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May 3, 2012 / JaymeJ

In the Driver’s Seat – What drives your 1:1 program?

Today, the following question was posted to one of my listservs:

I was asked an interesting question earlier and wanted your opinions:

If we go to a 1:1 iPad program, but parents have already bought their kids MacBooks/NetBooks and argue that they don’t need both, what do we say?

My instinct is that we’d need to insist that they have an iPad as well, otherwise, the teachers will have more trouble because they can’t count on the software/accessibility across the board.

Has anyone encountered this??

This is the type of question constantly asked by schools and parents that participate in 1:1 programs. Each time I hear this type of questioning, I have a visceral reaction – an urge to get up on my soap box and SHOUT! So here is what I’d like to tell the world…

If it is a 1:1 DEVICE program, students should be allowed bring in whatever they prefer: ipads, netbooks, laptops. Teachers would need to design lessons and activities that are not platform/app specific. (Similar to what we did at the ipad meeting – use SOMETHING to create this specified end product or to meet this goal.)

If the school is going to a 1:1 ipad program, then all students need ipads as teachers will most likely design lessons and activities that require specific apps that are not available on “regular computers” (laptops/netbooks). (For example, the 4th grade teachers might plan a lesson that includes independent practice using the Oregon Trail app…a game that is no longer available as software.)

I agree that students do not need both. Two devices is overkill, though, if iPads are the chosen device, there should be laptops or computers available to the students at school and at home for projects that are beyond the scope of the iPad.

The curriculum drives the technology, not vice versa. What is the curricular objective? What are the expectations for the teachers in regards to lesson design? What is the school’s philosophy and ultimate goal?  Let those answers decide what device would be most useful.

Just my two cents…getting off my soap box now…

Who is in the driver’s seat of your school’s 1:1 program?


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