March 4, 2013

What is 1:1? Part Two

I still encounter educators who aren't familiar with the term 1:1, and thats understandable.  We lead busy lives and its hard to keep up in the rapidly changing world of education.  I see it as a failure of the general institution of education, not a failure of the individual.  For those who don't know or haven't experienced 1:1, lets talk about what it isn't (or shouldn't be):
  • 1:1 is not just giving every kid a computer
  • 1:1 is not just a method of increasing technology integration
  • 1:1 is not just a way to save paper
  • 1:1 is not a fad
Education has been stagnate for so long.  Its an institution that has proven difficult to disrupt.  Introducing a 1:1 initiative to an unchanging institution will produce the same results.  You have to change the institution.  You have to change the entire culture of your school. 

What is 1:1?  Its a springboard; a legitimate catalyst for big change.  Pedagogy, assessment, daily schedule, length of the day, faculty meetings, course offerings, community involvement, professional development--every aspect of education can be revolutionized by 1:1, and its a good excuse to start a long overdue change.  Obviously, all of these changes can't come at the same time, but a committee of stakeholders including teachers, students, parents, and administrators need to sit down, put everything on the table, and create a strategic plan to revolutionize and modernize their school.  

What other opportunity will schools have to make big changes?  I blogged about Greensburg Kansas who suffered an F5 tornado that destroyed their entire town.  They decided to rebuild a modern energy efficient town where every building would receive the highest rating (platinum) from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.  Its not complete yet, but they have a plan, and they had a springboard.  1:1 is your springboard.  Don't you want to have one of the schools that people talk about at TED?  Why not your school? What are you waiting for?  A tornado? 

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