This marks the second week that Ms. Sonya Wild’s class Grade 3S have been running the 1:1 Laptop Pilot Program with Ms. Christine Usyak (Elementary ICT Facilitator) in collaboration with Apple Japan Education Sales Team. Apple Japan chose Yokohama International School to pilot and evaluate a 1:1 program and Ms. Wild volunteered her and her class to work closely with Ms. Christine to evaluate this 1:1 project. Ms. Christine has been chosen by the YIS leadership team to liaison between Apple Japan, YIS, and the classroom teacher during the project. Apple Japan has loaned YIS 20 brand new laptops for 3S to use for a period of 3 months starting January 2010. The laptops will be in the classroom first. After two weeks of the student using it in the classroom, with permission from each 3S family, the students will have the opportunity to use these laptops for school work at home. The YIS 1:1 Evaluation Team includes: Mr. Paul Neary, Ms. Shanel Catasti, Ms. Wild, and Ms. Christine.
What is a One-to-One Laptop Environment? Here is an excerpt from the One-to-One Institute of what is a ’1:1 learning environment’: “In the one-to-one classroom, students’ access to personal technology and the Internet enables them to be self-directed and receive highly personalized instruction. Teachers can create Individualized Education Plans for each child, addressing his or her unique needs. Students use their personal devices to do research, homework, problem-solve, team projects, email and academic coursework. At the same time, they gain valuable 21st century skills that will be beneficial throughout their lives and careers.” For more resources on 1:1 and the YIS 1:1 project, please visit the following website.
On January 12, 3S students were asked to open the computers from the box. You can see a bit of what Day 1 was like through these videos and this link.
“It’s like Christmas” is what one class in elementary explain as they are the only ones in the school who were chosen to pilot a 1:1 laptop pilot program.
Ms. Wild has been recording happenings in the classroom on her blog. The students use applications available on the Apple computer including Photo Booth, Safari, and Garageband. In the coming weeks they will be using iWork 09 and work with other Web 2.0 services such as Animoto and Posterous. Each 3S student has been assigned a school email address which is monitored by the school. Each student also has their own blog web site which the students registered using school email address. Ms. Wild and Ms. Christine have already told the students that the school email address is used for communication between each other and their teachers, as well as, for registering for online tools that we will be using for school related assignments. The teachers have communicated to the students that email is not a tool for negative behavior. There are many online tools on the Internet that prohibit children age 13 and under from registering for these services. Because YIS is issuing school email addresses that are maintained at YIS, the staff can assure parents that the school is able to monitor student email accounts and that students can register for online accounts under teacher supervision. Because the students have school email addresses, they are able to register for online tools such as Posterous for blogging and Animoto to create videos with photos and videos the students have taken.
There was an information session on Wednesday, January 20 for 3S families to learn more about the 1:1 project and to support parents voicing concerns about the project. This session gave families a chance learn about what a 1:1 environment is, the implications of 1:1 on student learning, and how families can support learning with technology at home. The collaborative work space (i.e. Also called a ‘wiki.’) was introduced to the families during the session where parents were encouraged to visit and comment. The work space is an ongoing collaborative online collaborative work space that YIS, Apple Japan, Apple Professional Trainer (John D’Arcy from Canadian International School of Hong Kong), Mr. Neary, Ms. Catasti, Ms. Wild, and Ms. Christine are involved in building resources and information for and from this 1:1 pilot project. The session was streamed live and recorded as well. See the video below or click on this link.
Ms. Christine is the Elementary ICT Facilitator at Yokohama International School. She is passionate about educating children in web literacy and instructs students how to use Apple computers and software, as well as, Web 2.0 services in their learning. Visit her teaching portfolio.