Another perspective on 1-to-1

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In mars, 250 teachers from around the world are getting together in Barcelona, Spain. We are named ”Expert educators” and were chosen from over 28000 applicants. We live in various countries with different ethnic backgrounds however we have share the same goal, to give our students the best possible education. However we have different prerequisites. In the western world, like Sweden, where I come from, schools are adopting 1-to-1 rapidly and it has been the signum of an attractive school. Furthermore, in Sweden, the students often also have their own computer at home and a smartphone, so it is really a 3-to-1 situation. We also have a free choice of where to go to school and the school the student choose gets funds from the local government to pay for the student. It´s a voucher based system, which means that even in public schools, there are competition to interest students to choose their particular school. One way to attract students is to hand the students computers that are replaced in a three-year cycle.

In other parts of the world, 1-to-1 could mean something quite different. It could be like 1 computer in each classroom, 1 computer in each schoolhouse or even 1 computer in each school. Article 28 in UNICEF’s Convention on the Rights of the Child, speaks about every child right to free education and article 17 speaks about the right to both national and international media. The schools in the third world could fulfill these rights by using computers and internet connection, but it could be too expensive and there are several issues that have to be solved before this is possible. There are one solution to this issue though.

As previously described, computers in the industrial part of the world change the hardware, often in a 3 years cycle. These hardware are sometimes recycled, but often they are just thrown away. Why don’t we (teachers), municipalities and hardware suppliers give these hardware to developing countries as a road to bridging digital access? Still, this can create the opportunity for the schools and communities that bestows its hardware to develop various cooperative projects with the receiving schools and by using for example OneNote to create a living learning platform where we share and learn from different cultures, environment and religion.

The next step in my vision is to get in contact with colleagues during “Expert educator – Global forum” in Barcelona. By starting collaborative projects with them, we can later expand our projects to schools in the surrounding area. By doing this, we can also establish contact between our local governments which could be the key for us to develop a charity-project, where we, instead of throwing fully functional computers away, are shipping them to one receiving school.

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