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September 2015 Newsletter     

The mission of One-to-One Institute is to transform education by personalizing learning through universal access to technology.

I saw a TED talk given by Bill Gates about 6 years ago that he called "How do you make teachers great? I remember being bothered from the start by the premise that someone can "make" someone else great. I've had people make me do all kinds of things in my life, but could someone really make me be a great teacher?
I did take a break from my work that day for the 12 minutes it took me to listen to both parts of the talk. As often happens, however, I quickly dismissed Mr. Gates' points as being nave and misguided, and returned to my work.

I was reminded last week of the videos when a principal asked if I had seen them and what I thought of Gates' points. After watching the videos again, and spending a little time looking at the research, I realized that the questions he asks, and the conclusions he comes to are much more complicated than I initially thought. A full review and rebuttal of each point will have to be left to another day. I do, however, want to address his overarching question, which is something I have been grappling with for several years in my work for the One-to-One Institute.

Framing Innovation: How Do Superintendents Gain Acceptance for Large-Scale Tech Initiatives
by Erik Arnold, Peter Cohen, Gina Flanagan, Anna Nolin & Henry Turner
In recent years, school districts across the country have begun to identify the academic promise and possibilities that technology may have on teaching and learning.  Despite inconclusive research on the impact of technology use on teaching and learning, school districts have moved ahead with securing the funding and acceptance from stakeholders to support 1:1 laptop/tablet, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or Blended Learning Environments initiatives (Nagel, 2010).

A 1:1 initiative ensures that every student has access to either a district owned or family leased/purchased device and the wireless infrastructure at school to support these devices.  A BYOD initiative accommodates family owned technology devices of all kinds.  A Blended Learning Environment supports a combination of a 1:1 and BYOD environment.  The focus towards these learning environments has caused school districts to look for creative ways to secure funding to purchase technology devices and improve their wireless infrastructure (Salerno & Vonhof, 2011).  It is estimated that in 2009 alone, U.S. school districts spent over $7 billion on technology purchases (Dexter, 2011). 

Building Leadership Capacity for Digital Transformation
by Randy Ziegenfuss, Ed.D., Superintendent
Salisbury Township School District

Transforming teaching and learning with technology is a complex process that requires a foundation of shared leadership across all members of the organization. The success of our digital teaching and learning initiative (TL2020) is largely due to the cultivation of district, building and individual staff leadership. While leadership and vision are the foundation of the success of the TL2020 initiative, everyone in the organization has the potential for leadership and shares that responsibility - from students, teachers and administrators to board members. This article provides a glimpse into how the Salisbury Township School District's focus on leadership is driving a digital transformation.
Find out more! Click HERE! 
Cultivating Leadership District-wide
by Scott Brittain, Asst Superintendent for Teaching & Learning
Ferndale School District

Psychologist Kurt Lewin observed that one of the best ways to truly understand a thing is to try to change it. Our experiences in the Ferndale School District over the past four years have reinforced the truth of Lewin's words. As we have worked to change the teaching and learning processes through integrated technology, we have definitely pushed our knowledge of these processes to deeper levels. We have also gained a deeper understanding of what it takes, not only to implement a new one-to-one technology model, but also to sustain and maintain it.

Find out more! Click HERE! 
Cultivating District, Building , and Staff Leadership: a Success Story in the Making
by Kathy Bottaro, Director of Technology
Sioux City Community Schools

 How often do you receive an e-mail thanking you for hosting an "amazing principals' meeting"?
I know what you are saying, "I get that all of the time." Well, I do not generally not get those kinds of e-mails after a professional development session, but I did receive a bevy of them after a recent administrators' meeting where we brought in George Couros to speak to our principals about leading and innovating. To be clear, I am not affiliated with George Couros in any way, besides being one of his 91,000+ Twitter followers. I am, however, the Director of Technology in a district of 14,000 students and 2,000 staff members, the overseer of an existing high school 1:1 laptop program and an emerging (later this fall) middle school 1:1 laptop initiative and a district leader who realized five years into the game that she had not adequately prepared her principals lead in a 1:1 environment.
Find out more! Click HERE! 
Have You Seen This?
Project RED


The Project RED research study on the effectiveness of large scale technology initiatives provides some very important data. 

Interested?  Learn more!

About One-to-One Institute


One-to-One Institute grew out of Michigan's successful, statewide one-to-one initiative, Freedom to Learn.  One-to-One Institute is a national non-profit committed to igniting 21st century education through the implementation of one-to-one technology in K-12 settings.  Our mission is to transform education. We believe that by personalizing learning through universal, uninterrupted access to technology students will take ownership of their learning and maximize their potential. 


One-to-One Institute offers professional learning, consultancy, expertise and hands-on experience in all aspects of developing learning environments that meaningfully integrate technology. Based on the latest research and our experience in hundreds of 1:1 environments, OTO has crafted a set of best practices for leadership, infrastructure and instruction to help ensure that your program is successful and sustainable.


In This Issue

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One-to-One Institute Board of Directors


Dr. William A. Hamilton 



Dr. Brian A. McNulty

Vice President


Dr. Eileen Lento 



Ms. Camille Jones 



Mr. Matt Williams 

Board Trustee


Upcoming Events & Presentations
Blazing the Trail for Today:  School Leaders
October 13, 2015
Santa Clara, CA
Today's effective school leaders possess and use skills that foster a global, nimble, rapid-paced knowledge ecosystem.  They nurture teaching and learning strategies that hone high quality, personalized, and technology-powered designs.  Leading 'change' in schools is daunting business.  It requires talents and understanding of what is required for each learner to be successful personally and as a contributor to his/her community. Skills and strategies needed for transformative leadership will be discussed in this session.
Tools You Can Use
A Guidebook for Change
by Leslie Wilson, CEO & 
Dr. Michael Gielniak, COO
One-to-One Institute


We call today's learners Millennials, Generation Next, or the Net Generation for good reason. They use communications, media, and digital technologies almost instinctively. They are connected, wired for the next moment's activities, and view the world through the prism of their own interests. This worldview is different from that of previous generations and the difference affects their learning significantly. Within the context of their interconnected, always-on world, the path to student engagement has changed. 


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