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July 21, 2011

Teaching in a 1:1 Environment

by Randy Ziegenfuss

In case you haven’t noticed, we are not referring to TL2014 as a “1 to 1.” While the phrase has been around for awhile, it tends to draw attention to the device rather than the learner. For that reason, we believe TL2014 is a teaching and learning initiative that happens to include a computing device for every student (at least in Grade 6-12).

With the introduction of increased levels of technology to the point where every teacher and learner has their own laptop computer, the environment is bound to change – it has to. So what does this mean for teachers? How will we adjust? What can we expect? These will be ongoing conversations led by the principals in our high school and middle school.

Several days ago, I ran across a blog post titled 10 Ideas to Help You Prepare to Teach in a 1:1 Classroom. This list was generated by teachers experienced in this kind of learning environment. It’s worth posting here as we begin our journey into expanded ways of teaching and learning.

  1. Not all teenagers are digital natives.
  2. The computer itself is not going to create student engagement.
  3. Teaching with technology is a heterogeneous experience.
  4. It takes longer than you think to get a room full of students on the same webpage.
  5. You should keep a list of students’ usernames and passwords.
  6. Murphy’s Law is strongest the first few times you try to teach 1:1.
  7. Close and Focus.
  8. Project design is still about the content.
  9. Better to stand behind students than in front.
  10. Network administrators are not always up to date on Web 2.0 from the end-user perspective. (There’s a difference between hardware people and software people).

I look forward to engaging our school leaders, teachers and students in conversation about these and other ideas as the year begins. What can the Technology Department do to help?

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