What is a reasonable expectation for initiating a one-to-one program at your school?  First, is it possible and if no then why?  Second, what device would work best for your school, and if you answered no to the previous, what device do YOU think would be ideal for your school?  Is BYOT an option?  Third, what kind of feedback would you expect from teachers? Last, how would YOU best use one-to-one devices in your classroom?  

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ISTE Wiki One to One

Launching an iPad 1-to-1 Program

Is BYOT Just a Bridge to 1-to-1?

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I currently teach in several kindergarten centers with varying access to technology. The concept of each student having their own device would be great if the opportunity presented itself. I think the only way my schools would start this program is through initially having a technology class for the kindergarten students as a related arts class. To make that happen we would need a class set of some type of device whether it would be Laptops, iPads, or other devices that students could use. Over time I think our buildings could add to the class sets until they have the One - to - One ratio. As technology takes of our society even more I think more educational institutes will initiate this program. It will help student learn at their own pace and could also potentially make keeping grades and assignments easy to grade and keep track of for students and teachers. I think the best device to use for kindergarten students would be iPads because they are user friendly and will give teachers and students access to several tools not just browser based options. Our district already has wireless in each of the buildings which would make it easy to control what students could see and use on their iPads. I don't know how possible this idea is for the next 5 years,but who knows for the future. My district is already in the technology based direction and this could help save the district money in the long term, but not the short term right now. The idea of BYOT is not one that would work for this young group of students, but at a higher level I could see that being a useful idea to save money. The feedback from teachers would be very mixed in my opinion. I think some teachers would love this and want this program to be implemented quickly while other teachers would have a hard time using the technology. For this to work there would need to be several professional development opportunities for teachers to learn how to make this successful in their classrooms.

I personally love the idea of this program and would like to see it I. The near future, but there are just so many aspects of this program that would need to be worked out by the schools.

I agree!  iPads are best for kindergarten. 

Gwen, I agree with you that many teachers may have mixed opinions about the one to one program.  There are several teachers that have taught for a long time that are not comfortable with all of the new technology that is advancing in our society.  Personally, I feel like incorporating this in the classroom would benefit our students in the long run.  The issue right now is the funds, but if we could find the money then I think most schools would be on board!

Gwen, I think that iPads are great in a one-to one implementation of technology, but expensive.  When we hear about BYOT it sounds like a much cheaper alternative until you look at the lost time for teachers adapting to all of the different devices brought to the class.  I guess that over time the students would learn the unique needs of their particular technology, but it would be a great challenge to a regular classroom teacher who may not be familiar with all of the different types of devices that might come to class!

Yes!!  Lost time - which I never thought about.  It is a challenge when all the devices are the same.  Interesting.

The type of device isn't necessarily the issue. The operating system is really the most important thing. That's why I'm not a fan of Apple products and iPads. The Android operating system applies to just about anything that's not Apple. It's a much more open platform and it's quickly gaining ground.

Even if every student had a different device, it would be almost irrelevant as long as they're all running the same OS.

Hi Gwen,

Being a fellow Kindergarten teacher as well, I agree that iPads would be the way to go when selecting a piece of technology when instituting a 1:1 technology initiative. I also feel that they are user friendly and would be easy to use with young children, such as Kindergarten students. I like your option to slowly begin the initiative by buying 1 class set of the technology devices of choice that can be shared among a grade level and then built upon that over time until all students have their own technological device. This would probably be the most cost efficient way to do a 1:1 technology initiative in the schools because it wouldn't be a large cost to the district in one shot, but slowly spending money on the technology over time. Hopefully in due time, this initiative will come to the schools and we'll be able to see the benefits of its use in the classroom with our own students.

I also believe that a good approach to start the one-to-initiative in schools with limited budget is to do a phase in approach. Start with one grade and let them have Ipads/laptops for that entire school year. Next year,another grade is added and so on and so forth. This way, it will give the school the ability to look at the success and failures of the program over the year, and work on correcting them before moving on to the following year. I also think that the students that used it for the first year and are good at it could become student mentors for other students in the following year. This phase in approach will also be cheaper as schools would not have to purchase all the Ipads/laptops all at once.

I think teaching Kindergarten students to use any form of technology would be a huge challenge.  I imagine you would have to be extremely patient and have to troubleshoot problems quite often.  Using a grade level set would probably be a great way to get started using a device with that age level.  Is there someone in your district that can assist you with setting up technology with students that age? 

I agree that Ipads are best for kindergarten! I love that it gives them the opportunity to be hands on while using a program because that is exactly what they need!

I use iPads in my kindergarten class as well. I was so surprised at how well the students can use the device. It is their favorite center activity by far! I am lucky to have five iPads for my kindergarten group. They use apps for counting, adding, letters and number recognition, and site words. They love the activities and they not only build their academic skills, but also their fine motor skills. 

From a middle school standpoint I hope that a 1-to-1 is around the corner.  In a school that is 70% free and reduced lunch I believe the best thing would be ipads supplied by the school.  BYOT would not work.  We must supply paper and pencils; often binders and backpacks and calculators.  Theft and loss may be a problem, but tracking may alleviate that.  The most important thing would be to get the parents and families on board.  If we could show them what a great tool this would be for their children, parents would be our most powerful allies.  The largest hurdles to overcome would be funding and leadership.  It would be a full time job, especially in the beginning to get this up and running. Given the present economy and political climate, I am afraid funding may be a tough sell.  By starting small, one class at a time, with teachers who have the technological experience, and utilize the ipad to its maximum potential, training other teachers and building class by class and having the data to show that students' learning supports this move; combined with the fact that parents are using technology themselves, eventually this is going to happen.  I would compare it to the little snowball that starts to roll down a hill and gathers up more and more snow until it's huge and unstoppable.  You know, maybe schools, or the Federal Government should approach the makers of the ipad to develop one strictly for school and classroom use.  We could get a recycle/ refurbish thing going to help alleviate some of the wear-and-tear issues.  I feel like contacting the CEO of Apple right now and asking him why this isn't being done already.  With regards to teachers training and pedagogy shift; The teachers I know would dive in head first. But training is essential.  In the last ten years I have sat through so many professional development series that have teachers implementing a new curriculum, new standards; differentiation, inclusion, etc. I just don't feel that we can ever go back. The cat is out of the bag.

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