Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Is 1:1 really worth the cost?

If your school starts down a path toward 1:1, it's likely you will encounter some negative response. At the very least, there will be lots of questions since a 1:1 program has inherent risks and a number of challenges. Is it worth the cost? Won't the technology be a distraction? Will students have fewer opportunities to develop interpersonal skills? What about student privacy? Is there any evidence 1:1 will increase student achievement?

It's not hard to find reports online of schools that have struggled with their 1:1 implementation. And while the research has conflicting reports, 1:1 is no guarantee that student learning will increase.

But nearly everything worthwhile has it's challenges. If you want to grow or want your school to grow, you have to do hard stuff. All of the possible concerns with 1:1 have been overcome with proper planning and a team effort. It can be done.

We are still in the planning stages in our school and striving to move our project forward. 

Technology is a tool and will not replace the classroom teacher. In fact, for the technology to be successful a quality teacher is required.
The cost is an investment in the future of students and opens up a whole world of possibilities for learning.
Pedagogy will always trump technology. Teachers must design effective learning environments. When that learning environment has technology available it creates a more authentic experience. Technology is an important way work gets done, and should be one way learning gets done.
Instead of fearing that a device may be a distraction, we need to embrace teaching digital citizenship and help students learn to use online tools for learning.
In spite of some of the challenges, I don't know of any schools in our region who have implemented 1:1 and then regretted it. In fact, the messages I've received from my PLN is enthusiastic, "We don't know how we did it before 1:1!"


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