Category Archives: 1:1 Technology in the Classroom

One to One Laptop Programs: Are They Successful?

One to One Laptop Programs: Are They Successful?

Are one-to-one programs really effective? As the United States lags behind in test scores and student achievement is being constantly called into question, one-to-one technology holds the promise of:

  • Learning tailored to students

    One-to-one programs allow students to move at their own pace. If the student needs extra time to understand a concept, they aren’t left behind as the class moves forward. One-to-one also offers students more freedom in the way they learn and interact with their learning environment.

  • Tools for teachers to monitor their students’ progress

    In a one-to-one environment, teachers are able to review the growth of individual students. By tracking an individual’s progress, teachers could develop personalized strategies to reach students.

Even with the promise of improving education, some critics have raised concern about some issues schools have run into with one-to-one technology:

  • Training Costs and Incomplete Training
  • Resources Going Towards Professional Development
  • Initial Starting Expenses
  • Worries About Cost-Efficiency
  • Insufficient Infrastructure

In the face of these challenges, some have questioned whether or not one-to-one technology is even worth it. While cost and time are factors, one-to-one programs still have a lot to offer classrooms.

Let’s take a look at the impact one-to-one technology has had in real classrooms. In 2016, a study was released that set out to ask (and answer) the question if laptops in the classroom had a positive effect. Here are their findings:

In schools that implemented a one-to-one program:

  • There was more emphasis on project-based learning
  • Student achievement rose in Science, English, and Math
  • Students began to use laptops in all stages of the writing process
  • Student-Teacher communication and parental involvement rose

One-to-One Technology is Worth It

Yes, some classrooms that have implemented one-to-one technology in the past have run into issues. But schools are quickly learning from the mistakes made by other school districts and are pushing the merits of digital learning into their classrooms. And, more importantly, one-to-one technology has begun to transform classrooms.

When we look beyond standardized test scores, we see an even greater value of one-to-one laptop programs. When implemented to its fullest potential, laptops function in the classroom as a superior way to take a test. With one-to-one programs, schools can:

  • Start employing web tools for improved communication and collaboration
  • Build new curriculum geared towards new technology
  • Push the importance of digital citizenship to students
  • Produce more opportunities for teamwork and classroom interaction
  • Add more focus towards projects in student learning
  • Create individualized learning environments for students
  • Help students develop 21st-century skills that will serve them later in life
  • Encourage technology use and competence in students

By putting a laptop or mobile device in the hands of each student, districts are opening classrooms to a new world of opportunity.

Teachers could create an environment in which students can rise to their potential. Students could experience individualized learning that motivates and encourages them. One-to-one technology is a step into 21st-century learning.

How to Use 1 to 1 Technology in the Classroom

How to Use 1 to 1 Technology in the Classroom

Teaching and learning largely depend on the instruction. With technology, you still have to plan what and how your students will learn. But when you incorporate technology the learning is more successful. Due to its effectiveness, more schools are adopting a one-on-one teaching methodology. Here are some guidelines to devise an effective one-on-one classroom.

1. Take Sandbox Time

It is important that you give teachers time to experiment and play with the new technology introduced at the school. When they are familiar with the gadgets, it’s easier to use the gadgets. This also helps teachers incorporate the technology in the process of teaching and learning.

2. Make a Class Website

Students will log in to get the assignments, the day’s instructions, videos, notes and other instructional material from their teachers. It is the best communication tool as you can reach your students even while they are at home.

3. Shuffle your Room

Flexibility is the key component in a one-on-one classroom. Depending on the lesson at hand, students may be required to sit in small groups, independently or with you. A U-shaped seating arrangement will allow you to monitor many screens at once.

4. Create a blog

A blog will instill responsibility as students participate by posting on the blog and respond to questions. You may even make it competitive by rewarding the writers of the best blog posts.

5. Creation of Content

Encourage your students to be content creators rather than being mere content consumers. They should create notes, songs, articles or video demonstrations of topics they learn about in class.

