iPads for everyone: the 1 to 1 classroom

Anti-communist propaganda warning of “the dangers of a Communist takeover”.

Prompt:  Assume you have your first full time teaching job and the principal tells you that you’ve been selected to pilot the  “1 to 1 Project.”  What are your thoughts about the opportunities and challenges that presents?

Yay! I’ve been given a 1 to 1 classroom as a pilot program for my school. At first my heart is pounding and my head racing with ideas of what to do with such unrestrained freedom in my classroom. With access to all the information and knowledge the internet contains at their fingertips, there is nothing my students cannot do.

But wait…there is nothing my students cannot do. And by that I mean my students can do what they want. It’s the internet, it’s technology and without even trying they seem to know more about it than I do and they are only 8 years younger than me. How am I going to be able to keep them on task with such power in their hands? Will they rise up against me in order to have the power all for themselves?

Obviously when using a 1 to 1 classroom, I will want to put restrictions on whatever technology I am given (be it iPads, chromebooks, laptops etc), but like anything technological, I imagine, it can be hacked and altered. And if there is one thing that scares me about using technology in my classroom it is the smart, bored kid in the back who is messing around on his piece of tech and manages to break through the restrictions I’ve put on them.

The reason this scares me is because I would have no clue how he did it and how to undo it once it happens. I’d hope there was some sort of well-oiled tech support somewhere at the school or within an easy phone call so that once, if, it happens I can fix it.

And it’s not just the hacking that would worry me about not understanding the technology, what if the tech won’t turn on one day for seemingly no reason. I have enough trouble with doors sometimes and technology seems to implode around me on the regular. I can only imagine the disaster that would befall me if there wasn’t tech support to aid me in my time of need.

Aside from technological catastrophes happening, the 1 to 1 classroom does offer a lot to a history class. If any sourcing needs to be done, break out the tech and let the students research until they can adequately answer your question about who the author of the source was and what sort of background do they bring to it.

I also see potential for formative assessments at the end of class. Maybe there is an app installed on the device like Haiku or Padlet where the students can summarize what they learned in the lesson and share it with you in the final ten minutes of class.

I imagine that I will be using google classroom in the future, so I could easily create an assignment and they could all respond to it while their tech is out. Then there is no excuse for forgetting to do it.

Having this tech in the classroom, when used well by me, the teacher, could give the students more agency over their own learning and it could get them more invested in the process. With a wide variety of apps available, and the ability to create one in the classroom I imagine (not a tech person, just saying), the potential for fresh and fun assignments and projects is almost limitless.

And unlike the poster above, if done well, the students shouldn’t rise up in armed protest or hacking defiance to overturn the classroom.



Description: Cover to the propaganda comic book “Is This Tomorrow”
Date: 1947
Source: Catechetical Guild

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