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Iowa 1:1 Institute: Implementation Crisis

Why 1:1 Programs Are Not Living Up to Their Potential

The final session I attended at the Iowa 1:1 Institute was facilitated by Dr. Michael Gielniak, Program Director for the One-To-One Institute

He gave an Overview of Key Success Factors

Systems approach to change pedagogy. The One-to-One Institute started as the Freedom to Learn Program in Michigan

Of the 200 districts that started only 25 still around, and only 23 doing 1:1 well.

"We learn as much from the failures as well as successes."

A rural district in Michigan started an Arts and Sciences magnet academy in a student centered environment. Students from districts around the area can participate.

2 days a week, just in time direct instruction, the rest of the time is free for students to work on research projects. The program was expanded to the middle school level through a federal grant.

The technology is ubiquitous, but not obvious. Use it only when they need it. Laptops, desktops, and design labs.

See video on their Web site. Very impressive!

Unfortunately, the principal in their district is about to retire, the federal grant is about to end, the superintendent does not understand the concept, the Tech Director was never part of the discussion, and they had low math scores at 7th grade last year. So what do you think is going to happen…..

Due to the low test score, they’ve gone back to a structured, traditional approach for next year. This is a failed program!

Technology is an important tool, but if only used in traditional ways, transformation will not take place.

What does an effective pedagogical model look like?

Just putting a IWB and giving laptops, everything is still Web 1.0…

In instructional approach 2,

Teacher is facilitator, students in groups, Just in Time direct instruction

Tech enables self-direction

Classroom environment is flexible

Students engaged in a variety of activities.


What beliefs do students, teachers, admin, parents in our community have about learning and teaching?

Who holds the power to make decisions about learning and teaching in your school and classroom?

Instructional Approach 3:

Modular-Creative Learning Systems

Second Life! What Chemicals can kids work with in a virtual environment without hurting themselves!

Teacher as Advisor

True mobile learning-Classroom not necessary

Students in control of what they learn, how they learn, when they learn and where they learn

Here are the keys to success as outlined by Dr. Gielniak:


  • Well designed plan for implementation and sustainability
  • Participants: Principals, Teachers, Tech Coordinators, Curriculum Directors, parents, students community members
  • Vision, mission, goals, milestones, resources, roles, responsibilities, monitoring, evaluation
  • Develop a shared vision!


  • Superintendent, tech director and principal
  • Ongoing PD for leading school reform (2nd Order Change-Change the Belief System)
  • Scheduled Team Meetings
  • Observations
  • Communications
  • Leading Second Order Change in Schools
  • Digitial Funding Integration-If the funding stream is not part of the operating budget it will not be sustainable. Half of the failures came from this. Eliminating copy machine costs and classroom sets of textbooks rather than 1 for each kid.
Tech Prep and Support
  • A solid technology infrastructure and maintenance/service plan
  • Connectivity and Access Points
  • Support Policies and procedures
  • Charging and Storing
  • Onsite presence
  • Developing ability of teachers and students to troubleshoot-Gen Y

Professional Learning and Development

  • Regularly scheduled PD for admin, teachers, and tech personnel
  • Coaching/Mentoring model
  • Changing classroom culture
  • Focus on curricular integration
  • Dedicated Time and Resources
  • Every couple of weeks, not just the 4 times a year!
Asking people to change what they believe is very hard! (2nd Order Change.)


  • Sharing information with Key Audiences
  • Internal-Teachers, Librarians, Students, Custodial, Bus Drivers, Tech Support, Curriculum Director, Board Members, Support Staff
  • External-Parents/Guardians, Local Media, Legislators, Businesses


  • School Board Assurance
  • One size fits all doesn’t always work
  • Need flexibility


  • Demonstration Sites
  • Lead Teachers
  • Supercoaches
  • Regional support
  • Research other “Lessons Learned”
  • Vendor Partners
  • Other districts

Expectation Management

  • It takes 3-5 years for teachers to change classroom practice!
  • Student achievement will not increase as a result of 1:1

Assessment and Evaluation

  • External Ongoing Objective evaluation
  • Monitoring of benchmarks

Change of this magnitude takes:

  • Time
  • Patience
  • Hard Work
  • Collaboration
  • Understanding-Being Mindful that this is 2nd Order Change!
  • Consistent and Open Communication AND…
Contract with the One to One Institute!


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