Saturday, October 30th, 2010 | Computer Usage
In the field of education, one to one computing means that every learner and teacher has access to a computer at all times – one computer, available to one person. The computer could be a personal computer (PC), but is more often a laptop, a netbook, or a handheld computing device. It is also assumed that each person has access to a printer and the internet.
A one to one computing classroom situation is different from that of a computer room visited by learners on a rotational basis. In the latter case learners have limited access to technology and can engage with it only at fixed times. The whole idea behind one to one computing is that learners can use the computer anytime, anywhere.
Computer manufacturers are the main promoters of one to one computing. It is a no-brainer: if every learner were to be given a computer, sales will sky-rocket.
School management and parent bodies may also support the concept in the belief that a computer in the hands of a child at all times leads to superior education. It is for this reason that they are willing to invest large sums of money to make this possible.
Education authorities in the developing world must yet be convinced that one to one computing yields a substantial return on the investment. In most cases they will only support a one to one initiative if the equipment is funded by parents or other donors.
One of the disadvantages of a computer room is that learner entry is limited – this makes it unlikely for learners to develop the level of computer proficiency required by most careers. One to one computing allows learners to work with computers all the time, leading to sound digital skills and confidence in the use of technology.
It is difficult to justify one to one computing in poor countries where millions of learners have no access to technology at all. Don’t fret if your learners do not have this level of exposure to computers – do what you can with what is available.
For more technology tips for teachers click here.