Pros and Cons of a 1:1 in Schools

 

With the rapid advance of technology in the classroom over the last 10-15 years, i.e., lower cost computers (e.g. Chromebooks), web-based educational software (including textbooks), and interactive boards, a debate has risen over whether a 1:1 solution is viable.

A 1:1 is a concept whereby every student (in the case of KCSD) from grades 8 through 12 is issued a laptop computer by the school district.

There are a variety of pros and cons to this argument, including, but not certainly limited to:

Pros:

  • This solution provides each student from grades 8 through 12 with a District-issued laptop.
  • Assuming the students were able to take the laptops home, they would have 24-7 access to educational programming.
  • Homework assignments can be undertaken/completed on the student’s schedule.
  • Using applications such as Google and Schoology, students can collaborate with both other students and teachers on assignments.
  • Provide laptops to students who would not otherwise have access to these resources.
  • Provide more individualized learning by installing¬† ‘customized applications’ on individual laptops.
  • We would no longer need to provide classroom laptop carts in grades 8 through 12, the primary grades that we would focus 1:1 on.
  • By our experience, students take better care of devices that are assigned to them.

Cons:

  • Assuming students are allowed to take their laptops home, their households would need either wired or wireless internet access. (This problem can possibly be solved by using individual wireless ‘hotspots’ such as manufactured by Kajeet).
  • Technology support (or rather the lack of support) after school hours.
  • Cost of laptop repair. Should this be a District responsibility or should families be charged an annual ‘insurance premium’. Also, should this charge be optional or mandatory?
  • Internet access would have to be strictly controlled, with non-educational sites being blocked.

As stated, these are only some of the arguments. More information can be found by accessing the links below:

Pros and Cons of 1-to-1 Computing

One-To-One Computing: Lessons Learned, Pitfalls to Avoid

One-to-One Laptop Initiatives Boost Student Scores, Researchers Find