The Pros and Cons of One-to-One Devices in Schools
The term one-to-one device usage (also known as mobile or 1:1 devices) refers to the practice in educational establishments, such as schools, of allowing students to use an electronic device to access digital content, the internet or digital textbooks. One-to-one devices will include laptops, tablets and Chromebooks.
Some schools have a “bring your own device” policy, which encourages or requires students to use their own laptops, smartphones or other electronic devices in lessons. However, this system makes it virtually impossible for teachers to monitor whether all students can access the same material, at the same speed as each other, and also causes problems when outdated devices fail.
Given that computers, technology and the internet are rapidly redefining all areas of modern life – from education to careers – schools may wish to consider providing school-owned one-to-one devices because of the following:
- Students need consistent, immediate access to computing devices throughout the day
- Teachers can only take full advantage of new technologies and online resources when all students are adequately equipped
- Teaching digital literacy and computing skills is still a high priority in today’s schools
- Ensuring all students with these devices can incorporate technology into every course
Many schools have some form of computing technology already that is available to staff and students, such as classrooms with computer workstations or a bank of laptops and tablets. However, this ultimately requires scheduling in advance and, if a staff member hasn’t booked a room or devices, students would miss out. Plus, of course, the problem of any scheduling conflicts that could happen.
In addition to avoiding many logistical issues associated with limited or restrictive computing options, each student having a one-to-one device will give teachers greater flexibility in how they can deliver their lessons. It saves time organising rooms, configuring devices or having to postpone or modify certain lessons due to lack of equipment.
What are the advantages?
There are a lot of advantages to the use of one-to-one devices. We’ve drawn up a list of these below for you to consider:
- Students can work online simultaneously in a class or collaboratively outside the classroom
- Teachers can use interactive technologies and strategies such as online surveys
- Students and staff can access their work from a multitude of locations especially if a school has a shared server they can access
- It can actually end up being cheaper buying digital copies of books which can be updated regularly, saving money on older editions especially with constant course changes
- Incorporating “flipped learning” or online courses where students can access information and ultimately saving on school printing costs
- Increased student motivation, engagement and interest in learning from different methods
- A lot more tests are being administered online. If students are not confident using devices, they will find these harder to complete.
- The possibility of allowing some students to take devices home for homework use, if they lack devices at home. This paired with having a good policy in place would ensure these students aren’t left behind.
- Many devices are portable and lightweight, meaning that a dedicated computer room is not needed to access technology; the devices can just be kept in the ordinary classroom.
What are the disadvantages?
Whilst there are a lot of advantages, there are also some disadvantages:
- Whilst up-front costs may be significant, the long-term benefits outweigh the costs
- Students from low income families may have little to no technological skills or digital literacy
- Inadequate technical support could lead to problems. If a sufficient number of devices are broken or malfunctioning, it could disrupt or delay.
- Depending on the school, they may feel that their students may not be responsible enough to use one-to-one devices
- If staff are not adequately trained, they may not use the devices effectively or not produce the desired results and benefits the school wishes to pursue
- Potential distractions as teachers may need to spend more time managing online behaviour
- There will be a clear adjustment period for students and staff to learn how to use the devices
How can we help?
Maxxia can help schools to effectively fund new school equipment, without draining budgets. We are experts in providing school equipment leasing solutions, so schools can focus on what is important – the teaching and learning of their students.
Contact us today to discover how we can help your school achieve its full technological potential – without breaking the bank.