6. Manage Content

Online classes are effective given the overwhelming content students acquire online. The internet offers a wide range of information, useful and harmful information. It is advisable for teachers to mind the safety of their learners by blocking their access to harmful content on the web.

7. Plan for the Interaction of Students

As with other teaching and learning methodologies, planning is important to one-on-one classrooms. Predict how your students will interact with the lesson. To make your lesson more efficient, consider keeping a spreadsheet to track how students react and interact it.

8. Don’t Use 1:1 When Not Appropriate

A one-on-one environment will not always rely on the electronic gadgets. Sometimes, your best lesson will be achieved without using technology. Your students shouldn’t be attached or rely entirely on their devices. They should understand the best time to use them.

9. Define the Device’s Role in your Class

There are some who argue that a one-on-one environment should entirely focus on the electronics. The electronic devices shouldn’t be the focal point of learning as they are just gadgets. They can’t take over your class or replace quality teaching. Devices should be used to make lesson delivery more exciting and effective.

10. Supplement your lessons

Before beginning a new topic, do a web search to get video clips, sound clips, photographs and other relevant material that will make your lesson effective and interesting.

Need assistance with your 1:1 program device management?  Encountering issues with your repair processes?  Discuss potential solutions with our team!

BYOD Practices and Policies for Schools

BYOD Practices and Policies for SchoolsMobile devices are pretty much universal these days. From the streets to the living room, everyone is gazing down at their smartphone. But what about the classroom? Sure, 1:1 initiatives have tried to place a laptop, Chromebook or iPad into the hands of every child.  However, the modern student is most likely to have their own mobile device.

School districts are recognizing this as a potential opportunity. These devices will change how we teach many subjects. What used to be the completed with a simple pencil and paper is now being done on mobile devices. Bring your own device (BYOD) offers schools a way to supplement the use of 1:1 and introduce children to their tech integrated future.

Getting Started With BYOD

While BYOD isn’t hard to implement, there is still planning involved and multiple considerations. Here’s what you should think about with a BYOD Program:

Define Your Objectives and Policies

How are mobile devices going to be used in your classrooms? Consider whether devices will be an extra resource or the focal point of projects. Once you’ve defined how devices will fit in class, you can consider the actual policies. Setting policies allows students and teachers to have a framework for proper device use.

Buy-in and Communication

The people who will be impacted by the program (students, parents, teachers, administration, and staff) should be included in the development of the program. Understanding how the technology will affect each group is key to creating a program that best suits the needs of the school.

Enforcing the policies you’ve set is much easier when communication with teachers and administration is open. Teachers must understand the rules as well as how to enforce them in the classroom. Educate both teachers and administrators on the consequences of not following policy and procedure.

Communication with students and parents will help to learn the types and brands of devices students will bring to make the necessary preparation.

Examine and Prepare Infrastructure

Network and security concerns can be greatly intensified with the addition of devices. Start off by considering your wireless network. Will your wireless network’s performance take a plunge when everyone brings their own device?

Does your existing infrastructure has enough bandwidth to handle high traffic? Obviously, having your network go down as class starts is frustrating to everyone. If it keeps happening, your BYOD program becomes more trouble than it’s worth. Install Antivirus programs and security measures to protect student and teacher data.

What About Students Without Devices?

The unfortunate reality is that not everyone can afford to buy a device. If the classroom environment necessitates the use of a device, ensure no student is left out. A great option is to allow students to rent devices. In case a student forgets their device, having a policy for supplementary devices also helps.

BYOD programs are a way of integrating the real world into the classroom. By taking advantage of the common nature of smartphones and tablets, you can cut costs and enhance the classroom.

A School Boards Guide to Monitoring a School District 1:1 Program

A School Boards Guide to Monitoring a School District 1:1 Program

School districts nationwide have rolled out 1:1 technology initiatives in the hopes of transforming classroom learning. As more states adopt these initiatives, more districts have gone through the initial trials of adoption.

