Project Assessment Report

1. Introduction/Implementation

Project Assessment Report

For this school year, I introduced a pilot 1:1 laptop program for students in grades three through five at Searsport Elementary School.  Rather than purchase new laptops for a pilot project when we don't know what kind of return we would get on our investment, we opted to use a large surplus of mid-2009 laptops that have slowly been cycled out of the middle and high school, along with laptops already in the elementary school, to come up with the more than 110 laptops needed to put one in the hands of every third-through-fifth grader.  Unlike many well-known 1:1 laptop initiatives, like the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, students do not bring laptops home with them; the laptops live and stay in the classroom.  However, this pilot reflects a growing trend since I started at SES of lowering the device-to-student ratio, increasing access for students and making integration easier for teachers.  As one teacher remarked in a survey taken earlier this year, "Sharing is the pits!"

This pilot project happens as the RSU #20 IT Department prepares for year 3 of its Hardware Refresh Cycle, a project designed to find cost-effective ways to replace, increase, and diversify the district's Instructional Technology assets, which have aged significantly over the years.  Given that the 1:1 pilot project would cost us effectively nothing to implement (besides a few carts that we needed to purchase), the project has proven to be an excellent opportunity to think about how we wanted to approach such the refresh of our devices in that part of the building.

Questions that need to be answered from this pilot project include, but are not limited to:
  • Have students and teachers increased their use of technology as a result of access to 1:1 devices?
  • Have students and teachers found new ways to use technology as a result of access to 1:1 devices?
  • Do students and teachers have access to the right types of technology for supporting classroom learning?
  • How would teachers like to refresh the technology available in their part of the building?