Looking more and more like I’m going to lose 1:1 in my classroom next year because 19 of our laptops are just too old to deal with the new wireless network and security system that is being put in this summer. Many of the laptops are showing they’re age too. Keys are missing, some do â€œfunkyâ€ things at times. Some won’t save reliably.
The great news is my school is being â€œstimulated.â€ It is over 50 years old and the electrical and plumbing systems are more than obsolete. I’ve done some really great math lessons over the years (really!) having my students figure out how much water drips down the drain in our class sink each minute, hour, day and year. Well all that is being replaced and fixed and renewed.
Just when I’ve learned so much, and IT really improved our wireless with fast connectivity this fall, it looks like I’ll be an 11 to 28 classroom instead.
I know, some of you are yelling at me right now about how you wish you had my problem of being 11 to 28.
1:1 is all that it is cracked up to be ….Â and so it will be hard to adjust. Yes there are still things we can do, and do well, but blogging constantly and consistently, which was really key to how my students progressed, will be impossible to make up. Going into a 1:1 program I never foresaw just how it would be so language intense and engaging.Â I wish I had seen that from the beginning, because I think my students would be even further along than they are now. I have to remember though that we had to wait until almost December of our first year before the funding came in to purchase the new batteries for, at the time, our 6 year old laptops. So we didn’t charge â€œout of the gateâ€ into 1:1 … and about the time we got started we were on winter break.
Honestly one of the reasons it has worked as well as it has, was all the feedback and learning I got from my learning network. As we blogged and Skyped and wiki-ed and researched, I slowly figured out that for my almost entirely second language class, that one of the huge benefits was that ALL those things we were doing were Â written or spoken or about analyzing text and reading, AND that melded together they were extremely powerful at building the language skills and schema my students so lacked. One area I did â€œgetâ€ was the power of field trips and classroom guests and project based experiences to build students understanding of their world. Now I get how having 1:1 capability leverages that so powerfully.
So yes, we will survive, but I’m afraid our days of 1:1 are numbered (3 to be exact – that’s how many days of school are left this year). Nevada is taking as big a hit as any state to its education budget, and we were already close to last in the country in funding education, so help from there is improbable. I’m looking where I can for funding, but if you know anyone with 19 Macbooks with nothing to do … send them our way! : )
Learning is messy!