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What is 1:1?

In a one to one (1:1) teaching and learning environment, each student is provided access to a computer on a direct and continuous basis throughout the school day, and beyond, if possible. Students do not share laptops with other students. It is the intent of 1:1 program to empower students with “anytime and anywhere” learning. In doing this, each student in class has immediate access to a laptop and it is used regularly and with purpose. More and more states, school districts and schools are beginning to understand the power of 1:1 teaching and learning.

Why Consider One-to-One? Why Now?

The advantage of a 1:1 program exists because each student has his/her own computer and can learn anytime and anywhere.  The focus is not solely on technology.  The focus is about a paradigm shift in how instruction is delivered and how that instruction sparks creativity in students providing a new sense of enthusiasm and ownership in their own learning.
In addition, 1:1 learning environments differ from traditional environments in most school settings because they offer all students and teachers continuous access to a wide range of software, electronic documents, the Internet and other digital resources for teaching and learning. The key component is the access of information, engaging students and encouraging them to take responsibility for their own learning. Digital Technology empowers students.
Currently in Iowa, over 120 schools have gone 1:1. That number is likely to double or triple within the next two years because of the successes of the schools who have gone to 1:1. We want our students and teachers to be a part of this new and exciting digital instruction and technology.


  1. Change the way teachers teach to adjust to the way today’s students learn.
  2. Increase student engagement and involve students in active learning, thereby improving student achievement and increasing graduation rates.
  3. Align the curriculum with the Iowa Core Curriculum.
  4. Prepare students for life beyond high school (21st Century Skills – Digital Instruction).
  5. Increase collaboration.
  6. Open the lines of communication between the Board, teachers, students and parents.
  7. Level the playing field and create an equal opportunity for all learners. This equity provides all students access to 21st century teaching, learning, and technology.
  8. Provides anytime, anywhere access opportunities.
  9. Creates 21st Century / career (school-to-work) realities for students.

1:1 Preparation, Planning and Assessment (ongoing)

  1. The West Branch CSD technology committee began investigating the implications of a 1:1 initiative. (Fall 2010)
  2. Jeff Dicks, Superintendent of Newell-Fonda School District, discussed technology integration and the 1:1 initiative at Newell-Fonda schools at the Cedar County Professional Development conference. (Oct. 2010)
  3. The West Branch CSD staff gathered resources and studied 21st Century skills integration during building level professional development.  (ongoing)
  4. The technology committee met with Tony Amsler of GWAEA to outline an implementation plan with specific action steps.  (Jan. 31, 2011)
  5. The administrative team and technology director visited Lisbon CSD. (Feb. 7, 2011)
  6. The West Branch CSD school board was updated on the proposal at a regular school board meeting. (Feb. 14, 2011)
  7. Members of the technology team visited Central City Community School District. (March 11, 2011)
  8. The West Branch CSD board of directors was updated on the proposal at a regular school board meeting. (April 11, 2011)
  9. The West Branch CSD board of directors approves Mr. Hatfield’s (Supt.) recommendation to purchase staff (upgraded) laptops for one year of additional professional development before digital devices (laptops) provided to students. (July, 2011)
  10. West Branch Community School Board approves Apple Computers (4-year lease) contract for the purchase of laptops to begin 1:1 initiative for grades 5 – 12. (February, 2012.)
  11. WBCSD Board approves upgraded Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) (April, 2012)
  12. First “student / parent rollout” or “laptop launch party” held August, 2012. (August, 2012)
  13. Students in grades 5-12 begin 12-13 school year with Apple laptops.
  14. District utilizes GWAEA (Clarity / Bright Bytes) tool to survey students, staff and parents on technology use and perspectives. (Dec. 2013)
  15. District Technology Committee continue to meet to process and assess District’s 1:1 / 21st Century teaching and learning initiatives: (May, 2014)
    • Visits GWAEA to view high-tech “Scale-Up” classroom
    • Pros / cons of District 1:1 as District concludes 2nd year of initiative
    • Discussions and observations of 21st Century furniture options, as well as student-centered / teacher-centered technologies were explored.
    • Review District Clarity / Bright Byte technology assessment data
    • Brainstorm to develop vision, guiding consideration and direction for next-level of 21st Century teaching and learning integration in the WBCSD.
    • District is considering having high-end technology / project-based labs as part of possible future building upgrades, expansions and construction options (alignment to 5-Phase Facilities Improvement Plan)
  16. District Technology Committee discussion topics and considerations: (May, 2014)
    • Overall 1:1 impact on teaching and learning after two-years
    • Options for web-base laptops (IPI devices) possible future PK-12 – 1:1 (Ex: Chromebooks)
    • Options and pros / cons of increased iPads, tablet (handhelds) and grade levels
    • Options and pros / cons of 4th grade integration of IPI device for 2014 – 2015 school years. NOTES: Administration will study (+) pluses and (-) deltas including: costs, contracts, multiple platforms that would be incorporated with such a purchase since district utilizes Apple’s Casper system, “bells and whistles” perspectives of tools, overall “use analysis” of Apple tools.  District PPEL / SAVE funds are extended this coming school year to complete board approved Phase I facilities projects. ($700,000)
    • Committee sees multiple-platform vision emerging to increase blending learning, access to multiple computing tools and “right tool for the job” in teaching) vision emerging
    • Technology Committee and WBCSD Administration hold initial discussions exploring the question of becoming a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) with support for students / families in need for a computing device.
  17. Administration will use summer of 2014 to make decision on 4th grade option.  (June, 2014) NOTE: District PPEL / SAVE funds are extended this coming school year to complete board approved Phase I facilities projects. ($700,000)
  18. The 4th year for teacher laptops and 3rd year for students’ (grades 5-12) laptops will be in use 2014 – 2015 school years. (Fall 2014)
  19. District’s Technology Committee will continue to study and make a final recommendation to the Board of Education in November / December, 2014. (Fall 2014)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Non-Discrimination Policy

It is the policy of the West Branch Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status in its educational programs and its employment practices. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you have any questions or a grievance related to this policy please contact the district’s Equity Coordinator, Jessica Burger, Elementary Principal, 148 North Oliphant St., West Branch, IA 52358, 319-643-7211, jburger@west-branch.k12.ia.us

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