This post was originally published by TeachHUB.
As more districts embrace mobile as a way to keep in touch outside of class periods - sharing resources, asking questions, collaborating on projects - several models have emerged for ensuring all students can participate.
With the release of our new app for iOS, we've been thinking a lot about how device programs can change the game for classes, creating new potential for staying in touch and taking on new, creative projects that they otherise could not. These programs range from providing devices for all students, to making use of devices students might own, to setting up a space for students to rent laptops and tablets.
Here’s a rundown of what these initiatives look like.
The 1:1 setup is one in which the district can afford to purchase one device per student and give those students full time access to the device for schoolwork. While 1:1 is certainly the most expensive model, it’s the most certain way to guarantee a child has the necessary tools to connect with teachers and peers outside of school.
Chromebooks, MacBooks, and iPads are perhaps the most widely-used/documented devices for such programs.
While not without challenges - like any of these programs - new resources have emerged (blogs, Twitter chats, apps) specifically for teachers who are in 1:1 environments and working to shift their classroom culture to accommodate the hyperconnectivity of their class.
Rentals, Device Carts, Libraries
A step away from buying every student a device for the duration of the school year is to build a program that purchases a smaller quantity of devices, which can be rented/borrowed as needed.
We’ve seen variation in these programs, with some schools requiring devices to stay on school property and others allowing the devices to travel home for students to finish work and continue conversations with peers via an LMS or school-wide messaging system.
A perk of device carts that we see is the range of devices offered to students. This model presents an opportunity to both ensure access and train students in the use of different technologies. Worth considering.
BYOT/BYOD - Bring Your Own Tech/Device
BYOT lets students bring their own tech to class and expects these devices will be used to stay in touch. This model will also see a diverse array of devices, and will likely lean more on smartphones (and potentially tablets) than the other models.
Mix and Match
It also makes total sense to mix and match these programs - especially the second two - to ensure student access while staying within a school’s budget as much as possible.
We’ve connected with districts that mix and match these models based on grade level, opting for device libraries for younger students and moving to a 1:1 model with older students who have had time to learn about using different types of devices and gained an understanding of how to care for these tools.
If you’ve got your device program on lock, but are looking for beautiful tools to keep everyone collaborating, our guided tours will show you how Chalkup approaches class collaboration and keeping your school on the same page.