School Board asks for committee to study the “why” question related to 1:1

IMG_6444This past week, our district’s Teaching & Learning Advisory group (which contains admins, teachers, parents, and a few board members) received a request to form a committee to study 1:1, or the ability to provide a technology device to students.  After discussion, the request was approved – but with some very significant guidance and expectations.

The committee’s task is to report back on…

1) What are the pros / cons of providing devices to students?

2) What are the benefits and anticipated results of going 1:1? If we did 1:1, what do we expect to see as results?

3) What specific benefits are other districts seeing as a result of 1:1?

4) Gauge community (staff, parents, community) interest in 1:1

What tasks are NOT to be done by the committee…

1) No discussing devices: There is no need to compare technology devices – we do NOT have approval for deploying 1:1, there is no need for this discussion yet.

2) No discussing roll out or training plans:  There is no need to discuss which grade levels and/or which schools are impacted.

3) No discussing time frames:  There is NO approval for 1:1, so the time frame / deployment options does not need to be discussed at this time.

Q1.  Why are there all these restrictions/limitations, what’s the concern?
A1.  Any 1:1 implementation is a major project involving significant time and resources.  We must be very clear about WHY it should or should not be done – and to help us focus on the “Why”, we are removing the discussion points about  “when”, “how”, and “what device”.

Q2.  Is there an assumption that “new” money will be available for a 1:1 project?
A2.  First, there is no assumption that 1:1 will happen – but the committee is to take the angle that NO new money is available.  Instead, we are focusing on “Would we be willing to use our existing resources and change what we currently do to have this?”

Q3,  Who will be on the committee?  How are individuals being selected?
A3.  This has not be answered yet.  However, the advisory committee has asked that that group consist of individuals from a variety of audiences (not just staff).  In addition, they have requested that it be a mixture of technology experiences.

Q4. When is the study committee meeting?
A4. Dates/times have not be set, but will be published when the process is finalized.  We’re hoping to get information out in the next week.

Even though the details haven’t all been worked out, you’re welcome to drop me an email or respond in the comments section of this blog if you have thoughts, idea, etc.

Brian Abeling

7 thoughts on “School Board asks for committee to study the “why” question related to 1:1

    1. Brian Abeling Post author

      Sometimes asking “why not” leads to the response “because others are doing it”. I think our school board is hoping for us to really take a serious look at why, so that we can all be clear on why we would or would not proceed.

  1. Jim

    You should definitely talk with Johnston and Van Meter districts now that they have implemented 1:1. I’ve heard from teachers and tech departments that they are having significant problems.

    If the assumption is no new funds, will we need to cut in other areas to do this?

    1. Brian Abeling Post author

      Hi Jim,

      Yes, we are planning to visit with other area districts to review why they chose to go 1:1 and what results they expect. As for Johnston, our understanding is they just this month rolled out 1:1 and we’d expect to see concerns/issues during the start of any large roll out. As for Van Meter, they have been utilizing 1:1 laptops for four years – but I have not heard of any major problems that have stopped them from proceeding.

      As for funding – we have no intention to cut other positions or programs. Instead, the question is… Would we prefer to restructure our existing technology/curriculum purchases to enable 1:1 instead? Some examples would include changing out existing technologies, slowing the replacement cycle of other technologies, or shifting text resources to electronic versions.

      Thanks for your interest – and for taking the time leave your comments, they are truly appreciated.

      Brian Abeling
      WDM Technology

  2. Pingback: District 1:1 Committee | Julia McGuire talks about the WDM School Board

  3. Pingback: Closing of the 1:1 team — should WDMCS hop on the 1:1 train? | Julia McGuire talks about the WDM School Board

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