By Susan Carter Morgan

We’ve written about this team before. And now  THE Journal has, too!

PLPeep Cary Harrod, Instructional Technology specialist for the Forest Hills District in Cincinnati, was featured in a recent article in the magazine. Their BYOL (Bring Your Own Laptop program is an outgrowth of her team’s work in the Ohio Consortium last year.

The district had been struggling to fund a 1:1 laptop initiative for a number of years. Finally, after their work with PLP, Cary’s team developed a plan, which THE Journal describes here:

Known as the Partnership for Powerful Learning, that “angle” is now coming to fruition, and will soon find the majority of Forest Hills’ seventh grade students toting their own laptops to and from school every day. Harrod said her team settled on the BYOL idea after researching similar programs–“what few that there are out there,” she said–at other schools.

The team’s project video made the rounds earlier this year, and one good thing leads to another.  Her work then got the attention of David Truss from Vancouver, and soon a new online group was formed to expand the network of folks interested in this 1:1 program. Plus this wiki is another great gathering place.

Cary points to PLP as a turning point for getting this project off the ground.

“Quite frankly, we couldn’t have proceeded with this project without having had many of our staff involved with PLP.  While we have understood for quite some time that putting technology into the hands of students was important and vital, PLP helped deepen our knowledge of what it means to be a learner and how these tools can be used to support and enhance our learning,” she said.

Four people played a leading role in this: Cary, who was in her third year of PLP; Natasha Adams, a middle school principal, who was a year one participant; Ellie Preston, a middle school curriculum coordinator and year one participant; and Trisha Underwood, a middle school Instructional Technology Coach, year one participant,  and fellow for two teams for the 2010-2011 school year.

Furthermore, 10 of the teachers involved with the project will participate in PLP during the 2010-2011 school year.

And check this out–Natasha Adams, Principal of Nagel Middle School, has planned for the entire year of professional development to be focused on what was learned in PLP: Building personal learning networks, understanding the differences between today and yesterday, and using web 2.0 tools to deepen the learning opportunities for our students.

“We want to lift the barriers to creativity and help create a more personalized learning experience.  There is no doubt in my mind that this project has the potential to completely change the way in which students learn,” said Cary.

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Susan Carter Morgan

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