Providing students with iPads in a one-to-one model creates opportunities to improve students’ 21st century skills for problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, data gathering and analysis, oral and written communication, and technological competence, among others. These are difficult skills to master. With our current levels of technology, we are limited in how many times per year we can fully expose students to the skills and work to develop mastery. The one-to-one model provides students with greatly increased opportunities to practice and provides teachers with multiple opportunities over the course of the year to assess student growth. Specifically, we anticipate students will become more engaged and capable in research, creative projects, argumentation, demonstrations, summaries, and other artifacts that grant evidence of the growth of knowledge and skills.
By increasing the frequency with which students practice selecting academically reliable sources, annotate and analyze those sources, synthesize the information from multiple sources, and then create an argument, teachers will be able to chart student progress and differentiate instruction in order to support struggling learners and to increase the level of mastery for all students.