The Quest for Digital Literacy

Learning in a 1:1 Classroom

A 1:1 Elementary Classroom

I am beginning my third year of teaching in a 1:1, technology-rich classroom. I have learned  quite a bit on this journey and I am certain I will learn a lot more.

In this initial post, I simply want to share how this all came about. While schools across the  country are implementing technology programs, I have yet to find an elementary classroom like  mine. My students do not have laptops. They each have a desktop computer.

Four years ago, I was hired as a 4th grade teacher at Harrison Elementary School in Warsaw,  Indiana. I was given two computers; one for myself and one for the school’s Accelerated Reader  program. I knew I had to find more.

I am a proponent of Project-Based Learning. I intended to find global learning partners for my  students and not in a snail-mail sort of way. I went from room to room, asking other teachers if they were using all of their computers. Some were quite generous. In a storage room, I found a cart of ten old Dream Writers. They ran Windows CE and needed new batteries. I found some funds and by mid-term had 17 computers in my room.

My first year was an unqualified success. We created a newspaper with seven other classrooms around the world. I taught my students how to sell advertising and set prices that would ensure a profit. We made $1200.00.

Near the end of that year, my Principal sent out an email that informed us our school’s population had increased to the point he was going to close one of our two computer labs to make room for another classroom. I ran to his office, skipped knocking on his door, and told him I had a crazy idea. He listened.

Instead of sending the computers back to our Technology Department for redistribution, the computer lab became my fourth grade classroom. I immediately began to ramp up the use of technology in my lessons. My room has grown to include a Mimeo interactive white board, a powerful sound system, two webcams, video and still cameras, a VCR/DVD player, and a significant amount of interactive software.

Our global learning continues. We have partnered with more than thirty classrooms on four continents. Last year, we entered an international web-design contest. Along with our two partner classrooms, Lincoln Elementary in Oak Park, Illinois and Ein Ganim School in Petach Tikva, Israel, we won first place in the elementary division.

I look forward to your thoughts and questions. Thanks.

Rick Glass


December 14, 2009 - Posted by | 1:1 Classroom | ,

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