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

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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. ┬áThe 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.