Friday, August 27, 2010

Laptop Learning Student Seminars-A Recording

This past week I lead onsite student laptop learning seminars for all of our students in grades 9-12. I was fortunate to have co-worker buddies run these sessions for the middle school students-I'm not sure how we would've managed otherwise.

Each student was onsite for a minimum of two hours for these seminars...before setting up our computers, installing software, enrolling in the online component of this learning experience, etc, I gave a 20 minute introductory talk to each grade level. Many of our students wonder why we're going the route of requiring everyone to starting bringing a laptop to school each day-instead of answering this question for the students, my aim was to ask more questions in the context of various waves of technology innovations throughout history. It is my intention that they arrive to their own conclusions and become an active part of the conversation centering around laptop learning in the classroom.

This particular recording is from my talk with the sophomores-this also happened to be the last group I worked with and I can't say I was on my A game here. But I hope this gives you a sense as to how we set the table for our laptop learning experience here at our school. The slideshare deck has audio and only includes the first 20 minutes of my talk. The rest of the slides in the form of a google presentation are also embedded below.

Google Slide Deck

Monday, August 23, 2010

Laptop Learning - an Essential Question

Some of the readers of this little blog know that the school I work at will be embarking down the path of laptop learning this year. As part of this program, all students will be on campus for two hour long laptop learning orientation sessions prior to the start of the school year. The first session is tomorrow and the second is on Wednesday. I've been prepping my slide deck that I'm using to guide these seminars and I developed the following essential question that I hope serves as a guide for us over the next few years...
"how can we use our laptops to personalize learning, manage complex streams of information, interrogate information validity, reflect upon our own learning, engage with local and global issues, publish for a large audience, build cool stuff, develop empathy, network with others and expand our cultural competencies and awareness?"
I'll be meeting with all students in grades 9-12 over the next two days - I think it is going to be really fun having the opportunity to do these orientation seminars with this students. I hope they are receptive to this essential question...wish me luck!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Copy of Email to Our New Faculty

I just drafted up and posted this email to the 9 new faculty members here in our school community. I essentially wanted to give them a sense as to how I could assist them with their practice. It was a much longer email than I was hoping for, but it serves the purpose I think. I'm rebroadcasting here at my blog in the event that other instructional technology coordinators may want to remix this for their own purposes.

August 20, 2010

Dear new faculty members,

My apologies for missing you all at Monday's orientation, but I was a bit busy looking after our little newborn (WARNING: if you ever reference a human form that is 4 feet or less, you're bound to be exposed to thousands of baby photos ). 

As promised, here is a really long introduction with links to samples from my portfolio...hopefully this gives you a sense as to who I am, what I do, and how we might be able to collaborate on some interesting projects this year...

So here goes...

I'm entering my third year at Castilleja, but previous to my experience here I served as the middle school technology coordinator at the University School of Milwaukee. Prior to my work at USM, I worked as a technology coordinator at a K-8 school in the Milwaukee Public School system, a computer lab teacher in an 'open education' grade school in MPS, and a grade school teacher in a 'non-graded, continuous progress' school in MPS. 

A few of my favorite projects from these past experiences include book reviews written by 2nd graders back in 1998, multimedia enhanced podcasts constructed by 5th graders in 2006, a music video built in scratch by a 7th grader, an 8th grade US history paperless unit on the cold war through the 1980s, Junior AP English profile projects, a live/interactive radio project developed by high school students here at Casti, a persuasive facebook video project in our 8th grade film class from last year, student created 'mathcasts,' design of online learning spaces (moodle, google sites, etc), etc. 

Throughout these projects, I've worked in a variety of capacities from pre-project collaborative concepting, to serving as an 'extra set of hands' in the classroom, to instructional lead. 

A few other projects from the past few years may be perused herein my professional portfolio.

Over the past few years here at Castilleja I've also been involved in some of our professional development proceedings. Last year I worked with a small team of Castilleja Faculty members to plan out last June's "Summer Learning Institute," which involved a deep dive into the world of project based learning, portfolios, laptop learning, and digital storytelling. The entire experience is archived online here. Two years ago I also helped plan and implement Castilleja's spring professional development day...more on that here

Throughout my career in the world of educational technology, I've made just about every mistake possible. It wasn't so long ago that I thought the Internet was just a glorified yellow pages, blogs were a fad, social networking was a waste of time, and smartboard use was the highest form of technology integration. Its a good thing that I have a willingness and readiness to 'unlearn' as much as a learn .

See the icon links below my signature for some of the other spaces where I share and interrogate information, reflect on my practice, and attempt to make sense of things. 

Looking forward to connecting with you soon!


Matt Montagne
Instructional Technology Coordinator
Castilleja School
Palo Alto, California USA