When a school begins talking about a 1:1 initiative, many people immediately focus on the device. What device are we going to give our students? For a 1:1 initiative to be successful, talk cannot be about the device. The discussion must center around what we want our students to be able to do. The device DOES NOT MATTER!
Kids have grown up with a device in their hands. From the time they are little, they use mom and dad's smartphone or computer or tablet. They go to school and they use computers and tablets from a very young age. Our kids are adaptable! They don't care what the device is--they just want to be connected. A kid can pick up any piece of technology and have it figured out in a matter of minutes.
At the Norfolk Public Schools Google Summit in January of 2013, keynote speaker Molly Schroeder made the statement, "We need to date the device and we need to marry the skill." The minute you buy a new device, it is outdated. Something new is always going to be right around the corner. But the skills you develop while using technology are transferable. On any given day, I use my iPhone, Dell laptop, iPad and Chromebook. The skills I learn on one device, transfer easily to the other.
It is not about Chromebooks vs iPads. It is about having our students connected 24/7. They deserve access to information around the clock--not just when their teacher signs up for a computer lab. It is about leveling the playing field for all of our students. Can you imagine if textbooks were optional? No! So why should technology be optional?
A 1:1 initiative at any level needs to start with the question, "What do we want our students to be able to do?" If you can succinctly answer that question, whatever device you choose will be the right one.