Do You Have The Right Technology
For Your Charter School Classroom?
For charter schools, there are many competing demands on both the curriculum and the budget. But, there is a way to make smart technology investments that support both the curriculum and the budget.
A recent article on teachthought.com looked at some of the newest ideas in educational technology. Covering everything from immersive virtual reality and 3D printers to the use of digital textbooks and online school communities, technology can help teachers take their lessons to a new level.
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How Can A 1:1 Student To Device Ratio Help?
A great place to start is by looking at a 1:1 student to device ratio. No one can deny the educational benefits of putting a device into the hands of students. A Michigan State University study looked at 15 years of data and found that giving each student a laptop improved their individual achievement, according to an article on Edweek.com.
The researchers found that a 1:1 student to device ratio had a “statistically significant positive impact on student test scores in English/language arts, writing, math, and science,” according to the article.
In addition to these benefits, the study also determined that having a laptop also improved student results outside of testing, including better student technology use, more student-centered and project-based instruction, increased student engagement and stronger relationships between teachers and students, according to the article.
More schools – both traditional public and public charter schools – are starting or expanding their 1:1 programs. A report from Front Row Education found that half of all schools surveyed had a 1:1 student to device program, a 10% increase from the previous year, according to an article on edtechmagazine.com.
What Are The Next Steps?
Putting a laptop or Chromebook into the hands of every student opens up many avenues for learning. They can create and visit online school communities to ask questions and learn from other students. Teachers can start incorporating blended learning, where students are exposed to both in-class and digital learning.
With access to mobile devices, teachers can use them to create a more interactive experience on field trips. They can also create digital scavenger hunts to encourage students to learn more about local history and biology.
What Else Do Schools Need To Consider?
To build a strong technology foundation, schools need to ensure they have the right equipment and support. While teachers may be well-versed in the educational value of these new interactive tools, there’s also the installation and support to consider.
Working with an experienced IT services professional can ensure that your charter school infrastructure is ready. There’s often a ripple effect that schools don’t think about when adding new technology.
For example, if you’re adding 100 new Chromebooks, do you have the bandwidth to support all those devices logging on at once? Have you thought about how you’ll handle updates? Who will take care of the additional help desk tickets?
With an experienced IT services team, you can be confident that your students, teachers and staff will have the support they need to take full advantage of this new technology. You can also be sure your school is getting the most from your investment.
Share Your Experiences:
How does your charter school use technology to support student learning? Do you have a 1:1 student to device ratio? What types of in-classroom technology, like SmartBoards, virtual reality and digital textbooks, are you using? Any advice you’d share about adopting this type of program? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
- Technology is playing a bigger and bigger role in the classroom.
- Charter schools can use technology to support their educational goals, incorporating everything from immersive virtual reality to online school communities.
- Many charter schools start by going to a 1:1 student to device ratio.
- Studies have proven this approach boosts student test scores in English/language arts, writing, math and science.
- It also has secondary benefits – improving student technology use, adding more student-centered and project-based instruction, increasing student engagement and building stronger relationships between teachers and students.
- Working with an experienced IT support services team can help ensure the school’s infrastructure can support all devices and tools.