Anyone in a 1:1 school?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by BumbleB, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Dec 14, 2013

    If we can financially support it, our district is looking to be 1:1 for next school year.

    For those of you who have this type of technology setup in your schools, can you give me the pros and cons?

    I'm part of the committee that will be campaigning in the community for more money, so I'd like to be informed.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    Dec 14, 2013

    The freshmen and sophomores in my school (9-12) are 1:1, and the entire school will be in two years.

    Pros: Kids have instant access to materials online, including resources I put on my website.

    Cons: Kids abuse their laptops physically, waste time on sites like YouTube, and are sneaky about doing things they shouldn't be doing when they are supposed to be using the laptops for schoolwork. They also insist on using the internet for everything (and believing everything they see online), when their textbooks have the exact information they need. No matter how many times I say, "Yahoo! Answers is not a reliable source," they continue to use info they find on that and similar sites.
     
  4. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Dec 14, 2013

    About the bolded....how is this handled? Who is responsible for the damages? My entire district could be going to 1:1, and so that would mean that kids as young as 6 could be responsible for a laptop or tablet :unsure:
     
  5. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Dec 14, 2013

    I was at one and I hated it, hated it, hated it.

    For me there were zero pros and lots of cons.

    Other teachers in different subjects did see some benefits, but the math teachers and I (chemistry) did not.

    In our school, since we were 1:1 the expectation was almost every single unit/chapter include the internet. Although they did not state every LESSON, we got dinged if anyone walked in and the kids were not actively using their laptops. The expectation was that even tests and quizzes be done online. Which is very hard to do with math and chemistry.

    Because virtual labs exist online, there was no funding for chemicals. I had to purchase my own stuff for 'kitchen chemistry' so the kids could see something in real-life. I had to beg teachers from other schools for equipment, which is just a cheat around the system.

    Because some students have a hard time doing everything online, I had to make paper versions of pretty much everything anyhow. One student's parent insisted upon having a hardback text book for her child because using the online versions was difficult. The school insisted that I get one - it was my problem. So I had to personally purchase a book for her (I've since learned I could have fought that, but as a first year teacher I did as I was told).

    We were constantly told to try new and exciting things with the computers. We had to have our own Wiki pages. We had to have the kids do Prezis. We couldn't have in-class discussions - instead the students had to blog about their ideas. As in, I bring up something in lecture and the kids had to re-login to their computers to tell each other about it. Instead of just spending 30 seconds doing it in person. @@

    The students constantly "forgot" their laptops or their chargers. when you have to design your lessons around the students having laptops, this causes a big problem.

    The students and their parents sold the laptops at pawn shops.

    The students would make their computers make odd sounds at odd times, just to be disruptive and it was impossible to determine who was at fault.

    studetns would cheat constantly.

    Students would be on youtube or other sites instead of doing their work.

    Students were to submit their work electronically - which tied me down to grade it.

    Anytime the wifi went down, my lessons were ruined.
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Dec 14, 2013

    We have 1:1 ipads...don't know if that counts...

    Pros:
    -In my district many kids don't have computers at home. Since they take their ipads home, now they do. It was a creative idea to kind of "bridge the gap" between our students and the wealthier students in surrounding districts.
    -Students are more easily engaged- even if I do the simplest thing on the ipads that is practically the same as doing it on a worksheet, they're excited about doing it.
    -Easy behavior control- kids are actually motivated by the potential loss of their ipad, even for a few minutes. This is helpful to me because I've found that students are simply not motivated by the "consequences" that we're still "allowed" to do now.
    -If you have the training/knowledge, you really can do things that you would never be able to do in a classroom otherwise. The possibilities are endless, but it's also extremely overwhelming. I'm currently taking a class to hopefully get some more ideas of how to use the ipads in ways that aren't just replacing a worksheet or whatever. Luckily, the expectation at my school is that we "dabble" in them and not that we use them all day for everything, so I don't have to worry about walkthroughs.

    Cons:
    -Kids can easily switch to a game or something they're not supposed to be doing during lessons. There is a way to "lock" them into an app, but it's time consuming to do for every student, especially if you use multiple apps per lesson. I also caught one of my students secretly videotaping long periods of my teaching with her ipad, which has apparently been a pretty widespread problem.
    -Even though it's not an expectation of my admin, there is still a lot of pressure to do everything on the ipad. Students are immediately less interested if they can't use their ipad.
    -The flip side of the last pro I listed- although there are tons of possibilities, it's so overwhelming too. I feel like I'd figured out a lot of creative ways to get my students to make progress and now I have to learn to be a different kind of teacher so I can incorporate technology that I'm not used to having.
     
