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Posted by on in Education Technology

Keyborad

We jumped into the one-to-one world in the fall of 2010, when my district put a netbook in the hands of every single high school student.

I was excited. The process of trying to get a class into the single computer lab or, worse, use the traveling laptop labcart, was generally frustrating and lacked-- well, a certain spontaneity. I want a world where students always have computers handy, ready to be called into action at a moment's notice.

Some of us went and got us some training. Some of us already had some computer skills. Policies were created, the netbooks were rolled out and, ever since, we have been a technology-linked school where students romp happily through a field of modern educational tech-supported possibilities. Ha! Just kidding. We've wrestled with a bunch of obstacles to one-to-one tech.

I don't present the following as anything but our own specific story; I'm not sure whether we're an outlier or an exemplar. I'm inclined to think a bit of both. But here are the obstacles that stood (and in some cases still stand) in the way.

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Posted by on in Classroom Management

WhatWorks

Back in May of 2015, Shea Glover, a student at the Chicago High School for the Arts in Ukranian Village, created an art project for her class. The project, she said, "evidently turned into a social experiment."

The result became a viral sensation, so you may have seen this before. Even if have (and especially if you haven't), take a look at it now. Go ahead. I'll wait.

At the moment, the video is closing in on ten million views. Numerous videos inspired by this one are out there, as well as an ad campaign from Dove that lifts the idea.

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Posted by on in School Culture

redfining

My wife is taking a professional development course this weekend, and one of her classmates (a football coach) brought up one the truly genius models of distinguishing between types of coaching. If you're active in the world of coaching, you may know these terms, but for the rest of us, let's talk about transactional and transformational coaching.

The transactional coach is trying to make a deal. The athlete has a skill, a power, a strength that the coach needs to win games, so the coach works hard to get that game-winning something out of the athlete. The work between athlete and coach is about developing a particular skill out of the athlete with the goal of wining. If the athlete loses the ability to produce, then the coach no longer needs the athlete, discards the athlete, replaces the athlete, moves on. If the athlete has no ability to produce, that athlete can ride the bench or just get off the team. If the athlete can't help get a W, the athlete is of no use to the transactional coach. For the transactional coach, the athlete is like a vending machine-- you put in money (time, attention) and out comes a treat (victory).

The transformational coach has a broader view. The transformational coach is there to transform the entire athlete, or as one site puts it "by giving individual consideration to all aspects of an athlete’s performance - skills and techniques, motivation and behavior, work ethic and sportsmanship - the transformational coach has the ability to positively affect, and to positively produce, the optimal sports performance of the entire team." The transformational coach looks to transform every athlete on the team (even those who cannot help get the W or have no future in athletics) into their best selves, to build up their strengths and overcome their weaknesses, and in the process teach them how to be their best selves not just in the midst of the contest, but in the larger world.

The transactional coach only needs to check the wins-losses numbers. The transformational coach looks at what kind of people the athletes are when they emerge from the program. For that same reason, it's very easy for a transactional coach to measure "success" with a clear, simple metric, while for the transformational coach, it's much harder to reduce "success" to a quick number.

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