The Direct Network

Before You Go 1:1

Posted by Carrie Watkins on Jun 20, 2014 5:43:00 PM
Topics: digital content, mbs direct, K-12

Thinking about starting a 1:1 program at your school? Here are a few suggestions based on our work with schools that have put a device in the hands of every student at their school, whether it's an iPad, Chromebook or BYOD (bring your own device).

Survey your stakeholders

As with any major change at your school, it's helpful to know what your stakeholders think. More often than not, they have valuable input. Asking for their voice at the beginning can give them ownership in the project as a whole. Share the findings, or at least share what you plan to do with the information you received. While asking for input is a great thing, not addressing the input you were given (especially if you aren't able to use it) is worse than not asking for it.

The survey can also help you find champions for your program who can help with training and pilots.

Look at how you teach

Bringing tablets or laptops into your classroom is exciting and opens a world of opportunity. But if all you are doing is swapping print textbooks for digital textbooks, you are leaving so much potential at the door. While substitution is the first step, find ways to move further up the SAMR scale by incorporating project-based learning or 20% Time/Genius Hour into your curriculum. Give the poster board a break. Tablets and laptops provide a number of ways for your students to research, collaborate and present what they've learned.

Digital citizenship

Kids are savvy these days. They can take a selfie, choose a filter and post it faster than most people can say "Insta-huh?" But when it comes to making smart decisions online, most kids are like the rest of us. They either need to be shown the right path or learn from horribly embarrassing and potentially future-jeopardizing mistakes. Not only is this a good time to show your students what is expected from them in terms of proper use and best practices with the device itself, but it also is a great segue into what is expected of them online. Discuss the pitfalls of the web, such as long memory and anonymity, as well as its benefits, such as connectedness and convenience. This is a great time to talk about how to identify quality resources, as well.

Professional development

The great thing about technology is that there is always something new and different coming. The difficult thing about technology is that there is always something new and different coming. Once you have your 1:1 program planned and launched, be sure to provide channels for your faculty to continue learning and share best practices. Not just what new app they are using, but how it's helping students learn better and changing outcomes. Find faculty -- in your school or outside of your school -- who have redefined learning and have them present. Encourage your faculty to grow their Professional Learning Network (PLN) outside of your school or district. Show them how to use Twitter and Pinterest to find new ideas. Host an EdCamp at your school. If you have questions about content or your digital materials, contact your Account Manager to have an MBS Digital Consultant facilitate or lead a session.

About Carrie Watkins

Carrie is a former digital consultant for MBS Direct, who specialized in traveling around the country to learn about new products and services MBS Direct can provide to partner schools and bringing those ideas back into the office to work on with the digital solutions team.

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