Every so often, I'm asked: CARTS or 1:1? And while we all agree that having technology in the classroom is a prerequisite for authentic work, it's less likely that we agree how it should look.
For me, I've always seen a cart of devices as something that is controlled by the teacher. The teacher determines when and how the devices are used. Commonly, there's a lock on the cart that the teacher has access to.
Imagine that - a lock on learning.
That's why carts don't cut it.
We live in a world with boundless access to content and people. Attempting to control learners is future. We must lead and learn alongside them. We must question and probe with them. We need to stop trying to remove the messiness that exists within the learning experience.
Further, new research is showing that access to a personal device creates better outcomes for kids. A report authored by Linda Darling Hammond, Molly Zielezinski, and Shelley Goldman cites that the most successful implementations and learning experiences required 1:1 access.
Consider this quote from the report:
"When students were given 1:1 laptop access as well as access to the internet at schools, they made use of this opportunity at least several times a week, for purposes ranging from seeking background knowledge, facilitating 'just in time' learning, and supporting research projects. In addition to the work students were doing in math, the researchers noted that 1:1 laptop implementation increased students' likelihood to engage in the writing process, practice in-depth research skills, and develop multimedia skills through 'interpretation and production of knowledge.'It's a new world, and the learners are in control. 1:1 computing supports learner empowerment and represents a preferential learning environment.
So, the jury isn't out anymore. When it comes to the question CARTS or 1:1, we should move towards 1:1 implementations.
It's well worth your time to check out the entire report by Linda Darling Hammond and her colleagues here.