This is how it begins
I must admit, discussing and writing policy documents is not something for which I have a huge (or even a slight) interest! As I was discussing with the Head of School my COETAIL assignment and how it could be used to benefit our school, he asked me if I was interested in this kind of thing. I said, ‘No’, before he could finish the question. I realize that many teachers ‘enjoy’ this stuff… others are into writing and developing curriculum, creating scope and sequence documents or even worse.
But, I have my ‘geek mode’ moments as a teacher, too — and I’m sure others are not into those things, just like I’m not into policy.
Our school has very recently updated our AUP. However, we are in the process of implementing a ‘1-to-1’ program, where students would bring a laptop to school beginning next year. I wondered how I could effectively meet the requirement for the final project, but also make something useful for the school. After discussions with other staff and with Jeff, I got the OK to create a ‘1-to-1 Implementation and Expectations Guide’. I don’t have a whole lot of experience with these kinds of things, but I had a design and concept in mind and just needed to develop the meat and potatoes of the guide in order to put it together.
Collaboration (or lack thereof)
I wanted to get a sense of where other schools were with their technology use and their AUPs as reference. So, I created a Google Doc, which began a resource list of International Schools and links to their technology policy documentation. I figured this would be a useful thing for many others to reference also, since we are all doing very similar assignments for the final project. I made the document public and posted a request on Twitter a couple times using the hashtag #COETAIL to get the word out. Seeing that we have 80 (?) or so educators in this cohort alone, I had hoped at least a handful of others would help to build the list and add links to a growing number of schools that I had started. I’m not sure the reason, but as of today (17 days later), not one school had been added. Maybe it was not something that would be as helpful to many as I had presumed, or maybe it was not seen by many? I could have posted on the COETAIL message board as well, but it seems to fairly quiet on there also.
For me, this document was really all I needed to access the information and generate ideas for my final project. The more sources of info and more schools that were on the list, the better. I like all the information I can get my hands on. It was interesting to see the (lack of) activity on Twitter and the COETAIL message board regarding collaboration in one form or another. Again, with 80 or so people, I wondered where and how they were all connecting if the main gateways were so quiet.
In the end
One way I like to geek out is through art. Any time I can bring art applications into science, I think it adds an interesting element for students and myself and allows us to look at things in a more rich way. To give me some motivation in completing this final project, I wanted to incorporate an artistic angle in designing this document.
The actual content that you see in the file didn’t take too long to put together. The layout, design and construction, however, took forever. The entire document was created in Pages. It was a great experience to re-familiarize myself with many features as well as learn some new tricks. I don’t have any of the other page design applications, so I pimped out the guide using what I had. I wanted to keep it professional looking, but also have it accessible and interesting for a grade 7-12 audience. Each page was made separately, then combined into a single PDF at the end. I hope it will be useful to the school and the students in this or some altered form.
I have embedded a lower quality file for faster loading, but you can download the high quality version HERE.