  7. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Dec 14, 2013

    This is all extremely interesting to hear. Keep it coming!
     
  8. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    The kids' families pay a $50 deposit at the beginning of the year. If there are no damages, they get the money back at the end of the year. Students can get in trouble for leaving their laptops unattended, but I have never heard of anyone getting in trouble for abusing the machines. It's really awful to see how they treat them. The laptops must be built like tanks to take such treatment.
     
  9. Ms_C

    Ms_C Comrade

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    Dec 15, 2013

    We use a great program called Lanschool for monitoring on our laptops. I can take control of a student's computer, lock all screens so they have to look up at me and even limit where they can go on the internet. Our school is not truly 1:1 though because students do not take their laptops home with them. Every teacher has a class set of 30 netbooks.
     
  10. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Dec 15, 2013

    Just looked this up. It's genius. I'll definitely be emailing the Lanschool website to my sup if we get the funding for 1:1. Thank you!
     
  11. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Dec 15, 2013

    We used Lanschool ad Dyno and both were horrible. You have to have a good tech support person on campus to make it worthwhile. There were constant issues in communication between computers. I taught at 1:1 schools for the past 10 years and almost left teaching because of it. My daughters attended a 1:1 school and will say all the time that they knew how to look up information but there was no understanding of what they did. If the teachers know how to properly use the technology then it is great but if they don't then it can be a disaster. Yo cannot just throw technology into a school and magically expect miracles.
    Just one example of many--my daughter's used Geometer's Sketchpad for Geometry and that is ALL they did. They would draw shapes and everything was calculated for them. They got great at drawing shapes but went to college not being able to do any actual geometry.
    Another problem that I found was that it took away from class time because more time was spent on troubleshooting technology that I got less content covered. This is the first year in a very long time that I am were I should be at midterm and not trying to play catch-up.
     
  12. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Dec 15, 2013

    We are in year 6 of 1:1 laptop tablets 9-12.
    We have COWs for 6-8.
    We are in our first year of tablets for K-5.

    I LOVE that all students walk into my classroom with a laptop.

    Our chemistry and physics and biology teachers use theirs a lot (unlike the poster above). We have 1 math teacher who is paperless (and doing real geometry, not like the poster above).

    Things that must be in place to make it be successful:
    - Buy in from staff (ha! Good luck!)
    - An infrastructure that can support the addition of 100s of additional laptops on the network - figure this out in advance ... you will kill excitement of teachers and students if they immediately encounter problem after problem from the launch of 1:1
    - A course management system that all teachers are expected to use at some level and all students use in their classes (we're zero-ing in on Canvas ... there is a free version and a paid version) ... CANVAS IS AMAZING. http://www.instructure.com/
    - Teachers willing to do things like teach from the back of the room so they can see laptop screens
    - Strategic training for teachers - not training like, "this tool does this, cool huh?" and never talking about the tool again
    - Expect teachers to use the laptops to some level - perhaps not daily, but maybe weekly?
    - Teachers who can go by the seat of their pants every now and then ... it's actually less about having a back up plan in case of tech issues, it's more about being able to realize the plan for the day is temporarily messed up without losing your cool and losing the class
    - Don't expect to have laptops up and going from the first minute of class ... some students used their laptop the period before and left it on, some haven't used their laptop in the period before so it has to start up, etc ... When students walk into my room, they look to the bell work ... the first line of my bell work tells them if they need their laptop or not ... the bell work doesn't require the laptop, but the laptop can be starting while they do bell work

    Things that would be helpful to make it work:
    - Train teachers on some of the easy fixes when a student laptop is having an issue - otherwise, the student leaves for tech support over sometimes silly things
    - Train students on some of the easy fixes when a student laptop is having an issue - same reason
    - Take your super techie kids and make use of them - tech assistants (we have a few student tech assistants, but don't utilize them well)

    Things that make me CRAZY about working in a 1:1 school
    - Our tech staff do not let us know about issues - e.g. the network is down ... so, when it goes down (or they take it down), we are scrambling in my classroom to fix laptops ... if I knew it was a school-wide issue, we'd move on to other activities ... it seems like an easy fix (make an announcement ... ?) but even though we've complained, nothing has changed.
    - There is a small group of teachers (I'm in this group) who really work hard to make 1:1 work for our school ... that's a LOT of pressure sometimes. Pressure because I get a lot of colleagues asking for help (fine, but sometimes I have my own stuff to do, ya know?); pressure because admin looks to us to "make it work and figure it out" without much support
    - Students complain about their laptops ALL of the time. They think it should work like a cell phone, charge like a cell phone ... it's not a cell phone, give it a second!

