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Mobile Computing | Viewpoint

1-to-1 for Everyone

Putting devices in the hands of every student and teacher is not about the device or the software — it’s about clearing a path to teaching and learning.

You can read all the articles in our special 1-to-1 issue by clicking here.

Christopher Piehler

1-to-1 implementations are cheaper than ever. District tech leaders can choose from a growing field of affordable tablets, laptops and 2-in-1 devices, and the universe of open educational resources continues to expand. This cornucopia of options was evident at the recent ISTE conference in Atlanta. There wasn’t one single “must-have” device or killer app, and the most exciting products I saw were device- and platform-agnostic tech tools with a simple goal: making all the pieces of educators’ digital life work together smoothly so that they can focus on meeting the needs of the students that they are teaching.

Since we here at THE Journal share this goal of transforming education through technology, we are dedicating this entire issue to 1-to-1 best practices for teachers, principals and administrators of all stripes. No matter what your job title, 1-to-1 should be your business. A theme that recurs throughout the issue is that 1-to-1 initiatives should not start with a device, but rather with a well-considered plan than engages administrators, teachers, parents and students and can be rolled out in such a way that it doesn’t interrupt, but rather accelerates, learning.

And what happens if there are some, ahem, gaps in the planning? If you’re smart, you go back to the drawing board, as one high-profile district has done. Los Angeles Unified School District,which had been widely criticized for the launch of its ambitious and costly 1-to-1 iPad initiative, announced recently that it is now considering six different devices. And how are they choosing the right one? According to the Los Angeles Times, “Principals selected which device to test for an extended period after getting input from students, parents and teachers — some of whom were part of a review panel that met with vendors and briefly tried out the different computers.” Now that sounds like the way to get a 1-to-1 launch headed in the right direction.

I hope this issue can help make your professional life at least a little bit easier, and if you have the time and inclination, I’d love to hear about your experiences with 1-to-1 computing.

About the Author

Christopher Piehler is editor in chief of THE Journal.

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