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1:1 is a Culture not a Device

I just read an article on how iPads change education. The article made some great points about access in the classroom, equity, and project based learning. The only issue is that the author attributed these to the iPad. I have read similar articles about Chromebooks. In all these articles I want to replace the word Chromebook or iPad, with the term 1:1.

One-to-One is the culture that schools should be striving for. Once they have made that choice then creating articles like "Why my school chose the Android Tablet for our 1:1" would be a great follow up.

Here is a portion of the initial 1:1 proposal I made to my school administration.
Needs for success:
  • Time for teachers to enhance lessons which benefit from students having 1:1 devices and to integrate the technology into their instructional practice.   
Goals and Vision:
  • Provide on-demand access to electronic resources in the classroom. 
  • Align with common core standards’ electronic communications expectations.
  • Allow students to document and express themselves using digital resources.
  • Provide a better platform for Differentiated Instruction (DI), inquiry-based learning and Universal Design for Learning (UDL). This aligns with the SU Action Plan: “Technology is used to enhance, support and individualize instruction.”  
Classroom Expectations:
  • Teachers will use Google Docs and digital resources to distribute and receive student work.
  • Teachers will use the approach of “always access” instead of “always on”.
  • Teachers will look for digital resources to supplement or replace their current paper, thus providing better access and more differentiated resources, while requiring less printing from multiple devices.  
Device Expectations:
  • Students will need to have full access to Google Docs and the Chrome Browser.
  • Only web-based software will be expected to be used with the device.  
  • Alternative Labs will still need to be maintained, for specialized teaching needs and use.  
Rollout and Sustainability
  • A 1:1 committee has been established to build the rollout procedure.
  • The expected lifespan of a 1:1 device is 2 years.  This is due to the extra wear and tear of daily use from students.
  • Specific use policies will need to be created for these devices in addition to current school policies.
  • Some type of insurance will need to be designed.  Either a 3rd party insurance or extra devices. 
Professional Development
  • Classroom management
  • Lesson Development Workshops
  • Establish lead teachers to volunteer their classrooms as observation centers for other teachers.

This was the information I provided when proposing the 1:1 to our school.  Obviously my device expectations lends itself to a Chromebook, but when I first collaborated with teachers Chromebooks were not an option and we wound up looking just at Windows, Linux or Mac laptops (iPads did not meet our requirement for the full Google Apps Suite).

When going with 1:1 the most important decision you can make is not the device but how you want students and teachers to collaborate together.   In the proposal above we decided on the Google Apps For Education Suite.  We could have chosen Evernote, or what ever Microsoft is calling their suite, or pages, or an LMS like Edu20.   This collaboration is what will define the culture you create.    Once your collaboration method is chosen then you can look for a device that works best with that culture.

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