Implementing a 1:1 Program

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Iden­tify the rea­son you are going to imple­ment 1:1
    • 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.
  3. Visit other schools
    • 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.
  4. Ini­ti­ate pilot programs
    • 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.
  5. Study the change process
    • 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.
  6. Develop a plan for imple­men­ta­tion of your initiative
    • 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!
  7. Cre­ate and deliver pro­fes­sional development
    • 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.
Nick Sauers




  1. Peggy says:

    Thanks for a great post! Is it OK if I print this out (with appro­pri­ate cred­its of course) to share with schools with whom I work?

  2. Nick Sauers says:

    Peggy-Thanks for read­ing! Please do feel free to share with oth­ers. Another reader cre­ated a doc­u­ment that may be help­ful for you as well. If I get her per­mis­sion, I’ll put that on this post as well.


  3. Thanks for the tips. I com­pletely agree on the impor­tance of step 2 — in fact, we’ve decided to flip-flop steps 2 and 3, so that we could visit area dis­tricts to find make sure we were clear on their “why”. Also hop­ing it will fine tune and per­haps reshape our why.

  4. Nick Sauers says:


    Thanks for shar­ing your expe­ri­ence! I would guess that your vis­its helped some begin to see the pos­si­bil­i­ties of a 1:1 program.


  5. Teresa Bettin says:

    Thanks for the great infor­ma­tion. As we start the process here, this is a great list to keep us on track to where we need to go and the things we need to think about.

  6. Great tips, We are start­ing 1:1 next year as well. I wished our pro­jet was more inline with your post.

  7. Nick Sauers says:

    Thanks for read­ing Teresa. Let me know if I be of any help with the process.


  8. Nick Sauers says:

    Hope­fully it isn’t too late to make some changes!


  9. […] Imple­ment­ing a 1:1 Pro­gram, Nick Sauers, 19 Mar 2013 […]

  10. This is a great tip par­tic­u­larly to those new to the blogosphere.

    Brief but very pre­cise info… Appre­ci­ate your shar­ing this one.

    A must read post!

  11. James W Watt says:

    Great advice; hope to see more from schools that have begun 1:1

  12. Hello it’s me, I am also vis­it­ing this web­site reg­u­larly,
    this site is truly nice and the view­ers are truly shar­ing pleas­ant thoughts.

  13. olivia07 says:

    Bril­liant topic with dif­fer­ent way of writ­ing I am very impressed
    to visit here.

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