As we close in on an official decision on what our 1:1 device will be next year, I think it is important to think long term. The hard part about thinking long term however when it comes to technology is that things are changing so quickly that all we can do is make our best guess at what the possible options will be for 1:1 devices down the road. Nothing makes this clearer than the fact that our leading option for a 1:1 device for next year, the iPad, didn't even exist at this time last year.
Along this line, I was very intrigued by a blog post by Shelley Blake-Plock in the Daily Riff titled 21 Things That Will Become Obsolete In Education by 2020. It brings to the forefront many of the types of issues that we need to discuss in order to ensure that our school is adequately preparing students for life after BHS. If the only thing that changes next ear is that students will have devices then we will have wasted a great deal of money. Our efforts are really designed to give our teachers access to more tools with which to engage students in meaningful learning activities.
Last night I discussed our 1:1 plans with the Burlington School Committee. While our first few years as a 1:1will focus on creating an environment where all students have the same device which the school will provide and control (from a classroom management standpoint). As we start to increase our comfort-level in our new environment, we have to start to think about becoming a school where students have options (more like the real world) where they bring their own devices.
One thing I am sure of is that in Massachusetts, I think we will see a trend of 1:1 schools similar to that which has occurred in Iowa. In less than five years, Iowa has gone from a state with less than a handful of 1:1 schools to over 100 (projected for next year).
I am proud to say that we will pioneers in our state and more importantly I am excited to continue the never-ending conversation that we are engaged in as we focus on ensuring an atmosphere that gives our students and teachers access to the most relevant tools for learning.