Saturday, November 6, 2010

Becoming A 1:1 School - Edition #1

As we prepare to change our environment dramatically next year and have every student at BHS entering our doors with a 1:1 device (laptop or ipad), it is necessary that we continue to focus on why we are doing this.  I have been fortunate to be connected with a number of schools from other parts of the country who have made this move already and they are seeing tremendously positive changes in their school environments in regards to student learning.

Learning Looks Different In 1:1 Schools

While there are not a lot of studies out on 1:1 schools at this point, I did come one this week from the Journal of Technology, Learning and Assessment which is a publication of the Lynch School of Education at Boston College.  The article, One to One Computing, A Summary of the Quantitative Results from the Berskshire Wireless Learning Initiaitive, provides some information that reinforces my belief that we will make our fine high school exponentially better for our students when we make this transition.

Some of the data that caught my eye included the following:

More than 80% of the teachers involved said that student engagement increased.
More than 70% of the teachers involved stated that student motivation increased.
More than 70% of the teachers involved stated that the quality of student work increased.
In addition, teachers noted dramatic increases in student participation in class, the ability of students to work independently, and students' quality of  writing.

I encourage you to look through the survey for yourself and comment on any pluses or minuses that you see.

In the meantime, you can checkout all of the articles I have saved on the topic of 1:1 in my delicious bookmarks.


  1. I'm currently doing an activity in one of my classes where I had my students bring in their laptops, Ipods, Blackberries, etc. to retrieve some data. They'll then compose a story in the target language. I noticed that their interests peaked as they got to use their various technology tools and skills right in the classroom. They're all working on the same assignment, but they're tailoring it to their interests and findings.

  2. I am going to be anxiously following this series as I think it will very important for other schools to follow. Before you know it I will have to make a Burlington H.S. page! I have added it to my 1:1 page just under: Burlington High principal plans to incorporate more technology in learning - The Boston Globe

    My 1:1 Schools page:

  3. Thanks Jerry - It is exciting to be moving ahead with this. We have a lot more questions than answers, but that is to be expected on an undertaking of this nature. I am fortunate to have so many other school leaders out there willing to share their own 1:1 stories.

    As always, thanks for sharing your resources!

  4. I may have missed it--but who will be paying for each child to have a laptop or Ipad?

  5. You did not miss it. The final plans for financing are in the process of being finalized.

  6. With the holiday fast approaching.... this is the year that I was to buy a laptop for my 16 year old. However, I would like to make sure the purchase that is made will be sufficient for the HS. Or better yet, if a decision as to the particular laptop and company is made sooner rather than later - that would be a great benefit for many parents this holiday season -- in order to be ready for Fall 2011. Any more definitive choices

  7. We are now beginning, in earnest, the planning of our own 1:1 initiative beginning with the middle school in 2011. We're opening a state of the art 5-8 middle school next fall at which time we intend to begin our own journey. Any and all information and advice would be appreciated!

    Steve Kwikkel
    W-SR Junior High Principal
    Twitter: skwikkel

  8. @ Jerry Blumengarten

    In your travels, have you cataloged how schools have been able to fund, and more importantly sustain, their 1-to-1 programs?

  9. Hi Patrick: If you would like to visit a 1:1 school in action, please feel free to set up a visit. We are 2 hours away and have been 1:1 for 8 years. Our purpose is to make technology ubiquitous and transparent. We do not teach technology skills or computer classes, rather we use the laptops as a tool of our work. Having the laptops has really impacted and changed our work habits, school culture, and community in positive ways. We have visitors from all over the world, and our students would love to host you if you are interested.

  10. Darren - I have not done a lot of research on this, but I am expecting some hard data from a consultant on the areas that we will save money when we make this transition. In addition, I honestly feel that we will be providing devices from the school for a short period of time. My assumption is that after a few years and settling into a comfort level of having over 1,000 students with these tools in their hands, we will be looking at an option where students bring their own devices into the school. The main reason we are looking at school-owned devices at this point is for management purposes.