The Haverford School

Team Members: Jay Brown (team leader), Ron Duska, Carol Ann Luongo, Cheryl Joloza, Deb Gavin, Sarah Barton
Community: ADViS Year 1, 2010-2011

The Haverford Lower School team discussed in September how our goal was to “think WAY outside the box” by using technology in completely new ways to support learning. We all had high hopes for “pie in the sky” support, but what we encountered were many roadblocks to access and funding that we assumed would be available. During the school year we attempted to use 21st century technology with some success, and a fair amount of frustration. In the end, we developed some ideas around “How can 21st century technology tools help us be a more effective learners?” This effort was based on our team’s dreams for the future.

 

Our team defined this possibility: “How can 21st century technology tools help us be a more effective learners?”

What we wanted to see happen (outcomes): Our team wanted access to fully-functional 21st century technology tools so that we could begin our journey with students. The outcomes include everything a PLP team member might expect, such as productive use of video, voice, Skype, Wiki, blogs, and more to improve thinking skills in reading, writing, math, art, music, speaking, collaboration, and other real-time, real-world applications.

Evidence the team did or didn’t achieve those outcomes: ”Didn’t” – Our team found an empty computer lab with a Mac laptop cart that had no Office tools, and required training for permission to use. Our divisional technology coordinator left the school in August – which left us without a point-person for support.  “Did” – Some members of our team spent their Columbus holiday (an unpopular decision) to get training on the new iBook laptops. Our science teacher – Cheryl Joloza spent time teaching all 5th graders how to make a Prezi, and exploring Garage Band with meaningful voice recordings. Cheryl also led a lower school team of teachers to the annual EduCon conference in January. Our 4th grade teacher – Sarah Barton taught her students to use VoiceThread for a poetry project, which was shared at a LS assembly. Our Dean of Students – Jay Brown used a Blog to allow students to generate “Change the World” ideas. Three school-wide service projects were developed based on thoughts posted by students – Miniature Golf Charity event; National No Name-Calling Week; Abitibi Paper Recycling. Our 2nd grade teacher– Deb Gavin taught her students how to use a Flip camera to document interviews for a reading initiative, “We’ve Flipped Over Reading.” The initiative is based on research that illuminates the positive impact male role models have on boys and reading.

What were/are your aimed outcomes for the project? Our team did not develop a specific “project” in the sense that we were focused on one initiative. Our team works with students at different developmental stages of learning, with different learning objectives and outcomes, so our “aims” were different based on grade-level, and subject area. Essentially, we want to use 21st century technology tools to enhance the learning, and assessment of students.

And how will you know you’ve been successful in implementation? We will know if we’ve been successful if our students are actually using the tools in a meaningful way, and if our teachers are using the tools to assess learning.

Timeline for the project: Ongoing…
Download and read the team’s evaluation and results on its team wiki page.
Team member examples of 21st century technology used during the school year:

Mr. Brown’s Blog

Advisory Research Wiki

More artifacts and downloads can be found on the team wiki page.

 

About Action Research Projects

Action research is a process in which Powerful Learning Team members collaboratively examine their own educational practice systematically and carefully. Action research is:

  • Disciplined inquiry into a problem or possibility within the school or classroom
  • Collaborative and usually takes place in a community of practice
  • Meaningful, positive, and reflective
  • Data-driven, action-based, improvement-focused
  • Transformative

View all Action Research
 

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Sheryl is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Powerful Learning Practice. She works with schools and districts from around the world helping them to infuse technology into their curriculums and by leading other digital conversion efforts. Sheryl also consults with governments, educational organizations and non-profits in development of their various professional learning initiatives. Sheryl is a sought-after presenter at national and international events, speaking on topics related to digital and online learning, teacher and educational leadership, online community building, and other educational issues impacting children of poverty. Sheryl served on the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Board of Directors for six years. She co-authored The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age with Lani Ritter Hall. Sheryl has four children and four grandsons, Luke, Logan, Levi and Tanner and a trio of dachshunds. You can find out more on her blog and on Twitter @snbeach.
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