Angus King is always an enigmatic speaker and is discussing the Maine Learning Technology Initiative MLTI.
Currently teaching at Bodgen College.
Its not about technology - its about the teacher and the tools we give them
40,000 students have laptops all day everyday
9,000 educators (middle and high school)
Steve Jobs biggest customer (yay Mac!)
Also payed $600 for iPhone :)
Every single 7th & 8th grader
20 out of 150 high schools
Starting with educators and moving to students
The laptop is the "portkey" - from Harry Potter fame. It takes students
Started with 3 insights and a lunch.
1)What is the future of jobs and economy in 20 or 30 years? What is it going to involve? For sure education and technology.
2) National Governors Meeting - everyone was chacing more jobs, higher pay, etc. all in the same way. How is Maine going to get ahead?
You don't get ahead of the competition by keeping up.
3) Everything was incremental. All innovations were small improvements - nothing a breakthru.
50-70 million surplus in 1999
The lunch - Seymor Pappert from MIT
"It is only when it is 1:1 that the power occurs." 1996
People hated the idea.
"Who will own the laptops?" The kids - the reporters referred to it as "The laptop giveaway." The political response was unbelievable.
The e-mail were 10:1 against - these were people with computers!
They pushed through with the public and legislature - took 1 1/2 years. Pilot was a private textile company that matched funds with a rural school in Guilford. You can not appreciate the power until you see it - see the ENGAGEMENT. When they are engaged you can teach them anything.
This is an economic development project - it is being able to compete. The World is Flat is the most important book written in recent history. We are sitting on the tracks with a freight train coming while we watch American Idol and play slots.
It is all about Innovation - innovation is the process of technology and education coming together
Digital equity - a statewide program. If it comes bit by bit, the places can afford it get it first.
Education is changing fundamentally. When you live through a revolution you don't know it. We are generating a mountain of info and cannot master. Thomas Jefferson was the last person in America to know everything.
Education has to be about how to find the information and how to use it. Not the mastering of information. It is about process and the computer is the key.
Not a technology project - an education project. They get hung up on the device. What can the device do?
What have we learned in Maine?
1) It is all about teachers. If you hand out computers without professional development it is not worth it. PD does not start and stop - it is ONGOING. It is about integration in the classroom. 1:1 projects that have failed without PD. It has to be everyone in the school, principals, superintendents, and tech coordinators. Everyone needs the vision.
2) New pedagogy. Old model - the sage on the stage. New model - guide on the side
3) Use a single vendor. Do a RFP. Have a variety in Pilot schools to see what works. $289/student/year 4 year lease. Includes software, hardware, network, batteries, tech support. You want one throat to choke. Your vendor better be a partner.
4)7th grade was a good place to start
Total school budget 2 billion
Project cost 4/10 of 1 percent of statewide school budget
We spend way more of that on snow blowing
Darwin - The fittest were the organisms most adaptable to change. That is who has survived. If it was the biggest and the strongest the dinosaurs would still be alive.
Gretsky - How do you score so many goals? "It's easy I skate to where the puck is going to be. Everyone else skates to where it is." also "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
Significant improvement in writing and math. Part of the problem is we are not testing the right stuff. Giving 1980s test for 21st century skills. Accountability is important, but it cannot run the engine.