Thursday, October 1, 2009

Is 1:1 The Solution?

apple-tablet-pc-2Image by nDevilTV via Flickr

I have wrestled with this question over the last 2-3 years, trying to determine what the correct answer is. Is a 1:1 laptop/student device solution absolutely necessary to achieve a true technology rich environment in K-12; or are there other ways/methods to accomplish that task?

I posed a similar question in an earlier post this year, while talking about Cellphones in the Classroom. (Click here to read.) That post centered around the cost of a 1:1 and could it be achieved in a "non-traditional" method, either via personally owned devices, cellphones, iTouch, etc. This has been my philosophy over the past 2-3 years, that there are other ways to reach this tech-rich environment without breaking the bank. If we provide the highway, students will bring their own cars.

On the flip side, I am now hearing from teachers, administrators and others in my district their desire for a 1:1 environment. I am curious whether neighboring districts adopting this style has started the spinning of wheels, or if this is a true belief. They argue we will never reach a true tech-rich school without students having unlimited access to a device 24/7/365.

It is inspiring to hear such words from our district's teachers. To know they believe technology has such a profound impact on student learning is music to my ears. However, it also poses the question of am I doing enough in providing the necessary resources and tools to my students? Is there something more I could be doing?

What are your thoughts on 1:1 initiatives? Are they successful in schools? Are they necessary to have a true technology rich environment?


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