As of 12/19/2013 we have completed all the wiring and hanging of Meru 832 Access Points in every classroom at Marian Catholic. Our existing switches have been upgraded with the latest firmware, and our wireless controller has been updated and configured to host the new access points. During Christmas break we will be installing our new HP PoE switches and plugging all of the new access points into these switches.
Before we left for Christmas, all of our students received their “Marian” Email accounts. With Google hosting for us we will be able to utilize all of the great tools in Google Apps for Education. The teachers have been using their accounts almost all of 1st semester, and we are now ready to take the next step – collaborating with the students. The training will be focused on modules that the teachers can complete themselves, and creating an environment in which collaboration is not only a great idea, but a necessary part of moving forward in a 1:1 environment. Collaboration between faculty members will hopefully drive new ideas into our curriculum and classrooms; while collaboration between students and faculty will hopefully allow for deeper understanding of concepts and ideas.
When we return from break we will have our first Professional Development training session of the new year. Our faculty and staff will start their training on Google Drive with self paced modules. These modules will be posted to my Google site and all training material will be shared through Google Drive with the faculty and staff. We will also share training material with the students so they have a point of reference as we move forward. The modules will focus on Uploading, Creating, Sharing, and Collaborating.
The teachers who are already ahead of the pack will be working on Google Sites and creating a folder/document where teachers can access even more resources for our 1:1 iPad initiative. Some of our teachers may be asked to help lead our own version of EdCamp in the February inservice when we take a closer look at how to utilize iPads in the classroom. We expect theses “advanced” teachers will have time to share with each other so they don’t miss out on the other presentations.
Our next step is to continue our Professional Development for the teachers in order to prepare them with new ideas and concepts in classroom management in a 1:1 environment. For our faculty this seems to be the most difficulty concept since this concept is so new to many of them. Research, research, research will be my plans for the next 6 months, and I think many of our teachers will be joining me in this task because they are professionals, and even though we are all a little nervous about the future of a 1:1 program, our students’ success is always our first concern.