Your Voice: One-to-One (1:1) Initiatives in Central Minnesota

Central MN Libraries Exchange
Central MN Libraries Exchange

Your Voice is a column that shares Quick Question Poll (QQP) results from libraries/school media centers in the twelve-county, CMLE region. Whether a statistical response or textual response to open ended questions, your voice matters. Invitations to engage in the polls arrive in your email; please participate! Most poll results will be shared in aggregate form unless stated otherwise in the poll or through additional approval arrangements.

Last year in April, we asked a total of five questions of school media center staff in our twelve-county region about 1:1 Initiatives. When we refer to 1:1, we are referring to schools who have moved to an educational setting where each student is furnished with  a dedicated device, sometimes a laptop, sometimes a tablet or other similar portable device (in BYOD schools, students furnish the device). In some schools, students are allowed to take devices home, some schools allow them to use devices in the summer too. In some 1:1 schools, no print textbooks are used, and new needs for simultaneous use of affordable online content is the most pressing issue. Teachers and media specialists often share this pressing issue, and are looking for opportunities to hear what other schools have deemed appropriate for teaching different subjects at various grade levels.

CMLE serves 265 schools, and there is a broad range of interest, adoption and/or engagement in this topic. Our sample size was small, a total of 33 schools participated in this poll, which was a bit disappointing. In part, these results could help inform some of our future programming, so a larger sample would be more useful in future QQPs. However, this data helps us pinpoint the state of 1:1’s for 33 schools. The questions and their results are shown below.

1. Has your school incorporated a “one-to-one” (1:1) initiative? Please select all answers that apply.

  • My “school” currently has a 1:1 initiative (19%)
  • My “school” is currently planning a 1:1 school initiative (22%)
  • There has been some discussion at the “district level”, but no plans to move ahead at this time (31%)
  • We are NOT planning a 1:1 initiative at my “school” (38%)

2. If you answered “yes” to question 2, what types of devices is your school using in their 1:1 work?

  • iPads: 68.97%
  • Laptops: 34.48%
  • Chromebooks: 27.59%
  • iPods: 3.45%

3.     Are you part of a team discussing or implementing 1:1 initiatives at your school/district?

  • Yes: 53%
  • No:  25%
  • Not sure if such a team exists: 22%

4.     Who is the primary contact in your school regarding 1:1 initiatives?

  • Media Specialist or Director: 31%
  • IT Department Staff: 34%
  • Curriculum Director: 9%
  • Tech Integrationists: 9%
  • No one at this time: 28%
  • Other: In most cases, these responses were principals or superintendants

5.      In closing, we asked participants to indicate the grades engaged in 1:1.

  • By far, 1:1 is most heavily implemented in high school, with a slight increase in ninth grade, where students entering high school often receive their device as a beginning high school experience. Middle school grades followed closely behind high school, with lightest, almost no 1:1 engagement until sixth grade.

As CMLE refines its focus on the needs of school media centers, it is important for our staff to understand the changing role of the media specialists in 1:1 schools. Kudos to the media specialists who serve as the primary contact or part of the team at their school  for 1:1. It is an exciting, yet challenging time, and teams that prevail and succeed feel stronger and often re-invigorated in their practice! And, everyone in the school understands the power of having the media specialist as part of the team.

Did you know that the highest ranking need of school media staff in our region (69%) is to  engage in opportunities to talk to/collaborate with peers in the field. Yet, many of those people do not feel they are able to leave their setting to do this important work. See our full post next week to hear other results of that poll and to hear of  ways CMLE is prepared to help meet this need.