Sometimes the only way to make progress is to leave something behind.
Edina Public Schools in Minnesota included a one-to-one notebook computer initiative in its 2007–2013 Long-Range Technology Plan. The objective? For all staff and learners to have access to information through the district’s telecommunications infrastructure.
After researching best practices for one-to-one computing and visiting successful programs, the district developed a pilot initiative with the following goals directly aligned to its strategic plan:
The pilot program began during the 2008–2009 school year, when a team of 22 teachers received notebook computers and formed a community of practice to study notebook learning and how they would teach differently in a more student-centered classroom.
In addition, in January 2009, the district launched a “bring your own device” initiative and invited students at Edina High School to take part. About 50 students agreed to participate in the BYOD program.
Together, these two efforts meant that the following school year, a team of teachers and 155 eighth-grade students had access to notebook computers at home and school to assist their learning. (For pointers on how to adopt this approach, read “6 Steps for Increasing Student Access with BYOD.”)
An independent evaluation of the program found:
Based on this information and the lack of funds to expand the following year, the district revised its plans. The new strategy called for: