Lessons from Implementing 1:1 in the Classroom

I found three resources written about utilizing 1:1 in my context which is the classroom. The content addresses how teachers can use devices to change and improve instruction. I focused primarily on comments and ideas that I could utilize to leverage in my current situation. Each of my students has access to a Macbook from the cart in the classroom. I am interested in how to use the devices to impact learning rather than simply continue to teach in the same way with the computer. Below are some of my key take-aways from the sources as well as the source and my comments to their blogs.

5 Demands Placed on Students in a 1:1 Classroom by Shawn McCusker


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Shawn discusses making learning choices for students. He points out that with the wealth of information available students can become intellectually frozen by the volume of choice. Creating a learning path which utilizes the device will enhance their learning and help them curate their sources. I believe this insight is essential to defining our new role in the 1:1 classroom. It is often stated that no single teacher can know every thing that Google knows so our role becomes that of learning guide rather than dispenser of information. This will lead to more creativity from teachers and allow them to access their natural role as communicator and leaders in learning. Freeing teachers to create pathways to self-directed learning will be an immense opportunity for teachers and students.

5 Epiphanies on learning in a 1:1 ipad Classroom by Alyssa Tormala


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Aylssa discusses how she uses the ipad to improve the writing process through drafts, peer review and revisions. Her observations about improving writing by enabling students to easily get feedback from her and peers then making revisions is a great example of how 1:1 can alter teaching methods to improve student performance. Alyssa has found that the product of her students has improved through the use of creating, sharing and critiquing using the ipad.


Why Every Student Should Be in a 1:1 Classroom by Kelly Walsh


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Kelly points out that a device can help differentiation in the classroom through resources like Kahn Academy. Kahn can differentiate delivery through self-directed learning. Students have choices about which content to use, the speed of delivery and the options to review multiple times. Assignments can also be differentiated in platforms like ixl.com. I have recently discovered that Google Read and Write can modify the reading level of texts in the same way that The New York Times for students would publish the same article for differnt reading levels except that Google takes any text and differentiates the reading level. I believe that this type of technology will become increasingly important to delivering content to students that increases learning through technology.



8 thoughts on “Lessons from Implementing 1:1 in the Classroom

  1. Given these postings are 2-4 years old, I would be very curious to see if and how they respond to your questions. They should be seeing the fruits of their efforts by now and hopefully can share with you whether or not their teaching culture has changed and what differences they have seen with students and teachers. Hopefully you’ll be able to provide an update.


    1. Posted 3/30/2016 5:28pm
      Alyssa Tormala
      I’m so glad you found this a useful article! The process definitely revolutionized the way I approached revision and peer review in my English classes. Our students have iPads, so the easiest way I found to make this work was:
      1) Students uploaded their first drafts to an assignment on Schoology (our LMS).
      2) They opened their drafts in Notability as PDFs, then handed their iPads to their partners. The partners used the annotation functions of Notability to write on the paper (and I provided a checklist of items to be reviewed.)
      3) Students uploaded the peer reviewed draft to Schoology as version 2 of the assignment.
      4) Students revised their papers on their own, then uploaded a new draft as version 3 to the Schoology assignment.
      5) I could review and comment on any or all of these various drafts as needed. It was also a great way to assess peer review skills.

      I would repeat this process as needed until final drafts were uploaded. Then I could grade the final drafts through my iPad Schoology app using the annotation, audio feedback, and rubric functions. Since all previous drafts and peer review comments were attached to the same assignment, I could toggle between them as needed.

      If you don’t use iPads, this process could also be done through Google Docs or other collaborative tools.

      The time and paper savings as a result of this process were staggering! (I’m talking dozens of hours and thousands of pages of paper!) But even better was the immediate improvement in writing and peer review. I can’t imagine going back to my old methods!

      I hope this is helpful! Thanks for commenting!


  2. Dave,
    After reading this feedback, does your idea of the perfect plan for implementing a 1:1 program change? What would you suggest districts do? How would you make changes to how you currently integrate technology into your classroom?


    1. Hi Brooke, I think the perfect implementation plan is every evolving based on how students integrate tech over time, new tools that come out and student growth. I think that we should probably have more uniformity in districts in terms of tech assets. I don’t think we gain from thousands of different solutions across the country. I don’t think I will fundementally change my tech integration but I will add some of the tools I learned about and also try to respond to the student experience understanding that they may feel overwhelmed.


  3. Hi Dave, a couple of thought regarding your comments. Two tools which are helpful in personalizing writing assessment at various parts in the process are Kaizena https://kaizena.com/ and Draftback https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/draftback/nnajoiemfpldioamchanognpjmocgkbg?hl=en-US. Also, you might want to be careful about sites which level texts solely using computer algorithms which often eliminate necessary vocabulary, in addition to not considering a student’s previous experience and task. I did not know that Google Read & Write also leveled text or about the New York Times for Students. Will check it out!


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