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1:1 capcity planning US schools school administrator

What Type of 1:1 is Right for Your District?

Providing a device for every student in your district can be daunting. Where do you start? My experience in working with hundreds of districts that deployed 1:1 is that you need to define why you’re going 1:1, and what type of 1:1 deployment makes sense for your district. What grade levels? Do they need to be “testable” (keyboard)? Will users take them home? Cart only? Are you chrome or windows or both? What type of digital content will be leveraged in your district? What is the cost of that content?  

Answering these types of questions will take careful consideration based on the budget of the district and what your district's socioeconomic situation is. What percent of free and reduced lunch is the district and do your users have connectivity at home? There probably is an income gap between some schools in different parts of your city or county and it’s important to provide equal learning opportunity for all students. It’s great in theory for students to have a Chromebook or laptop at home that is district provided, but there are a lot of factors to consider before allowing them to go home.

Once you have the devices in every students hand, what are they going to do on the devices? Unfortunately, a lot of the content available are PDF versions of textbooks. How rich is the content being accessed on your devices? It’s going to be different for elementary/middle/high. There are some fantastic LMS available but are they affordable and do your teachers know how to use them? Professional development?  

You’re now putting 28+ devices in a teachers classroom with them and their students. Does the teacher have access to view their screens? Look for a solution where a teacher can control those devices or even shut off the internet in their classrooms.  

Obviously there are going to be a lot of stakeholders in the 1:1 decision. Form a 1:1 committee from different departments that will bring in different perspectives from the field they are in. Include instruction/curriculum, IT, HR, legal, security (physical), and financial departments; list out potential factors for each of their departments and ask them how they think a device in every students hand may affect their sphere of influence. With this information, you can start to factor in which type of 1:1 makes sense for your district and how you need to start preparing for a rollout.  

Family Zone would be happy to discuss how we support 1:1 through our platform and provide transparent pricing!
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