Thoughts and Tools

Agenda for Change at Abundant Life Christian School

Main Topic: Digital Learning Technologies in the classroom; focus on High School

Key Atendees: Principal of ALCS and Superintendent of MCS

  1. Areas of low-cost, high reward benefits for ALCS and MCS.
    1. This week: PollEverywhere (live, SMS text-based polling interfacing with SmartBoards)
      1. Start small, scale up as success improves and mistakes are corrected
      2. Incorporate communication with parents and students
      3. Address accountability issues with using mobile devices in the classroom
    2. This year: Enhanced online support/tutoring
      1. Identify and collect additional online support for students in need (either low or high performing)
      2. Explore and encourage the use of student-owned and supplied mobile technologies for connecting with online resources in the classroom
    3. This year to next year: Flipped classroom/blended content
      1. Begin exploring flipping the classroom for classes with good fit, e.g. Advanced Math
      2. Consider supporting faculty with funds for programs or recording platforms
      3. Foster the use of student-owned mobile technologies to enhance access to curriculum content and promote content creation
      4. Pursue the use of cloud-based collaboration, especially with the use of student-owned mobile technologies
    4. Next year or beyond: expanded online or home-grown online classes (A&P)
      1. Could a teacher be hired over the summer to create online courses we host at MCS?
      2. Can we identify other high quality resources online to supplement our course catalog?
  2. Key issues to consider
    1. PD/support
      1. In-services, conference?
      2. How do we motivate hearts for change?
    2. Wireless infrastructure
      1. Do we have capacity and coverage for needed increased service?
    3. Develop policies related to student and data privacy, security and stewardship
      1. Ownership and management of student information
      2. Protection of faculty assets on networked drives
      3. Policies for wireless access
      4. Policies for misuse of mobile technologies and opportunities
    4. Onboarding stakeholders for change
      1. Communicate actively with parents, school board, teachers and students about the scope and nature of our changes
      2. Consider survey-based tools to create baseline data before major changes are pursued and to understand the impact of our changes

If we can begin small, with little to no cost and a high benefit for the students, this will be highly motivational! We must position ourselves for the coming changes in educational pedagogy and technologies.


Key resources


Reviews and Blogs


Courses and Materials

  • Coursera; free classes from a-z.
  • Sophia; online library of teaching videos.
  • Better Lessons; an online community of teaching ideas and lesson plans.
  • TeacherTube; online library of teaching videos.
Rhoda Hahn (not verified) - December 13, 2015
Peer Review #1 I like your beginning ideas—essentially you are beginning “pilot” programs; smaller test groups that will give you a lot of feedback. Powerful! I also like your 1-2 year plans early on-very specific and tangible changes that can be made to begin the process. Is it possible for you to be a little more specific about BYOD (part of what we discussed) and how that incorporates into this plan? Could you include a list of stakeholders that should be involved (especially parents for #3)? Have a possible committee with a mixture of these stakeholders that carry on throughout the plan? Could you also have a plan, early on in the outline, to survey teachers, admin, students, parents for feedback on their needs and wants in regards to tech? Overall, you are specific in the needs you identify for students and teachers’ role in this process. I like that you are starting with small changes that have a low-cost; it’s a great way to get others on board with your ideas, and then hopefully it can start a chain reaction and a sense of urgency is understood. Rhoda Hahn
Shelby Willis (not verified) - December 13, 2015
Peer Review #2 I like your ideas. It sounds like you are really going to continue to be an agent of change in your area. Who is your audience? I was getting kind of lost in the terminology and was wondering if you were focusing your idea to a group with a high technology vocabulary? I like the way you broke it down into time periods to help keep your focus on the next steps. Shelby Willis
Jessica Bentz (not verified) - December 13, 2015
Peer Review #3 I like your focus and outline, especially in terms of this week, this year, next year, etc. I also like your idea of starting with one small pilot group. Could you address your BYOD a little more specifically in the plan? I read your first post where you talked about student devices being incorporated into learning because so many of the students already own a laptop or smartphone. When would you start that? Overall, I like your idea of starting “cheap” – no big buy in for your school to make. You’ll be able to make adjustments that won’t cost an arm and a leg! Jessica Bentz
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Curtis White, M.S., M.C.E.
High School Faculty
Math, Science, Bible & Computers
Abundant Life Christian School
A Madison Christian School