Friday, March 20, 2015

MLI @ 205

Over the past few weeks we have visited department meetings to update staff on what is happening with the Mobile Learning Initiative at District 205.  Below is the information that was included in our FAQ Sheet.

Please let us know if you are interested in attending the April 14th Board of Education meeting to support the Mobile Learning Initiative.  We would love to have you!

  • What is MLI@205?
    • MLI stands for Mobile Learning Initiative.
    • In order to prepare students for the digital environments in which we work and learn, District 205 students must become agile learners with academic agency and real-time access to authentic resources. (See visual on back.)

  • Why Chromebooks? Why Now?
    • Chromebooks provide powerful access to the internet for a relatively low cost.
    • Chromebooks startup in less than 12 seconds and have a battery life of 8-10 hours!
    • They have been widely used in the middle schools for two years now, so students coming into York are used to learning in this way.  We have also been piloting Chromebooks at York for the past two years.
    • Technology is one powerful way to help students learn more effectively.   Similar to a pencil, this is becoming an essential tool for learning.
    • Technology is something kids are encountering and will continue to encounter when they leave York.  Their future success hinges on their ability to use technology effectively.  Employers and college professors will expect it.   
    • Believe it or not, technology can actually help save you time!  Come see us to find out how!

  • Would I be expected to use the Chromebooks all the time?
    • No! Good teaching is good teaching with or without a Chromebook.  As the professional, you will dictate when the Chromebook is used to enhance learning and when it remains in the case.  Our hope is that you will feel comfortable trying new things and exploring different strategies.  There’s no expectation that it will be right the first time, and that is okay.  We want you to feel supported in your efforts to try new things, not pressured to have your students using the Chromebooks 24-7.  

  • What about Danielson?
    • No new components are being added to your evaluation.
    • As teachers, we are evaluated on our ability to be flexible and responsive, engaging students in learning, and communicating with students.  Technology is one way to accomplish these things more effectively, not an additional factor in your evaluation.
  • Will I be trained in how to use Chromebooks?
    • Yes! Your ITCs (Jill & Katie) are available throughout the day, whenever you are ready! They can answer your questions, work with course teams, help plan lessons, model teach in your classroom, and be on call when you’re trying something new!
    • Classes are currently being planned for this summer. We need your input so we know what trainings to offer!

  • Where is the money for this coming from?
    • The current proposal is that students will pay an annual fee (~$75 per year), which will cover the entire cost of the  Chromebook over four years.  After four payments, they would be able to take the device with them when they leave York.  The cost of the devices will not take away from current resources.  

  • How will this benefit me as a teacher?
    • Less schedule conflicts with computer labs!
    • Fewer lost assignments, since students’ assignments will have a digital trail in Google!
    • Fewer papers to carry around to grade!
    • Expand the learning opportunities beyond the traditional classroom setting!