Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Interview with Paige Johnson, Project RED: Innovations in E-Learning Series

Welcome to an interview with Paige Johnson, Intel Corporation, on Project RED, a research-based method to bring technology into the new "smart" schools.
1.       What is your name and your relation to elearning?

My name is Paige Johnson and I am the education strategist for Intel Corporation. Intel gets directly involved in education programs, political advocacy and technology access efforts that enable today’s youth to develop the skills they need to be the innovators of tomorrow. Over the past decade alone, Intel and the Intel Foundation have invested more than $1 billion and Intel employees have donated close to 3 million volunteer hours toward improving education in more than 60 countries.

Intel has invested millions of dollars in education transformation efforts through our Intel Teach program, which offers professional development to over 10 million teachers around the world, to Intel’s support of the K-12 Blueprint, which helps with technology planning and deployment in schools.

2.       Please describe Project RED – What are its goals?

Project RED provides a research-based method to effectively integrate technology into the classroom. To analyze what’s working in technology-transformed schools and to show how technology can lead to improved student achievement and return on investment, The Greaves Group, The Hayes Connection and One-to-One Institute conducted extensive research of 1,000 schools across the U.S., which is the first and only national research study of this kind.

The second phase of Project RED utilizes that foundational research to provide a series of educational opportunities, including webinars and regional institutes, for district leaders and school administrators who are passionate about improving education through technology. With the knowledge gained from Project RED, districts can avoid mistakes that have led to past failed technology implementations, and instead, successfully uplift their instruction’s productivity through the research-based curricula.

The researchers identified 9 “Key Implementation Factors” that related to better student achievement. In very successful implementations, the following characteristics were evident:

1.       Technology was integrated daily into intervention classes
2.       Principals were trained to guide 2nd order/transformational change
3.       The principal lead the transformation 
4.       Students were allowed to collaborate online
5.       Technology was integrated on a regular basis into all core subjects 
6.       Teachers and students used online formative assessments on a regular basis
7.       Students took virtual field trips (this may just be an indication that the teacher is using technology in novel or innovative ways)
8.       Students continuously used search engines to support their learning
9.       The closer to a 1:1 student to computer ratio, the better the student outcomes. Many cost savings cannot be achieved without each student having a dedicated computer for home and school

In regard to funding a robust technology implementation, the researchers found that one-to-one schools can actually become revenue positive if they achieve many of the efficiencies through the use of technology. One easily understood example is the potential cost savings of switching from printed textbooks to web-based digital content.

3.       What does Project RED involve?

The Project RED team, with the financial support of Intel, HP, SMART Technologies and Pearson, is creating an online community of practice, and will provide guidance and resources to help districts in their implementation efforts. Members of Project RED are given access to a free professional learning community where experts will share the methods and tools for effective technology implementation. Examples of tools are a comprehensive project planner, a one-to-one ROI calculator and a school readiness assessment. Members can access resources, participate in webinars, research, forums, summer institutes and more. During these events, members will gain the knowledge to effectively implement technology into their own districts.

4.        Who are the people responsible for it?

Project RED is the brainchild of:
·         Thomas Greaves, CEO, The Greaves Group, Co-Author, America’s Digital Schools
·         Jeanne Hayes, President, The Hayes Connection, Co-Author, America’s Digital Schools..
·         Michael Gielniak, Ph.D., Director of Programs and Development, One-to-One Institute.

Intel Corporation is the founding sponsor of Project RED. Additional sponsors include Hewlett-Packard, SMART Technologies and the Pearson Foundation.

5.       Who implements it?

We hope that every K-12 school in the country will use Project RED to guide their transformation of schools that use the latest and greatest tools to engage students, personalize learning and improve academic outcomes.

6.       Who are the beneficiaries?

Future generations of students, and the country as a whole, will benefit tremendously if the Project RED findings are implemented properly.

7.       How does Project RED relate to today's increasingly mobile world?

Every student having ubiquitous access to personal, portable technology connected to the Internet is essential to dramatically increase achievement and to maximize cost savings. Project RED is the blueprint to the proper implementation of that technology.

8.       How does Project RED overcome/counter the creeping mobile digital divide?

The Project RED team believes that every student in the U.S. should have continuous access to personal, portable technology connected to the Internet. Many districts use a lack of funding as justification for not implementing one-to-one technology. Project RED research shows how schools can make revenue positive decisions by giving every student a laptop combined with good connectivity.

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