One to One Computing: Lessons Learned from the Front Lines of One to One
A presentation at COSN/Texas CTO Council conference 28 June 2006

– 3 New CoSN Case Studies by Rich Kaestner
– Ysleta ISD: Micha Villareal
– Bryan ISD: Betty Sanders
– Irving ISD: Alice Owen

CoSN One-to-one Case studies
– wanted to determine the vision of the district, what was driving the vision
– wanted to draw a baseline for TCO
– determine costs and value
– costs and financing of the project
– one to one project TCO
– one to one benefits

District 1: Kirshaw County, South Carolina
– rural/small town county SD with 10,200 students
– tech focused supt: mission to go from $4 to $250 annually per student
– “put all district students at a distinct advantage in the 21st century workplace”
– provide digital age equity for all students
– centralize computer services from site-based (imposed central control on tech, instead of site-based decsionmaking and control)
– roll-out for 2004-2005 school year

Financing: lease
– build gradually with 9th grade each year on 4 year leases
– incorporate network equipment and training expense
– negotiate low 1st year lease payment paid via loan refinancing
– freeze other district expenses to cover rollout for the freshmen class
– contract for instructional tech specialists at each HS
– did not require additional taxes or funds from the community!
– Took growth money from community taxes and put those funds into this project
– This took a superintendent who really, really wanted to do this

Anticipated benefits
– 21st century skills: “infusion of technology in all aspects of teaching and learning is necessary to provide students with an edge”
– this was a predominantly black community
– equity for all students, despite socioeconomic status
– student motivation and achievement, specific annual achievement goals
– improved parent communications and teacher satisfaction

My frustration with this is these goals are not stated in MEASURABLE terms
– this is my mission lately with TCO: key item is measurability, metrics
– at least this district understood what they were trying to achieve in broad terms

Other benefits:
– some cost savings: electronic homework saves time and printing, increased student day funding from lower absenteeism and return from private/home schools
– student and teacher collaboration: over 80% use laptops for group projects
– over 80% use e-chalk (district hadn’t really looked at that as an expected outcome, collaboration really did increase both teacher to teacher and student to student)
– Nearly 60% email with teachers
– Student behavior generally improved (they treated students as adults, expected them to take laptops home)

2nd district: Cutstown, Pennsylvania
– rural/small town SD with 1800 students
– tech focused supt: needed to do something, laptops are best use of funds
o high school was “the black hole of technology”
o labs or laptops in 60s and 70s building
o $722 for labs or $846K for laptops
o avoid major network infrastructure upgrade / building refurb
o Labs: $170K not transferable to new HS

Rollout to 2004-2005 students
– had single high school
– rollout out grades 9-12
– 4 year lease
– negotiated to level accepted b ycommunity and school board
– small college town
– paid by 1.7% increase in property tax
– incorporated wireless network equipment and training expense
– applied $40K state grant to 1st year of lease
– school foundation help: donations from community and business
– some additional support via on-site warranty service
– industry and the community came together to support: with local wireless access points, someone buying the bags for students, etc.

Anticipated benefits
– 21st century skills
– equity for all students (questions from students with special needs: “Are WE going to get the laptops too? We know the smart kids are going to get them.”
– improved parent communications: survey shows they feel strongly about the value of the laptop program both as beneficial for their child’s education and for their success after high school

Other benefits
– some cost savings: electronic homework saves time and printing, reduced textbook expense, increased student day funding from lower absenteeism and apparent return from home school
– lower special ed costs: AV capabilities and reduced special adaptive equipment
– Student motivation and continued achievement: you could just feel the energy and enthusiasm of the students for learning and using their digital tools
– Student organization: students were a lot more organized once they learned how to organize files in folders, etc
– Collaboration
– Enhanced curricula: have a great media specialist there that has really been a catalyst for integration, lots of online learning, doing current events on terrorism, stuff that you can’t do with a textbook

District3: Glendale, Pennsylvania
– title I district, losing population and money
– supt was self-taught grant writer
– first helped develop community-wide wireless network for the town that connected to a neighboring city’s fiber network
– so then: every home in the community has high speed internet access for $11 per month
– put district on a par with or better than urban / suburban districts
– community development was vital
– big issue not training for teachers: big issue was hardware for students and teachers
– 1:1 really changed the culture, letting students take laptops home
– did 9-12 grade first
– now did 7-8th grade, but only 9th and above can bring laptops home

