TL Advisor Blog

From The Principal's Office: Looking Back At Year One of 1:1 iPads - Part One

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December 27, 2012 By: Patrick Larkin

Dec 27

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12/27/2012 11:08 AM  RssIcon

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As I reflect on our first year as a 1:1 school, I am overwhelmed by the insights that we gained after distributing over 1,000 mobile devices to our students in grades 9-12. As I look at the data from an end-of-the-year survey completed by students, I am reminded of an excerpt from Milton Chen's book Education Nation - Six Leading Edges of Innovation in our Schools.  Chapter 3 of the book is titled The Technology Edge: Putting Modern Tools in Young Hands.

There is a great excerpt from the Abilene, Kansas High School Dialogue Buzz Website that sums up what we will do for students when we create a 1:1 environment for our students.

Here's the excerpt:

Let’s have a little competition at school and get ready for the future. I will use a laptop and you will use paper and pencil. Are you ready…?
  • I will access up-to-date information - you have a textbook that is 5 years old. 
  • I will immediately know when I misspell a word – you have to wait until it’s graded. 
  • I will learn how to care for technology by using it – you will read about it. 
  • I will see math problems in 3D – you will do the odd problems. 
  • I will create artwork and poetry and share it with the world – you will share yours with the class. 
  • I will have 24/7 access – you have the entire class period. 
  • I will access the most dynamic information – yours will be printed and photocopied. 
  • I will communicate with leaders and experts using email – you will wait for Friday’s speaker. 
  • I will select my learning style – you will use the teacher’s favorite learning style. 
  • I will collaborate with my peers from around the world – you will collaborate with peers in your classroom. 
  • I will take my learning as far as I want – you must wait for the rest of the class.
The cost of a laptop per year? - $250
The cost of teacher and student training? – Expensive
The cost of well educated US citizens and workforce? - Priceless

How important are the above bullets? By what criteria would you measure success in a 1:1 initiative?

I will be sharing the results of the student survey soon.

cross-posted at www.patrickmlarkin.com

Patrick Larkin is the Assistant Superintendent for Learning of Burlington Public Schools in Burlington, MA and the former principal of Burlington High. He blogs about education at www.patrickmlarkin.com.

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