1:1 I Want to Know Your Story

Dear Fellow Educators,

I work with a group of educators in a school that is not flush with resources (imagine that). Money has to be spent very strategically and I am determined not to make the same mistakes we have made in the past.  Twenty years ago we put TV’s and VCR’s in every room because teachers and students needed to access the video that could be provided.  After studying the use pattern, very little changed in the way of pedagogy and student learning.  Five years ago we put interactive

white boards in all but a few rooms.  Some teachers have learned to use them very well, but for many it is simply a digital white board.  I am not blaming teachers.  I am blaming short sighted decision making and lack of support provided by administration (read….me, although the tv’s came while I was teaching).  One to one computing gets a lot of attention now days.  I have visited a few buildings where every student has a computer.  I have not spent enough time in any one classroom to see if there has been a transformational change in student learning opportunities.  To be honest, the classrooms where I have seen 1:1 computing,

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 the activities there still seemed to be very teacher centered. (disclaimer: again, I have not spent enough time in any one classroom or school to make any kind of enlightened conclusion).  What I would like to know from those who are working in schools that have implemented 1:1 initiatives is:

  • 1. What did your district/school do to prepare both students and teachers for learning in a 1:1 environment?
  • 2. How has student learning activity changed in your room/building?
  • 3. How has teacher practice changed?
  •  4. What would you do different if you had it to do over again?

 Picture courtesy of Joe Wilcox’s photostream on Flickr

7 comments for “1:1 I Want to Know Your Story

  1. January 3, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Hi Dave,

    Some of the best examples I can provide are from Kent School District in Seattle, Alvarado ISD in TX and MICDS in St. Louis, MO. Their thoughtful implementation of 1:1 initiatives has led to fantastic parent, teacher and community buy in and adoption. They carefully and intentionally prepared pre-roll out and have sustained ongoing PD sessions for faculty and staff and continue making curricular and pedagogical decisions based on researching tools with a proven track record of increasing student engagement, collaboration and 21st century skills. If you’d like more details I’d be more than happy to provide them. Best, Abbey

  2. Meridith
    January 4, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    We went with Bring your own technology. Students bring their own device min 7″ screen must use school wifi. Using google docs and cloud apps as the standard software, we provide several laptop labs for specialist classes and school devices for financial hardship. The biggest difficulty is changing school pedagogy don’t just replace notebooks with laptops. You need staff to unskill in technology and in teaching strategies. Write me on @iMerinet or look through my tweets for ideas on 21st century thinking skills. Good luck.

  3. January 4, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Here is our 1-1 story.

    Professional development has been the instrument of change for our district.

  4. January 4, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Hello! I am using iPads 1-1 in a grade 3&4 class. I would be happy to chat. Send an email and we can connect through Skype or FaceTime. Michelle

  5. Michael Buist
    January 4, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    To compete with the growing number of choices families have in our community and the declining enrollment at one of our schools, Chandler Unified School District opened up Knox Gifted Academy as part of Knox Elementary in Chandler, AZ. Since we opened last school year we have grown from 9 classes to 14 classes of gifted learners. One of the selling points to parents who would have to move their children from their home school to a school on the northernmost part of the city was to provide a 1:1 environment. In terms of training the staff the district relied on teachers like me to provide guidance to my colleagues. From there teachers were expected to provide support for their students. Student learning varies from classroom to classroom based on a teachers willingness to learn, embrace, experiment with educational technology. Some classes are using tools like Google Docs and Google Hangouts and Edmodo to work collaboratively on projects within grade levels and across the country. Some classes are using laptops for simple tasks like word processing. Still other classes aren’t using the technology at all. My practice has changed in that I am expected to be the edtech leader on my campus, so I need to stay ahead of the curve, constantly seeking out PD to bring back to my colleagues. I’ve also made a conscious effort to work collaboratively with my grade level so that not only can I share my ideas but can also learn from others. If my district were to go back and do things differently, I would have liked to see both PC and Apple products available to students. We do have iPads for students to use, but we don’t have Mac laptops or desktops. Learning both platforms is a crucial skill for students.

  6. January 12, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Here is a link to a presentation at our state school leadership conference:


    This is the general story of how we got to where we are in developing an effective learning environment. Contact me if you’d like more detail about how learning in the classroom has changed.

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