For many schools across the country, a one to one (or 1:1) classroom technology environment is the gold standard. Districts are spending large sums of money to ensure that each child has their own iPad, laptop or a chromebook. In my classroom, we currently have 11 Kindle Fires or a 2:1 environment. I thought that once I got these devices in, I would inevitably want more. But, I quickly learned that perhaps this 2:1 environment is what is best for my students. A lot of good things that occurred as a result of not having device for each individual kid. Here are the real benefits to having a 2:1 environment:
Cost: I'd be foolish to ignore this. Simply put, a 1:1 program costs twice as much as a 2:1 program. This may be reason enough to implement this program for classrooms or schools with limited funding.
Social Skills: Of the times I've had each of my students with their own device, I notice that they can get very quiet and secluded. I can't help but think that for many of them, this is a common posture at home. Sharing a device, talking through problems, navigating who does what when...these are all important skills that are fostered in close proximity and when working with others towards a shared goal. With 2:1, students are forced to work together, solve problems and hopefully encourage each other along the way.
Collaboration: Many times, students will make a mistake or need help maneuvering within or between apps. There is so much value in having a partner right there to help answer questions. Students know that if they come and ask me for help, I'll ask them what they and their partner have tried. I'm to the point in the year where students very rarely come to ask questions of me, as they are beginning to work through these things together.
"Analog" Skills - While typing skills and tech integration are important, apps cant take the place of "analog" skills like writing with paper and pencil, drawing, working with manipulatives, etc. Having only enough for some of the group allows room in the schedule and classroom for graphomotor work and important "hands on" activities that encourage gross, fine and graphomotor skills.
Common Sense Media
Helping Parents & Teachers Navigate a Digital World
A Mid-Year Checkup:
Tech Goals I've Met, Missed or Abandoned Completely
Shelf Reflection: What my classroom library says about the world and what I can do about it.
Looking Ahead, Blogging Forward
Teacher Approved Gifts for Kids
The Best Apps for Your Kid's New Device
Do Good with Great Deals
Is Amazon Prime Worth It?
Navigating the Election with Your Kids
Making the Most of 1 Classroom iPad
Apptoberfest: Google Photos
Apptoberfest: The Bible for Kids by YouVersion
Apptoberfest: IXL Math
Apptoberfest: Teach You Monster to Read
I Tried...I Failed...& You Can Too!
Let Go and Let Them
Oh the Place You'll Go: Using Green Screens in the Classroom
The Kindle Fire HD 8 - The iPad's Days are Numbered
A Fresh Start: Changes for the Year Ahead
Getting Great Stuff for Less - Part 2: Getting the Lowest Price
Getting Great Stuff for Less - Part 1 : Finding the Best Stuff
Stop Everything and Kahoot!
Coding in 2nd Grade with No Prep and $0
Kindles in the Classroom: A Year In Review