Got grant for 3 years, did a lease and let the grant pay for the lease
– not included in the lease: infrastructure mostly in place, some network/server upgrades
– curriculum software, training expenses, minimal initial training required and ongoing
– no increase in computer services staff
– district was already tech saavy
– computer services staff changed time allocation, spent more time in high school

KEY: anticipated benefits
– keep Glendale on the map
– attract industry, find a place for these students to go and succeed
– major focus on getting these students into college
– enhancing 21st century literacy skills very important

Other benefits similar to other cases here:
– again collaboration not what they had planned for
– some of their students are in business creating websites for businesses around the country
– blogs/chats with scientists, authors, college students
– student behavior generally improved
– ability to attract new teachers
– better parent and community communications

– strong tech savvy superintendent with vision and persistence (desire to make it happen, that is very much what drove each of these 1:1 computing environments)
– district focus on developing workplace and college entry skills, student equity within district and beyond, student motivation and achievement, improved parent and community communications and relations
– each district provided a way for students to get online after school, either through the town or areas within the town, one had access points outside the school
– One supt said she’d come to school after hours in their cars, and they were coming to get online
– Few really measurable goals

Cheshire cat: if you don’t know where you’re going, you can’t figure out where you need to go
– our area of confusion is few measurable goals

My question: what about test score performance?

His response to test scores: this is early, trend lines look good tho (no data or graphs provided tho)
– has case studies written up, those just went up a week or so ago

Betty Sanders, Bryan ISD
– from Crayons to Computers, Preparing our students for the World
– Bryan is one of 22 districts in TxTIP: 1 middle school immersed for 2 years
– Also have a control school, we happen to have one of each in our district
– Deployed 1100 computers to middle school kids, approx 70 teachers
– Online resources
– Professional development
– Went with Apple Computer as vendor, we are an Apple district K-8
– Really did some serious soul searching, looked to see if it was the time to make a change to Windows
– Of the packages offered, the thing that best met our needs was Apple: they supported education, they would work with us to ensure success, etc.
– Huge piece of this grant was professional development: not sure exactly how many days were included, but there were LOTS
– Had Apple Professional Development come work with our teachers for 5 days before school started, and there was a team of 5.
– Had 5 different groups based on content areas, 1 was for electives
– 5 trainers for 5 days was 25 days of professional development
– the required PD goes fast when it is measured in this way

eLearning Package
– netTrekker
– Beyond Books from Apex Learning
– ClassTools Math from Apex Learning
– ExploreLearning Math and Science
– KidBiz3000 from Achieve 3000
– MyAccess Writing from Vantage Learning
– These are used in varying amounts

Lessons learned year 1 to year 2
– needed more time talking to teachers
– created teacher feedback committee
– have a fulltime project director that is not me! (totally devoted to this project)
– she got 1 person from each dept to be on the teacher feedback committee
– didn’t want to get the exhuberant cheerleader or the naysayer, wanted to get someone in the middle
– that person’s job was to talk to each person in their dept and come with troubles, successes, and solutions if they had identified them
– wanted the time to be constructive, not just a venting time, but also a problem solving opportunity
– that worked out very well, was very powerful

Also created a district leadership committee
– partnership with C&I department
– meet once per month to talk about what we found out from teacher feedback committee, current issues that are going on, they support us but it is very important to keep them informed and help us to process / figure out how to improve

Another key we didn’t do from day 1: get C&I dept involved
– took C&I director and others to Austin, bought them a laptop, had a “drink the kool-aid session” with them with a very dynamic presenter
– until that time, we didn’t include them to the degree we should have
– this really turned things around and got them on board and involved
– so: make sure you get your C&I people involved, this is an instructional thing, not a technology thing, it is all about learning!

