How to set up a secondary 1:1 programme….a one page guide

So, we launched our programme last week with our current year 7 students and to date, touch wood, there have been no major hitches. I thought it would be a good moment to review the process in the form of a one -stop “how to” guide, for those of you who maybe considering embarking on the journey in your own high school/secondary school.


Research into device and uses of the devices in your own context.

Budgetary allocation: whole school, departmental considerations and training

Establishing a ICT support dept and an ICT pedagogy whole school coordinator position

Subject research in departments on which devices to use and how best to use them as part of teaching and learning.

Establishing relationships with distributors/manufacturers 

Trial of potential devices

Devices should be available for staff and students alike to trial at home and in class. Centralised feedback / comments book.

Decision on devices made by the slt after consultation with staff and students.

Policy developments

Writing the whole school uses policy

Writing the day to day expectations for students in school, when using the devices 

Clarifying insurance status for students coming into school with chosen devices.

Pedagogic developments

Each departments appoint a 1:1 subject coordinator to look at adapting the existing curriculum for 1:1 use for the year the programme starts. These coordinators to have access to the chosen devices and a “sacred” time to meet with the ICT whole school pedagogical coordinator, in order to receive training and to cascade this training to their depts.

Heads of depts to look at updating assessment policy and academic expectation/ homework policies in the light of the use of chosen devices.

Whole school PD on teaching with devices, 21 C learning and student centered pedagogy.


Classrooms equipped with lockers and charging facilities for the chosen devices.

Security cameras.

Building or establishing of a specific ICT support center for students using the devices for 1:1.

Testing and improving the wifi

Communication with the community

Share the long term and short term plan with the year groups concerned, with an opportunity for Q & A. Review policies and day-to-day expectations with parents and build in a review meeting for the mid-point of the first year of the programme.

Picking up the devices

Specific dates and places prior to the start of the school year.

Clarity on procedures for loss/damages/ replacements

Parents to sign a waver of responsibility for devices whilst in use at school.

Day before the start of term

PD overview for all staff.

Regular meeting with 1:1 coordinators established.

1:1 coordinators feedback a part of dept meetings.

1:1 best practice a built in part of ” best practice” sessions of weekly staff meetings.

Whole year group induction workshop: How to use the tablet, what are the key platforms and apps, subject by subject, reminder of expectations, checking EVERYTHING is labeled. 

Mid term review

Create a means of students, staff and parents reviewing the process so far.

Working with 1:1 coordinators on planning for next years new cohort and the move of the current cohort up to the next year of the curriculum. 


Budgeting for next year.



We have it now, but are we allowed to use it properly ?

Notwithstanding tormentas electricas and the peso devaluing faster than a Kardashian exclusive, the first year of the 1:1 programme has officially begun at my school in South America. In the midst of much bronca and constantly changing importations restrictions, we have our infrastructure in place, the wi-fi has been bolstered and there are swarming clouds of teachers and students gathering near classrooms, all eager to start the 21 century !!!! 

Of course there will be problemitas, both seen and unseen, and complaints from various sides of the “triangle of learning”, (Parents, Teachers, Students), but i am mostly positive about how we have prepared for this fresh new start. My positive feeling has been reinforced by the recent trip to the US where digital technology and 1:1 teaching, although not quite out of diapers, is closer to potty training than we are and it seems to me that there are various different opinions on how to effectively to use this new technology.

It was refreshing to hear Technology and Education scholars such as Yong Zhao, arguing that teachers still aren’t using the technology effectively as a part of the learning experience. For me this shadow of the common core, combined with our own tweedle-dee and tweedle-dumb specters of the IB and IG exams still limits the freedom we have as teachers to experiment and actually fully engage with the learning opportunities these devices provide. In short, we are not being allowed the freedom to try and fail, and try again, by a system that still measures and values “learning” through exam results and test scores. It is good to see that, with slug-like speed and efficiency, certain organisations  are at last realizing that this is a pillar of salt that they should perhaps avoid.

On the other, much more positive (perhaps manicured a little longer) hand, it is good to see the emergence of research and literature on whole school technology leadership. There has been a twattering of tweets on twitter over the Eric Sheninger book on Digital leadership (and i genuinely look forward to reading it in 25 years time once it gets through customs and the law changes on the purchase of goods through amazon eventually changes) and i am hoping that this will spark a new wave of thought on monitoring, evaluation and review of pedagogy as well as digital assessment.

We shall see how well we walk the fine line between teaching traditional exams and using the technology in order to instill a love of learning and create innovative, independent, inquisitive learners and teachers alike !

You don’t have to know how it works in order to know how to use it !!!

The difference between geekdom and being savvy with technology is illustrated in this clip. The fear of having to know EVERYTHING about a device is enough to make people dive into hedges rather than to use it….But in reality, you don’t have to know how a device works in order to use it….or to teach with it !

My fingers are too fat for technology !

The quest for alternatives to the Ipad continues….But a major black hole for me is my own block when it comes to trying to type on a tablet. Maybe it’s just me, but can anyone actually type more than a basic email effectively on a tablet ?

I think that my fingers are fat. They need to go on some sort of diet or at least do some exercise. How else is it that i am incapable of typing on a tablet without accidentally changing the font/language/my bank card pin during the course of a single email ?
I might buy some Micheal Jackson white gloves and cut the tips off, so that they can at least feel like they are wearing a tracksuit and become model thin. “Wearing” Barbie trainers might be pushing it a little far though…but I am not counting this out just yet.

Seriously though, how on earth is an IB student going to write a 4000 extended essay on a tablet ? At some point, if i was asked to do the same, the tablet would be flung unceremoniously into a wall/out of a window/beneath a truck…in my case, around the 100 word mark.

Anyway, ranting to one side, here are some more alternatives to Apple world domination as well as some android apps links ! Thanks to all my integration colleagues for all their help and advice:

Google clouds and apps and saving schools !

I am still looking into alternatives to ipads and am thinking about Google. An Ipad in Argentina costs, at the current official exchange rate, up to three times the price of its US equivalent, so other options have to be explored…

Google apps is a good place to start. I like the idea of getting away from a “system” and working towards building a school cloud and this could be a great fast route there. In addition to the apps, and not wanting to be a big advert for Google, the Google in Education site and its associated Google academy, appears to be a support and guidance network I could use.

This has lesson plans, training courses and general advice for the teacher wanting to integrate Google apps into the classroom.

In connection with this, I am trying to read as much as I can on the Google chrome book. Here is a link to a journalist, who has put this to the test:

Finally, I was looking around for 1:1 resources and came across this report on

In short, the clip talks about the revolutionary role that using laptops has made to the motivation and engagement of kids at a failing Middle school in the USA. As well as looking at the practicalities of teaching and learning using Google technology, it also raises important issues about the need for education systems to modernize, the differences in learning styles between today’s students and today’s teachers, moving the classroom in favor of the student and the 21C skill that is multitasking.