Thursday, February 23, 2012

Digital Learning Day at Buckhorn High School

Long before school librarians started getting messages over the AASLFORUM listserv about Digital Learning Day, my Assistant Principal for Instruction and Curriculum spied the announcements coming through the Alliance for Excellent Education about that day and determined we would participate. We saw it as a wonderful opportunity to push the bounds of the bring-your-own-device projects we had going on in the building and give teachers some new ideas on incorporating technology.

Before the appointed day, I held professional development for our teachers on their planning blocks, using a 2010 presentation I had put together on using Cell Phones in the Classroom. BYOD has huge potential for us, as it is unlikely we will ever have enough hardware for any other real technology integration in our building.

Helping teachers craft polls, practice searching Google via SMS, and trouble-shooting projects and some of the interfaces was a lot of work for me, but it was really richly rewarding. Kids were buzzing and wondering how we had gotten permission to pull off such large-scale deployment of their own hardware. Some enthused that it was "the best day" or "the only day" at school they have ever enjoyed. Several teachers have approached me about continuing instructional collaboration.

Dr. Tommy Bice, our State Superintendent of Education (who spoke during the Alliance's day-long webinar on February 1) suggested that it would be a month of digital learning on our state. We are keeping it up, and our school culture has really shifted...

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