April 05, 2012

Moving to a 1:1 Computing Classroom in an Alternative Setting

Image via Flickr/colemama
Starting next year, the Red Oak School District is going to give all students 6th-12th grade a laptop to use in school. Fortunately, all of the alternative students are also receiving laptops as well. This last 6 months or so have been a whirlwind of activity for me as I start the process of moving many of the classes that I offer from a textbook to an online format. The Health and Biology classes that I am working on will not use a textbook at all. All of the information that the students will need will be online. Much of the leaning will be inquiry based, so that the students can be more actively engaged in the learning process. This will also allow them to complete assignments in different formats based on their interests and strengths. In this process I have found many online tools to help in this conversion to a 1:1 program. Later I will compile a list of some of the things that I am using. Best of all, all of the things that I have found are free. This post is to be the first of many as I journey to the land of the digital.

Brett Eubank
Red Oak Alternative School



  1. Looking forward to hearing about what you have done. We just went 1-1 in Jan. Now with a new teacher coming in to the alternative school setting, hoping to develop some different classes.

  2. The whole 1:1 thing sounds so exciting! Colleen and Brett, how did your districts decide to go that route?

    I would love to go to 1:1, but I hear some common comments in my district: "those kids" at the alternative program couldn't be trusted to treat laptops well...or most of "those kids" don't have Internet access at home, so laptops will be pretty useless. How do you combat those stereotypes?

  3. Well, we(the district) thought about some of the issues that we may have giving laptops to my students. First of all, since a good percentage of my students tend to be transient, we decided to have the students leave their laptops at the school for at least 2 weeks so that I can see if they are regular attenders. If they show themselves to be responsible in their laptop use in the classroom, they can take them home. On the issue of kids not having internet at home, well we are going to have at least one school open in the evenings so that students can use the school network. There is also a McDonalds that has free wi-fi that students can go to along with the public library. One thing that we are discussing is talking with the internet providers in town to see if they would be able to offer a low cost plan to those that would qualify.

  4. Different students have completely different requirements, and as such one variety of alternative school might not be as effective on one student because it is for alternative students.

    Alternative Education

    1. @David I think the IAAE encourages alternative schools and programs to offer as many strategies as possible to meet the needs of as many students as possible. 1:1 computing will open up a lot of new strategies for learning/teaching for students to choose from. More choices means more chances for success.