A year ago I went to see my friends Dave Sands and Brian Kuhn presenting to parents that were part of a 1-1 (one laptop per child) pilot program at a Middle School. Little did I know that I’d be moved to that same school as the Vice Principal in February, and that I’d be co-presenting with Brian, to the parents in the program, one year later.
Brian did a great job preparing the presentation and with similar philosophies it was very easy to contribute meaningfully to what he had prepared.
The key messages we brought up sounded eerily like my 3rd presentation at BLC08 in Boston, but I’ll have more on that later.
As we were giving the presentation it occurred to me that 1-to-1 is about exposing teachers (and parents) to possibilities as much as it is about doing the same for students. The fact is that not long from now we won’t need 1-1 classrooms because students will be bringing their own computers/movie cameras/mp3 players/web browsers/instant messengers/calculators/agendas to school with them:
I predict that in about 5 short years almost every Middle School student will own an iPhone or its’ equivalent, and they will be connecting to our wireless network via bluetooth for absolutely free. Students will be ready, willing and able to use these tools in our classroom… will teachers be ready enough to maximize the opportunities and learning experiences these tools (coming to our classrooms for free) will provide?
I’ve been hearing a message from a lot from technology-using teachers recently… “I can’t go back”! Teachers are beginning to see that technology in the classroom is more of a necessity than an opportunity.
One-to-one is not a program that can be sustained across an entire district, it would be too expensive. However this program is ideal to pilot with willing teachers… teachers who recognize that the classroom of the future will give every learner access to tools that would have costed a fortune just a few years ago… tools that some students are already bringing to our classrooms… tools that students will bring to our classrooms of the not-so-distant-future in abundance!