Many districts have made the move toward 1:1 device access for their students. This can look different in every district; what devices are used, what ages of students are involved, whether students take devices home, and other variables make each 1:1 deployment unique. Because of these differences, there really can’t be a “one size fits all” handbook when it comes to starting this type of program. There are, however, books available now that try to provide some guidance and answers for teachers and districts as they navigate this new frontier.
Power Up: Making the Shift to 1:1 Teaching and Learning, written by Jen Roberts and Diana Neebe, does just that. Both authors are teachers who have experience teaching with 1:1 access for their students. While their two teaching assignments and 1:1 programs do not look alike, these differences allow them to provide more varied examples for teachers to learn from.
I just picked up this book for my Kindle a few weeks ago and finally had a chance to start digging in. I’m about a quarter of the way through it, so I’m certainly no expert. But I work in a district about to embark on its 1:1 journey and thought it might be a helpful resource. So far, I have quite pleased and plan to share many of the ideas in the book with the teachers I support.
The first thing I love most about the book is that it is written by teachers. The book is accessible and because you know the authors are “in the trenches,” it gives them much more credibility. They are also very honest with their experience. They aren’t preaching for teachers to change their entire curriculum in the first year and they don’t claim it will be easy, but they do provide some valuable tips for teachers to make things easier that they themselves learned along the way.
I also appreciate the abundance of ideas for class activities and assessments they share throughout the book. They provide a longer example to begin with, but then share snippets of additional assignments that teachers may choose to use instead. This is particularly helpful for teachers who are new to integrating technology and helps to get their minds spinning about all of the possibilities.
One wish I would have for the book so far is that I would love to see more examples for younger grades. Both Neebe and Roberts are secondary level teachers, come with a wealth of experience, and their ideas in many cases could still be modified for younger students. Still, as someone who has spent the majority of their career in K-5 settings, I would appreciate more examples of ideas for successful 1:1 implementation with those students.
I’m excited to continue reading the book and look forward to sharing more learning!