Other things
– took group to TCEA
– several go to CoSN conference each year, learned about AALF conference (Anywhere Anytime Learning Conference) – took mix of 16 people to that conference, had 2 strands: symposium strand with Angus King and others, teachers were also able to sign up for institutes to learn about using certain tools to do certain things
– Also did “Mission Possible” – 5 day institute for our teachers this summer
– Next year our control campus is going to be immersed
– Were able to get teachers from new middle school involved in 5 day institute: bought iPods, digital cameras, learned about downloading podcasts, creating their own podcasts
– Are planning a mentor institute for next couple of weeks: work with teachers to mentor new teachers on campus coming in, and have teachers who have already been through 1:1 mentor others
– Will have leadership academy: pulling principals, assistant principals from both campuses: will serve more kool-aid (why are we doing this: digital immigrant / digital native thing, the reasoning behind this, we passionately believe this is the right thing for kids, we need to have instructional leaders on those campuses understand this)
– Integration specialists: have fulltime integration specialist on each campus, sharing time with training and technical support
– What we really need is someone there to hold the hands of the teachers!
– The classroom teacher does not look at this through the same lens that we do! We eat, drink and breath technology—we often think if we just give this to teachers, they will immediately begin to integrate. We often do not recognize how fundamental a change this is for teachers. They need the support! So we provide fulltime integration specialists on both campuses to be on those campuses, to model teach with them, co-teach with them, support them, be with them in the classroom as they step out and try this, and catch them if they fall


This time it will be different for control campus teachers, since they will get a full year to work with their laptops before the kids get them
– much different than the fast approach we had

Rich told story of a district who stopped a 1:1 project and took laptops

Dr Alice Owen: Executive Director of Technology for Irving ISD
– since 1996 we have been providing laptops to all teachers
– in 2001: first bond to supply laptops for students
– I came into the district when the project was 2 years old
– At that point we didn’t have any baseline data about where we were and will be going
– So I am going to share our evaluation data: we have 3 years of evaluation data

Irving ISD laptop program
– 9600 laptops for students
– program is at high school level
– 2500 laptops for teachers
– funded from two bond propositions
– supported by community
– 5th year of the program
– Agree with Betty: teacher experiences with laptops are VERY important
– Supported this through 2 bond propositions

Just completed 5th year
2 years ago received a TIP grant: Vertical Team (Irving HS, DeZavala MS, Lively Elementary)
– study the impact on student achievement and literacy
– evaluator: Gerald Knezek
– used a paired comparison with elementary and high school that didn’t have technology

We are 66% low SES, majority Hispanic district
– what Irving did to get into the project: give our kids 21st century literacy skills, and bridge the digital divide
– we really didn’t go into the program to improve test scores

Research design
– online teacher survey
– online student survey (linked to national NetDay surveys)
– focused group interviews with teachers
– classroom observations (will be happy to share the tool we use, that is a timed interval data collection instrument, so observers get a good idea of what is happening with technology)

Teacher Technology Use from first study
– 87% have access to Internet at home
– 64% use laptop at home either daily or weekly
– more than half use their laptop at least an hour per day

Levels of teacher use (Using CBAM model)
– stages of adoption: 5.03
– level of use: 5.88
– youngest group of teachers rated highest in proficiency
– those in the project longer were higher in stages, levels of use, interest and belief
– no home access = lower levels
– laptop initiative has been strong PD program for teachers

Visual graph of stages of access graphed vs home Internet access
Changing teacher practice
– before: 48% work in groups
– 66% whole class instruction
– this is at high school

After laptops
– 58% work in groups
– 54% whole class instruction
– 53% positive impact on instruction
– 69% added to classroom management demands (This is one of my major lessons learned), laptops really turn your classroom upside down and inside out

Impact on teachers
– 70% learn along with students
– 62% agre students with laptops find out more info with laptops
– 45% say school culture has changed (for good and bad, depending)

Growing Pains: Teacher surveys say:
– classroom management is a challenge
– admins are not prepared to deal with that
– inconsistent enforcement of student policies
– about half currently use laptop for instruction on daily basis
– teacher adjustment typically comes by year 3
– few desire to “go back to the old way”

Student responses
– 70% have internet access at home
– 89% use computers at school two or more hours per week
– 85% use Internet 2 or more hours per week at school
– more positive attitude toward school than neighboring districts
– still have about 25% of community that still need internet access at home: more stores and community locations have installed wireless access points

Early in study, Knezek did comparative study: our kids had much higher positive feeling toward school

Student technology use
– 82% used technology in the classroom most often
– the classroom is now the computer lab, students are not going to the library much either, we don’t need our computer labs anymore, think about the librarian impact: this has moved the librarian’s cheese and they are needing to figure out new ways to reach out to students
– 67% consider themselves average users
– 87% use technology to help them with schoolwork
– 89% use laptop each week, 61% use desktop, 61% use cell phone
– those kids OWN the laptop

take up laptops in summer for students, not for teachers unless they leave the district

Student perceptions generally very positive
Beyond the school
– one third share their computer at home
– 34% help others at home
– 73% want to keep laptop after graduation

