Here we go! The time is here and it is now. Ready or not @CherokeeSPS is going 1-to-1 Chromebooks on Wednesday!
This is an exciting time for our community, students, families, and staff. It is also a time of many unknowns.
However, I know our staff is fully ready for the challenge as we have been fully engaged in learning for the last 11 – 12 weeks to prepare for this shift in how we facilitate learning.
In all honesty our journey started several years ago. I’ve been the principal @CherokeeSPS for 7 years and I’ve been waiting for this day for a little more than four years.
After joining the Twitterverse I began to read and see the world of education through a different lens. It was through the connections, twitter chats, and hashtags I began to read more and more about how education was much different outside the bubble I had always known as a student in grades K-16 in Tennessee, graduate school student and middle school teacher in Florida, and teacher, student, and administrator here in Missouri.
In the beginning I admit I was overwhelmed, excited, and very anxious to move fast! However, I also knew change doesn’t happen over night. I began to share resources, articles, provide learning opportunities for our staff on the power of Twitter to connect.
I reached out to our district asking for hotspots and we got one for our cafeteria. It was to be used for guests. I encouraged staff to allow students to use it with their personal devices. I also encouraged staff to allow students to use devices in class. We also began to purchase more mobile devices. We had 3 labs, but that wasn’t enough for 800+ students. So each year I saved funds and would purchase more laptops and carts. I encourage staff to write grants and we received a few more devices. Still it wasn’t enough, but we were doing the best with what technology we had access to. I also asked for student and staff to have Google Apps & Drive. We got it and some used it. Our district then secured Canvas as a learning management system. Some of our staff latched on and began to use it as well.
Change was happening, but again it was very slow. . .
All the while I didn’t mandate any of this, but I still received pushback because it was too much or resistance was stating ‘why do we need to change? What we do is working.’
Then we got a new superintendent. I knew of him from Twitter. I had been following his work and his track record was to come in and make change and make it fast. I began preparing our staff for this. I warned them we would be changing and then last May our school was notified we would be a Year 1 IGNiTE school and going 1-to-1 Chromebooks sometime during the 15-16 school year.
In a way I feel validated. I saw 4+ years ago what the future of education could look like with technology amplifying learning, allowing educators and students to connect beyond the ‘4 walls,’ and how learning, connecting, and growing could be different and hopefully better for all involved.
Now, here we go! Wednesday is here and we are prepared. We are also anxious about the unknown.
All I know is education and learning is about to change for the better for our community, students, families, and staff and I am stoked we are right in the middle of it!
Here We Go!