Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Connectivity & One to the World

Tweet #1
Consider a One to the World initiative. Rather than labelling connectivity initiatives as 1:1 or Bring-Your-Own-Technology initiatives, consider framing them as One to the World.*   #1toWorld
By connecting students globally, a One to the World initiative would improve the quality and amplify the impact of the work of students as they master the content and competencies of the curriculum. Eight tweets from April and May illustrate how One to the World improves the quality and amplifies the impact of student work.
Four of the tweets illustrate that One to the World provides students with the connectivity to the tools and information they need.
Tweet #2
Tweet #1: A 2nd grade student works on writing a book that she will publish for peers, parents, and others to read. She uses a school-owned device to access an app to improve the quality of her work.

Tweet #2: This tweet captures middle school English students creating digital public service announcements to raise awareness and money to stop elephant poaching. After extensive research, students used their own devices AND school-owned devices to download content, access video editing software, create public service announcements, and post them on the internet for a global audience.

Tweet #3

Tweet #3: High school students at a poetry jam use their phones to access and to read aloud poems they wrote and saved to the cloud.

Tweet #4: After reading Wonder, which tells of the heroics of Auggie, a boy with a facial deformity, 5th grade students wanted to connect with an expert. They arranged to Skype with a student with the same type of facial deformity.
Tweet #4

Note that these tweets vary in terms of whether students use school-owned and/or personal devices. The connectivity of One to the World is important, not whether the connectivity is provided through a 1:1 or BYOT initiative. #1toWorld
Two tweets reflect that One to the World initiatives connect students with a global audience.

Tweet #5
Tweet #5: Three students worked to raise money and awareness relating to hunger and to collect food and other items for local shelters. They used personal and school-owned devices to access wifi to send tweets. One to the World allowed students to reach an audience that they wanted to inspire to take action i.e. donate food, clothing.
Tweet #6
Tweet #6: High school calculus students created tutorials and posted them on the internet for anytime, anywhere access by peers and others. In this case, One to the World allowed students to connect to an audience they wanted to teach.

Two final tweets show how One to the World initiatives connect students with people with whom they can collaborate.
Tweet #7
Tweet #7 Two middle school students access one of their phones to read an email from the Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The email responds to questions students asked as they develop an action plan relating to cruelty to animals.

Tweet #8 Students join three other classes from around the nation in holding a Skype session with Hilary and Chelsea Clinton regarding their #NoCeilings initiative related to barriers girls and women face around the world in terms of education, health care, and economic opportunity. Not only does Chelsea publicly announce that she is pregnant during this Skype call, but the participants share ideas regarding breaking through the
Tweet #8
ceilings discussed in the call.
Five key reasons exist for using the One to the World framework, rather than 1:1 or Bring-Your-Own-Technology.

1.     One to the World does not suggest that technology or connectivity is an end in and of itself. The goal is to improve the quality and impact of student work as they learn the content and competencies of the curriculum. Note that in each of the examples featured in the tweets, the work of students was not fluff. Learning the content and competencies of the curriculum, whether that involves research, Calculus, or writing, was the heart of the lessons.

2.     One to the World emphasizes that our focus in on connecting every student globally to tools, information, an audience for their work, and people with whom to collaborate. Rather than emphasizing one student, the emphasis is on communities, whether that is a sense of community within the school or a local, regional, or global community.

3.     One to the World doesn’t assume that people use just one device. When given the opportunity, people use different devices at different times. They might use a smart phone one moment, a netbook the next, and a desktop computer later on.

4.     One to the World doesn’t assume that all students will use the same device. People naturally work alongside one another while using a variety of devices.

5.     With One to the World, we can focus on equity, on equitable access, not on who provides the device. It may make the most sense to create a plan for launching One to the World that relies on both school-owned and student-owned devices.

With a One to the World initiative, significant implementation questions exist relating to capacity building. For example,
·        What technology infrastructure is needed?
·        What policy and procedural infrastructure is needed?
·        How should we reallocate/obtain the resources needed to support One to the World?
·        How many devices should be purchased by the district? What devices should be purchased by the district?
The most important questions, however, relate to teaching, professional learning, and leadership. For example,
·        As Alan November has asked, “How can we build capacity for all of our teachers to share best practices with colleagues in their school and around the world?”
·        How can teachers design high quality work that engages students in using the connectivity of One to the World in order to master the content and competencies of the curriculum?
What are your thoughts regarding these questions? Also, what are examples of how your students have connected with the tools, information, audience, and people with whom to collaborate in order to improve the quality and amplify the impact of their work?

Answering these questions will be incredibly rewarding. Let’s get started!

*I first heard the phrase One to the World from Alan November in 2012. I published a blogpost regarding this phrase in November, 2012. Alan November published an article on this topic in January, 2013.

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1 comment:

  1. I'd heard of one to the world before today, but after piloting laptops in my classroom this year and hearing your explanation today...I feel like I understand it much better. I'm excited for the possibilities! I saw the changes in my sixth graders when the world is at their fingertips. It changed my teaching and it changed their learning! Looking forward to the rest of this journey! Thanks for a great talk today at #ALP14!