Rolling With the Punches: Integrating New Technology into a Chicago Public School Classroom

Presented by: Alex Selkirk

Last Fall, with much excitement and trepidation, we embarked on a 6-week experiment to alpha-test a new process for integrating e-learning tools into Chicago Public School classrooms.

We provided the product, New Schools Chicago provided the teacher.

The experience was full of bumps and pitfalls. Some we could see coming from a mile away, others took us by surprise.

One such “unexpected bump.” Our core scenario has always been to help students engage with reading at home and aggregating and visualizing their activity so teachers can quickly review it *before class* to prep for discussion. In Chicago, all reading was done in class and there was little to no time for discussion. Somehow we managed to overcome this mismatch in expectations, but not before new features were implemented and lesson plans heavily revised.

There are many more such anecdotes, all were valuable learning experiences and we came out of it with a clear plan of action to beta-test this Spring.

This presentation will present our process and experience in Chicago followed by a demonstration of the kind of launch seminar we believe should be the foundation for a successful integration.

Presenter Biography:

Alex Selkirk has over a decade of experience building Behavioural Data Analytics systems and is the Founder of Ponder, a learning platform for engaging in critical thinking with reading and video content.

Twitter: @PonderLabsInc