So Who Owns the Machines in a 1:1?

The title question has been common during initial meetings with department chairs. It’s probably the biggest decision of all when considering 1:1, since every model for doing it has tradeoffs and every school culture is unique.

A recent post by Jim Heynderickx does a great (and concise) job of explaining different ownership models and the pros and cons of each.  Jim is a solid source of accurate, useful information, having been involved with several different 1:1 implementations in his many years of innovative, thoughtful leadership in independent schools here in the U.S. and now the U.K.

Moving Right Along

I’ve continued to meet with department chairs, Music and Fine Arts since last post. Since these groups have some different needs than other departments, the method for gathering information from them looks like it will need to be more individualized. These initial meetings with chairs will be done by the end of next week. To date, no chair has thought the end of quarter goal for getting the requested information back to me was too aggressive, and that’s good news for our project timeline.

I’m starting to turn my attention to building the focus group questions for stakeholder group meetings. These questions will try to gauge comfort level with the idea of a 1:1 and identify areas of concern and opportunity unique to each group. What I glean from these focus groups will be translated into online surveys that will afford all groups an opportunity to share their thoughts on a possible 1:1.

I also need to build a separate survey for students to learn more about how many bring laptops and other network capable mobile devices to school and how they use them in and out of class. Part of that survey will also ask about what computing resources they have at home.

Great 1:1 Exchange on Independent Schools ListServ

A really lively exchange took place yesterday on the ISED-L independent school listserv following the yet-to open for-profit Avenues School announcement of a 1:1 initiative that equipped students and teachers with MacBook Airs AND an iPad.

The tipping point around this decision to double up on devices appears to have been e-textbooks.

To view the exchange, visit the ISED-L Archives for yesterday at

The thread, which is likely to have some “legs” over the next couple days,  is the one titled “Avenues 1:1.” You need not subscribe to ISED-L (though as a former co-manager of the listserv for several years, I recommend it) to access the archives.

A Good Link and a Status Update

I’ve now met also with Department Chairs from English and Computer Science to figure out how best to gather information about currrent and anticipated student computer use. Now I need to start following up with departments who asked for an online tool for easing collection of data.

Only a couple of department chairs left to meet with, and those are on the calendar. I’m grateful for the ready cooperation that all the chairs have so far offered.

Bill Stites, the Director of Technology at Montclair Kimberly Academy, has written a helpful blog post that summarizes an appropriate set of big questions to ask when considering 1:1 computing.  It’s brief and plain spoken. Take a look!


Welcome to On Purpose

Good morning, and welcome to On Purpose, a new blog intended to be the primary source of updates on the 1:1 Readiness Assessment process that began last week. If you haven’t had a chance to read the information at that link, please do, as it will lend some context and meaning to what you read in On Purpose.

Work has begun on the Curriculum strand as I meet with department chairs to figure out the best way of gathering information about what teachers currently ask students to do with computers in meeting course requirements. Since each department operates differently, it makes sense that they have a say in how this work gets done.

So far, I’ve met with Chairs from Learning and Counseling, Math, World Language, Science, Library, and History. Tomorrow I meet with English and Computer Science.

I’ve formulated a set of questions to determine what technology tools teachers are using with students: software, online services, web sites, peripheral devices, and storage tools. I’ve also asked for the primary instructional objective for each.

Also requested is a description of how student work is submitted and returned, an estimate of how many pages per week students need to print for classwork, what additional tech tools teachers anticipate using with students in the near future, and what the projected use of e-books or e-texts might be in each department.

If we can get some thorough answers to those questions, we’ll have a curricular foundation to build upon as we move deeper into the assessment process.