- Brewster Central School District Instructional Technology Specialist Peter LaMoreaux detailed for District Administration the strategy and organization behind his school system's recent 1:1 device rollout, which saw one middle school distribute 750 devices in under three hours.
- Split into groups of 15 during the deployment, the students were then led through the registration process in a matter of minutes, and LaMoreaux writes that the only hiccup presented itself during the distribution of personal identification tags for the devices by student volunteers.
- The New York district has been able to expand the amount of resources and applications available for students via its cloud-based communication and collaboration platform, which has also mitigated the amount of maintenance necessary on the part of its tech department, and it provided teachers with professional development opportunities and early access to tech to ensure they were as familiar as possible.
LaMoreaux's piece illustrates the importance of crafting a strategy and offering adequate professional development opportunities ahead of a device rollout. It's one of ed tech's most common refrains, and for good reason.
Before adopting and rolling out devices, it's paramount that districts have a plan in place to ensure educators know how to best utilize them in the classroom. As ISTE CEO Richard Culatta told us in 2015, when he was still heading the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Ed Tech, "One of the things that is the biggest sort of red flag for me is when schools are using technology in ways that simply digitize traditional practice."
To ensure that doesn't happen, schools and districts must invest in initial and ongoing professional learning opportunities that provide strategies for integrating the tools into pedagogical practices. And a good place to start can often involve seeing what directions educators themselves want to explore.