Township High School District 214, a CoSN member in Arlington Heights, IL, shares the steps they took to implement and fine-tune their award-winning 1-to-1 program:
Have you ever wondered how to build an ideal one-to-one program? There’s no overnight solution, but we found a good one for us.
Using the philosophy behind “flipped classrooms,” our district flipped the one-to-one implementation: administrators stepped aside and let the teachers steer it. Teachers had requested more input into the technology planning process; after all, they see what works (and doesn’t) on a daily basis.
Teachers submit pilot proposals using a three-phased program:
The program has been a tremendous success. Teachers have embraced the program and the move to a one-to-one environment, and the program has shown robust growth year after year:
As you can tell, the program started out slow due partially to budget limitations. This year alone brought $2.4 million in requests, far beyond the district’s $1.3 million budget. And that may beg the question, how were we able to afford this? We’ve hit on a couple of cost-saving techniques that made the program completely “budget neutral” – no additional funds spent:
Over the past five years, the district has shown positive student growth, with increased Advanced Placement (AP) enrollments, increase in the number of students passing AP exams, and a reduction in Ds and Fs.
Just as we kept teachers involved while planning the program, we count on them to provide professional development surrounding it. Teachers from the first and second year pilots teach an Internal University course called “Teaching with the iPad” using the SAMR model developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedera. SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition)’s goal is to help teachers transform their classroom instruction instead of simply substituting traditional teaching methods on the iPad. Peer observations also provide professional development.
Having teachers steer and own the process has fostered a culture of innovative change and positive student growth. Other districts have followed our process and found the same positive results within their institutions. The program can be replicated locally and nationally. All it takes is a different approach and shift to allow your teachers to be a significant part of the process.