K-12 Technology News

Online Tool Assesses Readiness for 1:1 Programs

Nonprofit consulting group Educational Collaborators (EC) and IT solutions provider CDW-G have announced the release of their "One-to-One Readiness Assessment Tool," an online resource aimed at providing the information necessary to implement a one-to-one school laptop program.

Available free of charge at the EC Web site, the tool is designed to help educators and administrators analyze a K-12 school's readiness, in terms of a number of technical, environmental, and social factors, for full implementation of its own program for providing each student with access to his or her own laptop.

The One-to-One Readiness Assessment provides tools for a review of a school's resources and its proposed initiative for launching such a program, with the review laid out in three phases:

  1. Online Survey:  Schools gather key stakeholders--faculty, technology staff, and administrators--to complete an online survey covering all relevant factors that affect the success of one-to-one programs;
  2. Survey Review and Discussion:  Based on the results, an consultant from Educational Collaborators is specifically paired with the customer, leads a review of the survey, and discusses areas of concern or issues that require extra customer attention;
  3. Summary Assessment and Recommendations:  CDW-G and Educational Collaborators deliver a final report that summarizes key discussion points, including the viability of the proposal, and recommends the most effective steps the customer can take.

Fairview Park City Schools of Fairview Park, OH undertook the EC/CDW-G review in spring 2009. The goals for its one-to-one proposal included addressing sustained funding, extending the program across multiple grades, and ensuring that the program would produce positive, measurable results, not on technological know-how alone, but on the district's entire spectrum of educational goals.

"It's easy to be sidetracked by technology, equipment and vendors, but it's important to remain focused on the end goals," said Brion Deitsch, superintendent of FPCS.  "The assessment tool enabled us to see the challenges ahead and develop a course for action and sustainability into the future."

An overview of the One-to-One Readiness Assessment and the initial online survey can be accessed here.

About the Author

Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.