Bryan ISD received a technology grant a couple years ago to start a 1:1 initiative in a middle school. It became very difficult to sustain it as the laptops needed to be replaced. They implemented academies at the middle schools within their districts. Students can apply to these academies and these academies are the only classrooms that have 1:1 classroom environments.
When they first began, teachers received their laptops at the same time as the students did. The teachers didn't have enough time to prepare for how their teaching would change. Now, they give teachers a laptop a year before the students get a laptop. The teachers have a whole year to prepare for how their teaching will change.
In their 1:1 classrooms now, they are wanting their teachers to move to more of a paperless classroom using Google Apps. They want to see their students and teachers collaborating online.
They require their parents to come to the campus for a parent training on laptops at the beginning of the program. Since their students take their laptops home, they wanted their parents to be aware of what their students were doing on laptops at home. They also wanted their parents to know how to check in on their child by logging into their child's accounts to check to see what their child was doing online.
In the Odyssey Academy (Science and Technology), the majority of the teachers are using Moodle with their classrooms. They are posting videos for students to learn from. They are also hosting forums online for students to collaborate in discussions at school and home.
One of the supportive features Bryan ISD has offered is to have a curriculum specialist that would sit in with teachers in 1:1 classrooms during their planning time and give them ideas that they can incorporate with the laptops. They would go back and search for some online tools they can use with their students. They also offered a help desk for teachers in 1:1 classrooms to provide support.
In the 1:1 iPad classrooms, they provided support through mentors. Teachers with 1:1 iPad classrooms were divided among teams and each team had a mentor. This provided each team with support. The mentor would go out to teams and teach the team how to use the iPad and provide them with support when they needed it. Bryan ISD currently has 550 iPads throughout the district.
Apps for iPads:
If you purchase apps for multiple iPads, you have to purchase an app for every iPad that you have in your classroom. However, now Apple provides volume purchasing. For example, if you buy 20 apps, you can buy them for 49 cents instead of 99 cents. The district has teachers buy the apps with a district iTunes account. When the teacher leaves the district, the apps stay with the district and the iPads so they cannot take them with them. Bryan ISD uses form space in Eduphoria for teachers to request apps to purchase for their classroom. The teachers copy and paste the link to the app in the form and the principals approve the app. The principal sends it to the secretary and then they approve it and send the redeem code back to the teacher who can then redeem it and download it onto the iPad(s).
It was great to hear the story of where this district has been and where they are going with 1:1 implementation. As I embark on this journey in the next couple of weeks, I am hoping to take what I've learned and run with it! I'm excited that I've already been using Moodle in my classroom and I've been hearing a lot about Moodle throughout this conference. I've also noticed numerous discussions about Google Apps being used to collaborate in 1:1 classrooms. My goal is to take Google Apps and use it as a collaborative tool within my classroom alongside Moodle as my 1:1 classroom gets started. The adventure is about to begin...
Some of the teacher resources they use in their 1:1 classrooms are:
Atomic Learning: http://www.atomiclearning.com/
Discovery Education Streaming: http://streaming.discoveryeducation.com/