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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

1:1 or 1:None?

There are many great examples of one-to-one programs that have been well implemented and have achieved their goals. Go to any Edtech conference and you will hear presentations from folks that have done this well. Or pick up a copy of Project Red, which offers a research-driven roadmap for success in transforming a school, including the use of technology. There are websites galore that cater to great articles, tutorials, and research to help schools interested in how to implement a one-to-one program successfully, such as the K-12 Blueprint site, which regularly features blogs and articles on different schools and what they are doing with technology. 

So why should we be hesitant, or worse yet, not supportive of some proposed one-to-one initiatives? Many of the ideas for one-to-one that principals and other K-12 leaders have can be summed up with the phrase “I want to do a one-to-one program.” Many times this is the only idea expressed. Where is the vision and purpose? What is the educational outcome to which the program aspires? How does the leader see learning changing in a couple of years? These questions often can’t be answered, since there has been no thought as to why have a one-to-one initiative. Successful programs will have a goal, and with that a plan that provides a roadmap to help guide the project towards its goal. Why don’t more school leaders write a good plan? A lot of times it boils down to the desire for the shiny gadgets, and a lack of will and skill to write a solid plan and implement it. In those cases, it may be better to do one to none.