By: Nick Fussy
1:1 capabilities for learning and teaching using technology is a very controversial subject. There are good possibilities using said technique such as: using browser to look up how to videos or websites on how to figure out problems, or to allow for a safer testing environment. These examples can also prove to be detrimental to teaching or learning by allowing the students to look up the answers, or switch to a new browser when testing or doing quizzes. Overall, using technology to help with teaching and learning is successful to the learning environment.
There are a large amount of positives, especially dealing with personalization of the students’ environments, and how it saves time for the technology help desks, like our own. Those who utilize the 1:1 setup found it easier to pay attention, and stay focused on the task at hand because of a more visible and malleable environment. In a study conducted at the Westlake High School, the students saw a large increase in the communication between teachers and students. This can be helpful especially to teachers, because they can easily figure out the topics that their students are struggling on in a relatively quick manner, allowing for more communication between students and the teachers. Another positive is that with all of the computers being given out being the same, it saves vital time and resources to figure out technological problems or challenges that would be brought upon by B.Y.O.D., or bringing your own device. This would be a struggle as those working on the tech help would need to be informed on the inner-workings of a ginormous amount of computers and tablets. This also would be detrimental to learning, because the schools wouldn’t have much influence over the sites that students can and cannot use. All in all, using the 1:1 setup that the school has now can allow for more and better conversations between students and teachers, and can take a lot of pressure off of the technology department and those who fix the computers.
Although the computers can allow for more conversation between teachers and students, it may also see the rise of cheating during tests, and less participation in class. It is a well known fact among students that it is fairly easy to cheat on tests or quizes on Canvas or edPuzzle. No more are the days where you might print off the spelling words for your test and hide them under your desk. Now you can open up another tab in your browser and look up some key words, and Bam!, there are the answers. One way that this can be dealt with is to do exactly what the AP World teachers are doing, using the Safe Exam Browser. With this app you can stop academically dishonest students dead in their tracks by ending their test session when they try to leave the page, giving them a zero. Another con is the usage of games and applications effectively reducing participation in class. This has been prevalent in my classes with students downloading GameBoy ROMs off of the web, and playing games such as Pokemon Fire Red during class. Students play these games instead of listening to their teachers, or participating in their schoolwork. As of right now, I honestly do not have an explanation on how to fix this. The problems stated have, or could have easy fixes, but are still prevalent in most classes that use the computers.
So far, a 1:1 tech environment is and has been a very good way to teach students using computers, and a good way for students and teachers to communicate. What must be kept in mind is that technology will be with us for the long run, and there must be better policies set in place to prohibit academic dishonesty and distractions. All in all, the usage of the tech brings rise to more conversation between students and teachers and a better environment for tech-centered help.
Hooker, Carl, Mr. “The Benefits of a 1:1 Learning Environment.” Hooked On Innovation. Hooked On Innovation, 14 May 2015. Web. 30 Sept. 2016.
Pullen, Mark. “Pros & Cons: Is Elementary Too Early for 1:1 Technology? – Getting Smart by Guest Author – 1:1, Edchat, EdTech, Elearning.” Pros Cons Is Elementary Too Early for 11 Technology Comments. Getting Smarter, 20 Feb. 2014. Web. 30 Sept. 2016.