1:1 How To

Learn to Implement 1:1 and BYOD Programs

4-DSC_0094Digital Wish has implemented 1:1 computing programs in 30 schools.  The first school took 18 months in planning before we ever delivered a computer to the first classroom.  The 30th school took 4 weeks for the same process!  As we successfully deployed computers and training across each school, we realized that the schools were all making the same decisions and same mistakes in isolation.  Before even applying for our first technology grant, we spend over a year studying both successful and failed intitiatives, as well as reading every research study we could find.

Key to Success – Address all 8 Strands

The team mapped out 8 strands that all must be addressed in a 1:1 initiative.  Miss even one strand and your intiative will fail at some level.  Here they are:

  • VisionLeadership / Shared Vision
  • Investment
  • Hardware
  • Connectivity
  • Professional Development
  • Curriculum  and Assessment
  • IT Support
  • Community

You now have the map for success.  But knowing what you need to do, and actually implementing it, are two entirely different things.  Visit the Vision section to get tips on establishing a shared vision.

Argue for Technology

In order to raise money, you need to present a convincing argument for each different stakeholder.  The technology currently available in schools is woefully inadequate for the task of preparing students for the 21st century workforce, enabling smooth post-secondary transition, and ensuring future economic development.  It takes a village to fund a 1:1 initiative and one of your first tasks will be to bring together educators, administrators, parents, community members, politicians, and business leaders and convince them why they should support the program.  The most successful leaders trigger a community-wide movement to modernize schools, and in doing so, rally connected communities that will support the future workforce.  Here’s a great whitepaper that explains the key points to make with each different stakeholder.

Here is an article on persuading funders to support your technology program.

Also visit our research area and learn how to sustain your technology programs.

Develop Multiple Sources of Funding

Our sustainability research demonstrates that there are typically five or more sources of technology funding available to schools, but most schools only utilize 1-2 funding sources.  The most successful schools intentionally develop strong community ties, which in turn generates multiple sources of revenue.  This lowers the risk that their technology initiative will lose funding with market shifts.  Read this article to learn how to craft a culture of blended funding.

Learn how to create a culture of blended funding.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere is very little research to substantiate that technology integration increases test scores. Don’t make that argument. Instead, consider why technology is import to the community member who will care enough to support your initiative, and set real life-centric goals such as:

  1. School modernization – 21st Century tools and teaching practices will become an integral part of every school day.
  2. Connected communities – The internet provides new channels for sustainable learning environments.
  3. Economic development – Savvy students will be able to find jobs locally, start businesses and increase the future tax base.
  4. Workforce development – Corporations will be able hire locally and expand their operations.
  5. Increase college readiness – High school graduates will be better-prepared for college, and thereafter, may return to Vermont to live and work.

Be sure to measure these things, at key stages throughout your initiative.  Data improvements are your key to securing future funding.  Make sure you are measuring every step of the way.  Simple surveys take less than a class period to administer, twice a year, and can tip the scales to securing board support and downstream funding.  Read our research.

Importance of the Cultural Shift

7-DSC_0105It is not enough to simply drop technology into schools and expect change.  You may think you are implementing technology in classrooms, but what you are really doing is triggering a cultural shift that demands modern technology tools as a daily part of the learning environment.  Much of this will be Leadership must be cultivated, teachers need training, and support networks must be formulated. Take a look at our sustainability study.  All of the most successful schools are treating professional development as a community-wide endeavor where teachers mentor and support each other.  Read this article to see how other schools are creating a culture of support.

Here is an article addressing how to treat professional development for technology:  Changing the Culture.

National Models

Through experience in deploying 30 sites with 1:1 computing, Digital Wish has crafted a master “menu” of programs that will support and sustain modernization, and guide all American schools to support their own rich digital learning environments.  This is the curriculum that led to measured research gains. Get it here.

Learn From Us

Explore this entire 1:1 How To area and we’ll share lessons from 30 sites:

  1. Thanks for the post for composing “School Modernization Initiative”.
    Imay definitely be back for a lot more browsing and commenting here soon enough.
    Thank you, Boyd

  2. Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?

    you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is magnificent,
    as well as the content!

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