The 4 Ps of 1:1 Tech Integration: How NOT to Live a Nightmare
Let’s imagine this nightmare together, shall we?
Once upon a first day of school, a teacher (insert your name here) begins their first day of school with a delicious, hot cup of coffee on the way into their beautifully decorated, well-planned, and organized classroom.
However, (insert dramatic music here) as they round the corner of their hallway, they find their principal standing in front of the classroom door. But, what’s that? What’s on that rolling cart? Are those… (insert LOUDER dramatic music)... DEVICES???? Your principal informs you, with an evil grin, that she expects these devices to be in your students’ hands by noon and she will be there promptly at noon, to make sure this task has been carried out effectively. Your ENTIRE year weighs on this morning, the morning of 1:1 tech integration in YOUR classroom…
You scream, “.... Noooooooooooooooooooooo!” as you wake up in a pool of your own sweat and tears, only to realize, to your relief, that it’s July and you still have three weeks until school starts.
Phew! That was close!
Dramatic? Maybe. How some of us feel when told we are going 1:1 (especially in the Primary grades)? Yep.
Tech integration in your classroom can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare, especially when you prepare using the 4 P’s. Let’s explore how you can prepare for this scenario with a lot less dramatic music (and sweat).
The 4 Ps of Preparing for Successful Tech Integration:
Questions to ask yourself as you decide where you will put these devices during various parts of your day:
Where will devices go when they aren’t being used during the day?
Where will they be charged after students leave?
What are the procedures to put them away for the day and to get them out the next morning?
Questions to ask yourself as you decide what the purpose of these devices are in your classroom:
What is MY idea of the purpose of the devices?
If I’m are unsure of the purpose and why they are in my classroom full-time, what is my plan to find purpose?
How will I share that purpose with my students? OR How can we come up with a purpose TOGETHER?
Consider these questions as you plan for procedures while using the devices throughout your day:
How do I want my classroom to look/sound/feel, day to day?
What are our rules for the use of our devices?
How will I get their attention? What signals will be routine during our day?
Where am I in my comfort level and where do I want it to be?
Who can I turn to for advice/help?
Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it can guarantee smoother lessons and school days. Ask yourself these questions to prepare for success:
How might I set my students and I up for success with our devices?
What procedures do we need to practice consistently?
What edtech tools do we need more practice on/with?
What are my short and long term goals with edtech today, this week, month, and year?
As you go through these questions and begin answering them in your mind, think practicality, not perfection. Also, know that you’ll change and grow as the weeks and months pass and you should be okay with changing and adapting your original thoughts. Do research online, but stay away from unrealistic expectations like perfectly color coded labels and curtains that you need to sew by hand or spend $100 on on Etsy.com. (Insert ‘gag me’ sign and eye roll here.) Now, moving on...
Ok, I lied. There are actually seven P’s, but the next three really surround the other four and are essential when successfully NOT living a nightmare. Without mentioning the following three P’s, you are assumed to be going on this 1:1 tech journey all by yourself. That’s not realistic.
Check out this visual:
Professional Learning Network : People : Patience
Surrounding the 4 Ps are three pillars that remind you that you MUST:
Rely on your PLN (Professional Learning Network) to go to when you are working toward the goal of using educational technology in the most effective and efficient way for you and your students.
As you collaborate/depend on your PLN when you have wins and losses with your devices, remember to rely on the power of YET. You are working with little PEOPLE here. Most of these people have only used devices as toys since the day they were born. Other people you are training on these devices include parents, other staff members, your technology department, and you. People make mistakes. People need second chances.
Patience, people! Be in the moment and compare DOWN. That means not comparing yourself to others in other districts and schools and deciding that you are a failure, because your students haven’t done what their’s have. Be patient with yourself and with your students. Deep breaths. Compare your class to YOUR CLASS. Compare your progress to YOUR PROGRESS. That’s where the real power of growth and success lie.
The P’s that you WON’T find on this list are:
Pinterest - Although it's a great resource for sparking ideas, Pinterest should NEVER be a tool used to compare yourself to. If you find yourself hating all that you do as a teacher when looking through boards, rather than getting ignited by some cool thoughts, STOP. Log off and go for a walk. YOU ARE NO PINTEREST BOARD. You are a human leading our youth into the future.
Perfection - Just like we wouldn't tell our own children that they don't have to be perfect, we need to have the same expectations for ourselves and our students. What you visualize (or plan for) is NOT what will typically be the end result. Expect imperfection and embrace it! We are an imperfect creation and therefore, our creations will hold true to the fact that nothing and no one is perfect.
Final P: Pride
Be PROUD of you and your students’ journey with the devices that you are given. You can do this! Knowing that if you prepare using the (now seven) Ps while having PRIDE in your journey, you are going to be FAR from living a nightmare. You will be living life and loving it!
So, I guess that’s eight. The 8 P’s of tech integration.
Click this link to view this blog post as presentation with examples from Amber’s first grade classroom.