Beyond the Hardware
In the November 2013 issue of Tech & Learning, we asked districts around the country
why they chose certain devices for their 1:1 initiatives. In this follow-up feature, we ask
other districts to dive deeper into what makes a successful 1:1 and BYOD initiative.
Which policies and procedures need rethinking? How do you keep these expensive
programs going? Four districts share their stories below.
You can watch their archived
panel discussion from Tech
Forum California at
Los Angeles Unified
By Ronald S.
Officer, and Dr.
Sparangis, Chief Technology Director, IT
We are at the beginning of our 1:1 program. The
LAUSD 1:1 program is better described as an
initiative to transform teaching and learning
by focusing on the new Common Core State
Standards, and implementing the necessary
resources and professional development to
increase student achievement for all LAUSD
As part of the “Common Core Technology
Project” (CCTP ), we have implemented
tablets (iPads) with instructional apps (from
Pearson) preloaded in the preliminary and first
phases in roughly 50 schools. With the recent
approval of phase two, and as this program
grows, we are expecting that there will be
multiple approved devices and a wide range of
instructional materials. This recent approval
is a significant expansion of CCTP which will
provide the technology needed to all schools
to accommodate the new Smarter Balance
computer adaptive test as well as increase
localized support. This LAUSD Board approval
has effectively made the CCTP the largest 1:1
deployment, to date, in the nation.
We are setting up our network infrastructure
to accommodate a one-to-many device
deployment. This will likely will be a combination
of district-issued and Bring Your Own Device
(BYOD ) scenarios. We do not currently have a
BYOD program in place, but recognize the need
to be strategically prepared for this, both from a
policy and a technical perspective. Our plan is
to continually phase in schools every six months
until all schools are part of the CCTP .
We see the following strategies as key to a
large-scale 1:1 initiative:
■ Build a cross-functional interdepartmental
team to address all issues, including
procurement, policy, facilities, technology,
security, operational management, etc.
■ Implement a mobile device management
strategy that can accommodate a large
■ Secure support for the program across
stakeholders to support funding.
■ Implement budgetary mechanisms for the
replacement of outdated devices.
■ Create policies around good digital
■ Move away from “acceptable use” and
towards “responsible use” policies.
The evolution of our project will be in the
preparation for the unknown, especially from
an infrastructure perspective. We believe that
CCTP , the new Common Core State Standards,
and the District’s autonomous schools initiative
(which gives greater autonomy to local school
communities) all will play a role over the next
five years in creating new operational models to
Tustin Unified School
Crystal Turner, Assistant
and Robert Craven, Senior
Our 1:1 rollout encompasses supplying students
in grades 5-8 with iPads and a ClamCase
keyboard. Students in grades 9-12 will be issued
laptops. In grades K-2, we are issuing one iPad
mini for every three teachers, and for grades 3-4
one full-size iPad with keyboard case will be
available for every three students. This initiative
covers all 24,000 students in our district.
The project is being phased in over the course
of this school year. In addition, classrooms are
being updated with new projectors, Apple TVs,
interactive whiteboards, voice amplification
systems, new teacher computers, and an iPad for
each teacher. A Cisco access point covers each
classroom. We are currently adding additional
access points to in-demand areas. Students
are also permitted to bring their own devices
to campus. While we aren’t seeing enormous
utilization of this, there is certainly growing
In 10 weeks, we’ve gone from supporting 500
devices distributed in small pilots at the high
school to distributing more than 3,000 devices.
Supporting these devices with this brisk pace
of distribution is an ongoing challenge. Here
are some strategies we used to ensure this was a
■ For PD, we hired 13 digital literacy coaches
who work with 5-7 teachers each on deep
levels of technology integration. This model
has had a great impact in the classroom.
We expect to see the value of the work of
our digital coaches increase as the teachers
they work with begin to take leadership
positions within the district and guide other
teachers on the use of technology within the
■ We used communications tools to involve
our families and community in the planning
of this initiative, garner their support, and
assist in moderating expectations. The
result? This community helped Tustin
secure a 25-year bond that will fund these
technology upgrades on an ongoing basis
every five years. The bond includes another
$5 million dollars available every five years
for technology integration.
■ We recognize that instruction is going to
change dramatically over these next five
years as students move up through the grade
levels with better skill sets and teachers finetune
instruction to move to greater levels of
technology integration. We follow the SMAR
model for our PD efforts to prepare our
teachers for these changes.
■ We are preparing for a near future with
students using both their district-supplied
device, as well as a device they bring from
home. This is certainly going to have an
impact on both our instruction and our
■ The rapid rollout was accomplished through
extensive pre-planning by the technology
department in collaboration with the district
digital coaches, the curriculum department,
maintenance department, and site leaders. It
was essential that all departments, schools,
and groups participated in the planning and
Saddleback Valley Unified
School District [Mission
Michael Morrison, Chief Technology
We call our 1:1 initiative “Door to the Core,”
because we believe technology opens the door
to the Common Core State Standards (www.
doortothecore.org). We currently have about
6,000 iPads and iPods, and we recently added
1,500 Chromebooks in pilot classrooms.
The pilot Chromebook projects have
gone very well. These devices have become
a natural part of the class and the teachers
have embraced the paperless workflow as well
as designing lessons that are more engaging
through technology. We intend to go to a 1:1
model in our 4th , 7th, and 10th-grade classes
by October 2014. This will add an additional
7,000 Chromebooks to our district.
The four biggest challenges for the “Door to
the Core” initiative are funding, sustainability,
training, and infrastructure. Here are the ways that
we are attempting to address these challenges:
■ We used CCSS monies to purchase the
Chromebooks and secured commitments
from our administration to add additional
grade levels as we show success.
■ We garnered additional funding by cutting
costs on toner and paper. These funds will go
to support replacement costs and expansion
of the project.
■ For PD, we plan to train 30 teachers each
month. We will not leave a school until we
have success for our training initiatives. We’ve
committed 3-3.7 hour classified staff to assist
and one teacher on special assignment. We’ve
informed staff that if a particular school or set
of schools needs more time we will push back
all the other schools. The idea is that there
will be No Teacher Left Behind in our rollout.
■ Teachers help build curriculum materials
that we are distributing on Haiku sites.
We also have about 6,900 students bringing
their own devices to school. While our BYOD
programs are still running strong, we find the
programs that offer more direction to the parents
have been more sustainable and affect education
in a more powerful way.
Costa Mesa, CA
Jenith Mishne, Director of
We are now in the fourth year of
our largest 1:1 implementation.
We rolled out 650 HP netbooks in grades 5 and
6 with a focus on improving writing across the
curriculum, especially in science. We think the
following steps were the keys to the success of
■ For the first two years, we had a dedicated
IT support person working with the edtech
department and the teachers to support the
■ Before the rollout, we crafted a well thought-out
plan that included objectives for both
students and teachers.
■ We had specific metrics that would be used to
measure the effectiveness of the program.
■ We provided ongoing and timely professional
development for teachers as well as a coaching/
mentoring model in the classroom. However,
despite all the PD, some teachers still struggle
with making the paradigm shift needed to make
the 1:1 program work in their classrooms.
For the first three years, ET and IT
purchased replacement netbooks and kept the
netbooks working, but we are now at a place
where too many of them are breaking and we
don’t have a good replacement model in place.
We are now looking at replacing the netbooks
with low-cost laptops and Chromebooks.