Two students on laptops

5 secrets for rolling out a successful 1:1 initiative

California’s largest elementary school district shares key considerations for going 1:1

3. Leverage technology to monitor student achievement and progress throughout the year

After the hardware summit, teachers and students chose the same device as their top choice: a Lenovo ThinkPad.

While the hardware was certainly a priority, we also sought software that would be useful in our classrooms. Teachers needed a better way to build student literacy skills, while being able to effectively monitor progress throughout the year. We ended up selecting Achieve3000, a platform that provides an effective way to assess literacy rates and monitor progress system-wide by administering the test at the beginning, middle, and end of the school year. Through this tool, students have access to activities that meet them at their individual Lexile levels to build skills at an accelerated rate. We’re able to monitor and check progress district-wide to display growth and progress.

We also invested in Imagine Learning, a platform that provides curriculum to support students with language development. With daily access to Achieve3000 and Imagine Learning, students have consistently made achievement and digital-fluency gains.

Related: 6 tips for a successful one-to-one rollout

Something for districts to consider when purchasing devices is that you have the needed bandwidth to have multiple users online at once. With our school system being so large, we had to complete a district-wide restructuring of access points for devices, which took about three years to complete.

4. Encourage digital literacy

With many state assessments going digital, we found it important to ensure that students were comfortable taking exams online. With our 1:1, students are getting daily exposure to devices, which helps to encourage digital literacy and prepare them for the future.

In addition to the work they complete in various apps and platforms, the internet gives students access to a wide range of literature, which helps to build critical-thinking skills. Teachers have noted the engagement they see when students read through online materials to determine if it’s a valid source and to summarize what they’ve learned.

5. Build community

A positive side effect of a 1:1 is the united community. A benefit of having system-wide digital learning in place is that there is always some kind of celebration or success happening, bringing a sense of accomplishment to students.

A one-to-one doesn’t happen overnight. Through goal-setting, strategic planning, and supportive stakeholders, the plan is set into motion, while leaving room for continuous improvement along the way.

As technology continues to evolve, we must ensure that students are able to use it. We encourage every district to consider 1:1 learning, and to realize the importance of digital literacy for every student.

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