Not every school district is fortunate enough to have the funding sources to have a 1:1 environment that includes desktops or laptops but that doesn’t mean districts can’t fund 1:1 for its’ students. To me 1:1 is about individual access to digital information. In Steve Dembo‘s presentation at the K12 Online Conference he talks about different ways to achieve mobile learning in the classroom. To me districts need to think about what technologies to the children already have access to to utilize 1:1 access to digital information. Steve highlights cell phones, portable gaming devices, and pdas in his presentation.
I think with the advent of the Apple’s iPhone and Nokia’s N800 we are seeing the power of technology getting smaller and cheaper without loosing power and impact in the classroom. These devices take advantage of WiFi hotspots and give the user access to the Internet. More and more applications that use to sit on the drive of the computer now becoming web-based these WiFi devices become more and more appealing for a 1:1 solution.
The cheapest 1:1 solution probably will never make it into a U.S. classroom. I’m talking about the OLPC XO laptop. The laptop costs about $150 a piece and within a couple of years it might make the $100 price point that the project was trying to achieve. These laptops are going to 3rd world countries to make 1:1 affordable for countries that would never be able to afford it any other way.
Ubiquitous classrooms 10 years ago was a pipe dream now it is a reality. Access to the technology is only the first step in achieving an educational revolution for the 21st Century. Teachers and administrators need to know how best to use it to impact teaching and student learning.