Are we authentic in reporting the progress of our 1:1 programs?

I ran across two items today (one recent and one not-so-recent) that were extolling the virtues of the first year of two iPad 1:1 implementations. For me, these are typical of what I read about 1:1 program implementations. So I”m generalizing. Please prove me wrong.

Six examples of iPad integration in the 1:1 classroom by Andrew Marcinek, the Instructional Technology Specialist at Burlington High School in Burlington, MA. (I posted a comment to the Edutopia post.)

“Significant and positive impact of iPads” at Longfield by Merlin John, about a UK school and their iPad program this past year. The report referenced in the blog has been prepared  by Paul Heinrich.

Is it just me or are the kinds of reports and sharing about 1:1 implementation focused too heavily on the successes and not enough on the challenges? I realize more than anyone we want to paint a positive picture for our community, but I would like to see more balance.

My district, Salisbury Township School District in Allentown, PA, implemented a 1:1 initiative this past year. It is called Teaching and Learning 2014 (TL2014). As an implementation team, we discussed how we were going to assess and evaluate our work over the next three years and beyond. We implemented several measures throughout the first year with teachers, students and parents. As we reported out our findings throughout the year, we were particularly careful to present a balanced approach – what is working and what is not. You can read our in-house reports at the TL2014: Assessment and Evaluation page. I’ll be the first to admit this is not top-notch, rigorous academic research (do we really have time for that?), but we are constantly gathering data and responding to it in order to get better. And we have, in just 10 months. We want to be a learning organization, addressing the warts and all.

While I think TL2014 was a success on many levels, we still have a lot to do! We plan to keep highlighting the good work happening in our system with teaching and learning, but also keep uncovering to our community the challenges we continually face (particularly scalability). This transparency has resulted in patience and support for the changes we are making in teaching and learning.

What am I missing on a larger scale outside of my own district? What kind of articles, reports or rigorous studies that paint an accurate picture of the successes and challenges of implementing 1:1 change. I can’t seem to find any schools that formally collect data, analyze it and report out on it – a little bit of practitioner research. Help me find it! I want to learn from the successes, but also the challenges!

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One comment on “Are we authentic in reporting the progress of our 1:1 programs?

  1. Pingback: Inquiry Stance and 1:1 Laptop Programs | Working at the edge

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