In September of 2018 and all of this academic year, I have been releasing all the ed tech kits to the shelves. In a wildly successful experiment, ed tech like littleBits, Sphero Sprk 2.0, ozobots and OSMO are left to fend for themselves on the open shelves in the library.
Other years while I was acquiring the ed tech, I had a conversation with almost every student who took out these kits to use in the classroom. Although this was wonderful in getting to know students and how they were using the tech, it was not sustainable as a model for taking out technology kits.
As I released the kits to the shelves something wonderful happened. All of the kits were loaned for classroom use and lesson planning, all the time. Not a one left anywhere.
It showed me that students know how to use these kits in the classroom and are just waiting for a chance to integrate them into their planning. The initial training on most of the kits is self taught by Youtube and by the other resources the Doucette has like the research guides. Students are beyond prepared to introduce technology into their curriculum planning.
However, I also noticed something else. Once the kits are gone there is no back up. Even when I want to teach with the kits to special groups or classes, I am facing the same timelines as students, putting kits on hold 10 days before any time of teaching.
And so, we are adding MORE of the kits that are most popular to the shelves. More Ozobots. More Sphero Sprk 2.0 (and their mini partners). Thanks to the generous contribution of Werklund School and Dr. Lock, we will have more of everything on the shelf. Hopefully, this will mean that more students will have more access to more ed tech by the fall. And if more students are integrating more ed tech into more classrooms, the sky is the limit. Our next innovators and entrepreneurs will be challenged to take the next steps after technology is embedded in classrooms to make education the most interactive and engaging time in a student’s life. And that is a very good result.