This week I will have the opportunity to work with a school that has implemented a pilot 1:1 program while simultaneously focusing on implementing inquiry based instruction. Last year I had the opportunity to work with a group of their teachers as they planned to make this change to their learning environment. According to early reports, things have gone successfully thus far.
Their implementation was different than the ways that many schools implement 1:1, but it is a model others should consider. The change in their learning environment focused on an instructional change (inquiry based learning). A 1:1 pilot program was just one part of the plan that would support teachers as they changed the ways that they taught. Too often, 1:1 schools approach their implementation with a far different approach. Some simply set their goal as going 1:1, and fail to connect that goal to any learning initiative. For those of you that have been reading this blog for any length of time, that last sentence should sound familiar. I am extremely concerned about how often schools transition to 1:1 without having a goal other than “transitioning to 1:1”. In fact, I think this problem is becoming worse as more and more schools implement 1:1 at a very rapid pace. There are a couple of good question to ask yourself and your colleagues. How does 1:1 connect to other learning initiatives in your school? Is it something separate or is it a tool used to support other plans in your district? My hope is that more 1:1 schools are able to provide answers to these questions that indicate that 1:1 is connected to a change in the teaching and learning in a school.