Friday, March 16, 2012

It's Not Really About Devices or Apps...

A great post about our 1:1 environment at BHS from the BPS EdTech Blog
By BPS Director of Instructional Technology Dennis Villano:

Thank you to everyone who helped make the the first New England 1:1 Summit a success. The BPS EdTech team is grateful to all who participated and the generous sponsors who donated to the event. I truly hope that those in attendance enjoyed the day. The organizers from the BPS EdTech team and the students from the BHS Help Desk enjoyed having you visit us. We are definetly planning on doing this again next year.

The Summit started as a simple idea during the BHS student iPad roll out in August. We thought it would be a good idea to have an event later in the year – maybe a hundred or so educators – visiting to share ideas about iPads and 1:1 learning environments. I guess I always secretly wanted it to be a mega event with thousands of people but luckily our team keeps me in check. Quickly we realized there were a lot of people interested in what we are doing in Burlington and more importantly a lot of people who want to improve the environments in which they deliver content to students. In the end the Summit became much larger than many of us thought it would and we felt a great sense of pride that so many were interested in visiting.

I hope that everyone who attended and followed on Twitter was able to understand that the most valuable elements here in Burlington are the students and the people involved in educating them. We have a common goal to provide our students with the most engaging content – in the most positive environment we can build – with constant access to outstanding technology.
As I mentioned in the opening session at the Summit, we believe that it’s not really about the devices and that it’s not really about the applications. Success relies on key pieces of infrastructure that once developed can create a strong foundation for any culture of learning. This infrastructure includes both educators and technology.
  • A powerful network foundation and wireless access for all.
  • Great educators who create, collaborate, share, and help ensure positive engagement for students.
  • An outstanding team in the background that includes EdTech, IT, and administrative staff that is willing to work endlessly on a common vision.
The devices that you purchase and the apps that you install will only be worth the costs ensued once you are able to build these pieces.
Of course it doesn’t stop there. Constant support for teachers, ongoing collaboration, and a good sense of humor help along the way. Each element provides another important piece in the development of the culture. Even after the long hours of planning and the longer hours of deployment we ultimately can’t slow down or lose focus of the reason we started in the first place. We are here to provide the best education possible for our students.
Please continue to follow the adventure here in Burlington and stay tuned to this blog for more information about our upcoming events. We look forward to having you join us for more opportunities to learn together soon.

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