Well, I resigned from the South Kingstown school district's Technology Professional Development and Curriculum subcommittee after only two meetings. I am unsure if this was a good idea, but I am sure that I do not want to be associated with the subcommittee's outcome. The work ahead is little more than a backfilling of work that should have been completed before the one-to-one (device per high school student) pilot project was scheduled.
The pilot, as presented so far, and as I surmise from the already decided upon pilot factors -- the device choice, specialized staff, budgeting, and the need to finance PARCC testing -- does not prepare the SK school district for one-to-one in the 2015/2016 school year.
The pilot does not address any significant issues raised by one-to-one. The pilot will put laptops in the classroom on carts -- colloquially known as COWs, computers on wheels. Existing models and ramifications of doing this are readily available and well understood. There is 20 years of documented and reviewed research and practice. (I did this kind of work in the mid 1980s.) If you want something more contemporary then travel just up route 138 to the Green School and ask about their experiences.
Computers in the classroom does not differ from bunsen burners in the classroom. That is, they are both lab equipment that will be used to support subject specific lessons. One-to-one is about augmenting one's thinking and communication and has almost nothing to do with the tool itself. That is, while I might advocate for tablets and someone else for laptops, in the end either device will serve the same end. (I would like to address costs but that would take away from my focus of this email.) Has your intellectual life been vitally affected by a bunsen burner?
Here is a thought experiment. Some years ago you worked exclusively with a desktop computer. Today you work exclusively with a laptop. Some years ago content access was limited to in-house only. Today, not only is that not the case, but there is the expectation of equal access from anywhere. With these changes, how has your work life changed? Can you imagine working as you once did -- at a specific desktop and only when in the office?
For students learning is their work. They must have the same experience as you do today with your ever present device and the access to software tools and content it affords. That is one-to-one. That is what SK school district needs to pilot.
For related postings see one-to-one.