1:1 technology implies that each student in a classroom has access to a piece of effective technology be it a computer, laptop, tablet or other electronic devise.  Many classrooms across the country and around the world are implementing, this while others are barely there…yet!   It may be the classroom of the future for some teachers, but it is a present day reality for many!  Please welcome Mark Pullen who will discuss ways we can use this method of bringing tech into students’ hands for the purpose of literacy.  ~EMP

One-to-one technology has the power to revolutionize virtually any classroom, but language arts classrooms may see the most obvious and immediate benefits from day one.  Let’s take a look at a few of the dramatic improvements 1:1 technology can make in the areas of reading and writing.

1:1 Technology in Reading Class

With an Internet-connected device available to each student, reading teachers can stop assigning their students physical books to read, instead assigning e-books.  Changing to e-books allows students to have access to some powerful tools: they can simply highlight or click on a word to learn its definition or search a book for a certain keyword instantly. For example, during a study on character development, a teacher can ask students to instantly find all of the locations within the book in which a secondary character is mentioned.  When reading newer books that have links to websites in them, the switch to e-books allows students to simply click the link to see what the author is describing.  (This won’t apply to the classics, of course.)

Reading with 1:1 technology can also become a collaborative activity.  Students can take notes or highlight certain passages of text they find important, then share those notes and passages with their classmates through sites like Scribilus or OpenMargin.  Classroom discussions can run as usual but could also contain a backchannel to allow all students to have a voice (and to help document the conversation) through something like TodaysMeet or Edmodo.  Students will be much more able to see what others find important in a certain book or chapter within a specific text, and they’ll be able to hear and see everyone’s ideas and opinions much more equitably than ever before.

1:1 Technology in Writing Class

The benefits of equipping each student with a computer extend to writing class as well.  First of all, students can use Google Docs to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, instead of needing to purchase software to do those same things.  Google Docs allows students to share their documents with anyone, so work can easily be submitted to a teacher in a paperless fashion.  Collaboration between students for peer editing or collaborative writing purposes can also be easily aided by Google Docs.

Next, instead of writing for just a teacher as their audience, students can write for a potentially global audience on a classroom or individual blog.  Students can and should be taught digital citizenship in writing class as they comment on classmates’ blogs, news articles, or through Web 2.0 sites such as Twitter.  Students can consistently write for real purposes and real audiences about self-selected topics in which they are interested.

1:1 technology allows reading and writing to become more collaborative, more interest-based, and more “real” than ever before!

About the author:

Mark Pullen, 1:1 classroom teacher, on behalf of Worth Ave. Group. Worth Ave Group provides laptop, tablet computer, and iPad insurance to schools and universities. They have been insuring schools since 1971. http://www.worthavegroup.com/education