How to make one-to-one computing a success


“I am concerned about limiting students with mobile devices, [especially with subjects like] programming, robotics, interactive math,” Morris wrote.

“We have 1st hand experience with 1:1 comparing 1 year of laptop (Mac) and 1 year of iPads,” tweeted @vANguyenC17. “All three 3rd grade teachers strongly favor going back to Macbooks.”

“Interesting,” Pierce responded. “Was that [because] they had more capabilities?”

“Laptops allow much more productivity and creating; iPads are limited in apps’ ability to create, limited features in Word,” @vANguyenC17 wrote.

“The device should match the needs of the students,” Socia tweeted. “Laptops work well for many, tablets better for some.” She explained that for students with disabilities, tablets might be preferable.

“Yes—the device should be paired with the learning outcomes,” Morris replied.

“I worry educators are buying low-end devices without realizing how much they cannot do, like most of what I develop,” Dede noted.

For more news about one-to-one computing in schools, see:

‘Mass Customized Learning’: The key to education reform?

Tips and success stories for effective mobile learning

Study reveals factors in ed-tech success

One-to-one computing programs only as effective as their teachers

Besides having a sound plan—one that puts the desired learning outcomes first, and uses these to define the technology that will be used—@HatchEarlyChild asked what the most important factor was for ensuring success with one-to-one computing.

“Teaching practices [are] most important, I’d say,” Pierce responded, pointing to research suggesting that one-to-one computing programs are only as effective as their teachers.

“Significant, ongoing [professional development] is necessary, but not just around tech,” Morris agreed. “Early PD should focus on transforming learning.” He added: “Just as with our kids, the PD learning should be differentiated, collaborative, authentic, and not just skills [-based].”

Pointing out the challenge of delivering this kind of intensive training, @mdmccarty9 joked that the “three biggest constraints to PD [are] time, time, and time. Next is money.”

“I would agree,” Pierce tweeted. “Must find ways to build [this] into [the] school day [without] adding more burden—or wasting teachers’ time.”

“We can find time if we value it!” Socia chimed in. “Grow in-house experts—maybe give them stipends. Get creative!”

The conversation also turned to how schools can measure the success of a one-to-one computing initiative.

eSchool News Staff

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