Technological Muses

Teacher Showing Students Native American Handicrafts at a school in Washington D.C.

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?

The challenges to running a one to one classroom are minuscule compared to the benefits that they provide students, teachers, and parents in being able to more efficiently and effectively learn. This is especially true in this age where computers are becoming increasingly commonplace in all fields of employ. But the challenges that a one to one classroom give are important enough to warrant consideration, in particular I feel that the first stage of creating a one to one classroom is the hardest since you have to gauge how technologically savvy the students in your class are. The one to one classroom provides an opportunity for students to synthesize information into collaborative projects that doesn’t require everyone to be at the same place at the same time, which is the nail in the coffin for any and all group projects.

Of the challenges that arise in a one to one classroom is the accountability aspect of using the technology. In a traditional classroom setting a teacher can quickly glance around the room and ascertain the approximate level of completion of a project, piece of writing, and focus on a learning task without having to check in with every student. In a one to one classroom a teacher can still check in with every student on a regular basis, but the process is slowed down by the need to open each document up individually to see where the student is on the task. Another challenge that arises in a one to one classroom is the ease in which the documents can be edited, where a mischievous student can ruin the hard work of other students. Fortunately for those schools that use Google Classroom/Doc’s there is a way to see all the edits made inside of the document, and if this feature is previewed before hand and paired with other punishments for altering another students work then most potential interrupters give up.

The chief benefit that the one to one classroom provides is increased activity choices, where students group presentations were limited to pictures drawn on paper in the past, in the one to one classroom students can work together to form PowerPoint style slideshows. The one to one classroom makes what once was under the exclusive ownership of the teacher accessible to students and allows the teacher to focus on the learning activities and tasks rather than trying to push information into a students mind. In these ways the one to one classroom’s learning benefits far outstrip the negatives.

Image Credit: Library of Congress

Title: Teacher Showing Students Native American Handicrafts at a School in Washington, D.C.

Creator: Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952, photographer

Date Created/Published: 1899

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