Defining 1:1 Technology

One-to-one initiatives are supposed to change the way teachers teach, and students learn. It’s defined as providing students with direct access to computers with the goal of every student having the ability to learn anywhere at anytime. More than that, 1:1 is sought out as a way to radically transform the classroom.

Putting laptops and mobile devices in the hands of students isn’t necessarily the end goal. Instead, 1:1 extends past the actual device and embraces the role of technology in the classrooms of tomorrow. With 1:1, students are expected to be more engaged and active learners.  The embrace of 1:1 initiatives represent a fundamental in the way students are taught.

Lessons From Districts That Have Adopted a 1:1 Program

When the Miami-Dade school district first sought to adopt a 1:1 initiative, officials examined previous initiatives from other school districts. Several common issues were found:

The Los Angeles Unified School District was forced to halt progress and form a committee over the price of the preloaded curriculum.

North Carolina’s Guilford County District encountered problems with many of their newly issued devices. These problems included: overheated batteries and broken screens. New tablets were given to thousands of students during the next school year.

Texas’s Fort Bend Independent School District was forced to drop their initiative to use iPads with a new science program altogether. The initiative ran into multiple problems that included a spotty Wi-Fi.

After gathering the anecdotes from previous 1:1 initiatives, Miami-Dade’s superintendent, and school officials worked to avoid the problems encountered by other districts. To ensure a smooth roll-out for its 354,000 students, Miami-Dade anticipated problems with digital content availability and launched their initiative in waves instead of all at once.

How Iowa’s School Boards Planned Their Initiative

School districts can learn the right actions to take when implementing a 1:1 initiative. One school board in Iowa managed a successful roll-out with careful, step-by-step planning.

The West Branch school board’s planning begun with a discussion. The implications of a 1:1 initiative were discussed with by the West Branch CSD technology committee. During professional development, staff considered the integration of 21st Century skills.

Over time a series of dialogues involving parties such as the school board, board of directors and administrators culminated into action. The West Branch Community School Board began purchasing devices for students and teachers.

As the school year began, students received their laptops. The school board continues to carefully monitor the effects of the technology not only in the classroom but on students, staff, and parents. As the program continues to be revised and observed, further development and improvement of the program comes along with it.

Miami-Dade and Iowa school districts tackled the challenges of a 1:1 roll-out with research and planning. As a result, both schools managed to bring the benefits of 1:1 to hundreds of schools and thousands of students.

Need help with rolling out your districts 1 to 1 initiative? Contact us, we can make your adoption smooth sailing.

Pros & Cons: Is Elementary School Too Early for 1:1 Technology?

Pros & Cons_ Is Elementary Too Early for 1_1 Technology-315
Should grade-school kids use mobile devices in the classroom? That has been a longstanding question with no definitive answer yet. It’s not a black-and-white issue, not when both sides have their own solid arguments for their case.

It’s up to the school to decide whether the positives outweigh the negatives. The important thing is that they carefully go over all considerations:

PROS

Kids are familiar with mobile devices

Kids today are digital natives. They haven’t known a world without tablets. Many of them learned how to navigate around mobile devices the same time they learned how to walk. Thus, the use of these devices at school won’t be a foreign concept to them. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. They’re already familiar with such gadgets, so they’ll feel comfortable using them right away.

Kids will be ahead of their peers

Though most kids grow up exposed to mobile devices, not many know how to use it for educational purposes. But kids who go to schools that implement 1:1 technology will have that knowledge. They’ll be taught that tablets are powerful tools for learning and collaborating. At a young age, they’ll see how to use this tech to their advantage. The same can’t be said for students who go to schools that don’t implement 1:1 technology. By the time they reach high school, their peers will already be adept while they get left behind.

Kids will be able to catch up on their lessons

In a traditional classroom setting, some kids easily grasp the lesson. On the other hand, others need more time to understand it. When schools use 1:1 technology, the kids who have trouble can catch up at home. They can go over videos, and recreate the classroom experience. That’s more engaging than reading a book and trying to understand what it says.

