5 reasons to introduce 1:1 initiatives
The growth of 1:1
The use of technology is becoming more and more prevalent in classrooms today. In fact, more than half of classrooms are now estimated to be 1:1 environments in which devices are provided to every student for use in classroom lessons. There are several reasons behind the shift to 1:1. For one thing, federal funding is often available to help schools pay for the infrastructure needed to support a 1:1 initiative such as large pipelines and wireless upgrades. Beyond that, there has been an explosion in the amount of digital curriculum available to schools. Combine this with an expectation that schools are providing students with the technology skills to be successful in college and careers and there is no doubt that 1:1 is here to stay. When done right, 1:1 initiatives have many benefits.
Five reasons why districts should consider 1:1 initiatives
- Academic growth. As early as 2010, a study of nearly 1,000 schools found that schools with a 1:1 student-to-device ratio outperformed non 1:1 schools on academic measures. A 2016 study echoed that with a finding that 1:1 laptop initiatives boosted student scores. While devices alone won’t necessarily lead to academic gains, when they’re used as part of a well-thought-out 1:1 initiative that includes the right instructional models, curriculum and training, the technology can contribute to academic growth.
- Keeping students competitive. In order to compete in college and the future workforce students need to understand and be able to capably use technology. Although the specific technology will change, regular use of technology in general — as well as experience with a variety of programs and online tools – will help students become adept at handling whatever technological advances come their way in the future. Plus, 1:1 programs allow students to learn and practice how to be good digital citizens which is an incredibly important skill to have for the future. Many schools teach digital citizenship and online safety as part of their 1:1 initiative to help students understand how to keep their personal information private, how to avoid online predators and identity thieves, and how to use online etiquette, as well as understanding the importance of one’s digital footprint.
- Support for individualized instruction. Technology can help teachers provide a more personalized learning experience for students because when each student has access to their own device, they can work at their own pace on assignments. Teachers can differentiate instruction and assign lessons that are tailored to the individual student’s learning style. There are also a multitude of digital resources available to support individualized instruction such as translation tools or programs that read content aloud. Again, it’s important to note that in order to have these benefits; the 1:1 initiative must include the right training and tools in order to be effective.
- Enhanced collaboration, engagement and communication. Students are digital natives and technology is how they are used to communicating with each other. They expect their lessons to include the use of technology – for example, online games to teach math, or online videos to teach media literacy. The collaboration tools available today such as Google Docs and Slides help students seamlessly work together on projects with classmates, or even students in other classrooms or schools. These tools can facilitate group work and projects at a higher level than many paper-based lessons. It’s important though, that the devices are only one part of the overall lesson or project. The technology is a tool that can support collaboration, but students still need to practice traditional communication skills by engaging in face-to-face discussions and learning how to present in front of groups.
- Cost savings. Although there will always be an initial up-front cost to purchase the devices and accompanying software, as well as to plan for technology refreshes, in the long run schools can save money in a couple of ways. They can take advantage of online curriculum and e-textbooks which are often less expensive than physical books. Digital books and apps also update automatically whereas if students were using physical textbooks, it is a costly process to replace them all when they become out of date.
Implementing 1:1 initiatives
As with any initiative, the key to success with 1:1 is with the implementation. This includes ensuring teachers have a way to manage devices to help students avoid distraction. Impero Education Pro’s classroom management functions help teachers monitor what students are doing on their devices. They can view thumbnail images of students’ screens and send a student a message or lock down their device if they see a student has gotten off track. Some schools allow students to take their devices home and Impero EdLink helps them manage those devices even when they leave school grounds. Impero EdLink is a cross platform solution so it supports Chromebooks, Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices. Impero’s software also supports IT staff by allowing them to administer updates or troubleshoot devices remotely rather than having to travel from school to school. Learn more about how Impero supports 1:1 initiatives by scheduling a demonstration.