5 Strategies For 1 to 1 Classroom Management

The fol­low­ing post was writ­ten by Rich Kiker who I was for­tu­nate to meet while in Philadel­phia for EduCon.

You may have heard already that dig­i­tal lit­er­acy and increased tech­ni­cal capac­ity are crit­i­cal com­po­nents of the K-12 edu­ca­tion.  I hap­pen to agree.  The prob­lem is that pub­lic edu­ca­tion hasn’t had suf­fi­cient means to put enough com­put­ing devices in the hands of stu­dents.  Com­put­ers have been expen­sive and if you have had a com­puter lab that you could visit with your class once a week then you had more than most.  Now with the evo­lu­tion of mobile plat­forms, net­books, tablets, and “Bring Your Own Tech­nol­ogy” pro­grams (like this one explained my @micwalker) there is a warm feel­ing in the edu­ca­tion com­mu­nity that mean­ing­ful 1 to 1 access in the class­room is pos­si­ble every­where. Teach­ers are excited, stu­dents are stoked, and tech­nol­ogy direc­tors are pet­ri­fied.  The pos­si­bil­i­ties are end­less includ­ing live streams from our class­rooms, social media at the hands of every learner, and every stu­dent becom­ing the smartest kid in school because she can search Google on her iPad. I am ener­gized that the promise of edu­ca­tional tech­nol­ogy — a world of con­nected learn­ing, col­lab­o­ra­tion, and cre­ative design to engage and impact stu­dent achieve­ment — may finally be mature enough to imple­ment in all classrooms.

But before we start the parade let’s take a step back. Not every teacher, in fact, most teach­ers are not ready and will need sig­nif­i­cant train­ing to pre­pare for this world.  Fur­ther­more, let’s be real­is­tic in that this tech­nol­ogy can cause sig­nif­i­cant dis­trac­tions in the class­room if we do not craft a man­age­ment plan that ensures appro­pri­ate use.  I have man­aged 1 to 1 depart­ments and class­rooms for seven years and I would like to share 5 ideas I have for cre­at­ing a suc­cess­ful, con­nected envi­ron­ment for learning.

1. Use a LMS
Learn­ing Man­age­ment Sys­tems are basi­cally online class­rooms.  They allow teach­ers to cre­ate a class­room web pres­ence and will greatly enhance acces­si­bil­ity to the cur­ricu­lum.  1 to 1 is not just about what hap­pens in the class­room but cre­at­ing a mobile envi­ron­ment to enhance learn­ing with 24/7 access. A LMS will improve class­room orga­ni­za­tion, help stu­dents when they miss class, inher­ently build dig­i­tal lit­er­acy, and add many more ben­e­fits. There are the big play­ers like Moo­dle that are incred­i­bly pow­er­ful but can be a chal­lenge to admin­is­ter. If that is not your fla­vor, look into some free and sta­ble web options.  I used Edmodo for years and the more I used it the more dynamic my class became — not  to men­tion that other teach­ers saw how easy it was to use and began using it them­selves. Score.

2. Have a Class­room AUP
Step one: Make sure your school has a strong Accept­able Use Pol­icy.  A good AUP is crit­i­cal because it will sup­port you with behav­ior con­se­quences in the event that a stu­dent inap­pro­pri­ately uses her access.  I‘m a real­ist and stu­dents will mis­be­have with tech­nol­ogy.  The AUP, with clear expec­ta­tions, pro­vides fair guide­lines that can help ensure tech­nol­ogy is being used for edu­ca­tional pur­poses and keep a safe learn­ing envi­ron­ment for every­one.   If your school does not have one or you think it is weak, talk to your prin­ci­pal and ramp it up.  See these tips on AUPs from EdWeek and the Uni­ver­sity of San Diego.  The AUP will be incred­i­bly impor­tant dur­ing the roll­out of a 1 to 1 pro­gram.  That being said, the AUP may still not address all the pieces you need in your class­room.  Set up your per­sonal class­room rules to sup­ple­ment the efforts of the AUP.  Con­sider includ­ing pieces like “no tech­nol­ogy dur­ing dis­cus­sions” or “no more than 5 min­utes on email per class period”.  Keep your class­room dynamic but still man­age it the best way that works for you while pro­mot­ing stu­dent success.

