The One-to-One Initiative
During a special board meeting held on Monday, March 26th, the South Sioux City board of education approved the administration’s recommendation to implement a one-to-one initiative at the high school. The definition of a one-to-one initiative is providing every teacher and student with a portable laptop, notebook, or PC for continuous use at home and in the classroom. At our high school, the one-to-one initiative will focus on a portable laptop for teacher and student use in the classroom and at home.
The one-to-one initiative is directly aligned to our district’s mission statement where “each student is uniquely prepared and thrives academically, socially, and personally.” Our students live in a digital world and are comfortable using a variety of technological devices. To uniquely prepare our students to compete globally requires us to think differently about how we approach instruction. The use of technology facilitates 21st century learning experiences through access to interactive resources and mirrors skills student will be expected to have as they enter college or the workforce.
There are several benefits gained through the use of a laptop computer. Those benefits include;
1) Ensuring our students acquire the “21st Century Skills” helping them to compete with students across the country,
2) Building 21st Century Skills increases ability in key areas including communication, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration. These skills prepare students for college and/or career and are transferable across careers,
3) Raising levels of motivation which enhances creativity and produces higher quality work by students,
4) Offering opportunities to immediately collect and share information with students on their progress associated with essential knowledge and skills,
5) Increasing communication for students and parents through the use of email that allow them to send and receive messages from teachers,
6) Raising the level of student and teacher engagement,
7) Creating an interactive classroom where teachers present materials using multimedia tools, Web sites, online textbooks and other electronic tools to deliver curriculum directly to the student’s laptop,
8) Enhancing opportunities for teachers to differentiate instruction helping them meet the variety of student needs in their classrooms, and
9) Increasing opportunities for all students to take more rigorous coursework and allows them to take courses online through local colleges and universities.
It often helps me to see a visual representation or example when first learning about a new topic. To help accomplish this I would recommend readers go to the Edmodo and the Khan Academy websites. Information about Edmodo can be found on http://blog.edmodo.com/2011/03/29/4-easy-ways-to-connect-with-parents-on-edmodo/ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWV0WLd7Z60 . Both links provide wonderful examples of how we can use an application to connect with parents. Information about the Khan Academy can be found at http://www.khanacademy.org/ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HycjWQcAymQ. Both links provide an example of the kinds of classroom experiences that support teaching and learning. Edmodo and the Khan Academy are applications we can use immediately and provides a wonderful illustration of the benefits listed earlier in this version of SUPTS. On. Please call me at 402-494-2425 if you would like to visit about the district’s efforts to bring technology into the classroom.