- Network infrastructure. Depending on the device your district uses, this is essential. If internet connectivity is required to run a Chromebook, for example, then wifi needs to be up and running before deployment. The internet isn’t as large a concern initially if students are using devices with hard drive space.
People infrastructure. This involves IT, but it also involves curriculum specialists, technology specialists, administrators, teachers, and students who have a common perspective on how to effectively use technology as a tool for learning.
Digital classroom infrastructure. I’m a huge proponent for using a learning management system in the classroom for assigning, collecting, and grading assignments, as well as communicating with students. I’ve explained this in great detail during my EdmodoCon presentation this past August, and I also created a shorter presentation that can be viewed here:
Professional Development. PD sessions need to be continually offered to show teachers (especially reticent teachers) that the educational community values learning and growing at all levels. Throwing technology in classrooms and expecting it to suddenly create positive change is like throwing money at an international war and expecting a peaceful solution. In both cases, there’s no game plan, which will most likely lead to a fiasco. (If resources permit, one-on-one training and mentoring is most desirable, but large group “Appy Hours” are helpful as well.)
Sharing best practices. Once teachers feel empowered, it’s time for them to share what works with others. Failure to share and collaborate can horribly affect morale during a 1:1 deployment because the buy-in that’s occurring with motivated teachers isn’t being communicated. Many educators need sparks of enlightenment from more technology-savvy instructors; this is essential for district-wide conceptualizing of a 21st century classroom.
6. Trust kids. The following is a wonderful comment I received from the superintendent of the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District, Dr. Kevin Silberberg.
Those classrooms who truly trust the students….like you did in your room, move the SAMR process along so much faster.
This is so true and extremely important! It’s only through believing in the power of a student’s creative ability and intellectual curiosity that we’ll engage him or her in ways that aren’t possible without 1:1 devices in classrooms.