Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Going away from 1:1

Recently, I read an article on 1:1 device classrooms. Though I'm a proponent of 1:1 classrooms, the article raised interesting points about the nature of 1:1 classrooms and their feasibility. As my district moves away from our pilot of 1:1 and gives campuses the option of 1:1, we're faced with tough decisions.

At my high SES campus, many students have their own devices. However, there is still a population that does not have permanent access to computers. How do we handle those? Do we check those out to those students on a part-time basis? And, if we do, how and who do we hold accountable for any damages made? The questions are numerous.

So, when I read the point on classrooms not needing to be device neutral, I thought:

Is all instruction the same? No. Are all students the same? No. Then, why should all devices in a classroom be the same? Why can't we differentiate our devices and move away from device-specific classrooms?

1:1, sadly, is still not an option for all schools, but does it need to be? We must make teachers competent to teach on any platform and in a classroom where devices aren't the same. That's what we do with students. We ask teachers and hold them responsible for teaching any and all students. Our devices are the same way - they are subject to change and are each unique. So, if a student works better on an iPad, shouldn't we allow them to use those devices?

The question is, then, how do we move away from the idea of all being the same and going to differentiated, collaborative environments (the key word being collaborative)>

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