These are my notes from a roundtable discussion at TechForum07 in Austin, facilitated by Jennifer Bergland from Bryan ISD

Bryan ISD has been involved with TxTIP, 1 campus has had iBooks for 4 years, another campus just got Macbooks this year (the control campus)

did Google search for 1:1 project questions

Jim Hinderex from Oregon

3 positions that people take on whether you should have laptops
1- student laptops are unnecessary
2- student laptops are inevitable
3- student laptops are essential

questions run the gamut from technical and instructional management, to PD

What measures on outcomes are out there?

many schools now

critical for teachers to have the laptops first
– at Rayburn (other Bryan ISD school) they worked with teachers on their laptops 1 year ahead of the students getting it
– the pedagogical change, the fear and anxiety, the expectations
– fear that this would hurt academic performance
– lots of dialog about that: would take teachers from Sam Rayburn to SFA to see the laptop initiative in action
– PD with administrators has been KEY
– strong tier 1 administrative support but hadn’t done more work of buy-in with tier 2 administrators
– did 3 day retreat that led to an action plan with those administrators, had teacher-leaders there
– talked about expectations of laptop use, initially some hadn’t thought laptops would be used every day
– Apple led this, they played a “change game”
– UT Dana Center has several copies of this

this is VERY much about change
– the dynamics of first and second order change
– principal may say they are supportive but their actions may not match

support structure at Bryan
– support tech
– technician
– added 1 more person for classroom integration

1st time the Apple-provided PD was great, but those people weren’t there all the time
– so we had a person to meet and plan with the teachers
– holding teachers’ hands

we have content facilitators with curriculum departments
– how tech literate are those people?
– story of new science curriculum from region 4: people who would say we can’t do new curriculum because of technology, and in reverse
– lesson learned: get your curriculum people on board and sold on the program

UT College of Education has partnered with Austin ISD for digital storytelling professional development, including both students and teachers (Karen French)
– supported both technical skills and the curriculum model

Similar model in Welder ISD
– kids are there for tier 1 helpdesk assistance
– 1st training we did with teachers, having the kids there really has been positive to support teachers

what business doesn’t ask customers for feedback
– how many students are being asked for feedback in schools

2nd summer camp for kids at UT Austin was focused on writing a multimedia book
– kids came out of the project thinking it about making a book, rather than talking about technology

with higher education technology support, we focus on learning activities and use technology as a tool
– different from the approach that “we’re going to use iMovie now”
– in program teachers make 5 iMovies
– 1 of them ends up being good


Mark McAll at SFA is really continuing to push things ahead, got a Moodle server to support him, using wikis
– he is a catalyst to encourage other teachers on the faculty to

Bryan uses FirstClass for some conferencing

by question for Bryan: How have students and teachers used videoconferencing

One of the roundtable participants told about a school (name not included here for confidentiality) where a student get into big trouble with child pornography (6th grader) to the point where he was addicted
– that got elevated to the board level
– led to filters on student laptops

content filtering needs to be an instructional decisions
– that way if heat comes, the responsibility lies

had a case where a student used a cell phone to video record a teacher doing a math rap, and then spread that video around the school laptop to laptop

tech director: I want my students to be able to experience safe social networking, to blog, etc.
– I am looking for a myspace / facebook social networking solution

district uses vericept:

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4 Responses to One to One Initiatives (roundtable at TechForum07)

  1. Gary Stager says:

    Please tell 1:1 school folks you meet to visit and ask them to enter information about their school in the One-to-One Database at

    This database is designed to build community and portray an accurate sense of the growing movement of personal computing in schools. The more information contained within, the more useful the resource will be for all.

  2. Gary Stager says:

    Giving teachers laptops one year before students get them is a profoundly unnecessary and bad idea!

    Teachers are not employed to develop their tech skills or to get comfortable with laptops (whatever that means). They are employed to benefit children – children who need to learn with laptops.

    No change in teaching practice is likely to occur until teachers view learning through the eyes (and laptops) of their students.

    I do not come to this view casually. I have worked in 1:1 setting since the first two schools in the world in 1990. Giving laptops to teachers first assumes that teachers are the only adults in society incapable of using a computer and places the emphasis of the school on teaching, not learning.

    On a less philosophical level, a huge number of laptops given to teachers and unaccompanied by student personal computers, leads the machines to go unused or to be adopted by the children of teachers.

    I have a number of resources available at

  3. Elizabeth Helfant says:

    I find that I agree and disagree at the same time. We gave our teachers tablets a year before we hope to be 1:1 and I would say that it has been a good thing. However, our reason for giving tablets to them was not because we were going 1:1 but because we thought it had value for both their teaching and their learning and we believed that would impact their ability to facilitate learning in their students and would help them understand the possibilities. We wanted them to be portable and to be able to work together in each other’s rooms and in meetings. We thought there was merit in their being able to take notes and share them in meetings using oneNote. We thought they might benefit from grading students’ work electronically. We also showed them how to use and other venues to use the tablet to work with kids at a distance. We set them up in a social network (althought some of them might not realize its a social network). They are required to put assignments online. We are trying to use a Profeesional Development Elgg to document curricular change and examples of embedding technology. We have set up RSS feeds to read student blogs and have added some customized features to our browsers.
    We did supplement the program with several laptop carts and we do allow kids to bring computers it they have them. We hope to have a requirement by next year.
    I would say that because teachers had them a year in advance and because we used them for out own learning, we will be better able to model learning networks and use of the tablet as tool and we will also be better able to use tablets to enable students to take control of their learning. We have a sense of what a personal learning environment is even if we haven’t all developed a personal learning network.
    I suppose it boils down to this – I don’t think its necessary to give teachers the tablets a year in advance but I don’t think its bad and it can be beneficial. In a community of learners, the more devices that are around, the better.

  4. Gretchen Warmbein says:

    Wow, I am blown away by Wesley and his son spending hours on his “salt map” project which turned into a Google Map project. It is amazing and impressive to me how much knowledge and enthusiasm Wes has for technology and the dedication to placing the project on the family blog and trying to figure out “embedding a YouTube video in Google Maps”. I have been teaching in an excellent “very traditional” (pencil/paper) school district for the past twenty years. I wonder how many families would embrace the idea of having to complete a Google Map landform project versus a salt map. (about 60% would be my guess. I wonder how many teachers in my district understand, blogs and RSS feeds and wikis and have even heard of Scratch..( I’m not sure I know what that means!) Most districts will need to make major technology changes and advances to become 1:1 laptop districts like Wesley Fryer would like to see his children enrolled at. I wonder if this will ever happen in my school district during my teaching career, I wonder if it is a dream of my IT department or if they even considered moving in this direction. I particularly wonder how I will use my newly aquired tech. knowledge when I return to my fourth grade classroom and just what I can accomplish with 6 PC’s and 24 students. I wonder…

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