Friday, August 19, 2005

Proposals our classes have made to create opportunity

It all started in 2005 with a proposal to change the department classrooms...

Our discussions here in the Lab uncover opportunities for educational growth at Burr and Burton (and other schools / districts). 

We believe that as things evolve... and so must our ideas, our policies, and and our opportunities.

The links below lead to proposals we've made to the Administration that have set positive educational changes in motion at our school... and at many others.

We thrilled that many of these proposals have led to positive educational changes at other schools as well. We've hosted many site visits and entertained many phone calls / conference calls on these subjects and presented at a host of conferences on these items below.

A Laptop for Every Student (2006)
Educational equity. Creative capacity at your fingertips.

Student for a Day: Asking teachers to step into the shoes of a student can have a powerful impact. It's already opened up some great conversations about the whole scope of a student day including school start time, schedule, lunch, transition times, extra-curricular activities, and the perspective of students having multiple jobs (classes) per day. Do we have the best schedule for students? Here's our original proposal, the teaser trailer we played at assembly, and the full video (11 minutes, 2 seconds).

Senior Seminar Course: If we're increasing our capacity to communicate with technology and social media, then it's logical that we place more emphasis on learning communication skills. We proposed we do this by tackling some of the gaps for Seniors as they head out into the world: Personal finance, health, aging... the practical advice folks need to make the transition from high school into the world. How can you leverage these great social media tools into learning and building support and idea networks? We proposed a new course called 'Social Networking: A Senior Seminar' that spins all these ideas together.

Student Help Desk and Training Program: We proposed integrating students into a Help Desk program that provides tech service and professional development (PD) to adults and peers on campus.

iGoogle Reactivation: After a couple students used the iGoogle service inappropriately it was decided to block the tool from use. We made a proposal to reinstate the service. Restoring functionality: Promoting discussion and education on use rather than denial of service.

Google Apps: We proposed the school switch email systems back in 2005. The switch saved the school a great deal of money and opened up collaboration tools on campus.

Students lead Blog and Wiki Professional Development for faculty and staff.

Tech Internship: We proposed a program to start up  advanced IT internships for students.

Hardware and Networking Lab and Tech Refurb Program: We set up a program to recondition old computers for students to take home.

Acceptable Use Policy: Internet access was very restricted on our campus. We made a proposal to shift our thinking about such practices.

Classroom refit: This was our first effort to make a proposal as a class to the administration. We wanted to change the look of the 'typical classroom.'

back to: creativeStir / Including Students in PD


  1. This is a great site and an example of how to actually begin to do the work. I was presenting to a group of highly-stressed Massachusetts educators yesterday, being driven by their accountability environment, about democratic educational practices. I'll send them here.

    Thank you. It was so great to meet you on the iTour. Wayne.

  2. Hi Kirsten, The About Us link on the right side of the page tells more of the tale here (or here's the link to the page: ). Great to meet you on the trip too. Looking forward to attending another and continuing our conversations. Adam