Like it or not 1:1 computing is the future of K-12 education and it is here to stay. The challenge for schools is to figure out how to implement 1:1 computing programs without overspending. We’ve done it and we can show you how to do it, too.
Most schools or districts that have implemented 1:1 computing programs allocate just over $1 per school day per student for meeting the computer infrastructure, equipment, and software needs of their students and staff. In the eyes of the school system administrators and your boards of education, this is considered a reasonable allocation and an excellent use of funds. Labor and salary expenses for technology professionals are not included in this allocation, but we think they should be.
According to a member of the North Carolina State Board of Education after a visit to one district that successfully implemented 1:1 computing,
“Between hardware & software, they invest about ‘$1 a day’, or some $200/year/child. The results are impressive to put it mildly…Whether you are talking academic proficiency, graduation rate (or drop-outs), suspension #'s---the data for this district makes them high-performing. Kids are engaged…Individualized instruction is facilitated by what I would characterize as carefully chosen software, providing virtually real time feedback to student & teacher as to where a child is on the day's lesson plan. Keep in mind there is not a textbook present in this district, w/ the savings deployed to offset the cost of their technology platform.”
Our experience has been that a school or district can provide infrastructure, equipment, and software for less than 40% of the amount this district is spending, sometimes even less. The key to getting value from your technology investment is making smart decisions about the equipment you purchase and how you plan to manage that equipment. Generally, we suggest schools allocate between 3 and 5 percent of their annual budget for ALL expenses associated with your technology program. This includes labor and salary expenses, staff development, infrastructure and equipment, and software licenses.
When you decide to implement 1:1 computing, it is and should be a paradigm shift in your school. 1:1 computing initiatives are not just about putting a computer is every student’s hand. It’s about changing the way your teachers teach to take advantage of the technology investment in order to produce a more focused and individualize experience for every student. You will also further engage parents in their children’s’ education. All student work and the grades students receive can be made immediately available to parents, teachers, and students. 1:1 computing programs increases the productivity of your teachers because they do not spend much time on mundane tasks. Formative assessments can be performed daily without much effort on the part of the teacher. A snapshot of student performance is available anytime, day or night. In a 1:1 environment, teachers find the pace of learning increases and they are able to spend extra time with students who need additional individual attention.
1:1 environments also enhance the learning experience because of the additional resources available to teachers and students in the classroom because of the enormous amount of information and teaching resources available on-demand from the internet to students and teachers.
The key to success is reliability of the technology, ease of use, and service and support to the users of the technology. The system must work all the time and must be developed and managed in a way that requires as little investment in labor as possible. All of it can be accomplished with minimal investment.
It is imperative that K-12 schools implement an effective and reliable technology program that includes 1:1 computing. We’re not the only one who believes this. According to the 2010 National Education Technology Plan created by the United States Department of Education:
“Technology is at the core of virtually every aspect of our daily lives and work, and we must leverage it to provide engaging and powerful learning experiences and content, as well as resources and assessments that measure student achievement in more complete, authentic, and meaningful ways.”
“…we should look to other kinds of enterprises, such as business and entertainment, which have used technology to improve outcomes while increasing productivity.”
“Making engaging learning experiences and resources available to learners anytime and anywhere requires state-of-the-art infrastructure, which includes technology, people, and processes that ensure continuous access.”
Steve Joyner Consulting Services has succeeded in providing 1:1 technology solutions to schools and we have the experience and the knowledge necessary to help you succeed and get the most value from your technology investment.
We really do help you THINK BIG, DO MORE, and SPEND LESS.