    Other random thoughts about 1:1:
    - Have loaner laptops available for students whose laptop is left at home, getting repaired, etc. Student can check out a loaner for a class period.
    - Get used to students always having to charge their laptops in class, which means students need outlets, which means students may not be able to sit in their assigned desks, which means power cords, which means look where you walk, which means, GET THESE: http://www.amazon.com/Woods-4907-25-Foot-Extension-4-Outlets/dp/B0037W5W38/ref=zg_bs_495306_4 I have 4 of them in my room. They are GREAT. Students get them as they need them, I don't have to manage them at all other than reeling them up at the end of the day.
    - Get used to 1 or 2 students who ALWAYS have laptop problems. It's strange. In a class of 20 students, 15 of them have never had problems, 3 have a problem every now and then, and 2 have a problem EVERY time they turn the **** thing on.
    - We have teacher rights (can get to YouTube, etc) and student rights (a lot of sites are blocked). In a perfect world, we'd teach students appropriate use and not have to block anything, but ...
    - We have Windows 8 which gives students a lot of options for apps/games that are time wasters ... I teach juniors and seniors, I redirect when off-task, but I don't let that take over my class, I talk to them about the appropriate choice to make (school work), and if they can't make the right choice it starts to show up on their grade
    - Teach teachers and students about picking up updates
    - For us ... If a student turns laptop on at home and doesn't shut down and restart at school, the laptop has network issues at school that can only be fixed by a restart ...?
    - If students hear teachers gripe about laptops, students will hate their laptops
    - Consider letting students have GMail accounts ... we won't (not sure why, must be a real reason though ... they have Google accounts, but not for GMail) ... we use Gaggle for Email and it blows. Plus, seniors need an email that works after they graduate for college stuff. Yes, they can use their own account, but they can't check it at school unless they have their phones.
    - DON'T waste your money on DyKnow
    - DO check into Canvas (link above)

    I love teaching in a 1:1 school. That being said, in my decade of teaching, the 2 times I've said out loud, "I hate my job" have been because of 1:1. The two times I've cried this year about my job have been because of 1:1.
     
  13. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Dec 15, 2013

    My district is going through a "digital transformation," and this is what we are currently doing:

    -Grades 4, 6, and 8 are 1:1 with iPads
    -Grades 9-12 are 1:1 with MacBook Airs
    -Next year, grades 3, 5, and 7 with be 1:1 with iPads
    -Eventually, grades K-2 will be 1:3 with iPads

    Since I teach 2nd grade, I don't know exactly how the 4th grade teachers are using their iPads, but I know that the experience has been very positive. My district has been planning this transformation very thoughtfully for quite a while, so I feel that we were well-prepared. Here are some of the things that I know occur in the 1:1 classrooms:

    -All students pay a $35 insurance fee, which covers any damage. I don't believe there have been any problems in my building so far. Students are trained on how to take care of them. For example, at the end of the day, they have to go in their backpacks (they take them home). They are not allowed to carry them home, or take them out on the bus.
    -We use Schoology, Discovery Education, and Google to organize units, lesson plans, quizzes, etc.
    -Apps may only be added by the Technology Integration Specialist.
     
  14. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Dec 17, 2013

    We're a 1:1 school from K to 12 - although I would say for the elementary grades we're mainly focused on using the laptops in grades 5 and 6.

    To help students learn how to care for their laptop, they must be carried in their totebags and must be put into a traveling case. If we see a student holding them while walking to classes, we take them away. If we see them not in their traveling case, they are taken away. If something happens where the laptop breaks and it wasn't an accident, the laptop is taken away for a number of days (usually around a week). Students are then responsible for doing all of the classwork as homework, as well as their normal homework amount- it sucks and the kids hate it but I would say 98% of them know how to take care of it. (My biggest issue is teaching them how to hold it on the base with two hands- not one hand holding on to the screen.)

    I base a lot of my lessons using technology because of it- they do webquests, online journaling, watch videos, play educational games (I had my 3rd graders do a mining game to learn how geologists would test out a rock to identify it), design data tables with their lab partners, do virtual labs, write lab reports, etc etc etc. Next year I'm planning on getting rid of science notebooks for good in 5th and 6th grades since they can use my Google site template to create their own science notebook. So there are a lot of pros and some cons.

    As for teaching them good resources, we do take a lot of time showing them what kind of resources they should use. But to be honest even I will pull up Wikipedia and get information from it- I do a lot modeling for them on why I would use a certain resource over other (Yahoo Answers is a BIG no way!).
     

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