Going 1:1 in your school is a significant investment, not only in terms of money but also in time to set up and get teachers and students onboard. Check out these 5 tips to help your school go 1:1.

1. Empower students to help teach tech

It’s amazing how adaptable children are to technology. Anyone who has ever seen a toddler with an iPad can tell you that. Utilizing tech-savvy students to assist teachers in device and software rollouts makes the process faster for teachers, and builds students’ leadership skills. Putting students in this “tech support” role empowers students to share their knowledge and skills, converting the process of device rollout from a passive lecture to an interactive group learning environment. It’s also a very cost-effective way to accomplish a new tech rollout and ongoing support!

2. Understand that every teacher is different

A teacher’s ability to drive a 1:1 classroom begins and ends with their ability to navigate and leverage their devices. While it’s easy to assume that all teachers will be excited about getting started with new technology, there are many different levels of both technical expertise and comfort with new technology.

It’s important to take those differences into account when you’re rolling out new devices. Creating a differentiated technology training plan in your school, in which teachers craft individual technology goals based on their specific needs or wants, ensures that teachers receive ongoing, individualized professional development.

3. Find your technology leaders early on

Even if you don’t have a digital learning specialist at your school, identify the teachers who will be the most passionate about adopting new technology and helping other teachers adapt. You can try running a pilot program for new software or apps with a subset of teachers. This is a cost-effective way of testing out a new technology based on your teachers’ feedback.

4. Teach students the difference between using technology for learning vs. entertainment

While students of most ages are likely familiar with mobile technology, they’re not always familiar with using them for research and learning, especially in a classroom setting. Teachers are essential when it comes to setting a good example for proper digital citizenship and device usage, so make sure teachers are prepared for the task!

Teaching students how to use technology responsibly, safely, and as a tool to enhance their learning is not achieved overnight, but it’s something to keep in mind as you start introducing them to 1:1 devices in your school or district. (We suggest you print out our handy-dandy Digital Citizenship poster and hang it in your class!)

5. Be open to teacher suggestions

If you’ve chosen apps for your technology rollout, be open to teachers using these apps in ways that best suit their teaching style, subject matter, student grade level, and comfort level. A language teacher will likely use their classroom technology differently than a math teacher, and each one can find success in different ways. Any new technology should act as a support to teachers, not a time drain. Make sure that the apps you introduce in your school help teachers, and are streamlined to complement the other apps or technology already being used in your school.

Do you have any tips on introducing new technology to teachers and students? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @Showbie!

A self-described "education policy junkie," Rachel Land Nystrom loves to combine the research skills she honed while earning an M.S. in Education Policy with her technical writing chops to help others interpret and understand what's new in the education market. When she's not laboring over her keyboard, you'll find her at baseball games soaking up the sunshine or camping throughout the U.S.

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