If you attend an educational technology conference, follow any of the Ed Tech listservs or are active on the Twitter hashtag #edtech you’re bound to find conversations on device management or deployment.
The conversations will generally revolve around how to image and deploy devices, applications (apps), mobile device management (MDM – iPad/Android) and pushing management settings to each device to control the environment. You’ll hear about installing profiles or enrolling device in any one of over three dozen systems on the market (comparison chart).
But these conversatins often skip over an important question: what are you teaching?
Our school’s 1:1 “Learning” Initiative focuses on the teaching and learning that occurs with the device. For this reason, we don’t have a 1:1 “Laptop/iPad/Tablet/etc” Program. as the focus is on the learning. The difference is subtle, but since we focus on the learning, we say that.
Because of our focus on learning, we use our management system to help instruct while maintaining a degree of control over the devices.
While attending the JAMF Nation Conference, Damien Barrett (@damienbarrett) sat down and gave an interview on how our program works.
By allowing our students and faculty to be administrators on their own machines we are empowering them to be owners of their devices while teaching them that its okay to explore, make mistakes and learn.
We require that each of the students study a “Driver’s Manual” – http://driversmanual.mka.org – and pass a “Driver’s Test” in order to get their license to drive their laptop, to “own” it. We use these two tools to teach the proper care and feeding of the device.
Everyone is responsible for doing their own systems updates, installing their own printers and software, backing up their own devices — we provide them with a 500GB drive for Time Machine backups — and if they have a question, need help or have a problem they can come in to one of our Tech Centers and talk to an Apple Certified Tech or member of our Ed Tech Department.
Throughout all of this, we are trying to teach the responsible use and ownership of technology devices. When students are home, away at camp or graduate and move on to college and the world beyond they will not have a full-time IT department at their disposal. They will need to be problem solvers and know what to do when they have an issue.
The devices we chose for our 1:1 programs and how we choose to manage them within our environments should not only reflect and support the type of teaching and learning we want to see happen in our classroom, but should also reflect what’s happening outside those rooms and in the world at large.