3. Move to the Cloud
Again, the goal should be to use mobile devices and cre­ate mobile plat­forms for learn­ing. The LMS will get you started but it also becomes frus­trat­ing if the pro­duc­tiv­ity suite that you use needs to be installed, needs ver­sions coor­di­nated, and is unaf­ford­able to stu­dents.  Sure, access to these tools is avail­able at school but how would that be mobile?  My rec­om­men­da­tion would be to con­nect with Google Apps for Edu. This free suite con­tin­ues to expand in fea­tures and has been adopted by sev­eral state depart­ments of edu­ca­tion.  It meets the needs of file man­age­ment, sched­ul­ing, data stor­age, col­lab­o­ra­tion, and many more in a we-based option.  Learn more from the Google Apps and Apps Cer­ti­fied Trainer YouTube channels.

4. Be a Stew­ard of Tech­nol­ogy
The prin­ci­ples of good teach­ing do not change and mod­el­ing is one of those basic tech­niques that can effec­tively impact a stu­dent.  As edu­ca­tors we are charged with the respon­si­bil­ity of being change agents.  If we are going to ensure the adop­tion of pos­i­tive neti­quette by our stu­dents, then we need to dis­play these actions for them.  I am not say­ing that teach­ers should “friend” their stu­dents or post to social net­works a hun­dred times a day. In fact, I would dis­cour­age this prac­tice, when would you find time to teach? I am say­ing that teach­ers need to be hon­est.  Say some­thing like this to your students:

This stuff is new to me and I don’t know it all.  But I am excited to learn it and I know that it empow­ers you as learn­ers.  There­fore, I am will­ing to embrace tech­nol­ogy because I know it will make your edu­ca­tion more valuable.”

Yup, tell them that a teacher doesn’t know every­thing, put your­self in a vul­ner­a­ble posi­tion.  At the same time you will build a cul­ture of hon­esty, a value for life-long learn­ing, and dis­play a trans­par­ent and vested inter­est in the suc­cess of your stu­dents. Try new web tools from Go2Web20, join a Ning, and if you are really brave go to a edu­ca­tional tweetup. If it fails mis­er­ably then stand up, dust your­self off and be proud of your­self for try­ing some­thing and tak­ing a risk for your stu­dents. That is the worst that can hap­pen. But what if it is a huge success?

5. Weekly Dig­i­tal Cit­i­zen­ship
Lastly, make the endur­ing under­stand­ing of dig­i­tal cit­i­zen­ship a reg­u­lar com­po­nent in your class­room.  No mat­ter what your sub­ject, there is an oppor­tu­nity to pro­mote proper and mean­ing­ful use.  Our roles as edu­ca­tors will not be fully real­ized unless we are able to guide stu­dents toward becom­ing skilled and capa­ble cit­i­zens with an appre­ci­a­tion for knowl­edge. Lever­age resources that we know well like TED Talks and The Do Lec­tures. Per­haps you can pull the RSS feed from Mashable’s Social Good or Big Think and have stu­dents fol­low them. There are plenty of options for you to choose from.  I can tell you that as I made more efforts to increase my own capac­ity it was evi­dent that my stu­dents were ener­gized from it. Pulling con­tent and resources from all of these great sites helped me learn and engaged my audi­ence.  It kept my class­room vibrant and fresh and I hope you have the same experience.

Rich Kiker is an Instruc­tional Tech­nol­ogy & Design Con­sul­tant and Google Apps Cer­ti­fied Trainer spe­cial­iz­ing in  pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment for new media, web appli­ca­tions, 1:1 com­put­ing, online learn­ing, and tech­nol­ogy path­ways. For­merly a Media Tech­nol­ogy Chair and Tech­nol­ogy Coor­di­na­tor, he is now a con­sul­tant for sev­eral edu­ca­tional agen­cies, school dis­tricts, and a pro­fes­sor of instruc­tional tech­nol­ogy.  For more infor­ma­tion or to fol­low up please visit www.kikerlearning.com or he is also on Twit­ter with the user­name @rkiker.