Unusual findings
– females and males are equally comfortable with technology
– 76% expect to go to college (Knezek was amazed at this, looking at district demographics: the professionalism and expectations appear to help students develop higher aspirations for themselves)
– more positive attitudes the longer they stayed in the program

First year findings from TIP evaluationi
– treatment schools had higher use at school and more internet access at home than comparison school
– 7 of 8 measures on tech proficiency scales were higher at TIP schools
– 90% of teachers say their tech skills have improved
– elementary teachers were most positive about the program, reported more daily use of laptops, had better policies
– 95% of students take their laptop home every day
– has a positive impact on the use of computers at home as well as school provided laptops

I was very concerned about that, didn’t know what it would be like to let elementary students take laptops home, haven’t lost 1 laptop in 2 years

Second year preliminary findings
– home computer use has increased each year of study 2004-2006
– more than 50% of MS students report that someone at home uses their computer
– treatment schools had significantly higher use of computers at school, home use, and use of WWW
– attitude toward school is higher at treatment schools

Is no significant difference in attendance data: our attendance is already pretty high

All our immersion schools had lower discipline reported issues on PEIMS

Test scores: we don’t see a significant difference in test scores
– it is not about having laptops in your school, it is about what teachers do with laptops
– must build in pedagogy piece
– I do think students are better prepared with 21st century skills

We are testing our kids to death, but are making no effort to test them on 21st century literacy skills that everyone seems to agree we need to promote in schools

– provide more professional development
– expedite repair time for laptops (huge computer to technican ratio! Huge logistical piece every year)
– evaluate program yearly
– change takes time! (takes 5-7 years to see change, we are now in our 5th year, hopefully teachers don’t see it as a flash in the pan, our curriculum people are now behind it)

Alice Owen: aowen at irvingisd dot net

Irving ISD manages all logins through active directory, single sign-on for elementary through high school, even kindergartens can do it!
– we are all PC

One to One Roadmap
– Micha Villarreal, Director of Instructional Technology, Ysleta ISD, Texas
– In far West Texas in El Paso, very low SES
– Ysleta has about 46,000 kids, 2nd biggest in country
– Hillcrest Middle School, 17% are LEP, 95% are low SES
– TIP had major impact
– District overall is 85% low SES
– Some students reported that older sim
– Got a local provider to do dialup internet for about $5.95 per month

Common vision
– we found we have to start and end with a vision
– it is critical for success
– we have invested a lot of time in visioning: why are we doing this, what impact do we want this to have?
– Have consistently gone back to revisit this

Lessons Learned
– plan, plan, plan
– Then plan again
– It would be great to think this all through, give it to the teachers for a year: TIP was a wonderful opportunity, but it was BAM here it comes, you think you have everything figured out, but you don’t
– I’m the queen of rollout plans for implementation: covering inventory, imaging, cleaning, etc.
– Even if you think you have covered everything, you still always have to go back and revisit
– Discipline policy is critical
– We were awarded TxTIP as a single secondary campus, Hillcrest is 7th and 8th grade only

Twisting Road Ahead
– Found that chatting can be a wonderful chatting instructional tool
– Kids found a way to chat using iPhoto
– But kids would chat all the time
– Frank Burton was wonderful principal, has been there 12 years
– Once he got the vision for how technology can help change teaching and learning, he became the strongest advocate
– Without the principal’s support, you aren’t going anywhere
– At campus level, you must have principal’s support
– At time of laptop distribution, Frank was asked to move to a high school
– Found another wonderful leader, and found that life does go on (Paul Covey) – he hit the ground running and now has the same vision, but we had to work hard with him and
– When you lose the principal, you often lose staff but we only lost ONE teacher

Another story: New principal about a month into having laptops, reported that he was in his office and the
– kids were not going to lunch at all, they wanted more time on their laptops
– they would just get their laptops, go to the library or the commons and use their laptops
– so new policy that kids had to go into cafeteria for at least 10 min
– didn’t want a newspaper headline: Ysleta students starving for technology!
– You can’t anticipate it all and plan for it all: you have to be flexible and adaptive!

