Why A 1:1 Initiative?
A 1:1 program supports this vision. The New Jersey Educational Technology Plan specifically suggests in preparing our students to excel in the community, work place, and in our global society using 21st century skills, that we “achieve at a minimum, a student to multimedia device ratio that equals a ratio of 4:1 with an ultimate goal of providing one-to-one access for students and staff for anywhere/anytime learning.” Providing a device to every student allows each student access to the same resources regardless of ability, socioeconomic status, physical or mental challenges, and technology available at home.
One-to-one technology has the potential to change the role of the teacher from master of the content to facilitator of learning. At its best this yields classrooms where learning is driven by projects requiring research, collaboration, and production of a final product (a slide show, video, or Web page). It is this type of environment that fosters cooperation, creativity, inventive thinking, and high productivity.
Things do not always go as planned in the classroom and in a one-to-one computing classroom, as a topic arises the teacher and students immediately are online, investigating, questioning, and extending the conversation with information and tools not available to them in other situations.
When a student's only exposure to a computer is in a lab at the end of the hall or on a cart that has to be signed out in advance, technology can be seen as a fragmented skill unrelated to daily life or a future career. As we know, however, computers are essential for almost any job -- doctors record patient notes on Tablet PCs; small businesses order supplies online; farmers check the Internet for the latest weather conditions. One-to-one computing ensures that all students have the skills and confidence to integrate technology into their future, as well as their present.