1:1 Learning - When Have You “Arrived”?

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Whether your school is still planning 1:1 implementation or started when 1:1 was a “laptop program,” there is value in knowing what it means to “arrive” at success. What does “arrival” look like? How do we measure success?

Conventional wisdom says 1:1 implementation requires a clearly stated rationale to support the time and money investments and to assist with program evaluation. One common reason for going 1:1 -- schools need to reflect the “real world outside of school” where technology is ubiquitous -- has certainly been a factor at the three schools where I have helped plan or implement 1:1. At Jakarta International School, my current learning community, we are in our 2nd year of 1:1 in grades 6-12, and our implementation has been guided by dreams of contemporary learning and empowering students along with a learning with technology philosophy that emphasizes four changes: expanding the walls of the classroom, personalizing learning, demonstrating understanding beyond text, and fostering metacognition. Turning these aspirations into signposts, we have surveyed students, faculty and parents in an attempt to measure whether our approach to 1:1 is moving us in the right direction, toward the learning we want to see at our destination. In the process, like many 1:1 schools, we’re shifting from asking what meaningful 1:1 learning looks like to clarifying our definition of “meaningful learning.” Using technology -- 1:1 or even many:1 -- is a now a given when it comes to engaging, empowering and educating our students. This revised focus represents another milestone on the path toward a post-implementation destination for 1:1 schools.

Since computers first arrived in classrooms and labs, educational technology enthusiasts have promoted the technology’s promise to transform learning while skeptics have often stressed that technology is “just a tool.” Decades later, schools using technology effectively seem to arrive at a confluence of those two ideas, where skillful use of digital tools is corequisite with the ability to create learning experiences that are relevant and worthwhile for students. While the route to such a “destination” is anything but direct and not everyone arrives at the same time, this new learning landscape seems more in reach than ever. How close is your school to “arriving” at transformational learning (with technology)?

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