The paradigm shift of educational technology is called One-to-One Computing (1:1). 1:1 incorporates technology in the classroom to create a teaching-and learning environment by providing each student with a digital device. The major advantages for 1:1 learning are that it offers adaptive learning and data-driven teaching. For example, in a 1:1 classroom, every student can request narration to support reading activities and the teacher can identify students who are having difficulty, based on their performance data, and to address their specific needs.
However, 1:1 is not a common infrastructure for most K12 educational systems around the world. This initiative requires ongoing management, maintenance, and technical support resources that most schools and education systems simply do not have. Even in the United States, the leading country in the 1:1 movement, only 16% of all classrooms have the requisite 1:1 infrastructure.
Does the low level of 1:1 integration mean that schools cannot benefit from technology? The answer is a resounding “No” and also a cautionary “but”.
“No” because even with classrooms that are equipped with a computer for the teacher, a projector, and access to the web, there is still the possibility of gaining many of the benefits of educational technology. Such classroom configuration is called One to Class (1:Class). Under this configuration there are three common blended learning setups:
• Basic 1:Class – Teacher’s computer, projector, and access to the web or an interactive whiteboard.
• Typical 1:Class – Basic 1:Class plus 1-2 hours a week of personalized learning for each student by using a computer lab, computers brought in the classroom on carts or at home.
• Optimal 1:Class – Basic 1:Class plus 3-4 hours a week of personalized learning for each student by using a computer lab, a computer cart or at home.
“But” because a computer and projector alone cannot create a different teaching experience than the traditional lecture style. The 1:Class setting without the necessary educational technology integration will not lead to a meaningful educational effect. Only through the implementation of smart digital content and advanced digital education platforms can the teacher reach significantly-improved results for progress-and-performance and student engagement.
Smart Digital Content is interactive content that provides a personalized learning experience and enables the teacher to closely monitor the student’s progress and performance. In our next blog, we will discuss smart digital content and the various ways to create it.
• Enables the teacher to organize content in a structured way
• Allows for data-driven teaching
• Supports personalized learning
• Enables knowledge-sharing to support 21st century skills
• Provides for the gradual transition from a Basic or Typical 1:Class setting to an Optimal 1:Class setting and full 1:1 Computing
By using smart digital content and advanced digital teaching platforms or learning management systems (LMS) in the 1:Class setting, the teacher can gain many educational benefits. Teachers will not leverage the benefits of 1:Class by relying on lecture-style pedagogy.
So, Is One-to-One the only effective educational technology?
The answer is No because there are ways to succeed in the 1:Class setting, which the teacher can start doing today to start the evolutionary process of reaching a 1:1 classroom. Regardless however of whether a school is committed to 1:1, teachers can still utilize the current educational technology in their classrooms by using technological tools that are already available.