Benefits of Our Assigned Device Per Student Program
The great potential in our long-range assigned student device investment is in terms of fostering a culture of student engagement in learning that has long-term quantitative and qualitative benefits.
Our research and investigation into the use of one device per student technology that amplifies learning from those who have implemented programs before us as well as drawing from our own experiences within our existing technology-rich school-based program indicates the following potential benefits related to student learning, assessment, and implementation of the model:
Personalized Learning / Differentiated Instruction
Recognizing that students do not learn the same material at the same pace and in the same way, assigning devices per student makes it possible for teachers to differentiate content delivery and student assignments, using a variety of teaching methods and tools and a cost and time-effective manner.
For example, videos can be paused and viewed multiple times by students for whom the traditional lecture moves too quickly. In addition to video, electronic and online resources can be selected and shared at the appropriate student readiness level or learning style, ensuring that the content is being delivered and standards are being met, in a way that can be best understood by all students.
Enhanced Student Engagement, Motivation, and Ownership for Learning
In an environment where each student has a device, the learning shifts from the more traditional instructor-led model to a more student-centered focus. Accessibility to online learning tools gives students options that naturally engage and provide opportunities for student ownership in their learning process. Technology is only one tool that provides effective differentiation while increasing student engagement and motivation.
Access To Student Work Facilitates Ongoing Formative Assessment
When students complete written work and presentations through Google Drive and other web-based systems, teachers are able to view student work in progress rather than after completion. This facilitates ongoing feedback to students from teachers and formative assessment opportunities; both of these are considered best practice in assessment and will lead to improved student outcomes.
Enhanced Opportunities For Group And Project-Based Learning
In an assigned device model, it is possible to shift from traditional 'lecture-based' learning to more student-centered research projects and project-based learning. Not only does this model provide a variety of ways to deliver content, but it also offers a wider range of opportunities for students to show what they know and understand about a topic. Project-based learning is typically framed by a 'real-world problem' that requires students to work in groups, gather and synthesize information, think critically, and apply this knowledge. The teacher becomes a facilitator/coach helping to frame student questions, gather instructional resources, and provide feedback as needed.
Tools for Teaching, Tools for Learning
An assigned device per student program has the ability to scaffold student tasks and assess what they are learning along the way. Project-based learning supports modern learning skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity—that are essential and required in high school, college, and the workplace. A student can choose from myriad technologies to implement effective research strategies, to collaborate with peers, and publish findings.
Enhanced Opportunity For Collaboration, Within And Outside The School
When provided with a device, students have a sense of ownership and are more apt to take charge and become more invested in their own learning. They have access to resources not confined by the classroom walls or the school day. Students are able to collaborate with their peers through tools such as Google docs, slides, sheets and sheets, as they communicate and problem-solve. Assigned devices will also enable students to access, manage, integrate, evaluate and create information in all their subject areas.
Access To Primary Source Information
The best schools envision students accessing primary sources of information from multiple sources in order to synthesize meaning and understanding - a key element of college and career success in the 21st century. On-demand access to a reliable device makes this possible for students and allows teachers in the classroom to plan around this instructional opportunity.
One Device per student Improves Student Workflow
This is perhaps the most commonly cited finding from schools implemeting assigned devices. Students experience greater independence, greater task completion, and more efficient workflow with the ability to electronically manage and share tasks in a single environment (as opposed to across multiple binders, notebooks, etc.) that travels easily between school and home.
Decreased Emphasis on Technology as a Discrete Topic or Subject
A concern sometimes raised about assigned device per student programs is that schooling will become overly-focused on technology and connecting students to devices. Ironically, making devices ubiquitous across the school day may actually have the benefit of minimizing technology as the focus of learning; instead of learning about technology, students learn with technology. Teachers are better able to use technology as it is literally intended, as a tool for achieving work and goals we already have, such as student learning, collaboration, access to information, and engagement in problem-solving.