North America Schools Tour

1:01 AM / Posted by Lenva /

For the past two weeks, I have been privileged enough to be part of the RED/Apple North America Schools Tour. I visited 10 schools in USA - mostly Apple Distinguished Schools or Apple Distinguished Educators - and now I need to make sense of all that I have seen and work out the implications for my own school and practice.

When I think back on what I have seen, four major themes spring to mind.

1. The 1:1 laptop scheme and the impact it has had on student learning. Before this tour I wasn't convinced of the difference it would make to learning, but having seen this scheme in practice, I now have changed my mind. Seeing students totally engaged in their learning and then able to take it all home on their laptops gave them ownership and control of their learning 24/7. The learning definitely did not stop at the school door. It also enabled the families to be involved in the learning and to celebrate the achievements of the child.

2. The creation of media to show and apply learning. The media creation was amazing - video, audio and podcasting to the highest standard, giving the student voice and success.

3. Global collaboration. Many schools were involved in collaborative projects not only within USA but also with the rest of the world. Students were excited and engaged and were totally involved in real, authentic projects.

4. Passionate teachers who loved teaching and were willing to put in the extra mile. I saw many teachers who loved their jobs and their students. Many took groups after school and on the weekend, many used their own money to resource their classrooms (especially in some underprivileged areas), and all were totally 100% committed to their students' learning.

These are only my early initial thoughts. A lot more will obviously be forthcoming over the next few days and all the ideas gel in my mind.

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Comment by inneskennard on June 4, 2008 at 10:43 PM

I think we shared some time with passionate principals who held a deep seated belief in their staff and their students.

Comment by AngeNZ on November 5, 2008 at 11:09 PM

Wow! What an amazing experience you must have had! Do you have any visions for where you would like to go or do you ideas that you would like to implement? I look forward to following your journey.

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