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Project History and Timeline

From the Natick 2008 override that authorized the purchase of MacBooks for all teaching staff, to the Taste for Technology hosted by Natick Education Foundation (NEF), to the infusion of professional development funds from NEF, to a first ever technology training professional development day (November 2009), the Natick Public Schools has embarked on a journey to infuse 21st century skills into the teaching and learning of our students.

That journey continues. As an administrative team with input from our teachers and staff, parent organizations, and community constituents, the vision of a 1:1 laptop initiative for our grades eight through twelve students has emerged. With the successful approval of a new Natick High School, the district is poised to implement this initiative and much more – a Digital Conversion.

Research Guides Us
The Natick Schools has studied other school systems across the nation over the past three years and has conducted a comprehensive review of research on digital learning, blended learning, the how-to’s of digital conversion and 1:1 laptop implementation and the changes needed in instructional design, teacher training and support before undertaking this work. A thoughtful and comprehensive approach to a Digital Conversion is grounded in best practices and the research by Shapley, Sheehan, Maloney, Carnaiks-Walter, 2003. A summary of best practices is:

(a) a wireless mobile computing device for each educator and student on an immersed campus;
(b) productivity, communication, and presentation software;
(c) online instructional resources supporting the state curriculum in language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies;
(d) online assessments to diagnose students’ mastery of the core curriculum;
(e) professional development designed to help teachers integrate technology into teaching, learning, and the curriculum; and
(f) initial and ongoing technical support.

See our Research tab for more information used to inform our decisions.

Not only will our students benefit from participation in this partnership, but due to the systemic nature of our Digital Conversion, all teachers, faculty and community members reap the benefits of this progressive 21st century initiative. NPS staff, students and community are fully invested and immersed in this project and plan to continue it for years to come.

Historical Timeline in preparation for the digital conversion and 1:1 computing grades 8-12
• Purchased mobile laptop carts for each elementary school
• Purchased mobile laptop carts for each middle school
• Provided wireless infrastructure for our middle schools
• Superintendent Sanchioni studies with Apple in CA, TX to learn emerging technologies in schools
• Superintendent Sanchioni contracts with Boston College’s inTasc research group to study Natick’s conversion
for educational effectiveness
• Central Office Administrators attend Apple Academy in TX
• MS Principals’ Training in iPhone/iLife/iWork Technology and Leading using these tools (PA)
• All principals and central office administrators receive training in mobile/iLife and iWork technologies
• Teachers, Administrators and School Committee visit the following school systems to watch 1:1 in action:
• Windham, NH x3, Yarmouth, ME, Kennebunkport, ME, WestHampton, NYx2, Beaver Country Day School,
Chestnut Hill, Lila Frederick Pilot School, Boston, Gateway School, Berkshires, MA, Mooresville, North
Carolina x2 (Future is Here Conference)
• Purchase of additional demo computers, LCD machines for middle schools
• iTouch labs purchased through stimulus funding for middle schools and elementary schools
• Created a state-of-the art digital classroom at NHS
• Provided professional development for all staff through technology workshops, technology PD day 2010, district early release time, professional learning community time
• Override for new Natick High School building project passes
• Middle School staff attends DESE’s New Literacies Conference (Summer 2010)
• Appointment of district technology trainer to focus on high school training
• Middle School Staff trained in blended learning concepts and lesson design, use of Moodle, SchoolWorld and
other learning management tools, pilot of online Algebra tools, Quia, Assistments
• High School Staff trained on Moodle, Edumodo, and other learning management systems, all staff put one
course on management system by end of school year 2010-11
• Creation of laptop working group composed of teachers, administrators, technology staff and central office
(meet bi-monthly to discuss and prepare for digital conversion)
• Grade 8 staff take turns using a classroom worth of laptops to practice 1:1 teaching/learning
• Grade 8 Wilson Staff pilots netbooks in classes and in library use
• Grade 8 peer leaders conduct laptop trial days (carrying around laptops to learn what it’s like, advise principals)
• School budget passes with laptop purchase approved
• Central Office visits Pearson Blended Learning Conference
• Superintendent Sanchioni, Keynote Speaker at ACCEPT’s: Project ABLE: Future of Blended Learning Conference
• Natick Staff Trained to become Apple Certified instructors, repair technicians, and professional development
providers
Upcoming in 2011-12
• May: projected cut over to GoogleAps for education
• Logistics and contracts for student laptops created, policies revised
• Behavioral, safety and training guidelines for student use of laptops drafted
• May 3 and May 18, middle school grade 7 parent focus groups
• May 26, training for all staff on Google mail, calendar, documents
• June 9, meeting with all 7th grade parents (whose children will receive laptops as 8th graders fall 2011)
• June 14, meeting with all 7th graders to explain the project to students
• June 28, 29, ongoing training for middle and high school staff on: GoogleAps, Moodle, Apple technologies,
LAN school, panel discussion on the future and implementation of 1:1 learning
• July/August: System readies for deployment of laptops to grade 8 students and families
• Summer 2011: All families must attend training to be eligible for laptop (parent/student joint training session)
• August 2011: Grade 8 teacher training on LAN-School (Network management software)
• September 2011: Roll-Out of Laptops/Student and Parent Orientation Sessions
• September 2011: Technology Staff leads students on training in GoogleAps

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