Onekama Teachers Embrace New Technology
Wednesday, August 13, was an eventful day at Onekama Consolidated Schools. An all-school inservice was held for K-12 instructional staff and office staff to prepare for an exciting addition to the 2014-15 school year: the implementation of One-to-One technology.
In September, every student at Onekama Consolidated Schools will receive a new device. Students in Kindergarten through fifth grade will receive iPad tablets; middle school and high school students will receive MacBook Air laptop computers. Students will have access to these devices at school and at home.
In preparation for the 1:1 technology initiative, staff received training on best practices for utilizing these devices in the classroom. The inservice included both all-staff sessions and grade-level-specific breakout sessions.
“Our goal is to roll out this technology to well-informed and prepared students by instructors who are equipped, knowledgeable and ready for successful implementation,” stated Onekama Superintendent Kevin Hughes. “When the school doors open on, our staff and students will be ready to use these new devices to create meaningful learning experiences.”
In May, a Technology Steering Committee was formed to lead the 1:1 technology rollout. The committee – formed of teaching staff at all grade levels, administration, the technology director, and tech specialists from the ISD – met throughout the summer to develop procedures and expectations for school and home use of the devices, to research software and apps to enhance learning, and to plan the August 13 inservice.
Serving as facilitators for the inservice were educators Rebecca Wildman and Erin Luckhardt. Wildman, an Apple Distinguished Educator and Google Certified Teacher, is a fourth grade teacher at Boyne City Elementary School. She is recognized nationally for creating engaging and comprehensive iTunes U courses aligned to the Common Core in the area of English Language Arts.
Luckhardt is an eighth grade social studies teacher at Boyne City Middle School. She formerly served as the district's technology coach when they were integrating their 1:1 iPad initiative. Erin is currently pursuing her master's in Educational Technology from GVSU and has an interest in effective integration of technology into the classroom for teachers as well as students.
The inservice day proved valuable in demonstrating to Onekama teachers the many ways that the new technology can enhance their current teaching practices, and it allowed teachers to communicate with one another their plans and goals, and to share their enthusiasm.
"Today's professional development session was extremely helpful," stated teacher Naomi Kolehmainen. "The speakers from Boyne City were very helpful in showing us how to incorporate technology in our 1 to 1 classrooms. I am excited to implement their ideas and can't wait to start teaching!"
"We are so energized by all the exciting, new opportunities we have at our hands to implement in our classroom this school year," added Onekama teacher Michele Warman. "Our students will have the capability to search for a depth of knowledge that will support their abilities for a lifetime."
During the general session, Onekama School staff met with Boyne City educators Rebecca Wildman and Erin Luckhardt
and received a demonstration on many innovative ways to incorporate technology into their classrooms.