Monday, October 7, 2013

So You've Gone 1:1... What's Next?

I remember when my husband and I brought home our first child.   We had prepared for months… reading books, building furniture, attending child birth classes, buying accessories, talking to friends… our entire lives were dedicated to the arrival of this child (and my husband’s PhD coursework so I guess we weren’t totally myopic).  The day came when she entered the world and we were sent home by the hospital staff to begin our lives as a family.  We came home, my husband put the baby (in her car carrier) on the coffee table… and we stared at her…. and we stared at each other… we stared at the cat… and suddenly all the prep was over and we asked “So.Now.What.Do.We.Do?”

Brett Clark wrote a fantastic post about prepping a 1:1 program being like prepping for the arrival of a child.  And he’s total right.  So now that you’ve gone 1:1… what do you do?

  • Hint: If you happen to be in Indianapolis at ICE13 on Friday, October 11th this is our presentation.  Join us!

Taking a page from the research of Elizabeth Heitsch and Robert Holley and their work on the Learning Commons model of library design, there are three main areas to consider in your "What's Next" reflections:  the Physical; the Virtual; and the Cultural.  Let’s try a series of reflections based on your learning environment … what it is like now and how the environment changes through the lens of 1:1.

The Physical:
1:1 will dramatically change how you see and use space in your learning environment.  There is new hardware all over the place needing be connect to a wireless network, print and create.  Also how your learners use the chairs, desks and floor changes dramatically.  We have learned that the 50’s model of desks in rows doesn’t work so well in 1:1.  Students and teachers need flexible spaces to fully engage the capacity of collaboration and access these devices create.  And speaking of creating, students will need creation spaces outside the classroom to continue their experiences. 

Reflect a moment:  Picture your classroom.  See each student with access to a personal device for learning.  What works in the space?  What doesn’t? What would help?

The Virtual:
Every time I think this is the obvious consideration BEFORE going 1:1, I read a post on the State of Indiana Learning Connections that asks for input in digital curriculum/resources AFTER a school district has gone 1:1.  The virtual considerations are more than just digital textbooks… it’s your school web presence, it’s a learning management system or content distribution platform.  It’s creation tools like Google Apps for Education or Microsoft SkyDrive.  It’s social media use like Edmodo, My Big Campus or Twitter.  It’s apps designed to drive the school calendar of events and feedback from families.  As the students of LA schools showed us, students know the power of the device … and they want to harness that power (legitimately or otherwise because they are very, very smart).  These resources will change (improve) every few months. Be prepared to be flexible with upgrades and expect change.

Reflect a moment: What virtual resources do you use now in your classroom?  How does 24/7 access change that use?  What new doors may open?  What challenges may arise within the classroom, the school building, the larger community?

The Cultural:
The most nebulous, but most important of all three, are the cultural considerations and growth possible in 1:1.   Your 1:1 program will facilitate growth in the mission and identity of your school.  That mission statement the committee wrote?  Use it!  These devices are amazing at connecting global learners, creating active citizens, developing critical thinking … all those lofty ideals posted on the letterhead.  You’ll find more opportunities for professional development in asynchronous instruction, webinars, streamed conferences and social media PLNS.  Identify the values of the community and shift those values through the access 1:1 offers.

Reflect a moment: What are the key values of your community?  What are the key values articulated in your mission statement?  How might these be developed in 1:1?

1:1 initiatives do not stop when the devices roll out!  They do not stop with the last formal training.  Arguably, the real work begins after delivery… when the rubber meets the road… when it’s not new any more.  And boy, can it be amazing! 

Categories influenced by:
Heitsch, Elizabeth K. and Robert P. Holley. “The Information and Learning Commons: Some Reflections.” New Review of Academic Librarianship, 17:64-77, 2011

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