Ensure a Successful 1:1 Initiative by Investing in Professional Development
Timing is everything when rolling out a one-to-one initiative, from purchasing student machines, to deciding when teachers get their devices, and even scheduling and planning of professional development. these key decisions Can greatly affect the outcome of your one-to-one initiative. If done incorrectly you have Steve’s devices and teachers like the ability or the training to understand how to use these devices effectively in the classroom. The main objective of any one-to-one initiative should be to increase learning and student achievement.
I have had the opportunity to observe different school districts implementing one-to-one student laptop and tablet initiatives. Some districts are doing an excellent job of making sure that the teachers have sufficient professional development prior to the students getting devices. Their initiatives tend to be more successful than schools that do not take the time to sufficiently train its teachers. District leaders need to have enough patience to allow for proper planning and professional development prior to implementation, and not succumb to political or social pressures to simply issue student devices.
Successful districts seem to allow at least two years for this process prior to rolling out their student one-to-one initiative. During year one districts need to dedicate at least the first six months developing vision, planning, creating policies and procedures, collaborating with other district administrators, while facilitating school board and community buy in. School administrators need to develop a budget that not only allows for the initial purchase of the devices but plans for the sustainability and maintenance of these devices, ensuring that the initiative can continue in the future.
During the second year districts need to continue the efforts of this started during year one. Focus on continued planning, continued budgeting, and continued facilitation of community and school board support. Districts also need to begin a program of intensive professional development for every teacher on every campus in with a student one-to-one initiative. Teachers need to be trained not only on the basics of using their new computer, but also on how to maintain proper classroom management when students have computers, and on how to make meaningful connections, using technology, that reinforce curriculum standards. ture. The next six months needs to be focused on purchasing and distributing teacher devices so that the teachers have their machines at least one year prior to the students getting their devices.
School districts that fail to invest sufficient time and resources to providing a proper foundation of professional development to all of its teachers, prior to issuing computers to students, will have a one to one program will not see the desired gains in student achievement. Essentially they will have issued a $1000 gaming device to each of the students, that teachers are reluctant to use.
In the end, education is all about students. It’s teachers that make learning and student achievement possible. As district leaders, we must invest time and resources into giving our teachers the tools they need to help our students succeed.