5 Tough Questions to Ask When Implementing 1:1 or BYOD

Has your school gone 1:1? Or are headed that way? Often, with technology comes a great deal of change, a fair amount of resistance, and an abundance of questions. However, when done right, a 1:1 is well worth the effort.

To help ensure your school or district is set up for success from the start, we’ve compiled a few quick tips to set expectations and minimize potential pitfalls.

  1. What’s the Goal of the Initiative?
    We’re big fans of educational technology, but the addition of technology as a standalone isn’t enough. It’s important to set a goal for your devices that is focused on learning. In the words of Andrew Marcinek, a school CIO and former Director of Technology, in a recent Edutopia article:

    “A 1:1 environment should be the goal of every learning institution; however, this is not about devices, it's about access. I imagine every school superintendent, principal, and teacher would agree that it is in their best interest to provide their students with the best access to the most current, scholarly information available.”

    Without a focus on learning, a 1:1 initiative has the potential to be underutilized as well as fail to ultimately impact student success. If you haven’t already set such a goal, take a hard look at the technology in your district, 1:1 initiative or not, and see where changes can be made.

  2. How Will You Ensure Devices are Used?
    As with any initiative or project, there is a learning curve. Keep this in mind, and support your teachers’ success with professional development opportunities and time to integrate new tools into their lessons. It’s also important to not demand that the devices be used at all times, while still encouraging use when appropriate.

    Setting up expectations, supporting teachers with needed training, and checking in with them on how it’s going and any further professional development needs can make all the difference.

    Related Resource: How Do We Plan with Purpose? A Look at Effective PD
     
  3. What is the Devices’ Role in the Classroom?
    A device is no replacement for a quality teacher, and it shouldn’t be treated as one. A device is a tool, just like an old chalkboard, not-quite-as-old whiteboard, or a calculator. Work with teachers to make them feel comfortable with the device, understand the benefits the available technology provides, and provide practical ideas that show how the device can be successfully used in the classroom.

    Related resource: Evaluating Technology Resources

Mobile and Beyond: McAllen ISD supports district-wide tech initiative, PD, and tech training needs

McAllen ISD, a district with 1,600 full-time employees, in McAllen, Texas, initially chose Atomic Learning to support their 1:1 iPad initiative (27,000 iPads deployed to every learner, K-12, plus staff). The district has since learned the importance of the Atomic Learning resources to not only support their mobile initiative, but to also expand the depth of technology training district-wide.

McAllen promotes using Atomic Learning in several ways, all of which are driving an increase in Atomic Learning usage in their district. One example of this is that during the last school year, McAllen scrapped their Career Technical Education (CTE) curriculum and transitioned to only using Atomic Learning content. Another avenue is that parent usage is climbing after an Atomic Learning-led parent liaison group. One parent shared that he took Atomic Learning's training on apps like Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, printed the certificates of completion, took those with him to a job interview, and was hired. McAllen encourages teachers to go directly to Atomic Learning for their PD rather than going outside of the district, which is also increasing their usage.

McAllen now has new direction with a new Instructional Technology Director, Ann Vega. Here are Vega's goals for Atomic Learning within MISD for her first year, in order of importance.

  1. Get all administrators trained on Atomic Learning and get them comfortable assigning training to various groups (teachers, admin. assistants, para professionals, HR, parents, and others).
     
  2. Get all teachers trained in Atomic Learning, especially using Google Apps for education (which has a built-in LMS)
     
  3. Get all teachers assigning training/projects/assessments to their students
     
  4. Possibly custom-uploading videos and other resources to assign training to teachers, including new teacher training and other annual mandated compliance training for reporting, such as Blood Borne Pathogens.

Ann especially wants to create user groups so she can assign training, and track it. McAllen is having great success as they continue to integrate Atomic Learning into their district.

Want to get your district on track with teacher PD and training district-wide? Contact Atomic Learning today!

Report Finds Mobile Learning Continues to Grow

According to The New Digital Playbook: Understanding the Spectrum of Students' Activities and Aspirations report by Project Tomorrow, the prevalence of mobile devices in schools is on the rise. In fact, one third of 3rd through 12th grade students have access to school provided devices.
 
Another indicator of the mobile revolution is the shift of tolerance for personal devices. The Speak Up 2010 National Research Project found that 52% of districts did not allow student owned devices, down to just 32% in 2013.

How can Atomic Learning help with your mobile initiative?

Wondering how to make the most out of mobile devices in your classroom? Andrea Anderson, Manager of Integration and Customer Support at Atomic Learning recently sat down with Bob Garmston, an Instructional Designer with Iowa AEA PD Online to talk about how we can help districts make the most out of their mobile initiative. 

Mobile Monday - 4/8/13 #edmtech

With all the mobile initiatives happening out there, we want to learn from your experience. Mobile Mondays will pose a common question your peers might ask when considering a mobile initiative in their school or district. Here is today’s question, talk amongst yourselves.

How are you using mobile devices in the math classroom?

 

 

Mobile Monday - 3/25/13 #edmtech

With all the mobile initiatives happening out there, we want to learn from your experience. Mobile Mondays will pose a common question your peers might ask when considering a mobile initiative in their school or district. Here is today’s question, talk amongst yourselves.

What have you done to support students (or staff) that are not technology savvy?

 

Mobile Monday - 3/18/13 #edmtech

With all the mobile initiatives happening out there, we want to learn from your experience. Mobile Mondays will pose a common question your peers might ask when considering a mobile initiative in their school or district. Here is today’s question, talk amongst yourselves.

