The short term goals of our one-to-one technology initiative are:
- Teachers publish all course content and resources electronically so students have access at school and home.
- Students submit assignments electronically.
- In each course, teachers identify one or more of the 21st Century Skills (4Cs) to teach and assess.
- Teachers model and partner with library staff to teach digital citizenship to create a culture for how technology is used responsibly in school and outside of school.
The long term goal is to ensure all students participate in a wide variety of learning experiences where they receive specific and actionable feedback about their application of the 4Cs -- Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Creative Thinking. Course-alike groups of teachers are identifying one or more of these skills to intentionally teach and assess. Over time, across all grade levels and disciplines, students will have multiple opportunities to self reflect about when they are exhibiting these essential life skills.
About 20 high school teachers volunteered to pilot 1:1 devices in 2009. Pilot teachers were issued a classroom set of devices, but students did not take these devices out of the classroom. Feedback from pilot teachers and administrators indicated a need for high school students to take the devices with them outside of class and be able to continue work from home. About the same time, our IT Department had been busy meeting requests for additional portable technology access in the high schools and we discovered we had a 1:2 ratio or better in all high schools. Considering the introduction of lower-cost devices in the market, the existing budget was able to absorb these costs and we realized we could consider shifting to a 1:1 model.
A planning team consisting of teachers, administrators, and parents developed a four-phase implementation plan: readiness, deployment, implementation, and monitoring. Teachers participated in discussions and training during the readiness phase, students received devices during deployment, and we are currently in the implementation phase in all high schools where we are working toward reaching our short and long term goals.
What have we learned so far?
We have surveyed students and staff to monitor progress toward our short term goals. We continue to support teachers as they develop lessons and assessments requiring students to engage in real world application of content and skills. While the teacher is instrumental in creating work requiring authentic application of technology, students are able to use their devices to direct their learning. We have found it is equally as important to help high school students recognize when the technology is a roadblock for their learning. We need to help them develop skills to manage themselves despite the wide array of media in their lives.
Useful Links for High School Implementation