A one to one program is described as a initiative where every student is assigned a device. These devices are not shared with others, allowing technology integration where a teacher uses technology to introduce, reinforce, extend, enrich, assess, and remediate student mastery of curricular targets.
One to one programs started over 15 years ago in various districts across the nation. In 2002, the state of Maine began providing laptops to 33,000 middle school students and 3,000 teachers. The program was expanded in 2009 to include some high schools and currently provides all seventh graders, all eighth graders, and students at 55% of Maine’s high schools with laptops. There are several advantages to a 1-to-1 program in schools:
- Increased student satisfaction with school (Shapley, et al., 2006)
- Increased student engagement and attendance (Lemke & Martin, 2004a)
- Less large group work and lecturing (Russell et al., 2004)
- Increased teacher collaboration (Rockman 2003)
- Improvement of student writing (Silvernail & Gritter, 2007)
- Improvement of literacy response, analysis, and writing strategies (Suhr, Hernandez, Grimes, & Warschauer, 2010)
- Increased science achievement test scores (Dunleavy & Heinecke, 2007)
Over the last several years, the importance of rote memorization has become less important than critical thinking. Anyone can look up facts, but to be successful today, you must be able to synthesize, analyze, and evaluate that information. To support this type of learning, technology resources must be available to students and staff. Computer labs and carts are a 20th century solution to a scarcity problem. This is solved by going to a one to one program.
In the last couple of years we have seen the hardware and software come together in an affordable and powerful package, in a way that allows the Kenton City School District to not only afford to purchase the technology, but to also manage the multitude of devices that will be deployed into the classrooms and homes of the community. By utilizing laptops running the Ubuntu operating systems, Kenton City Schools will be able to deploy powerful systems that can grow with the students. The project will take 4 years to cover all students in grades 6-12.
The first year will involve students and teachers in grades 6-9. These grade levels were chosen due to the intensity of training the 6-8 grade teachers have received the last several years. The freshman class was chosen so those teachers will be able to sustain the momentum and energy of their students who will be coming from the middle school.