I was recently asked by a friend to recommend some major steps as their school begins the process of deciding if and how they will become a 1:1 school. My recommendations follow:
- Create a leadership team
- Include multiple stakeholders on the team, and not just technophiles!
- Include students in the process.
- Consider having subcommittees that address various topics.
- Involve administrators in the leadership team and the entire process. They are key players who will need to support the initiative.
- This may be the biggest problem I see with 1:1 initiatives. Converting to 1:1 should not be your goal. Identify a change you want to see in your school that 1:1 can support.
- That goal should align with your school’s mission and vision, and not be something that acts as a stand alone.
- Identify model schools and send teams to those schools.
- Rather than sending a larger group to one school, send smaller groups to multiple schools.
- Include educators as well as students, board members, and community members in these visits.
- Identify a strong team that can implement a pilot program to become the 1:1 pioneers in your school.
- Provide that small group of educators with additional training resources. Allow them to attend conferences or participate in other workshops.
- Study the successes and challenges of those pilot programs.
- Use those educators to lead professional development for other staff members.
- Transitioning to 1:1 is a major change! Don’t ignore the literature on change.
- Kotter’s book Leading Change is one of my favorites around the stages of the change process.
- Create a clear plan that lays out your 1:1 plan and includes components for required steps for implementation and evaluation.
- This tool created by John Nash is an extremely useful tool for any major change in a school!
- Professional development sessions need to begin PRIOR to launching your initiative.
- Differentiate professional development for educators.
- Create the capacity of educators in your school to deliver professional development.
- Identify a core set of competencies around technology that all teachers should have and help them gain those competencies! It may be helpful to identify a core set of technology tools that EVERY educator could use fluently.
- It seems absolutely crazy that schools invest hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in technology, but refuse to spend any substantial amount on professional development.
You may also want to consider visiting this blog focused on one school’s journey through the process.
Update: This form was created by @tracywatanabe, and it may help you with this process.