  1. M. Walker says:

    Thanks for the men­tion in the arti­cle. Along with the ideas you sug­gested, I think it’s impor­tant to remind stu­dents of all the things they CAN do with the devices they bring. Focus­ing in the pos­i­tive pos­si­bil­i­ties has been an impor­tant piece of the train­ing we do with stu­dents and par­ents prior to them bring­ing devices to school. I also have worked with staff on the impor­tance of class­room man­age­ment and share this resource with them.

  2. Rich says:

    Much agreed, Mike! Thanks for sharing!

  3. BreAnna says:

    I am new to a lot of this ed tech “stuff.” I am tak­ing an Edu­ca­tional Tech­nol­ogy course and have learned more than I can grasp at the moment. The next topic at hand is 1:1. I am very happy to see that there is advice out there for 1:1. Out of the five strate­gies for man­age­ment, I really appre­ci­ated the advice to become per­sonal and hon­est with the stu­dents. Let­ting them know that I don’t know every­thing and that I am learn­ing as well is impor­tant for my stu­dents. I also agree with the oppor­tu­ni­ties to max­i­mize cit­i­zen­ship oppor­tu­ni­ties. It is impor­tant for stu­dents to have appro­pri­ate dig­i­tal cit­i­zen­ship and 1:1 will be a lot more suc­cess­ful with great cit­i­zens. Thanks so much for your man­age­ment advice!

  4. Hi Rich,

    I feel I need to give you some credit. The tim­ing of your post could not have been bet­ter for me as I was in the midst of orga­niz­ing a dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy ‘uncon­fer­ence’ and our keynote speaker had to can­cel at the last moment due to a fam­ily emer­gency. Want­ing our intro­duc­tory ses­sions to be wor­thy, I started to look for mate­r­ial that might help sum­ma­rize the recent roll-out of our 1–1 pro­gram to the entire Sec­ondary School (we had had a pro­gram run­ning from grades 9–12, but now we have extended it to include grades 6–8). This is when I hap­pened upon your post and was thrilled about how rel­e­vant it was to our cur­rent situation.

    To be hon­est, ini­tially, I thought that the 5 items you listed were a lit­tle dated, but once I scrolled back up to ver­ify how recent the post was, I decided to look again with new eyes. So often teach­ers are given advice about the pro­grams to use and how to keep up with the lat­est trends, not what they really want or need. This post cuts through all that and gives some really sound advice about what teach­ers can do to host a dig­i­tally vibrant classroom.

    I pre­sented your post as part of our con­fer­ence and then fol­lowed that up with a post in our weekly dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy blog called Tid-Bits (http://blogs.nist.ac.th/nistict/2011/04/19/post-07–2/). Along with being both cur­rent and rel­e­vant, I think what struck me most is that the strate­gies you sug­gested were also reas­sur­ing. Many of the teach­ers at our school have worked hard to improve and update their pro­grams to include work with our lap­tops. Ini­tially, I am sure, many were not jump­ing for joy about using your 5 strate­gies, but once I went through them it became appar­ent that our entire staff had incor­po­rated the first three: our Learn­ing Man­age­ment Sys­tems includes our por­tal and other servers, we have a school wide AUP and most have adapted it to their class­rooms, and we all have work and assign­ments in the cloud at the very min­i­mum through our atten­dance and grad­ing system.

