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A 1:1 Laptop School at 4 Months Old: Apple Distinguished Educator Presentation, Bangkok, by Clay Burell

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It feels really silly to be standing up here with a room full of "distinguished educators." It's very intimidating because... I'm sure every single one of you has done things that would make me go "wow." And if I knew the things that go on in all of your classrooms, I would be cringing with self-consciousness about what I'm going to show you. But ... I'm also going to tell you about the history of our school. While waiting for the technical setup to finish. Okay, so: Our school is a Korean International School. It's in a brand new building. It's one of those schools that started out in a ratty little slum (laughs) and then built a sparkling new facility with the swimming pool and the squash courts and so forth, and put itself on the map. So it's only 8 years old. This is our second year in our new campus, And I'm going to tell you the history of how this small school - the high school, by the way, is not even at maximum capacity for 11th and 12th grades yet, but our waiting list is now full, so we project 1 to 2 years and then we'll have the full capacity. So it's going to be a story of how a proprietary international school actually became one that was willing to splurge on a 1 to 1 laptop program with Macbooks. And sort of following up on Dylan - Dylan's school is 16 months old - we, as a 1 to 1 laptop school are four months old. So you have seen an 8 year old school, a year-and-a-half year old school, and now you're going to see: a baby school, alright?, as far as 1 to 1 goes. So you get my sort of metaphor here, we're talking the story ... this is our sort of "Baby Scrapbook." The "parents" at our 1 to 1 laptop school deserve some recognition, so - all of you know, if you're the "Lone Ranger" at your school, and you're the only person using Web 2.0 and laptops in your classroom and that sort of thing, there's no way that you're going to succeed in creating a groundswell for change in your school. so I want to talk about this man right here, [points] Jason Spivey, Jason, say hi to everybody. [Jason: "Hi, everybody."] Jason and I taught in adjacent classrooms, grade 9 history, last year, we were not yet a 1 to 1 school. and because of Jason and his attitude of "I don't give a damn, I'll do anything," Jason really started this groundswell. Anthony Armstrong - Anthony, can you stand up? - Anthony is the point-man for the middle school. Anthony started with Moodle, and then started blogging, and now he's collaborating in "flat classroom" projects and all sorts of stuff, so Anthony has been the person who is the sort of "radiator" for the middle school. Greg Israel is here. He's new to us this year, but he came to us with a background in using wikis and web 2.0 in his practice, so it's good to see that we're hiring people like him. Then, strangely enough - this is really wonderful - because Kim Cofino, and Justin Medved - Justin? [waves] - as you will see, are part of the story, despite the fact that they're at International School of Bangkok. They're part of the story of how our Korean International School became 1 to 1. And I'll show you that. [Slide: Pregnant woman in bubble-bath] [Laughter] Okay, so... We're starting right now with "the pregnancy stage." This is last year. We only had laptop carts. It was a very uncomfortable thing. Any of you who are classroom teachers using laptop carts you can predict the types of discomforts that I felt, using them daily in the classroom. Anybody want to throw one out there - laptop carts, how uncomfortable they are? How about the "pulling them out"? How about the "powering on"? All that sort of thing. How about the "not 24/7"? They can't take them home, do their work at home. And like I said, the "old in/out" - pulling them out and putting them away - that's 10 minutes of your class time right there. And they were on "that Other Platform" - they were HP's [Hewlitt-Packards]. So, you know, trying to do a podcast... I would do one at home, and it would take me an hour. And then, my students, it would take four hours, because they were using Audacity, and they had to mash all sorts of stuff together. [New Slide] Good stuff did still happen last year. We saw creativity with YouTube and other things simply with students with video cameras. I'm not going to play this whole thing, and I don't know how to do this on...on... on Keynote - I've never used Keynote before - so I wish I could stop this [video] - Matt? Matt? [Laughter. "Figure it out!"] [Figuring it out, problem-solving...] There we go! [Applause, laughter] Oh, that's because I've got an [invisible] podcast in here! Alright, notice: this was a teacher podcast - you notice the GarageBand sound loop, all that sort of thing - the nice production - so.... [student] Amy made a grammar film. She drew a lesson on interrupting phrases or clauses separated by long dashes, for a particular sentence style with nice emphasis, and she taught it via simple cartooning, but in a very creative way. So I podcasted with her, interviewed her, and I published the podcast on my blog. The parents love that - they love that. They think, "Oh, anything for the resume," right? For the college application. [New slide] Things started taking off - Jason and I did a project next, a wiki, where we didn't explode the _school_ walls, but we did explode the _classroom_ walls - because Jason and I taught all of the grade 9 students together for history. And so we did a wiki collaboration between our four classrooms so that all students were writing historical fiction, based on the French Revolution, and linking to each others' stories in what we called the "Ant Farm Diaries." (It's not my idea. I took it from a guy in San Francisco.) But in any case, Jason was the guy who jumped in and would play, and because of that, we started seeing the power of collaborative things with wikis. The next thing that happened was the "1001 Flat World Tales."

Video Details

Duration: 31 minutes and 59 seconds
Country: South Korea
Language: English
Genre: None
Producer: Beyond School / Korea International School
Director: Clay Burell
Views: 267
Posted by: cburell on Jul 31, 2008

Apple Distinguished Educator Clay Burell gives an overview of the pitfalls and progress, four months in, of his 1:1 Apple Laptop high school in Korea, and presents several outstanding student digital projects. October, 2007, ADE Institute, Bangkok, Thailand.

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