Ramblings about a 1:1 education

The video above is a great look at the importance of 1:1 in schools.

When reflecting on a 1:1 school it is quite easy as I have been in a school that has only had one computer suite in the whole school and now a school that has transitioned into a 1:1. I wanted to share a list of useful pieces of information with you about what it is like but it seems Dean Groom has already done that with his comprehensive 23 Things about Classroom laptops. That just made me think, that in 10 years that it will be the minority of teachers working in schools with out laptops! Now that is a thought. Also the most recently trained teachers will be ‘digital natives’ it won’t have this feel that we experience as educators now on this learning curve of doing old things in new ways but teaching will hopefully be revolutionised. As mentioned in my previous post about schools of the future, change is slow and finances make the biggest impact but their is no denying that 1:1 schools will be the norm, I would say especially in all private schools.
"Where's Daddy's VISA?"
I have gone off track slightly there. Teaching in a 1:1 school has been a fantastic and I honestly could not really imagine the idea of going back. Especially after taking this COETAIL course. I have to say I enjoy being part of the change in education. It excites me. I will be attending the EARCOS conference in March and I have just looked at the schedule. There are so many ways I want to be developing the way my students learn and cater to them as  ‘digital natives’. Yesterday I saw a post on Facebook from a teacher friend to his yr12 students asking where they were and what were they working on, in a non formal and open way. The students had instantly replied and were honest about how they were  managing their time. It was a glimpse into the future for me of the way education will develop with technology at the forefront and possibly flexible hours.

So the transition. Our school took a tear system approach with yr10-11 being given laptops then over the course of a year yr9 to yr7 were given laptops. the excitement in the school was enormous and it was almost on a daily basis that students would ask when they are getting their laptops. When they finally arrived for them though it was a similar situation to most people buying smartphones. They learn how to use the device for the bare minimum of what they need. It seemed the main reason they wanted to have them was so that they could use Tumblr, Facebook and game. Umm sound similar to an iPhone; Game, call, text, social media. It surprised me as the students ay our school are wealthy enough generally to own their own laptops at home but that wasn’t the point. The point was that they had grown up using them and for them it was natural that they woudl have them in their classes.

The distractions. As mentioned above Deans list is pretty comprehensive but I will share some of the behavioural issues that arise in class. Many that link to Digital citizenship in the NETS.

1. Students for some reason find it hilarious to turn each others computers off.

2. Students will amazing be able to type despite the fact that their laptop screen is 90% closed!
I try saying “screens 45 degrees”..this is not enough!

3. Students seem to think that they have an inane ability to multitask, i don’t mean like brushing your teeth and getting dressed. More like having Skype, Facebook, Email,Google and an assignment all open at the same time and flick between them. Is it a surprise that the assignment you set is not complete when they were probably only focusing on the work 50% of the time.
facebook website screenshot
Its amazing how students will quickly flick their screen when you approach

4. Excuses, excuses. I thought it was bad when students said they forgot to bring in their homework , they left in on their desk at home. Think again. I forgot to back up, my computer has crashed, the portable drive, hard drive has a virus, the file corrupted etc. Their is a mine field of excuses. Ours states that all work must be backed up and students are all recommended to use Dropbox which can be a savior.

It is important to be consistent like any other behavioural issues and that students are taught digital citizenship integrally in classes. The key is a decent school AUP.

I could go on about the issues in the class that 1:1 brings but obviously these are far weighed out by the benefits of having that technology at their finger tips. As long as teachers and students are taught how to use technology to its full potential.

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One Response to Ramblings about a 1:1 education

  1. Hi Natalie,

    I also run across these issues with my students. It can be frustrating, but at the same time, like you, I feel the benefits out weigh the issues. We also refer back to our AUP regularly, having them pull it out and go over specific thing s that may be an issue at a particular time.

    One thing I find interesting is that on a survey that we have given each of the two years that we have had our 1:1 program in our middle school, we ask the parents if the laptop program has helped their student to be better organized. My experience with the students has been the disorganized kids are just as disorganized with their papers & belongings as they are on their computers. Think insanely cluttered desktops or scads of files open and never saved. Teachers, students, and parents answer this question. I hate putting disagree because I am worried, with our small population, that it may affect the program in the future.

    Have you noticed any thing similar with your students?

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