Saturday, June 18, 2011

Beyond 1:1 - A Scary Leap

I have been doing some thinking over the past several months about how technology can be integrated in my classroom in a meaningful way.

Our school board is in a transition period. We have had 1:1 laptops for seven years. The machines are getting old, and it is time to buy new ones. There is a push to replace the machines with mainly Netbooks at this point as they are so much less expensive. Since the transition was left too late, many machines need to be replaced at once and we cannot afford to replace all the laptops at once with new laptops. I pointed out that we would not be able to do the same kind of multi-media stuff with the Netbooks as with the laptops. I was told that most teachers use the machines for web-viewing and typing, so we can at least maintain that with the Netbooks, then look at buying more machines to try to move things further.

While I understand that there are financial constraints, I don't believe that we should be buying for the lowest common denominator. I think that there are other teachers like me who want to do more. I began thinking about the tools that I would want to be using with students. I considered whether 1:1 was perhaps less important than being able to really create some neat stuff. What if I could trade 2 Netbooks in for an iPad? I could probably do some cool stuff with a few iPod Touch's for similar prices to Netbooks. What about the peripheral tools we never think to buy?

So I came up with a "Technology Infusion" plan that I think would be a whole lot more creative and useful than 1:1 Netbooks. My principal thinks it is fantastic and is proposing it as a pilot project for our cycle 2 (grades 3-4) students. It is kind of scary - seven years of 1:1 is a long time, habits form - but I am excited.


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