As educators, we are all constantly striving to create the one teacher to one student ratio. Until recently, this idea was only a dream. But with the advent of powerful mobile devices and limitless wireless technology in recent years, 1:1 learning is finally becoming a "virtual" reality.
Below are are nine reasons why one-to-one student/device initiatives are ready to shake up (and improve) many aspects of the twenty-first century classroom!
1) Digital Natives need digital devices to learn
Try putting a tablet next to a textbook and ask students to choose which device they would rather learn with. They will pick the tablet nearly every time. Today's students are digital natives, and they learn best with mobile/online media. Forcing them to use outdated paper media is like forcing someone to drive a Yugo instead of their Maserati!
2) 1:1 Learning increases teacher technology competency
You read that right, 1:1 learning offers serious Professional Development possibilities for staff members, and you don't even need to bring in a tech guru for a PD day! According to a study by 1:1 industry leader Nick Sauers, teachers in 1:1 environments have higher self-identified technology competency rates than teachers who are not.
3) Technology is a means to support learning, not the means of learning
Are you envisioning 30 kids sent off with their own iPad for an hour while a teacher surfs the web? That is not 1:1 learning. The educational technology is obviously a major component to successful digital learning, but creating a blended learning model with teacher and peer feedback/instruction is equally vital.
4) Digital assessment possibilities are massive
Say goodbye to late night grading sessions (and the accidental coffee stains on the graded papers)! Digital assessment allows for instant feedback and results, giving the teacher more time to implement individual learning and/or reinforcement strategies.
5) Eliminates the hassle of trips to the computer labs
"Stay in line!", "Please don't touch that mouse yet!", and "Sit down so we can get started!" -- Taking a class of 25 to 35 students to the computer lab can be a classroom management nightmare and a waste of valuable instruction time. 1:1 flips the script and brings the computer lab right to the students' fingertips, when and where they need it!
6) See ya later, passive participants
1:1 device-to-student ratios put each student straight into the game! Students must interact with the virtual instruction to progress, creating inquiry-based learning for every kid in the class.
7) Digital accessibility = Digital productivity
We've all seen it, digital natives use mobile devices everyday and everywhere. By using electronic mobile technology, 1:1 taps into this fact and, for the first time, allows students to choose their own ideal learning environment!
8) 1:1 Learning eliminates the "I lost it" excuse
Students can't lose things if every response or material is digitally saved/logged in the cloud. Converting curriculum materials to digital media also offers great ecological benefits (and cheaper textbook costs) because it significantly reduces schools' paper usage.
9) Each student receives his/her own curriculum path
Finally, 1:1 allows for real-time adaptability and teacher customization of materials, curriculum, resources, etc. The possibilities are truly endless! For the first time, curriculum content can be tailored (immediately) to the individual student, instead of the average.
More Blended Learning resources from Wowzers!
Now, this fun list of nine advantages is certainly not comprehensive, and it's important to note that we are only beginning to scratch the surface of the learning value provided by a one-to-one student/device ratio.
By keeping the goal of personalizing the learning experience in view, you can utilize 1:1 to create a truly engaging and effective learning experience for each and every student.