Kids will become creators, not just learners

In the old days before the internet, only teachers could see their students’ work. But now, students can publish their work online and create a digital portfolio at a young age. They can even make their own sites, making it easy to track their progress through the years. They can also share with classmates and other students around the world. A wide audience will help them gain new perspective beyond their teachers’.

CONS

Kids will be too dependent on mobile devices

Some people fear that young students will neglect physical activities after becoming too dependent on their gadgets. This is a reasonable concern, but it can be addressed by controlled usage. This can be easily done by teachers by setting the pace in the classroom. Also, let’s not forget that practical learning and 1:1 technology can mix. The latter doesn’t have to replace the former.

Kids will have to be trained on the devices issued by their school

In a 1:1 technology setup, schools provide the tablets kids should use. Everyone gets the same device for the sake of uniformity. But what if a child who knows how to use only Android is issued an iPad?  Or vice versa? This can prove to be challenging for the child. However, kids are digital natives so learning how to use a platform is easy for them. A short training session will address this concern.

The long-term benefits of 1:1 technology easily outweigh the solvable problems that come with it. Therefore, schools that want their students to gain a competitive edge should consider going for 1:1 technology. The implementation may not be smooth-sailing at first. However, addressing the challenges is worth the advantages the kids will enjoy.

Positive 1to1 provides an implementation and management strategy and platform to help schools make the leap to 1:1 well. Learn more by contacting us!

Is 1 to 1 Technology the Answer?

Is 1 to 1 Technology the Answer-1One-to-one technology offers educators a chance to address some of the problems plaguing classrooms across the country. As these initiatives were rolled out, the question of classroom performance was consistently raised.

Is 1-to-1 technology the answer to the educational gaps plaguing American education? While the jury may still be out to some degree on that question, there is evidence that 1-to-1 is beneficial to schools. With hundreds of initiatives being launched in schools, the positive effects of 1-to-1 can be examined.

The Texas Study

In the eTxTip report, the results of the Technology Immersion Project (TIP) were analyzed. TIP integrated technology into the classrooms of 21 Texas schools. Each student and teacher received a mobile device as well as access to educational software.

The major findings of the report included the advantages of 1-to-1 in education. Among the chief findings in the report were:

Students Gained Access to Challenging Material

One-to-one technology has the potential to deepen student intellectual experience. Students in the immersion school were shown to have received instruction that favored Higher Order Thinking more often.

Technology in the classroom allows students to connect more deeply with their learning. This helps combat the problem of disengagement among students.

Students Became More Technologically Proficient

Students from economically challenged circumstances greatly benefited from 1-to-1 technology. During the program, this group of students became just as proficient in technology as their more advantaged peers.

Other reports and studies have found that 1-to-1 initiatives have the potential to create positive change in schools. Districts that have rolled out 1-to-1 technology programs in the past have found the following benefits:

  • Cost Savings – Schools save on the costs associated with books, paper, and printing.
  • Disciplinary Action – The presence of one-to-one technology in TIP schools was linked to lower rates of disciplinary action.
  • Collaboration – The students taking part in the TIP program were found to participate more in small groups. Along with more frequent laptops used, the more students had increased interaction with peers.

What Made The Difference in Success

The schools that were the most successful in their initiatives had the advantages of:

  • Having technology uniformly present
  • Teacher training
  • The use of technology for student collaboration

More importantly, the school community had been engaged. Teachers bought into the potential benefits of 1-to-1. Those teachers then saw the need to commit to the project and the success of students.

When technology is implemented properly, higher classroom achievement is seen. Also, some of the chronic problems of the classroom are improved. In some districts, students were more engaged, had higher test scores in key subjects, and became more tech literate.

An iPad or laptop in every child’s hands and the proper use of those devices have the ability to improve student outcomes. Current 1-to-1 initiatives help to improve this. Furthermore, Positive 1to1 provides the means to efficiently manage this large scale process of hardware and communication in an effective manner. Additionally, helps schools to further educate their students with relevant computer repair skills.  Interested in learning more? Contact us!