Why one to one?
In preparing today for tomorrow, the Educational Technology Plan for New Jersey, adopted in 2007 the New Jersey Department of Education along with the State Board of Education created the following vision statement and four underlying goals:
Vision Statement: All students will be prepared to meet the challenge of a dynamic global society in which they participate, contribute, achieve, and flourish through universal access to people, information and ideas.
GOAL 1: All students will be prepared to excel in the community, work place and in our global society using 21st century skills.
GOAL 2: All educators, including administrators, will attain the 21st century skills and knowledge necessary to effectively integrate educational technology in order to enable students to achieve the goals of the core curriculum content standards and experience success in a global society.
GOAL 3: Educational technology will be accessible by students, teachers and administrators and utilized for instructional and administrative purposes in all learning environments, including classrooms, library media centers, and other educational settings such as community centers and libraries.
GOAL 4: New Jersey school districts will establish and maintain the technology infrastructure necessary for all students, administrators and staff to safely access digital information on demand and to communicate virtually.
A one to one program supports all of these goals. The plan specifically suggests as an indicator of achievement for goal 1 “Achieve at a minimum, a student to multimedia device ratio that equals a ratio of 4:1 with an ultimate goal of providing one to one access for students and staff for anywhere/any time learning.”
A few of the benefits of a one to one program include:
Leveling the Playing Field
Providing a device to every student allows each student access to the same resources regardless of ability, socioeconomic status, physical or mental challenges and technology available at home.
Expands the classroom
Students will access the world around them instantaneously. Students can see news unfold, can view locations around the world and get real-time local data. Students can correspond with a scientist to clarify questions raised during science class or follow an authors blog.
Increases student engagement and excitement
Attendance and student interest improves in classrooms using one-to-one technology. One can not argue that a present and engaged student is the best type of student to have! Students that are more engaged also are better behaved.
Complements project-based learning classroom
One-to-one technology is at its best in classrooms in which learning is driven by projects requiring research, collaboration, and production of a final product (a slide show, video, or Web page). It has the potential to change the role of the teacher from master of the content to facilitator of learning. It is this type of environment that fosters cooperation, creativity, inventive thinking and high productivity.
Takes advantage of the teachable moment
Things do not always go as planned in the classroom and in a one-to-one computing classroom, a topic arises and teacher and students immediately are online, investigating, questioning, and extending the conversation with information and tools not available to them in other situations.
Prepares for tomorrow's workplace
When a student's only exposure to a computer is in a lab at the end of the hall, technology can be seen as a fragmented skill unrelated to daily life or a future career. As we know, however, computers are essential for almost any job -- doctors record patient notes on Tablet PCs; small businesses order supplies online; farmers check the Internet for the latest weather conditions. One-to-one computing ensures that all students have the skills and confidence to integrate technology into their future, as well as their present.