What does 1-1 look like?

May 5, 2008 § 1 Comment

Tim had an interesting post, which sparked some brain activity.  I actually sort of started this post in the comment section of his post, but I thought I’d pose it here too.

Does 1-1 really mean every child has a laptop in front of them, or should we, as schools, be looking at a different type of 1-1 computing?

With computing devices coming in all shapes and sizes these days, and the ed tech community at large talking about how we can use these devices with students, why is it that tech directors are still fixed on 1-1 computing looking like this?

Maybe instead of being fearful of the major outlay of funds required for purchasing and upkeep of laptops, we should be exploring other options.  Yes, the laptop can provide many different uses in one package, but how many of those uses could be accomplished with other technology?

Alphasmarts or Palms for word processing, Palms, iPods, or a cell phone call to GCast for voice recording, Palms or probeware for in the field testing, cell phones or wireless Palms for a quick google…the options are our there, and much less expensive than a laptop.

I guess what you really need to look at is what the laptops would be used for.  If the main focus of a 1-1 program is getting students to use the technology outside of class using those laptops at home for research and production, then maybe laptops are the way to go.  If the crux is to get a computing device in the hands of every student during the course of the school day, then there certainly are other ways to do that.

At the end of the day, when it comes down to dollars and cents, I’d be willing to bet we’d be a lot more successful (and not have to worry about battery power as much – the original point of Tim’s post) using a variety of smaller devices than trying to deal with the distribution and upkeep of thousands of laptops.

Professional decisions

May 2, 2008 § Leave a comment

It’s been a difficult week for me professionally.  I had to make a decision about where I wanted to go with my career, but that career is also effected by my family and financial concerns.

At the end of it all, I decided to stay put, and not move into a more prominent role in a smaller district.  As I said, it was a very difficult decision for me, but I know I made the right decision.

I’ve only been working in my current district for 18 months, and there’s still a lot of work to do here.

Proof of that was my meeting with the secondary curriculum director yesterday, which turned into a meeting with all of our curriculum folks, which ended up turning into an audience with the Superintendent.

The meeting was about whether we should do a pilot of online coursework, and it was very well received.  I was well prepared with my research and plan of implementation, and the go-ahead was given to start using Moodle to allow our students to continue their classroom discussions beyond the classroom.

I’m excited to see where this will eventually lead.  Everyone in the meeting was excited about the possibilities further down the road, and for once, I was the one pulling back on the reins trying to keep the meeting focused on the here and now, and how we were going to implement the pilot.

It’s going to be a fun summer!

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