Monday, January 20, 2014

More 1to1 Ideas

Making 1:1 Work

1/6/2014 On Tech&Learning:

We checked in with some districts that have been using 1:1 programs for a long time to get their insight into what makes these initiatives strong and how they can be sustained. Here are their thoughts.
Scott Ribich

Director of Technology, Bluffton-Harrison (IN)
Metropolitan School District

Describe your 1:1 program “Each of our 1,483 students (K-12) has a third-generation iPad. Students in grades K-4 leave their iPads in the classroom, and those in grades 5-12 take them home,” says Ribich. Grades K-4 have 16GB iPads, the older students have 32GB ones. All teachers and administrators have MacBook Pros as well as iPads. “We are in the second year of our 1:1 program. We decided to move toward a 1:1 [program] in 2010, but we wanted to take our time and do things right. In the summer of 2010, we purchased SMART Boards for every teacher. In 2011, we upgraded our infrastructure so that it could handle a district-wide 1:1 [program]. In 2012, we handed out the iPads.”

What have been your biggest successes? “We went from a district that wasn’t heavily invested in technology to being one of the leaders in the state in a very short time. Our middle school is the only SMART Showcase school in Indiana and our district was just named an Apple Distinguished School District. We’ve hosted more than 40 school districts across the state to see our 1:1 program, and we were awarded the Imagining and Creating Grant from the Indiana DoE last year. I was named the 2013 Technology Coordinator of the Year at the Hoosier Educational Computer Coordinators conference. We have stories of teachers who barely knew how to use a computer who now create their own digital curriculum, students who were below average who are now on the honor roll, and our test scores have risen. We know that technology isn’t the reason for this, but we feel the increased student engagement has led to better scores.”

Your biggest challenges?

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  1. Interesting that they refer to Technology and Textbook User Fees.

  2. Yeah, Mike. I see other schools in that article also had some kind of student fees or even family lease to own option.