The skills and abilities needed by workers in the 21st Century are different than the skills and abilities needed by previous generations. How people interact, communicate, and share information with one another, has also changed, relying on much more than face-to-face communication or handwritten messages and letters.
As such, the makeup of a 21st Century classroom has also changed. Technology is a much greater part of it, with eBooks replacing traditional ink-on-paper textbooks; teaching tools incorporating video clips and presentation materials from multiple sources; apps helping create engaging learning through focused content related to subjects being studied; SMART boards providing interactive lessons. You get the idea. Our 1:1 initiative is a part of the changing educational landscape in schools across the country.
Here’s what the Sunnyside School District — a self-proclaimed “tech-savvy school district" — in Tucson, Arizona, has this to say about why 1:1 computing is important in their schools:
- Supports an innovative delivery model. – In combination with teacher presentation stations the laptops allow access to a wide variety of medium for whole group instruction, small group activities, and independent learning. Interactive, visual, and auditory material engages students in their education.
- Compliments project based learning. – Project-based learning presents students with a real-world question or problem and leaves room for open-ended answers and solutions. The projects may be authentic or simulated. Access to the wide variety of resources on the laptop encourages deeper research and supports a polished presentation of findings.
- Broadens learning beyond the classroom. – Unlike a static textbook, one-to-one learning provides students with access to a multitude of online resources. Learners can access both historic and current information and perspectives. The material is available 24-7, encouraging work to be done beyond the traditional school day.
- Prepares students for the workforce. – Business leaders have expressed a need for employees that are prepared for today’s environment. These traits include but are not limited to problem-solvers, multi-taskers, innovators, effective collaborators, and a workforce that is globally aware.
- Provides equitable access. – In the Sunnyside District, each 5th grade student will be issued a laptop for school use. Home use is also granted once the student has proven to be a safe, productive and ethical user of the laptop.
- Embraces the “Net Generation” and beyond. – New generations place different demands on their education. The “Net Gen” asks for their learning to be relevant, experiential, collaborative and infused with technology.
- Develops thinking skills for the 21st century. – Use of the laptop makes it possible for teachers to work towards student development in 21st Century Learning (Life and Career Skills, Learning and Innovation Skills, Information, Media, and Technology Skills).