Being in Shanghai for three years(August 2009-June 2013) gave me an opportunity to watch a nation get unleashed and grow with ideas. It was an interesting time for me as a leader of the Shanghai American School. We had a 1:1 latptop design in our middle school and we were able to provide in the elementary school a 1:2 design with ipads in our early childhood education program. I was working with a passionate staff who engaged in fully using technology in the classroom. Kindergarten students on QR Scavenger Hunts, iMovies and long distance learning from our microcampus near the border of Tibet, cello assessments taken in the privacy of my daughter’s room with immediate feedback and so much . The innovative responses came from the students and teachers in such a collaborative manner that it made for a tighter system.
Moving back to the USA it was important for me to connect with a learning environment that continues along the lines of progressive ideas and teachers who are not afraid to take risks in their middle school classrooms. Most recently I sat down with the lead teacher of our Gamer Lab. According to him we are the only independent school in the Washington D.C. area to offer such a lab. As I watched old sewing machines, record systems, an old Mac and other computer systems find their way in the lab I began to wonder the plan. He told me I am not sure exactly how this will play out in the classroom but I need you to trust me. And I do. In order for him to be successful he needs time, space, and people by his side to make this work. As I looked at his tweeting that night I grew more excited to see his questions and the gamers out there helping him along the way with his curriculum. I plan to learn alongside this ambitious teacher and watch his innovation with our kids.