Take an inside look at two one-to-one deployments

By Laura Devaney, Managing Editor, @eSN_Laura
March 4th, 2014

One district, one secondary school explore the ins and outs of sustaining a one-to-one initiative

one-to-oneOne-to-one initiatives dominate today’s headlines, and the hype is both good and bad. On one hand, one-to-one rollouts can help increase student engagement and achievement as they take ownership of their learning. On the other hand, however, poorly-planned one-to-one initiatives can result in massive failures and bad publicity.

But when they’re done right, ed-tech advocates say, one-to-one programs can have a major impact on teaching and learning in schools and districts. Research shows that students with access to mobile devices during the school day, or on an in-school and take-home basis, are more engaged in their learning.

A California school district is in the middle of a long-term plan to equip all students and teachers with tablets, while at the same time ensuring proper implementation to truly impact teaching and learning.

Fresno’s Central Unified School District partnered with AT&T to connect its 900 teachers and staff and 15,000 students to the internet and give them tablet devices. About 40 percent of Central USD’s families are without internet access.

(Next page: How the district planned its initiative)

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2 Responses to “Take an inside look at two one-to-one deployments”

March 6, 2014

You might also want to check out the ebook Going One to One: Lesson learned from a true one to one iPad implementation available at

March 8, 2014

Great timing for this article. I sent this to the teachers at my high school this afternoon:

“Sometimes it’s good to pause, look around and give thanks.

It’s been about a year since we introduced mobile technology into classrooms at Foothill. I’ve known theoretically that the tools are being used, and I’ve seen this on formal visitation tours and heard your stories, of course. But today during regular old 4th period in the I-Pod, I was struck by the casualness of their presence, and the diversity of the technology that teachers and students are using. I sincerely hope this email doesn’t come across as self-congratulatory; I was just genuinely moved by what I saw today and feel the need to share and say thanks.

Halfway through 4th period, I wandered into the pod to check on some of my students who were working with iPads to create To Kill a Mockingbird flipped lessons, and I saw a T.A. building a wheelbarrow on one of the tables. I walked up to check it out – it’s not every day you see an upside down bright blue wheelbarrow in the pod! Cool! — and I saw to my surprise that on the table he had a Chromebook playing a video of how to assemble the exact blue wheelbarrow step by step. This made me ridiculously happy for some reason, possibly because I’ve built – and rebuilt after building them wrong — so many pieces of Ikea furniture using exasperating paper instructions with obscure drawings, but mostly because I didn’t know that wheelbarrow directions come with URLs to video instructions now! To this T.A., watching the assembly instructions on a wireless device was no big deal. He didn’t roll his eyes at me in bemusement, but that’s probably because he’s a really nice kid. Clearly, I’m old.

When I looked up from that Chromebook, however, I suddenly noticed there were many engaged students from other classes collaborating, creating, building and analyzing with a mix of technology tools at their fingertips: iPads, Chromebooks, PCs and smartphones from home. No big deal. Freshmen to seniors, they were working all in the same room on various topics. One group was studying AP Psychology at a circle table while referring to their phones (and yes, they were using their phones to work, I checked). Scattered pairs of freshmen were working together along the periphery on Chromebooks or iPads or PCs to create presentations about drug and alcohol abuse for health class. Through the window of a classroom, I saw 15 Chromebooks in use. Another room had a dozen iPads being used. The mood throughout was collegial, focused and, perhaps depending on the nearness of the various deadlines, relatively intense.

I decided to take photos with my iPad and share them with you as evidence of the independent, flexible, capable learners we are creating (photos linked below). It struck me today that we have come pretty far in a year. Thank you for doing what you do every day, no matter if it’s with or without technology. Your openness to change, to new possibilities and to your own learning is remarkable. We truly are lucky to work in this place, and today was a reminder of that for me. Now on to the weekend!”