Why One To One?
The conversation about technology in schools is trapped in the wrong subject. The talk is all about “does the technology work” as a fix for the old. It ought to be about developing and choosing between visions of how this immensely powerful technology can support the invention of powerful new forms of learning to serve levels of expectation higher than anything imagined in the past.
Papert & Caperton, Vision for Education, 1999
Research is clear that to ensure student success, education must move from a teacher - centric to a learner-centric approach. One-to-one programs create the opportunity for authentic personalization of teaching and learning for each student. With access to personal portable technologies in a wireless environment students can learn at their own pace, ability levels, and take advantage of the worldwide experiences and resources available online-and just in time. Teachers become facilitators of powered up learning experiences – meaningfully linking technology to curriculum and instruction. The concept has gained momentum at a rate of 4% a year (America’s Digital Schools 2008) as a key to transforming education, enhancing economic goals and preparing students to succeed in a global marketplace.
A recent study by the Project RED team, ‘The Technology Factor, Nine Keys to Student Achievement and Cost Effectiveness (2011)’, found that students in 1:1 programs outperform across all education success measures compared to those in higher student to computer ratio environments (www.projectred.org). Numerous other achievement and financial benefits were also attributed to 1:1 settings and students’ consistent access to personal, portable technologies. Student collaborations and project- based lessons are fundamental instructional tools in 1:1 environments.
Effective school transformation from traditional norms and practices to those where students take control of their learning in a digital environment involves systemic reforms. Vision, structures, policies and practices must fundamentally shift to ensure success. This is not only challenging work – but can be emotionally staggering for educators and surrounding community. It is essential to understand and plan for the fact that change can be difficult for people and that change happens over time. Time, planning, professional development, communications, evaluation and adjustments are paramount to successful 1:1 implementations.