    As the Tech­nol­ogy Inte­gra­tion Spe­cial­ist I see evi­dence of tech­nol­ogy stew­ard­ship every day. For exam­ple, recently a teacher used a screen-cast to pro­vide feed­back for his stu­dents’ sci­ence assess­ment (see his blog post How to Avoid a Mark­ing Melt­down — http://www.coetail.asia/jace/2011/04/20/how-to-avoid-a-marking-meltdown/ — for a full reflec­tion on the process). He is no expert, but he has given it a go with tremen­dous results (and a lot of hard work). Teach­ers are dab­bling with blogs, try­ing out Ether­pads, and even exper­i­ment­ing with QR (Quick Response) codes; they are true risk takers.

    The last item, Weekly Dig­i­tal Cit­i­zen­ship, might be the hard­est to imple­ment. Schools are tremen­dously busy places with activ­i­ties going far beyond the teach­ing of course mate­r­ial. Sports pro­grams, the­atre pro­duc­tions, music con­certs, year­book pub­li­ca­tions and a host of other reg­u­lar extra-curricular duties held by teach­ers make keep­ing up with dig­i­tal resources a bur­den. Not that brush­ing up on tech­nol­ogy isn’t done, but it can be stress­ful given there are often other ini­tia­tives push­ing and pulling for our atten­tion. Per­haps a solu­tion would be to have stu­dents be respon­si­ble for bring­ing the dig­i­tal ini­tia­tives into the class­room; a dig­i­tal cur­rent events of sorts. Once a week an arti­cle, appli­ca­tion, or exam­ple from within the learn­ing com­mu­nity could be the focus of dis­cus­sion. In the mean­time, I can only con­tinue to encour­age teach­ers to find the time to engage in weekly cit­i­zen­ship and sup­port them in every way pos­si­ble given my role.

    Thanks for your post. As you can tell it was very use­ful and you deserve credit for how it was used and received at our school here in Bangkok, Thailand.

  5. […] 5 Strate­gies For 1 to 1 Class­room Man­age­ment | 1 to 1 Schools […]

  6. […] 5 Strate­gies for 1:1 Class­room Management […]

  7. […] 5 Strate­gies for 1 to 1 class­room man­age­ment. 5 ideas to cre­ate a suc­cess­ful, con­nected envi­ron­ment for learn­ing. 1. Use a Learn­ing Man­age­ment SYs­tem (LMS), or online class­room. This will cre­ate a mobile class­room that allows easy access to the cur­ricu­lum. Enhances learn­ing by cre­at­ing a mobile learn­ing envi­ron­ment. Edmodo and MOo­dle are men­tioned. 2. Have a class­room accept­able usage pol­icy (AUP). An AUP is crit­i­cal to cre­ate the guide­lines for tech­nol­ogy use in class. Make sure the AUP is clear and direct on what is expected and what the pun­ish­ment will be for not fol­low­ing the AUP. 3. Move to the Cloud. It is free and helps cre­ate a mobile learn­ing envi­ron­ment that allows stu­dents and teach­ers to access class mate­ri­als. 4. Be a stew­ard of tech­nol­ogy. Model good dig­i­tal cit­i­zen­ship. Be hon­est with stu­dents if you do not know about a cer­tain tech­nol­ogy. Never stop learn­ing! 5. Weekly dig­i­tal cit­i­zen­ship. Always incor­po­rate dig­i­tal cit­i­zen­ship into your lessons no mat­ter what they are! It is our duty to guide our stu­dents to being skilled and capa­ble dig­i­tal cit­i­zens who appre­ci­ate technology. […]

  8. […] Five Strate­gies for 1 to 1 Class­room Management […]

  9. […] has an Accept­able Use Pol­icy stated in our HS stu­dent hand­book. As Rich Kiker says in his arti­cle 5 Strate­gies for 1 to 1 Class­room Man­age­ment “A good AUP is crit­i­cal because it will sup­port you with behav­ior con­se­quences in […]

  10. […] N. (2011).  5 strate­gies for 1 to 1 class­room man­age­ment.  1 to 1 Schools.  Retrieved from http://1to1schools.net/2011/03/5-strategies-for-1-to-1-classroom-management/ This entry was posted in 1.3 Instruc­tional Strate­gies, 3.1 Media Uti­liza­tion, 3.3 Implementation […]

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