One-to-One Advice

I recently found out that my English classes will have a set of dedicated netbooks next school year, which is unbelievably exciting for me. I can’t help but think of all the possibilities for reading and writing when students have frequent and consistent computer access in the classroom.

As I’ve thought about next year, however, I realize that I don’t have a lot of experience in this sort of classroom and that there are a slew of teaching/learning issues and management issues that I haven’t faced yet.

So consider this a call for advice – how do you manage a one-to-one classroom environment? How do you ensure that your students continue to learn effectively in a one-to-one classroom? What issues should I expect to face next year?

Any help you can offer would be much appreciated.


5 responses to “One-to-One Advice

  • Mrs. A

    I’m going to be in the same boat as you next year. I’ve been working with my students in a computer lab the past two weeks as sort of a trial run and can already see that I’ll have to set up some guidelines for next year. We’re going to be using a program called ALEKS that makes it very easy to track their progress and time spent on task, so that will help.

  • justread

    This year was my first year with a classroom set of netbooks. I teach English 11 and AP English Language. With six different classes, I realized I needed a system for keeping the laptops organized in the cart. Having had them a year, this is what I’m doing next year (b/c my students keep putting them in the wrong slot and the numbers, written with a sharpie, keep rubbing off): I bought a colored set of round stickers at Wal-Mart. My laptop cart has three columns. I’m color-coding–a different colored sticker for each column. I’ll put a sticker on each computer and write its number on it; then I’ll organize the pinks in one column, greens in another, and blues in another. This will allow me to visually scan the cart to make sure the computers have been returned to the right slot.

    As I write this, I realize how juvenile it sounds. But, it’s driven me crazy this year, trying to make sure the right kid has the right laptop and that its returned to the right slot.

    You’ve inspired me to create a Google Form tomorrow to gather advice from our teachers–six of us got laptop classrooms–to share with others. I’ll post the results on my blog.

    I’ll be interested to hear advice others post.

  • justread

    I’d love to do some collaborative projects between your students and mine next year. What subjects/grade levels will you be teaching next year? Perhaps we can share ideas for collaborative projects/activities.

  • Mort


    I really enjoy this blog and I wanted to weigh in on this one to one issue, even though it is a bit dated. All of the colleges I teach are not set for one to one notebook configuration. However, I obviously encourage students to use “any means necessary” to enable the learning. My reviews are mixed…
    During observational QC by my chair, he noted that almost half the students were “doing something other what I was talking about” on their notebooks. Yet, my feeling is that for the half that were using the device productively it was worthwhile. I truly feel that teachers have become information brokers and any help from the IT world enables our mission.
    Thanks for allowing me to give my opinion…

  • Sarah

    Yea for you, your students, your school, the community and our world. Teaching 1 to 1 has been a real joy and fun challenge for me. My eighth grade students have been more interested in asking hard questions and looking up their own answers as a result of having such a handy resource like the Macbooks available. Besides all of the wonderful information on the internet and the collaboration that can occur with people near and far, I have been loving the small things. Middle school kids sometimes tend to have a huge rat nest of papers in a broken binder. Now, using the search function (and maybe some folders on the laptop if we’re lucky) they lose a lot less stuff. Also, iCal has been great for teaching them how to manage their time. Kids write more and complain less about doing it. We can listen to music while we create without me having to be the DJ. Students with special needs can use Co-Writer or the speech/reading function right on their computer instead of having a special machine where everyone knows the modifications. I love laptop 1 to 1 and hope you do too. 🙂

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