Page 14 - THE Journal, October 2017
P. 14

| OCTOBER 2017
Greg Thompson
3 Keys to a Successful
1-to-1 and BYOD
Districts three to five years into their 1-to-1 programs share best practices and lessons they’ve learned the hard way.
HE BRING-YOUR-OWN-DEVICE (BYOD) and/or 1-to-1 culture is firmly in place across much of the American educational landscape, with many districts entering a third year of implementation.
Such is the case at the Prince William County District in Northern Virginia, where students at Mary Williams Elementary school, Dumfries, VA, use iPads in kindergarten and first grade, and Lenovo Laptops in
grades second through fifth.
Every device is provided by the district on a 1-to-1 basis, and, three years into
the program, the biggest challenges often involve elements that people can’t see. “There are a lot of hidden things that you must have in place,” said Lynmara Colon, principal at Mary Williams. “First is your internet connection. And usually it’s difficult to fund because people don’t see it as infrastructure.”
The second is adequate professional development or “meeting people where they are” among different skillsets.
“I have an amazing staff, but they are not all at the same level of technology knowledge,” says Colon. “Differentiate professional development way before the device arrives. Warn them about what is going to come, and allow for mistakes.”
Stocking each device with proper apps and programs can act as a workaround
in situations where pristine internet is
not available. With this partially in mind, Colon introduced the myON personalized literacy environment to students at
Mary Williams Elementary to encourage reading proficiency. Colon said: “One of the reasons I love myON is because you don’t need to have internet to access the books. You can download up to 20 books and still be engaged in the reading.”
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