Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Time Flies when you're rolling out 1300+ iPads and 700+ MacBooks

How does one get back on the blogging horse?

Checking my blog and where did 6 1/2 months go since my last post...my "..." key has more dust on it than the Bunker after year two of building construction.

We've seen so many great things in Thief River Falls over the past 2 years, it truly is an amazing place to work and I've been blessed with the opportunities for pushing forward we've had.

Our three main buildings (soon to take care of the District and Area Learning Center building) are all but finished with WiFi access point in every classroom. I'm happy to report that after 3 months of use by all 2000 wireless devices the network has been fully functional (knock on wood). The building projects main goal of upgrading our network infrastructure has been met.

We recently reported to the School Board on the 1:1 program so I thought I'd start the blog express again by recapping how we got where we are today.

Setup/Handout - Getting the devices in the hands of the kids
The investment in the right tools, a good planned process along with some dedicated "Assembly line Workers" made the configuration and imaging of our devices go very smoothly. Using Casper Suite from JAMF Software allowed us to image a MacBook Air in about 4 minutes. I can't stress how important; having a plan and process then sticking with it, is when imaging this many devices. But, most importantly is having great people execute the plan is the biggest key. Our team; LynnDyer (LAN Manager), ScottHetherington (Science Teacher), Kayla Delzer (2nd Grade Teacher) and Kelly Weets (LHS Media Specialist), Jenna Weets (4th Grader) and Jillian Weets (2nd Grader) made the Assembly Line move right along...couldn't have done it without them...can't thank them enough.

Here's a part of the workflow whiteboard we followed. Total Time for 700 MBA imaged and cased 48 hours
The MacBook Air handout at LHS couldn’t have gone better with great presentations at our parent informational nights, communicating our initial goals, outlining our expectations of students and staff and finally handing out the devices to the kids.

The iPad handout at FMS also was very successful. Another round of great presentations on parent informational night and the dedication of staff in explaining expectations to students made the process smooth. We spent progressively more time in setting up Google Doc accounts and AppleID's for each grade starting with 8th down to 6th.

Adoption and Training - Meet staff where they are…

One of the biggest things we stressed throughout our planning process with this large of a program was that we were going to "meet staff where they were"...in other words we weren't going to force feed the devices on our staff. We also didn't want to stifle or hold back our hi-flying staff that were ready to adopt the devices in their classroom. 
It has been great to see the growth in use of the devices in classrooms, driven by students to students and more importantly students to staff. I thoroughly believe that any successful 1:1 initiative will be driven by students, parents and peers. Students and Parents are our Customers...when they start telling you what they want you better be ready to give it to them. The power of teaching peers showing how successful they are in integrating the devices in lessons make adoption by those that are a little skeptical that much easier. We are constantly celebrating our successes in integration and developing "Champions of Technology" help build a unified staff that has several people to go to for help.

Where do we go from here

I can't say enough about our staff at each of our buildings. They aren't afraid to try things and are thirsting for more information. This year we added monthly early out days for Tech Training providing for additional PD and more opportunities for sharing what we learn along this 1:1 journey.

I will be blogging about what we've done, what we plan to do and all of the sensational surprises that we never imagined we'd face (good and bad). Thanks for reading and helping share our story.

1 comment:

  1. We should really connect about our 1:1 rollouts. I would love to hear about your successes and learning. We have similar things happening in Eden Prairie. Let's connect!