Friday, November 30, 2012

1 to the World, Not 1:1

"Let the rebranding begin" announced @SuzieBoss as we tweeted one another at the 2012 Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum (#PilGF) regarding the limitations of the 1:1 phrase. Rather than referring to 1:1 initiatives, let's refer to 1 to the World initiatives.

As Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu) reported in her recent blog post, Microsoft Vice-President @AnthonySalcito cautioned 1:1 advocates regarding focusing on digital devices rather than the learning opportunities associated with connectivity.

I first heard the phrase 1 to the World from friend and disruptive-questioner Alan November (@globalearner). Here are five reasons Alan November was right to suggest that we refer to 1 to the World rather than 1:1 initiatives. What other reasons can you identify?

1.      The 1:1 terminology mistakenly implies that people use just one device. Although some adults and students do not have access to any digital devices, many adults and students use multiple devices. They might use a smart phone one moment, only to employ a netbook shortly thereafter, while sitting down at a desktop computer later in the day. 1 to the World does not muddy the water by suggesting people use just one device.

2.      With the 1:1 phrase, many people assume that a group of students will all be using the same type of device. People naturally work alongside and collaborate with others while using a variety of devices. Let’s not use terminology that suggests that everyone should be using the same type of device.

3.      The 1:1 terminology incorrectly suggests that providing ubiquitous access to technology is an end in and of itself. The existence of every student with a device is a means to an end, not the goal.

4.      1 to the World effectively emphasizes that we want to connect every student globally. Global connectivity provides students with resources, collaborators and an audience throughout the world.

5.      1 to the World appropriately avoids focusing on who provides the device. Obviously bring-your-own-device/bring-your-own-technology initiatives involve students providing the devices. The common perception is that schools provide the devices with 1:1 initiatives. In contrast with these phrases, the source of the device is not the point with the 1 to the World phrase. Schools may provide devices. Students may bring their own devices. Alternatively, some students may use school-provided devices while others bring their own. Thus, 1 to the World helpfully focuses on the purpose of the connectivity rather than who provides the device.

Help us rebrand these initiatives as 1 to the World. Blog and tweet using and advocating for this terminology. Use the #1toWorld hashtag. Share this post. Words mean a lot so use this terminology to help focus the conversation on learning, not the device.