Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Death of 1:1 in My District

The Death of 1:1 in My District

It can be an instructional technology coordinator's worst nightmare: failing to adequately convey a vision for technology to a school board faced with difficult financial decisions. In my nightmare, the board votes to discontinue the 1:1 and I wake up in a cold sweat, fearing the worst for our students as we face losing the gains we have made over the past decade. 

But it was just a nightmare.

 The reality is actually a cause for celebration (sorry for the dramatic hook)!

Indeed, our board discussed ending the 1:1, but we were discussing a philosophical shift in how we view the initiative, not ending the resources given to our teachers and students. Instead, we will be replacing the nomenclature with the far more appropriate label: ONE TO WORLD.  Taking cues from Alan November's session at ISTE 2015, we viewed the name change as being far more accurate in conveying the purpose behind the provision of devices for every student:

1. We believe that calling our initiative a "one to one" emphasizes the device. In this instance, a 1:1 could refer to a textbook, a pencil, or a three-ring binder. Calling our initiative a "one to one" places the focus on device distribution as the ultimate end game of the initiative, and that is simply not the case.

2. Calling our initiative "One to World" emphasizes the function, purpose, and potential of our initiative. It's not the device that's important; it's about the opportunities, the audience, the resources, and the accessibility available to all. It emphasizes the scope of the initiative we are providing for our teachers and students. 

3. The change in label emphasizes what we are seeking to prepare our students for by providing technology for integration with teaching and learning. Not only are we able to access global resources, but also we are able to provide opportunities for global review, feedback, and assessment of that work. 

4. Referring to our initiative as "One to World" requires reflection by educators on how to craft instruction that takes into consideration the power of technology to transform assignments and activities. By leveraging the potential to consider how assignments look when incorporating global resources, we can have more productive discussions and training that focus on pedagogy and rigor as opposed to measuring success simply by that fact that students are "using a device or an app" during school. 

To read about the inspiration for considering this change, check out Alan November's article here!

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