Stop the 1:1 Madness!!

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I know…this is kind of an odd post to be included in the PIL 1:1 Hot Topic…please bear with me. My district is what could be classified as a 1:1 district. We have given our students in grade 8-10 the opportunity to extend their learning by distributing Windows 8.1 tablets. By 2015-2016 school year all students in grades 6-12 will have our tablets….with dreams of extending it K-12. I’ve read the literature and connected with other 1:1 districts…so I’m in…I get it…I “drink the Kool-Aid.”

Early in our planning we decided that the language of our project should not include the term “1:1”. There was a strong feeling in our planning group that what we were trying to do was going to be much more complex than just giving out devices to students. So…whenever we referred to the project internally and externally we use the term PLD (Personalized Learning Device for students and Professional Learning Device for teachers).

I believe that our projects are far deeper than simply having one device for one student. Going 1:1 suggests to me that once the device is delivered…the job is done. The reality is that simply handing out the device is the cost of admission. The term 1:1 is too limiting for what you should want to accomplish.

Please…please…please consider using a term other than “1:1” when referring to your awesome project! Don’t sell yourself short and lose sight of what is really important. Your initiative shouldn’t be about devices…it should be about making connections, building relationships and improving student learning.

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