How to Collect 2000 1to1 Student Devices in 70 Minutes

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Collect 2,000 1to1 student devices in less than 70 minutes…No problem!

1to1 Student Devices

Collected and Secured!

“Never Before Have We Had So Little Time In Which To Do So Much” — Franklin D. Roosevelt

Never before have I compared myself to Franklin D. Roosevelt, nor would I consider the end of the school year meeting with my school administration comparable to the famous “Fireside Chats” designed to comfort and renew the confidence of millions.  However, I can relate to the words and the pressure to do my job and do it right for the betterment of others.  

As my administration asked me the question that had become so important in the month of May since 2011 at our school building… “How much time do you need to collect the laptops from all the students?”  

Pressure… so much pressure, but to be honest with you at this point in time it was a game to me.  As I thought to myself, “how much time do I need to collect? How fast and efficiently can we complete it while keeping track of all the details?  Don’t forget the IB students that will be keeping theirs over the summer and of course the list of summer school students that will need a device in less than a week after you collect them!

Here are 5 tips to consider when planning your 1to1 Student Devices end of year collection!

1. Gather the Facts!

Take a deep breath and start with gathering all the facts.  What are the dates you need to collect?  What is your deadline?  How many devices do you need to collect?  What is the final exam schedule for the students?  What staff members do you have available to help?  Do we need to pre-check in?  Do seniors have graduation practice?  Will the devices be locked up and safe by the end of the day and what is the best location for that?  Will we use rooms that cause teachers to change their Final Exam to another room?  This and many more details and questions will arise in the weeks to come.  The first step is to gather all the facts and write them down.  My engineering professor at Ball State University always told me “You can’t solve a problem that you don’t understand!”  In order to understand a the situation you need as many facts as possible.

2. Surround yourself with the right people!

Many of the questions above can lead you to the people who will help with the success of end of year collection.  You might surround yourself with a cafeteria manager in order to communicate for extra boxes to help store device chargers over the summer.  Possibly, it is a meeting with your custodial staff to assure the required space and resources needed for collection; such as tables, chairs, and power cables.  The need for proper space might be the issue at hand which leads to a discussion with administration and a teacher to switch rooms for that time period of time.  These people that you surround yourself with matter as they generate opinions, cus and discuss with you, just be sure to celebrate with them also.  

3. Have Meetings Early!

Let me walk through this with you as you have read above, there is potential for many meetings.  This one is actually quite simple as I will refer to a school year starting in August and ending in June.  When preparing for your 1:1 student device distribution you should have meetings in April – May with finalizing details by the end of May.  Work with administration on your testing schedules and be sure to include your technicians for the software needs for testing.  These meetings should happen in early August or within the first week of school if possible as we all know that testing doesn’t wait for us; we sprint after testing (a discussion for another time).  End of year collection is a key as it not only has to happen in such a pressured time (final exams), but it also sets up how your summer repairs and preparation will go.  Therefore, your meetings for collection should begin before Christmas and finalize before spring break.

The last note here is that you should take charge of the meetings if at all possible and have an outline of what needs to be covered so that the meetings are not wasting time.  In and out, and to the point.


  • Plan the distribution before the end of the school year!
  • Plan the testing needs at the very beginning of the school year!
  • Plan the collection before Christmas Break if at all possible!
  • Finalize your collection and summer preparation by Spring Break!
  • Begin to plan the distribution and summer mailings!

4. Final the Final!

Every school corporation will have a different “Final Exam” for their students.  Many school districts will focus on “rigor” preparing students for the next level by determining if the they have mastered the materials covered through a traditional end of course exam.  Other school districts will create an end of course assessment that maintains conditions that facilitate high levels of student performance throughout the year preparing them for the next level with a variety of assessment processes.  Today’s 21st century school has many pedagogies to drive it’s end of course assessments:

  • Open-Ended Instruction
  • Integrated Learning
  • Inquiry Learning
  • Differentiated Instruction
  • Experiential Learning
  • Co-operative Learning
  • Flipped Classroom
  • Etc.

No matter the choice for an assessment, there will be a schedule that will need to be worked with in order to accomplish your collection goals.  Push to finalize that schedule before spring break so you know exactly what time frame you have to work with when designing your student device collection plan. Once you have administrative approval, it is time to create your plan.

5. Make 10% Changes!

Just as a football coach prepares his team for a Friday night win, it is game time.  

Stick to your game plan with minor adjustments to finish the 1to1 student devices collection to the best of your ability.  When it is all said and done you should have all of your student devices locked and secured in the proper rooms and are ready for a celebration dinner.  Be sure to create time to reflect within 72 hours of the collection.  When reflecting, consider the positive and negatives of the entire process and make notes on ideas for changes to be made for the next time to improve it.  Maybe a change of location for collection, or a change in how to scan the machines.  No matter what changes you consider, try to stick with the motto of 10% change from year to year.  That way you are sharpening a good thing instead of drastically changing it all together.  Don’t throw out the playbook, just adjust to what you are given.  If the next year you are given more time, great!  If you are given more volunteer helpers, outstanding!  If you are given less time and less helpers, adjust!

When all said and done, a school district is going to be happy when all of their 1to1 student devices are accounted for and ready for repair and they didn’t have to slow down the educational process to do it.

For more information on helping your school district have a great 1to1 experience, contact our Positive 1to1 team to see how we can help.