I’m not convinced about 1:1…

25 Oct

Those abreast of trends in education know the fervor with which traditional teaching is criticized. We should throw out our old models of desks in rows, sages on stages, empty vessel filling, and preoccupation with standards and test. I agree. Period. Let’s stop teaching like it’s 1955.

I shouldn’t have to mention it, but criticizing the current paradigm of education is not an attack on teachers or administrators. There are larger forces at play that make it near impossible for well-meaning educators to change things.

(c) Matt Arguello

I’m going to add another idea to the mix. I’m hesitant about the rush to adopt 1-to-1 programs. Here are a few of my thoughts:

  1. Why is 1-to-1 better? Why not 1-to-2, or 1-to-3?
  2. Wouldn’t one device for two or three students improve information literacy and access WHILE fostering real life collaboration?
  3. Are devices becoming the new desks? With desks, students are isolated despite being in the same room.
  4. Adults don’t share devices (generally, with good reason). Do we really need to give kids a head start? I don’t believe sharing devices will hamper students’ learning to use them. On the contrary, collaborative learning is often more efficient.
  5. Many students have plenty of time to work alone at home. Must we really use precious school time for independent screen time?
Of course there are situations in which each student needs a device, typing essays comes to mind or other individual projects. I’m just not convinced we should be rushing into 1-to-1 use in all contexts.
As will all posts and opinions, I’m willing to be shown the error of my thinking. What good is a blog if one cannot think out loud and get feedback from others. What are your thoughts?

Posted by on October 25, 2011 in Insights, Thinking Out Loud


2 responses to “I’m not convinced about 1:1…

  1. Jonathan

    December 26, 2011 at 7:51 am

    I have personal experience of 1-1 and it definitely works for certain students that struggle to get the attention they need in a group.
    With regards to sharing devices, collaboration is to be encouraged but again, some students might need the chance to work on their own to concentrate and make more rapid progress than they did in larger groups or classes.

  2. window2learning

    January 21, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Some advantages I have seen in 1-1:
    the use of tools like diigo toolbar that can’t be shared easily
    sense of ownership and care with the technology
    ability to take notes any time
    back-channel chats that encourage participation by hesitant hand raisers

    I take your point. I am inclined toward byod.


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