I would argue that 1:1 means immediate, constantly available Internet access for all. I don’t particularly care if that comes from a smartphone, a tablet, an iPod Touch, or a Nook. The major consideration in this is whether your learning platform of choice can be accessed with high fidelity on whatever devices you either choose or allow. Blackboard, for example, offers full-featured apps for Android and iOS, as well as the standard Web interface. Christopher Dawson
In the near future, I believe our district will put a SCD on the school supply list. SCD? Student Connectivity Device. My acroymn - sounds better than IED - Individual Educational Device. As much as I have longed for our district to initiate a 1:1 laptop project, I just don't think it is either feasible budget-wise or maybe even the right thing to do given state educational funding realities. Instead, let's find ways to promote, even require, SCDs.
What schools can do is clearly outline the capacities SCDs need to have in order for students to participate fully in instructional activities and use school-provided instructional materials. Here might be a start on a short list of those capabilities.
The device your child needs to access and use district resources must:
- an 802.11x wireless networking access
- a virus protection program
- a color screen
- an onscreen or external keyboard or other means of entering text
- an audio port for earbuds or headphones
- 4 hour battery life
- have a full functioning, recent web browser (Firefox, Explorer, Chrome, Safari) that will allow it to access GoogleApps for Education tools and documents, the Infinite Campus student portal, Moodle2.0, the state of Minnesota's ELM content databases, and the Destiny library catalog
- either internal or external data storage capabilities (USB port for flash drive or an internal storage)
- ability to run Flash
- machine-based productivity software (Office, Open Office, iWork) for off-line use
This should give families a lot of flexibility - smartphones with about any OS, netbooks, iPods/iPads, e-books, or a full-sized laptop (new or dad's old one), should do the job.
How would you feel if this showed up on your child's student supply list?
And what, my expert friends, should be added or can be dropped from my specs???
And how do homes and schools divide the responsibility for teaching the use of and technical support for SCDs?
Oh, I, along with I am sure a billion others, just applied to be a beta tester (with 19 other "volunteers" in my district) for the Chrome netbook. I am pretty excited since this ought to be a real contender for the inexpensive but functional dream device I've been pining for for years. See Disappointed Again from 2006