You’ve got a 1:1 initiative? Don’t select your device until you’ve defined your Classroom Management model and Curriculum suite.
Is your district purchasing laptops or tablets for students? If you aren’t supporting your teachers with Learning Management Systems and appropriate Professional Development, you’re probably wasting your money.
I know, the kids like the toys. But in reality, they already have an “anchor” device – which is probably their SmartPhone. Some also have a tablet (and some also have a laptop) – which may be better than the one you want to give them.
Don’t worry, I won’t tell your board members.
After buying and overseeing the purchase of thousands of student laptops and tablets, we can’t ignore the fact that some of these purchases haven’t proven to have a significant return on investment.
From my own experience, most of the lack of effective use of laptops seems to come from a lack of a comprehensive use model beforehand and adequate Professional Development afterward. What good are laptops if the teacher has not adapted their curriculum to allow the students to utilize them effectively in class?
Just do a quick search on 1:1 and improved test scores and you’ll find a convincingly mixed bag of results. Some studies even seem to put a positive spin to show subjective improvement like “student engagement” or “motivation” in place of objective results like test scores.
At the three schools where every student has an iPad, researchers compared students’ test scores before and after one year of implementation, and they found no increase in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding state standards. – Charleston County School District, SC.
It’s TIME to take the Educational Technology discussion away from devices.
Today – circa 2014 – devices are so ubiquitous, that it makes less sense to standardize on one type of device and try to define and develop curriculum and classroom management around device use.
Devices are not the focus – they are simply the student’s window to the cloud.
Think of how we rent a car – we look at a bunch of pictures of cars and the budget, and off we go. As long as it holds enough people or cargo, that’s all we really care about.
I’m sorry to tell you that your 1:1 device is like a rental car.
After you’ve done 1:1 and turned to BYOD, and realized that you’re already doing both, its time to consider TIME – Technology Independent Model for Education.
TIME is about taking the focus off devices and back to learning and curriculum.
The goal is to optimize investment in devices by only procuring exactly what is needed as opposed to trying to buy one thing that fulfills every student’s needs (especially if every student’s needs haven’t been identified).
In the next few months, we will be unveiling the methodology and practice of TIME. In the meantime, take a look at your 1:1 program and ask yourself the following questions:
– Are we buying the best tool for every student, or just buying something we can afford to get a lot of?
– Do our teachers have the training and the right tools to allow these computers to add value to the learning experience? Is the training program, resources and budget in place?
– How will we upgrade and replace obsolete devices in forward years?