I’m preparing for a trip to school in South Korea in the process of a robust 1-to-1 program and reflecting on the past 7+ years working with schools taking this journey. Here are some overall observations:
1. It’s still about the people – the educators, the students, the parents, and administrators – and making sure voices are heard, stakeholders are brought into all conversations. Decisions should start with these types of questions – How will [students] benefit and participate? How will [teachers] lead? How will [parents] support? Then ask the questions again but switch the stakeholder name.
2. Every program is different – because each school’s mission, culture, and goals are different. Ensuring alignment to the school or district is key.
3. Students need to be empowered and should be part of the planning and discussions, and not just as the target of the program.
4. There is no such thing as over planning or over communicating. Plans will change and be fluid. Everyone will fill in the silence with their own interpretation if there is not enough communication.
5. Hardware and software keeps getting better, more flexible, and easier to use.
6. An online learning community is vital — one that everyone can access – to eliminate unintentional silos of learning, cluttered email and fractured student experiences.
7. Furniture is improving – check this out: http://www.ideo.com/work/node-chair/
8. Wifi is better but a network audit is still de rigeur. Most hardware vendors will help out with this at a low price in hopes of getting the contract.
9. Learner-centricity and personalized learning is what 1-to-1 is all about. What a pleasure to see it written into so many school 1-to-1 plans.
10. Logistics still count; laptops still break; insurance is still needed; electricity is a fact of 1-to-1 life.
11. Parents are our best partners; when they embrace 1-to-1 in their home practices much of the battle is won.
12. Relating 1-to-1 to previous faculty work can be a smart move. One school modeled their pending 1-to-1 in part on discussions with their faculty several years back on “what is a 21st century classroom.” The ideas of their faculty then became the important framework for providing laptops to students.
It’s so great to see that 1-to-1 continues to flourish.
- Pamela Livingston