our administrative team gives Cheryl, she will customize a presentation that focuses on how the iPad can increase our productively and be leveraged as a remarkable instructional tool. She and Lucy will help us develop a set of workshops for the day that they and some of our more proficient staff members will lead.
Very exciting stuff. Of course this is just a beginning. But we want everyone to know that Mercy 2.0 is first and foremost about education and people, not machines and software.