The last couple of weeks have been so fun. Kids are engaged, parents are engaged. Our society has a craving for accessing the Internet for a variety of purposes and now possesses the means to connect in many ways. This is one way we have engaged the community with a high technology purpose. But it is not new. In fact this bus was purchased well before I graduated High School. A 1992 Bluebird. Purchased originally through Title I some 25 years ago, it's initial purpose was to provide reading opportunities. Now, it focuses on digital citizenship and literacy. Many of today's classrooms have amazing 21st century tools being used in 20th century learning environments. It was important for us to give this space a make over so that it isn't the same.
As the saying goes, if opportunity doesn't knock, then build a door. The digital world allows us to build and open doors like never before. 2 Years. I didn't think it would take this long, but it was worth it. Everyone that contributed did an amazing job. I can't thank enough our Schoolhouse Planning team led by Kim Thompson. They are amazing, and took our thoughts and placed it into actionable results. I originally posted about the mobile learning unit at the bottom of one of my first blog posts.
Leo A. Daly was the design firm that took our ideas, many of them about flexible and innovative learning spaces and put them onto paper. As you can see much of what they designed above became reality as seen in the 360 view below.
Enough about the bus... Let's talk about students
Many of you may know Common Sense as a resource for digital citizenship related curriculum and resources. If this is new to you, I strongly suggest you check out the easy to use resources from Common Sense Education. We are fortunate to partner with them and have Keegan full time as our Lead Teacher for Digital Citizenship. Our model for transforming schools has an emphasis on technology. Because Common Sense Education provides digital citizenship related resources for teachers, students and parents, we wanted to make sure a focus around the proper use was implemented. This past year we were fortunate to gain District Certification. Keegan's hard work and dedication has been incredible. I couldn't be prouder of her. This next weekend she is giving a TED Talk on the importance of a digital footprint. Her role in the mobile learning unit is crucial when we discuss community engagement. Even in my role as a technology leader, I don't have a great handle on my own parenting. My three daughters challenge my thoughts on social media and require me to engage in the same methods and platforms that they communicate in. Here is her perspective on her role for the mobile learning unit.
Rebecca Chambers serves as an Instructional Technology Coach for the Omaha Public Schools by supporting the district’s Turnaround buildings in their instructional technology initiatives, emphasizing on this mobile learning unit initiative.
Rebecca has a passion for students in the North Omaha community. It shows in how she organizes their activities, providing relevancy to students no matter what age they are. These students has no basis for understanding information that isn't readily and immediately available. Rebecca understands this and scaffolds activities appropriately. These students have come to expect high-quality content—on demand, anytime, and anywhere, and through her work with the mobile learning unit this has become a reality.
This is a whole-community effort
Just as the Mobile Learning Unit blog says below: The goal: to use a whole-community approach to bring high-technology learning and digital citizenship skills to students and their families. We want more than merely high-quality access and devices for our students - we want to build the knowledge and skills necessary to address the complex community challenges in today’s digital age. Every Student. Every Day. Prepared for Success. We can't wait to share with ride with you!