Going 1:1

This quarter I’m taking two classes simultaneously which is a new experience for me. I’m surprised by how much the courses overlap with the content and I find myself occasionally referencing material mentioned in the wrong class.

The overlap that seems most significant to my professional life right now is the idea of bringing laptops into classrooms at a 1:1 ratio. What I’ve gathered from our class sessions so far is that technology in the classroom is no more than a very expensive notebook substitute without proper professional development and effective teaching behind it. This has come up in my other class as well as we think about the purpose of 1:1 laptops. If our goal is just to “put technology in classrooms”, that’s all we’re going to achieve.

As a teacher within the Everett Public Schools, this is a topical issue for me right now. We have an upcoming bond and levy initiative this month that is being voted on. Part of the funding being approved would support 1:1 laptops for every student in the district, beginning in the high schools. I’m realizing how relevant this conversation is not just for me, but for all the teachers in my district. 1:1 laptops is daunting for many teachers and there’s one quote that stuck with me from a fellow teacher. When the topic of laptops came up she announced:

“Only 2 of my 6 desktop computers work in my room! I’m teaching second grade! Can we just focus on getting my current technology to work? Why do my second graders each need a laptop?”

These are the questions I’m hearing as we move ahead with this initiative. As a district and as teachers we need to be very intentional moving forward. How are we going to use these laptops to help our students learn? 

 

Let’s not spend thousands of dollars on digital notebook substitutions. Please.

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3 thoughts on “Going 1:1

  1. janevangalen says:

    It’s so common, to order equipment and give thought to supporting teachers only afterwards. I wish we’d learn from so many examples in the past about how that just does not work.

    I’m imagining those desktops and how dated they likely are.

    What’s your other class where you’re also thinking about these things?

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    • vronvz says:

      I’m currently taking 504 with Wayne Au. We’re looking at educational policy, and with that curriculum adoption and professional development support for teachers. Maybe I gear the conversation toward technology subconsciously as I focus on it in this course, or maybe that’s just where our society’s mindset is right now.

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  2. Lina says:

    Not sure if you know it, but I wanted to share Kathy Cassidy’s blog site called Primary Preoccupation, http://kathycassidy.com/blog. Check out “MYSTERY NUMBER SKYPE – 2 CALLS AT ONCE?” and “MY READING BUDDY LIVES 1000 MILES AWAY.” One of my favorite is “GET YOUR GAME ON–DO THE SNOW CLOTHES CHALLENGE! I love all her creative classroom ideas, incorporating technology in the classroom, variety in learning opportunities through it, and connecting with others.

    I find it so ironic that I can share a response to your question; and that I have the opposite problem at the moment. How to get funding for my low-income college students to get these digital devices to connect and collaborate among themselves and beyond the classroom?

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