Have year round fulltime technician
– teachers for support: you can’t do it alone
– students: build leaders

Went to Texas Capitol Schoolhouse last year, this was a very powerful experience
– also took students to visit with legislators
– students took video cameras and microphones and asked: “Do you think laptops are important for me?”
– important that legislators not just hear from tech directors, but also from teachers and kids

Also built a SWAT team: students are providing first line defense when it comes to technical support
– we’re giving kids 1 class period credit as an elective, supporting the technology needs

Stories of teachers are about pedagogy

Now brief vignette from Armando, a science teacher, who is middle of the road in terms of technology
– he has become a leader on the campus, helping others learn to use technology
– we’ve told teachers: it is not about the laptop, it is not about forcing it into everything you do, finding natural pathways
– using constructivist learning strategies, letting students
– not all teachers embrace technology and are excited, I must be honest
– have 1 or 2 people at hillcrest when they found out they didn’t celebrate, so it is also important to hear from those people

Video vignette from Ruth (watch how she is talking about how she felt initially, and then after 1 – 2 years)

Teachers came to realize it was OK to let the students become the teachers, have two way conversations, to learn from each other
– that has been a real process
– Ruth was ready to quit, she was so angry when she found out about TIP
– She was going to have to change the way she did business
– She is now one of the cheerleaders, she has a lot to

Seasoned teachers, if you can turn them on into engaging students and embedding technology into their content can love it!

Talk about neo-millenials
– we know we can’t keep teaching the way we’ve been teaching
– we have to engage kids
– they are used to multi-tasking, IMing, emailing, etc
– We can’t go into a classroom, just get behind a podium and deliver

I don’t know if giving a laptop to every student will be possible in Ysleta because of cost
– putting that much money into a laptop, we may have to find other ways to do this
use more handhelds
– grant is over for Ysleta and Irving, just extended for Middle Schools
– are now having to creatively figure out how to move forward: sustainability is the challenge

Kid used laptops are a lot harder hit
– the reason we do this is because of the kids, the neo-millenials
– video: the “tech-rap video”
– 60 seconds on what technology has meant for him

– iBooks didn’t need antivirus
– did get Apple Remote Desktop to monitor what kids were doing
– Irving ISD does Norton antivirus
– Network admin comes up with creative ways to watch what kids are doing

Ysleta is looking at open source options: going with thinkfree or some other things instead of MS Word, looking at some other open source options for software

Irving ISD loaded StarOffice on student laptops
– is there for teachers too
– Dallas ISD did a big teacher laptop and went with StarOffice

Battery life
– Irving ISD took out CD Drive because they didn’t want students loading any extra software
– So extra bay was for a battery: that almosts lasts the entire day
– Student responsibility is to charge each night
– Dell provided batteries as part of 4 year warranty, even Dell didn’t bid that last year as part of what they would support
– Batteries only lasted about a year
– Letting students plug in laptops in class can really increase school electricity costs



– Ysleta has 100 MB to the commodity internet, does not have any bandwidth issues
– Irving ISD has 45 MB for entire district, that maxes out every day, have purchased with extra hurricane Katrina money have purchased another 45 MB pipe for the district, and 10 MB pipe for the assessment system
– That has had a huge impact on what teachers and students do instructionally, so that is a big impediment

Design issues:
– classrooms with tables instead of desks are better
– campus was able to leverage local monies in Ysleta to mount projectors into the ceiling to be available at all times, used for student projects too, electrical was OK in the building, would have loved to have more outlets but it was OK
– Irving ISD: all teachers have mounted data projectors, still have some desktop computers in back of classrooms, but all campuses are moving away from labs and COWs instead
– Irving has new configuration called “Inspired Classrooms” – configuration of classrooms of desks in clusters, at each cluster there is a desktop or laptop, pods of students, are highly promoting that configuration


Irving looking at 2 thin client products
– Eduwise: may be one of the tools that will come out of all this
– Have been pushing for another solution
– I fault the manufacturers for not stepping in and creating a solution for K-12
– The solution they create for business is not well suited for K-12, it is too expensive
– Other project is Microsoft’s device: Oragami
– We have piloted handhelds, but we don’t think they are effective for kids who have to do work
– We think a smaller version of a laptop that has a PDA engine is the solution that kids

Ysleta has not used videoconferencing to the esktop
– now using blogs, students doing discussion boards with

Bryan has done a little videoconferencing, got some videoconferencing units through TARGET grant, never really got that off the ground
– added another unit to middle school and main unit
– also bought iSight cameras for teachers
– really just start

Irving is doing some point to point videoconferencing with portable, traditional videoconferencing units
– not anything with desktop

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