Equity does not mean replication in one-to-one programs
What does equity look like in a one-to-one program? Does it mean that every student has the same device?
Equity in a one-to-one program does not mean that every student has precisely the same technological tool. Other factors, including instructional model, use of textbooks, access to online resources, teacher commitment to personal and professional development and a school’s willingness to “push the envelope,” all work together with the devices to create a successful one-to-one environment.
Our district – a 1,200-student district in central California – uses Macbooks, Chromebooks and iPads. We have made a point to match programs with the appropriate devices, to keep each program on the leading edge. While we have experienced some bumps along our journey, we continually aim to strike a balance between effectively supporting a few benchmark devices and allowing our individual schools the instructional freedom to learn, explore and develop their own program.
The tenet of adaption rather than replication is true in most educational settings. When our colleagues in other classrooms or districts inspire us with the incredibly cool and effective things they are doing, we don’t just replicate those programs – we work them into our own repertoire until we make them our own.
Bob Nelson is the superintendent of schools for Chawanakee Unified School District in central California. Prior to this position, he served 21 years with Fresno Unified School District, in a number of roles including fifth- and sixth-grade teacher, district technology specialist, vice principal, principal and district administrator in the Department of Human Resources / Labor Relations. Passionate about teaching, Nelson teaches a graduate course at CSU Fresno in the Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation and Special Education.