A number of schools in the US are making the transition to 1:1 device learning programmes in order to empower educators and support students.
More than 500,000 students at Florida’s Miami-Dade County Public School are benefiting from 1:1 digital convergence initiatives.
“Often school systems embark on a digital convergence plan, buying devices first, not considering the digital content needs, and forgetting about professional development,” said Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of Miami-Dade Public Schools, in a Microsoft in Education blog post. “This district, in partnership with Microsoft, is leading with human capital development.”
Leon County Schools in Tallahassee, Florida, has also converted to being a 1:1 school district, and made the teachers the central focus when making the transition.
“For us, it was about the curriculum, not the technology,” said Bill Nimmons, IT director of Leon County Schools. “Key to this approach was choosing an operating system that minimised the need for additional training for our teachers and students, allowed us to use existing curriculum and applications without limitations and minimising the need to retrain technical staff on additional software to support our 1:1 environment – all things that Windows 8 allows us to do.”
Leon County’s decision to adopt Windows 8 for its 1:1 programme hinged on factors such as ease of deployment, professional development programs, and maximum flexibility in devices.
“Windows 8 allows us to do this in a cost effective manner,” added Nimmons. “Whether teachers choose to use a laptop, tablet, or other device, with Windows 8, our entire district-supported curriculum is available.”
Chester County School District in South Carolina has developed a 1:1 learning environment to deliver an innovative learning experience through technology. The district aims to ensure its students have access to the devices and tools they need to be both successful in the classroom and best prepared for the world of work.
“Windows-based devices were selected based on our priorities of Microsoft Windows 8, a long battery life, and durability,” said Agnes Slayman, Chester County School District superintendent. “Although selecting the device was a key part of our 1:1 initiative, we understood that the device was merely an educational tool. What we had to rollout was a whole new approach to teaching; we needed our teachers, students, parents, and community members to embrace the use of technology in learning and applying vast amounts of instant information.”
Microsoft is helping schools across the globe adopt 1:1 learning and is advising on how devices and applications such as Office 365, Bing, Skype, OneNote, and OneDrive can be used to support student learning.
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