Is [mobile] technology taught ahead of time or in class with the project?

 

 

Mobile Monday - 3/11/13 #edmtech

With all the mobile initiatives happening out there, we want to learn from your experience. Mobile Mondays will pose a common question your peers might ask when considering a mobile initiative in their school or district. Here is today’s question, talk amongst yourselves.

How much time does your district devote to training teachers on technology?  What are the expectations for the teachers for self-learning?

Mobile Monday - 2/25/13 #edmtech

With all the mobile initiatives happening out there, we want to learn from your experience. Mobile Mondays will pose a common question your peers might ask when considering a mobile initiative in their school or district. Here is today’s question, talk amongst yourselves.

We would like to use tech for ebooks and audio books - a few in each classroom so any child who wants/needs can use it.  How do you finance books/booksharing?

Mobile Monday - 2/18/13 #edmtech

With all the mobile initiatives happening out there, we want to learn from your experience. Mobile Mondays will pose a common question your peers might ask when considering a mobile initiative in their school or district. Here is today’s question, talk amongst yourselves.

How do your policies extend to home use of mobile devices relating to school assignments, personnel, or other students?

Mobile Monday - 2/11/13 #edmtech

With all the mobile initiatives happening out there, we want to learn from your experience. Mobile Mondays will pose a common question your peers might ask when considering a mobile initiative in their school or district. Here is today’s question, talk amongst yourselves.

Regarding iPads: How do you manage multiple users on single devices?

 

 

Mobile Monday - 2/4/13 #edmtech

With all the mobile initiatives happening out there, we want to learn from your experience. Mobile Mondays will pose a common question your peers might ask when considering a mobile initiative in their school or district. Here is today’s question, talk amongst yourselves.
 

What do you wish you'd known before starting this initiative?

 

Mobile Monday - 1/28/13 #edmtech

With all the mobile initiatives happening out there, we want to learn from your experience. Mobile Mondays will pose a common question your peers might ask when considering a mobile initiative in their school or district. Here is today’s question, talk amongst yourselves.

How long did it take for the teachers' use of mobile devices to be at an acceptable level?

 

Mobile Monday - 1/21/13 #edmtech

With all the mobile initiatives happening out there, we want to learn from your experience. Mobile Mondays will pose a common question your peers might ask when considering a mobile initiative in their school or district. Here is today’s question, talk amongst yourselves.

What are the some obstacles that were encountered and how were they solved?

 

 

Mobile Monday - 1/14/13 #edmtech

With all the mobile initiatives happening out there, we want to learn from your experience. Mobile Mondays will pose a common question your peers might ask when considering a mobile initiative in their school or district. Here is today’s question, talk amongst yourselves.

Mobile Monday - 1/7/13 #edmtech

With all the mobile initiatives happening out there, we want to learn from your experience. Mobile Mondays will pose a common question your peers might ask when considering a mobile initiative in their school or district. Here is today’s question, talk amongst yourselves.

Have there been issues with too much traffic over wi-fi with BYOD?

 

 

Mobile Monday - 12/17/12 #edmtech

With all the mobile initiatives happening out there, we want to learn from your experience. Mobile Mondays will pose a common question your peers might ask when considering a mobile initiative in their school or district. Here is today’s question, talk amongst yourselves.

How do you handle situations where students cannot afford BYOD?

 

 

Mobile Monday - 12/10/12

With all the mobile initiatives happening out there, we want to learn from your experience. Mobile Mondays will pose a common question your peers might ask when considering a mobile initiative in their school or district. Here is today’s question, talk amongst yourselves.

How do you filter internet content with BYOD?

 

Mobile Monday - 12/3/12

With all the mobile initiatives happening out there, we want to learn from your experience. Mobile Mondays will pose a common question your peers might ask when considering a mobile initiative in their school or district. Here is today’s question, talk amongst yourselves.

Does your school’s wi-fi include a content blocker or filtering system?

 

 

 

Mobile Monday - 11/26/12

With all the mobile initiatives happening out there, we want to learn from your experience. Mobile Mondays will pose a common question your peers might ask when considering a mobile initiative in their school or district. Here is today’s question, talk amongst yourselves.

What type of teacher training took place for your BYOD?

 

 

Mobile Monday - 11/19/12

With all the mobile initiatives happening out there, we want to learn from your experience. Mobile Mondays will pose a common question your peers might ask when considering a mobile initiative in their school or district. Here is today’s question, talk amongst yourselves.

How do you handle theft and damage to personal devices with BYOD access?

 

Coming Soon: Flash CS6 - Developing a Mobile App Training

In this series you are going to learn how to program a flash file to work as a mobile device app. This will include how to use the mobile app Simulator the comes with Flash in order to test your app as if it were actually installed on a mobile device. Upon programing and testing the app, you will learn how to configure the app for deployment and use on either an Android or iOS powered mobile device. 

Mobile Monday - 11/12/12

With all the mobile initiatives happening out there, we want to learn from your experience. Mobile Mondays will pose a common question your peers might ask when considering a mobile initiative in their school or district. Here is today’s question, talk amongst yourselves.

Did the allowance of cell phones require a change in school or district policy?

 

Why iPads are Important in Education

A recent blog post on wired.com discusses from a parent perspective why iPads (or mobile devices in general) are positively impacting education.

It is not what the technology can do that makes it important, it is the way it has re-ignited passion and ideas in teachers.

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