“I’ll Blend Your Learning!” Part Ten: The Deadline Looms

This is … almost verbatim … a real conversation.

That’s five istructional days from now. In terms of deadlines…that is very close.

At this point, pretty much the whole seventh greade, upstairs team and downstairs team, is trying a rotation based Blended Learning lesson this week. Our content providers arent set up to work yet, but that isn’t such a big deal….there is a whole, free internet out there. It just isn’t hard o find educational content aligned to our state standards, that could be incorporated into a lesson.

The bigger problem is the content providers. I asked every staff member three questions last week. They essentially were:

1. Do you know how to tell students the method for logging on to our content providers?
2. Are you confident that you know how to give assignments to students, using those providers?
3. If you are successful in giving an assignment, do you know what it would look like to a student, and how to get their results?

One hundred percent of staff answered “no” to all three. However, we have spent a week before school, and every Tuesday after school for two hours, supposedly learning these things. Suffice it to say the training was flawed…mostly sales people talking about how great their product was, with a minimum of letting us use those products.

Add to that this factoid: Last week I ran a Blended Learning day, without using those providers…and our basic internet service was so poor, that 57 percent of the time, pages of content failed to load on the the first try. That was running seven computers at a time.

We will be running around seventy to one hundred, simultaneously, for streaming and flash based content. The fact that our T1 line is at eight percent capacity, and that the district doesn’t care to fix it…it’s a formula for failure.

The whole team is pretty worried, because the drop dead date to go live, the Eighteenth, is just not far away.

Tomorrow, I’m trying another dry run, without our expensive content providers. We’ll see if it goes any better. I’m pretty sure we need to push back the “go live” date about a week. However, Pledge LA thinks that one does simply walk into Mordor.

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