I'm a professional development specialist in south western New York state. We're seeking information regarding 1:1 computing models, and perhaps visiting a school which is successfully implementing an effective model.

In general, we're looking for a model that uses laptops over desktops, and we also want to make sure it's a model in which the teaching methodologies have changed to maximize the use of the available technology.

Thank you for any leads you can share!

Tags: 1:1, computing, laptops, models, pedagogy

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Shoreline School District in Shoreline, WA has such a model based on MacBooks. It's worth contacting their IT person and seeing if they can help you!
The One-to-One Institute will be able to help as you explore 1:1 computing, and can assist your district with individualized support to fit your needs. The institute can arrange a visit to see 1:1 computing in action.
I am the coordinator for a Middle School 1:1 Project in a small urban community in New Jersey. Our project is unique in that it was brought into our school through a partnership with a local University with a strong pre-service teacher training and technology professional development focus for Middle School Education. Our school, overall, is now choosing to "phase out" desktops for our 7th and 8th grades in favor of laptop carts. The 1:1 project runs 240 machines, and there are now another 100+ for use in the rest of the classes. Those 100 machines are signed out using a shared calendar.

successes: students have greater access to technology within the classroom with their curriculum area teachers, higher student engagement, more PBL environments, increased opportunities for teacher growth in infusing technology into the fiber of their teaching style. Flexibility in scheduling.
The 1:1 program students have ownership of the technology and access for all their classes. The maintenance issues are far less frequent with the 1:1 program.

Challenges:: coordination of machine maintenance, reporting of individual machine issues, security, teacher accountability for inventory each day, scheduling of machines. If all these issues are hammered out early (and it's very important to do so) then the technology and learning should flow smoothly.
Quality teacher training is crucial....for our school, that seems to be a challenge with time and availability.

With all that being said, the teaching methodologies have certainly changed, but in increments. Some request the laptops constantly, others never. I believe in starting small and modeling the ones who are energetic about the use of the machines in dynamic ways. We have a team structure in the school, which allows for sharing of successful best practices. One example is an LA teacher who uses ipods for english language learners, another who interacts with schools from Michigan and Florida using web conferencing software. Students are sharing some demographical information and comparing the three regions' water environments.

I do know, that our district analyzed the usage and maintenance of desktops within classrooms before deciding to phase them out. The couple of desktops that were in the classrooms were not used very much, and were often broken. The laptops seem to be valued more by everyone and were thought to present the best opportunities for learning and engagement.

Good luck with your decision. I'd be happy to stay in touch.
Kay McNulty
Shoreline Schools has implemented such a model. However, I would say that it is far from successful. I wouldn't recommend looking at Shoreline Schools as a model.
While they like to say that they're front runners in the 1:1 idea, they missed the point. They plunged the district into nearly $5 million of debt and angered tax payers. While this is bad, the real shame is that they also angered the teachers. They simply threw all the students a laptop and didn't implement the technology into the curriculum successfully. The teachers had little to no training with them, and many teachers couldn't actually find any use for the laptops after they had been "trained". The teachers are not only angry with the lack of training, they're angry at what the laptops do to the students. The laptops (even though very well locked down) are still a major distraction during class time. The students, as well, haven't shown any ability to handle the laptops well. There was an insurance plan for the first year, but after so many laptops were broken, the insurance plan was limited (but still required the same $100 deductible) to pretty much only cover a hard drive failure. Because the laptops cost so much to repair, the insurance company threatened to not insure the district anymore.

The district continues to push for more funding, but the fact is that they lost sight of what they're supposed to be doing- educating the kids. GPAs across the school dropped, and they can't deny it. Teachers are angry. Students don't like the laptops. And they angered the taxpayers.

If you want a successful model of the 1:1 policy, don't look at Shoreline.

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