5 ways to increase chances of a successful 1 to1 implementation

5/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
As more and more schools hop on the 1:1 or BYOD bandwagon in one way or another it is important to deeply consider proper implementation.  While there is the promise for engaged and inspired learning, these large-scale implementations also present potential pitfalls for school districts that must watch the bottom line, provide adequate support for teachers new to the technology, and engage families in a dialogue about these powerful pieces of equipment that are going to be coming home in Johnny’s backpack each night.

There is no shortage of advice for effective use of technology in the classroom, but for the first time, Common Sense Media, a national non-profit that provides curriculum support for schools around safe technology use by kids, has created a soup-to-nuts planning program that includes resources for all phases of a 1:1 implementation. And since they’re experts in Digital Citizenship there are plenty of resources in the program geared towards on-boarding students for safe and responsible use of their new devices.

You can check out an overview of the program in this video.



Common Sense Media partnered with expert 1:1 educators to develop the program, which highlights best practices and lessons-learned and provides turnkey tools for schools to leverage. To follow are some of their key findings.

  1. Take your time
    Take the time to envision your ideal program and how it resonates with your school’s mission and goals. Engage teachers early on in conversations that gauge their readiness and address their fears. They’ve created tools to accomplish this, from “teacher backgrounders” and “conversation starters,” to a tech-readiness rubric for technology coordinators to use for gauging school readiness for the hardware.  
    See these resources
  1. Identify pioneers
    Identify your teacher pioneers who will be capable of taking the lead and modeling great practices in their classrooms. They will help bring along teachers who need inspiration or support. But also, make sure to meet every teacher where they are and take the time to provide additional one-on-one support for those teachers who need it.
    Watch this video.
    Once your pioneers are identified, don’t forget to capture and share their success like we see in this video.
  2. Partner with parents
    “Building partnerships with parents is huge.” Spend time thinking about how you will communicate with families and make sure you create the channels you will need to keep them informed and engaged. Create a webpage where you can post regular updates on the program’s progress and create a Q&A document for that answers questions your school community members have. Common Sense Media provides tools for creating these resources for your community.
    Find the tools here.

  3. Find great apps
    Find the best apps to use in the classroom and spend time creating meaningful classroom activities and assessments that leverage those apps. Common Sense Media has curated a list of apps for the classroom in their
    Starter Kit of Recommended Apps. They curated workflow and collaboration apps that benefit both teachers and students. There are also other great curated lists of apps rated for learning potential available on the site.

  4. Take your time
    Take time during the rollout to onboard faculty and students for effective and safe use of the devices. Adequate professional development workshop time is key as well as taking the time to teach students about online safety and digital citizenship. Common Sense Media has created
    Teacher Training Checklist that helps administrators plan their workshops as well.


    Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.

    Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.

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